Eight Painless Ways to Save $100 This Month

Save Money

Many people are constantly looking for ways to save money and reduce their monthly expenses. Most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, have little savings, and don’t know or understand where their money goes each month. In other cases, people are frugal and financially responsible but simply need a bit of extra cash and are looking for ways to save money immediately. If you fall into either of these categories, don’t worry. It’s easier than you think to spend less. Here are 10 ways you can save $100 this month:

Reduce energy consumption

One easy way to reduce your monthly expenses is to reduce your utility bills. Since this usually involves being more proactive about energy consumption rather than cutting something out of your life, this is usually a painless way to save money. Turn off lights and electronics when you’re not using them, use energy-efficient light bulbs, and adjust your thermostat to save money on your energy bill. If you have more than one form of energy in your home, such as electricity and natural gas, make sure that you look for ways to reduce them both. 

Also find out if there are discounts, cheaper rates, or energy-efficiency rebates in your area. While many areas have restricted electric rates, meaning you don’t have a choice in which electric company you use, people can choose cheap electric rates in texas and other deregulated states.

Cut Out Unnecessary Subscriptions

One expense that many people can cut out without feeling any pain is unused subscriptions. In many cases, they have forgotten that they are even paying for these. Check your credit cards, bank accounts, and other payment methods methodically to check for all the regular payments that are being made. 

You can also cancel any subscriptions you’re not using or can do without, such as streaming services or gym memberships. Other potential memberships you might want to forego are shopping memberships and subscriptions to digital book and audiobook sites. In many cases, you can pause these memberships temporarily. You will lose access during the time period that they are paused, but you will also save money. 

Cook at Home

Eating out can be expensive, so try to cook more meals at home instead of dining out. If you usually eat out once a week, you can potentially save several hundred dollars each month by taking a break from this form of entertainment. If these restaurant visits are important to you, such as date nights, consider other, cheaper, options. You could cook a fancy meal together as your date. You could choose a cheaper meal option, such as take-out, and add free activities to make it into a date. You can also consider cutting back on the number of times you eat out, switching to a cheaper restaurant, or going out for dessert or breakfast instead of dinner.

If your expenses from eating out mostly come from fast food, either because you find that you are too busy to cook or are away from home at mealtimes, there are ways to cut back on those expenses, as well. If you know you will be away from home over a meal, pack food ahead of time. If you are caught out longer than you expected and need to eat, consider picking up a sandwich or salad from a grocery store deli rather than eating out. Not only is this often cheaper than purchasing fast food, but it is also much healthier.

Track Your Spending

If you are not sure where you can cut back, consider tracking your spending to see where your money is going each month. If you don’t track your expenses, you are sure to be spending more on some things than you expect. Untracked small expenses such as coffee, cigarettes, and snacks are more likely to be the downfall of a budget than large expenses.

Save Money on Food

Saving money on groceries is usually easier than many other budget items because there are so many choices that you can make. Many of these choices are completely painless. One of the first steps to saving money on groceries is to avoid purchasing food you won’t use or don’t need. First, plan your meals. Make a menu or list of meals you want to make. Then, based on your weekly menu, make a grocery list before you go shopping and stick to it. You can also save money by looking for sales and using coupons to save money on your purchases. If you find a really great deal on a specific ingredient while you are shopping, you can modify your menu to include another meal, but don’t buy things just because they look or sound good. 

Consider sticking to cheaper food options for a while. Hearty home-cooked meals, often called comfort food, are usually cheap, healthy, and filling. Also consider having soups and salads, and utilizing cheap but filling side dishes like rice and potatoes.

Cut Back on Non-Essential Purchases or Buy Used Items

If you are trying to save money, one of the best ways is simply not buying anything. By temporarily eliminating purchases such as new clothing, household goods, and unnecessary cosmetics, many families can easily save $100 or more. If you want to save money and live more frugally over a longer period of time, consider purchasing used items like used furniture, like-new clothing from consignment stores, and used cars. 

Buy Generic Brands

If you are looking to cut back, consider purchasing generic or store-brand products instead of name-brand items to save money. While many people are hesitant to do this with expensive items like computers and furniture, there is no reason to avoid going generic with some products, such as food items and cosmetics. While you might prefer your favorite coffee, children usually won’t care if their toothpaste or breakfast cereal is name-brand. Other items, like generic canned goods, produce, and food and cleaning staples are often manufactured in the same factories as the name-brand items, and in blind tests, many perform as well or better than their name-brand competitors. 

Also, consider going generic in the case of medications. Since over-the-counter medicines are regulated by the FDA, you can be sure that the generic product is as effective as the name-brand version.

Pack Your Own Lunch

Bring your own lunch to work or school instead of eating out every day. While it can take a little more time and effort to plan, shop for ingredients, and prepare these meals, you can save hundreds of dollars a year. In addition, you will likely feel better and more energetic since home-cooked meals are usually much healthier

Final Thoughts 

By implementing these strategies, you can easily save $100 or more this month without sacrificing too much. Many of these ideas, if done consistently, will turn into a habit and become a natural, painless part of your life. Ideas such as eating frugally, shutting off lights, and buying second-hand clothes are not new and are not only good for your budget, but they are also good for the environment.

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The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.