What would you do with an extra $50 per month? It may not sound like a lot of money, but once you consider at the big picture, $600 a year, you may be singing a different tune! In fact, by implementing several practical cost-saving measures, an extra $600 per year may be a low estimate – you may save thousands of dollars.
Trimming $50 per month from your expenses is not as difficult as it sounds. Each of the following five methods can help you save at least $50.
Ways to Save Money Every Month
1. Cut Back on Eating Out
Eating at home can be the best way to save $50 or more per month. It may sound tough, but making this change doesn’t mean you have to eat every meal at home. Instead, all you have to do is find a way to cut back here and there.
For example, if you grab coffee at a local coffee shop before work every morning, your habit will cost you between $2 and $5 each day, which by the end of the month ends up being $60 or $150. Just cutting this out of your daily routine will have you easily exceeding your goal of saving $50 per month, and you can still indulge on a Friday night out.
2. Review and Revise Your Cable Plan
There are several ways you can save by reviewing – and revising – your cable plan:
- Cut it out altogether
- Cut back on some of your monthly extras
- Haggle your way into a short-term or permanent discount
For most people, cutting back is the most efficient option. After all, there is nothing wrong with a little bit of television, as long as you are aware of the associated costs. If you’re paying for premium cable channels you don’t watch or DVR service you don’t use, then you can cut your bill without making much of a sacrifice.
If you’d like to save even more, it might be time to opt out of the luxury of premium channels and sports packages. I recently removed one sports package and one HD box from my cable plan, resulting in an overall monthly savings of $27.99.
Get started by reviewing your most recent cable bill for ways to save money. Decide what you can live without and remove unnecessary add-ons and hidden cable fees from your subscription. Within a month, your bill will decrease and you may not even notice much of a difference in service.
If you can’t find any extras to cut out, you can still call your provider and ask for any promotions or discounts that may be available for loyal customers. If you have more than one option in your area, most companies will lower your bill if they think you may leave for the other provider.
Lastly, you can always cancel your cable TV altogether!
3. Cancel Your Land Line
While a land line phone may still be useful in some circumstances, gone are the days of depending on it. If you are worried about making the change to primarily relying on your cell phone or other home phone alternatives (as I was), start keeping track of how many calls you make and receive every week on your land line.
For several months after moving to my new home, I paid $49 per month for land line service. After a couple months in which the phone only rang a few times, I realized it was time to cancel the plan and save the money.
4. Buy Generic Brands
If you’re in love with brand-name goods, especially groceries, you might find this change to be a big challenge. The overall financial benefits, however, should convince you.
Most people do not realize that generic brands are a comparable option, from both a taste and quality perspective. And, in fact, almost every grocery store and retail chain has its own generic brand. Great Value, for example, is Walmart’s well-known brand. From food to household items and everything in between, generic brands cover many essential purchases, allowing you to pay less for the same taste or quality. You will never know if a generic brand is right for you until you give it a try.
5. Say Goodbye to Private Mortgage Insurance
Do you know if you are currently paying private insurance along with your mortgage every month? If you’re not sure, contact your lender to find out. Check your monthly statement as well.
Private mortgage insurance is a requirement at the time of purchase, when your down payment is less than 20% of the appraised value or sale price. But once you have at least 20% equity in your home, you can cancel this insurance and save the money. The cost of private mortgage insurance varies, and is based on the loan type and down payment amount – usually one-half of 1% of the loan.
However, most people don’t realize they can stop paying private mortgage insurance, or don’t know when it’s time to kiss this expense goodbye. Keeping with the numbers above, let’s say you put down 10% on a $200,000 home ($20,000). The bank multiplies $180,000 by .005 to come up with an annual payment of $900 ($75 per month). Clearly, by removing this private mortgage insurance as soon as you reach 20% equity, you can save a boatload of money.
By following these simple strategies, you can easily save $50 per month. For most people, saving hundreds – or perhaps thousands – per year is possible. Above all else, make sure you focus on what you do and do not need in your life. By getting rid of unnecessary expenses you will see your savings adding up.
Are you able to take advantage of one of these cost cutting measures? What other simple methods to save money do you suggest?