9 Simple Ways to Save Money This Month
It’s a mathematical fact of life that there are only two ways to end up with more money at the end of each month: add to your income, or subtract from your spending. If you don’t feel like getting a part-time job — who actually wants to work more? — saving money is the way to go. It doesn’t have to be hard, either. By shaving a little bit off your budget here and skipping a latte there, you can turn nickels and dimes into big bucks over the long run.
Not sure how to get started? Try these tips to jumpstart your savings today.
How to Save Money This Month:
1. Pack Your Lunch
Brown-bagging it makes a huge difference. Make it easy on yourself and prep your meals the night before, or invest in some reusable containers for leftovers instead. Potential savings: $100-$200.
2. Turn Down Your Thermostat
For every degree you lower your thermostat in the winter, you can save about 3 percent on your heating bills. You’ll never notice a two-degree difference — especially if you put on a sweater. Potential savings: $3- $90.
3. Plan Potlucks
Depending on how often you eat out, you can save a lot by entertaining at home. Invite friends over for a retro dinner party, or plan a potluck with a theme so everyone pitches in. Potential savings: $25-$200.
4. Homebound Happy Hours
Can’t bear the thought of giving up fine dining? Try hosting a pre-dinner cocktail hour at home instead. You can learn to mix some snazzy new drinks and save on an expensive bar tab. Potential savings: $10-$100.
5. Take Your Calculator Grocery Shopping
Stick to your budget (you have one, right?) by adding up the things you toss into your cart as you shop. If you max out before you have all your staples, put back the ice cream sandwiches. Potential savings: $10-$100.
6. Green Up Your Lighting
Switch to LED or CFL bulbs in your lighting fixtures if you haven’t already, and turn off the lights whenever you leave a room. You’ll cut way back on your electric bill this way, and the planet will thank you. Potential savings: $2-$20.
7. Air Dry Your Clothes
Speaking of electricity, your dryer is a major energy hog. If you plan ahead and get a cheap drying rack, you can let your clothes air dry for free. Depending on how much laundry you do, this could really cut your energy bills. Potential savings: $4-$32.
8. Use Apps to Save on Gas
Gas prices vary a lot, but apps like GasBuddy track price fluctuations and help you find the cheapest spot, no matter where you are. Your savings will vary depending on how much you drive, but with tech to help, it’s a no-brainer to get the best price. Potential savings: $5-$30.
9. Shop in Your Closet
Instead of buying new clothes this month, try reorganizing your closet instead. Hang your blouses in rainbow order, or organize your sweaters from most to least formal. Simply seeing your clothes in a new light can inspire you to put together new outfits and fall in love with an older item all over again. Potential savings: $20-$300.