Top 50 Ways to Save Money on Monthly Expenses.
Is your personal finance hurting you with monthly household expenses mounting painfully? You’ve probably gone through all the traditional money saving tips and do’s and don’ts for what’s the best way to save money.
Today, I’m listing a bunch of easy (though bizarre) ways of cutting back on your household expenses. There’s a lot of advice out on the Internet for monthly savings plan, like turning off the television; sign up for free rewards programs, make a shopping list, cut out your coffee shop visits and so on and so forth.
If you’ve already made all these basic changes to reduce your household bills, here are some frugal tips that simply rock and could turn your financial position around. All it takes is the first step.
The top 50 ways to save money on monthly expenses are not life changing steps, but they can make a difference with time. If you are looking for simple and easy ‘budget my money tips’, look no further.
Not all of them might be suitable for you, so just go through them and find the ones that you could apply, to save money on your monthly expenses.
50 Best Ways to Save Money on Your Monthly Expenses
#1. Dump the Cable – Great Ways to Save Money on Bills
Average cable bills could cost around $103 per month. Even if you pay less, it comes to a hefty amount. It sounds great theoretically and is great practically too, if you take the right way.
People are taking to cord cutting in a big way these days. Instead, opt for a Netflix or an Amazon Prime subscription below $10 for a month.
#2. Downgrade your Broadband Service – No Need for Speed
Just think about it when you ask ‘how to save my money’. Do you really need a 100 Mbps speed? It can take a big bite out of your monthly budget. Don’t pay for more than what you really need. If you are just a light user, opt for downgrading to a cheaper service.
Make up for the lower speed with these tricks:
- Update your software for a monthly saver.
- Upgrade the router.
- Put a password on your router so that others don’t use it.
- Use Ethernet cables instead of wireless connections for your PC.
#3. Downsize to a Smaller Home to Reduce House Expenses
You could save thousands of dollars a year by living in a smaller home. You can still maintain the same lifestyle. It lowers costs in every way. Even if you move from a 3000 sq. ft. home to a 2500 one, it could make a huge difference to your bank account. You save on:
- Energy bills
- Mortgage payments
- Cheaper location
- Get rid of the clutter, as it is a tried and tested method to save money monthly
(Incidentally, I made more than $500 with a garage sale from the huge clutter, when I moved from Chicago to Fayetteville, AR)
#4. Give Up your Mobile Phone to Lower your Bills
How can I save money each month? Look into options for VoIP providers say Vonage. Alternatively, you can also opt for smartphones with pay as you go options. For instance, use Tracfone to save money.
How about Google Voice? You can make calls from your desktop and send texts.
#5. Clean Out the Closet
If you’re asking ‘help me budget my money’, convert an overflowing closet into an overflowing wallet. You’ll probably find those pair of blue pants that were missing the past few months. You’ll save money that would have gone towards buying clothes that you already have.
Another benefit of closet recycling is that you can resell excess attire online through an online consignment shop.
#6. Drink a Lot of Water
Now that’s what you’d call a totally bizarre idea to save money. Hear me out. You drink more water just before having a meal. You stay fuller and eat less. Bingo! You save on food bills and also feel hydrated and stay healthy in the long run.
No more weight loss programs for you. And yes, while we’re at it, no bottled water please. Remember we’re being stringent here, tap water is totally free and also clean.
#7. How to Budget your Money? Reduce the Commute
Try to move somewhere closer to your job to lower your bills. It would be great if you could just walk to your office, offering the best way to save money. Alternatively, you can bike to work or use mass transit. The savings on time also could help you make more money. You could opt for an online gig to make some extra money in the time saved.
Let’s say you commute for three hours a day. Moving to a one hour commute could save 522 hours in a year (2 hours saved everyday for the 261 working days). Make use of a monthly savings calculator to see exactly how much you can save. Also useful when I want it to help me budget my money.
#8. Learn to Substitute in Recipes
You’re knee deep making dinner and you just realize you don’t have a valuable ingredient. You don’t have to immediately rush out to get it. There are several ingredient substitutes you could use to create an easy monthly budget. You save money on gas and you get to use something that you have lying around the house.
Your recipe calls for Red wine, but you have pure cranberry juice. Go for it.
#9. Dining Out is Out
Not completely, but reduce it. Eating out does have its advantages. You don’t have to deal with a kitchen with dirty dishes. But it could impact your budget if you are not careful.
How much should I save each month? Say about 20% of your earnings. You can still have that date night once a month, while considering how much should you save a month.
- Plan ahead. If you spend around $500 a month on dining out, cut it down to $100.
- Remember to choose happy hour special items, (maybe $1 taco on Wednesdays)
#10. Dry Cleaning
How to reduce my bills? Check out the labels of your clothes to see whether it says Dry Clean or Dry Clean only. You can slash that dry cleaning bill and still leave for your job wrinkle free, with some planning.
- For example, you can use a baby shampoo or Woolite for that silk shirt or for your cashmere sweater.
- Remove that ugly stain with a stain remover, saving your self some trips to the dry cleaner.
- Wear clothes several times before you take them to the cleaner.
- Use home dry cleaning kits, as part of money tips.
#11. Free Heating/Cooling Options
Want help saving money? You needn’t pay exorbitant heating bills just because it’s winter. Check out and fix the problematic areas of your home, so that you can keep it naturally warm and prevent drafts. Replace the weather-stripping on your doors/windows.
Use a portable heater and keep it where your family usually gathers. This is one of the great ways to save money each month, though the rest of your house might be cooler. Insulate and fix all air leaks, through the chimney, windows and door thresholds. Use warm accessories instead of turning up the heat. Add a rug to the floor.
For summers, open a window or use shades, tinted film, insulated curtains and so on, being great ways to save money.
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#12. Free Entertainment
Looking for ways to live on a money budget? Win free tickets for movies, concerts, music festivals, Disney tickets and so on by entering sweepstakes. You can win a trip to Las Vegas or get free movies throughout the year as part of the giveaway.
Join street teams and spread the word about a show. Put up posters and share the event on social networking sites. You get paid with free tickets and even merchandise.
Call to radio stations and get hold of opportunities when there are ticket giveaways. Check out contests in the social media and enter online sweepstakes.
#13. Beauty Indulgence
Are those expensive manicures and pedicures eating away into your monthly budget? Do it at home and save money, thereby reducing your monthly bills. You may have to invest initially in cosmetic tools and supplies, but it is one of the best money saving ideas.
Turn on some music, light some candles, invite friends for a pedicure party, where you do the manicure and pedicure for one another.
If you must go to a salon, shop around for best deals.
#14. Don’t Coupon
Surprised? This is going against every rule in the book for the best money saving tips. Believe me, couponing very often leads to overspending. The $10 off is actually a trick to get you to spend more. An expiring offer only puts more pressure on you to go in for impulsive shopping.
#15. Shopping with Deadlines
Impose a time limit on yourself while shopping, as it is one of the easy ways to save money. Alternatively, shop when you need to be somewhere else within a short time or during a lunch break. You can curb those temptations, just buy what you need and rush out.
#16. Only Cash
Using your credit card could increase your credit score, no doubt. But using cash helps you see where your money goes. You ultimately spend less, as the convenience offered by credit cards actually makes you spend more.
#17. Avoid Big Spenders
It is the best way to save money fast. Keep company with people who are thrifty. That doesn’t mean you have to ditch your rich friends, (you’d like to go on that yacht with him one day), but they do influence you in spending more.
Hanging out with ultra-thrifty friends will challenge you to save more.
#18. Reusing Items
There are items like tinfoil and ziplock bags that are actually called disposable, but you could reuse them a few times, as part of a money saving plan.
My friend’s mom actually has tinfoil packing from way back in the ‘90s. That’s real thrift for you. I wouldn’t go that far, due to the risk of chemicals, but two to three times usage is fine. It works well while looking for ways to save money at home.
#19. Making Gifts/Decorations
Holiday time is expensive what with the gifts and the decorations. Check out some DIY ideas if you’re asking ‘help me save money’.
Hint: You don’t have to buy gift-wrap. Instead, just use old grocery bags or old maps or even a newspaper, as it offers simple ways to save money.
Check out inexpensive DIY gift ideas from online sites.
#20. Saving Pennies
Save the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.
I know someone who just throws away the pennies and never picks up the change while shopping. Seriously, who would ever do that? My mom used to pick up every penny that she saw and it came to $10 a month. Pick up every penny you see and see what it adds up to at the end of a year.
#21. Buy Generic
According to Consumer Reports, Americans are still skeptical of generic items. On an average preschoolers view about 642 ads of breakfast cereal brands. The generics of this category cost around 25 to 50% less, without compromising on the taste or the ingredients.
Just try refilling a branded box with the generic one if your kids are unwilling to give up the brand. It is one of the smart ways to save money.
#22. Don’t Leave Lights on to Save your Money
When we were young, our parents were adamant that we switch off the lights when leaving a room. It takes just about a minute or two to walk through your entire house and make sure all the lights are switched off, before going out for dinner or out for work. It’s a great money saving advice.
#23. Shop at Thrift Stores
Sarah Jessica Parker made news when she shopped at thrift stores and shared the news on Twitter. More and more celebrities are recommending thrift stores. You can even get a designer brand at half the price, being the fastest way to save money.
#24. How to Save Money Effectively? Give up your Gym Membership
You might love going to the gym, but membership packages are quite expensive and just not worth it. If you don’t use the gym much, give it up and go in for natural exercise. You can get help from exercise videos and just buy some basic workout equipment.
Walking, jogging, squats, sit-ups, pushups can all be done for free. Just purchase some hand weights. Even sports don’t need much equipment; you just need a ball for soccer, hoop and ball for basketball.
You improve your health without spending much and can reduce medical costs in the long run. This offers one of the unique ways to save money.
#25. Pack your Lunch
The amount you save in a year can reach thousands of dollars. According to Forbes, on an average, Americans spend $936 on store purchased lunches. You might be spending around $200 on store bought beverages and lunches. It is one of proven ways you can cut your expenses.
I concede that making your own lunch requires more time and effort, but there are some meals that you can put together quickly.
#26. Go to Bed Early
It’s a weird and unique money saving technique. What’s that got to do with saving money? Glad you asked. You go to bed early and you get up earlier, so you can make maximum use of natural daylight and save on electricity.
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#27. Unsubscribe from Junk Mail
Unsubscribe from tempting retailer mails and junk mails. Make sure they don’t even reach your Inbox, so you don’t have to see them. It reduces the clutter as well.
Take this one step further and throw away the flyers, so that you don’t know what’s on sale. If you don’t know about the latest promotions, you won’t go to the store. These are the different ways to save money.
#28. Washing your Hair
If you wash your hair every alternate day, do it once a week. You’ll use less shampoo and it’s actually better for your hair too. It doesn’t become dry. You might find your hair oily initially. But the body gets used to the new routine and starts producing less oil over time.
#29. Eating Raw
Eat more salads and raw vegetables and reduce the meat. It makes the meal simpler and you save money, as meat is more expensive. Eat at least two meals a week without meat, like say meatless Mondays. You don’t have to use the stove, so you save on energy too.
#30. Recycle for Top Ways to Save Money
- Sell off your unwanted clothes and make money out of them. Sell them at shops that offer cash for clothes or just opt for good old eBay.
- Use old curtains and towels into bags or cushion covers.
- Buy second hand clothes from charity shops or pick up a bargain, again from eBay.
- Reuse jam jars instead of having to buy a new one.
- Reuse grocery bags for your bins or as laundry bags.
#31. Avoid the Convenience Store
They are so conveniently located in every corner, but they do hustle you. Avoiding it can help you break a lot of bad habits, like candy or cigarettes.
Moreover, the mark ups are absurdly high and you end up paying double on groceries, all because you find it convenient. You still can shop for the occasional slurpee or the candy bar, but don’t make a habit of it. It’s not good for the health of your wallet.
#32. Living Tiny
For most of us, housing is the greatest of expenses, with an average of 27% gone from your pre-taxed income, based on statistics from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
It is challenging to live in an Airstream, as it goes against the norm of home loans debts and spending. It’s a simpler life to live in a small Airstream that offers you all the comforts of a home, beds, bath, showers and even closets. You can have heat as well as air conditioning.
#33. Bulk Cook Your Meals
If you’re free only on Sundays, make various dishes that will last you and your family the whole week. Put it in the freezer. This way you will not be tempted to get takeaways in the middle of the week. This is one of the effective ways to spend less money.
#34. Cleaning Products – Make your Own
Most of the cleaning products in the market are pretty expensive. You can easily make some in your home. For instance, use vinegar, baking soda combination for cleaning the drain. Use lemon juice to remove stains and grease. Use Vinegar for cleaning wooden floors.
#35. Energy Efficient Bulbs
I do agree they cost more when compared to conventional bulbs. But you end up saving more money, as they consume less energy and also last a longer time so you don’t have to replace them often. Use models that come with the ENERGY STAR.
#36. Vehicle Gas Expenses
You can reduce vehicle gas expenses by some economic driving habits to save money on your monthly expenses. Stop speeding at 70 mph and keep to 55 mph. Pump up the tires, as under-inflated ones reduce fuel economy.
It’s difficult to save on a fundamental necessity. But you can slash the budget by nearly $250 a month if you shop wisely. Remember to buy whole foods, instead of going in for prepared food.
Opt for a real potato instead of buying frozen or twice baked potatoes. The former costs a fraction of the price and probably tastes much better.
#38. Daily Latte
Of course, a $4 latte in the morning is soul satisfying, but it could damage your budget. Why not brew your own coffee or other favorite drinks at home? You could buy a Keurig machine. It is expensive, but pays for itself in the long run.
#39. Invite Friends Over
But they’ll only end up devouring all your snacks, beverages and you have to foot the bill, you might say. Well, if you invite friends, it’s very likely they will invite you back. You can hang out with them and devour their snacks and beverages.
There is the initial cost, but if you’re inviting them home, the food is cheaper. You can cook in bulk and stock up on buy one get two offers, buy a huge piece of cheese at a lower rate. It all goes towards cheap entertainment.
#40. Doing Maintenance Rounds
Have some free time? Do some maintenance around the house. Check out all your gadgets and appliances and do the necessary maintenance tasks.
They will last longer. For example, if you clean the fridge coils, it works more efficiently. Similarly, emptying the hot water heaters removes the sediment and it runs more efficiently.
#41. Reading Books/Renting Movies
Stop by at a nearby library for reading books or renting movies instead of hitting the retailers. You can check out the DVD collections offered along with the books.
You can watch plenty of nice films for free and read the bestsellers. You can even order them online and pick it up using your library card, without paying a cent.
#42. Carpooling/Sharing Cars
If you must drive, why not save on gas costs by car-pooling with others in the neighborhood, for a successful financial life? Also, you need not have two cars in the house. Try to manage with a single car, while looking for ways to save money. It saves on gas, insurance as well as other expenditure like maintenance and so on.
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#43. Saving on Gas
Try to save on gas expenditure using Gas Buddy. The app saves you money and time, with more than 70 million users. You can save around $340 a year, as it tells you when and where to buy gas, so that you never have to overpay anymore.
Remove the additional or extra weight in the trunk. A mere 100 pounds of extra weight could push up the gas price by about 2%. Never let the car idle, you’re literally burning your money.
#44. Unplugging Devices – One of the Best Ways to Save Money
Some devices consume energy even if you’re not using them, when they are merely plugged in. Don’t keep your cable set top box powered when it’s not being used.
It is frustrating to keep plugging and unplugging your devices, so you could make use of a power strip to turn them all off simultaneously. These include your PC, laptops, television sets, modems, stereos, coffeemakers, toasters, iPhones and so on.
#45. Save on Water Heater Costs
Bring the temperature down to about 120 degrees F. You can save around 3 to 5% on heating cost. Water heating could account for almost 12% of your utility bills, which is a big chunk.
Take a short shower instead of a bath, as part of ways to save money strategies. Don’t allow the water to run while you brush your teeth. Use cold water for laundry and for the rinse cycle. Use the dishwasher only for full loads.
#46. Sharing a Nanny
You could ask a family member to take care of your child, as one of the ways to save money.
Alternatively, there are many companies offering on site baby care facilities. If these options don’t work for you, try sharing a nanny with other families, so that costs are reduced.
#47. Growing Herbs
When considering ways to save money, every time you want some cilantro or some basil, you need not rush out to buy some spending about $2 to $3. Just spend $5 one time and have a continuous supply of herbs.
It’s fresh and it’s convenient. You also reduce transportation or fuel cost, as you don’t have to run to the market every time. You just need some containers, sun and water.
#48. Swap Clothes with Friends
Hold a clothes-swapping party with friends, as it offers a good idea for ways to save money. They can bring along their still decent discards and you can swap with one another.
If there’s something no one wants, you can donate it to Goodwill. That will get you a tax deduction.
#49. Save on Razors
If you and your partner are spending a lot of money on razors, you could get a membership with the Dollar Shave club. They offer you razors online every month, at a lower cost.
#50. Using Cloth Diapers
If you have a newborn, ask around for some unused diapers. There are many parents who abandon these diapers when their children outgrow them and will gladly give it away.
Of course, you’ll need a waterproof cover over the cloth diaper, which you might have to buy from time to time. Also, you may have to spend for laundry detergent, but that’s all, so it’s one of the unique ways to save money.
These are some of the out of the box creative ways to save money. Some of them might sound drastic, but you could learn what you really need in life and what you can easily do without. I’ve cut back a lot on such expenditures.
Today, I’m well able to afford them, but I still haven’t added the expenditures. You soon learn to live a frugal and simple life and love and enjoy it. It’s perfectly possible to lead a happy life without all the luxuries. You’ll be able to save a lot of money, and that’s the icing on the cake, not a silver lining on a black cloud.
What type of unnecessary monthly expenses are you spending on, which you could do without? What are you considering cutting back and do you know of any other ways to save money? Review your expenses and ask yourself whether you truly need it. If the answer is no, cut it out ruthlessly.