5 Simple Ways to Save $50 a Month

by Almost Frugal · 10 comments

in Money & Spending

saving money coinsWhat 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.

Final Thoughts

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?


1 John Schmoll July 23, 2012

Helpful ideas on saving money! You’re right, $50/month doesn’t seem like much, but it does add up. My wife and I cut our landline over a year ago. We were very apprehensive, but would never go back. It was just an unneccessary expense. We also buy generic as much as possible. There are a few things we like the name brand on, but going generic can save you good money in the long run.

2 Josh @ Savings Angel July 23, 2012

Eating out can be very draining on a bank account. We recommend a coupon club for groceries and putting together a nice meal at home. With the right discounts a restaurant quality meal can easily be created at home.

3 tamarra July 24, 2012

i got rid of my direct tv which was $127 per mnth..replaced it a roku hd box and remote..cost of the roku was $49 and netflix(which is available thru the roku is $7.99 ($8.63 after tax)..i am banking the extra $118.37 per mnth..also gave up 2 saturday morning breakfasts at shoneys for $15.56 per week at a total savings of $31.12 per mnth! total extra per mnth is $149.90.. fort the year $1798.80..i am loving it!!

4 Tony @ A Young Investor July 26, 2012

I just cut cable all together. No sense in spending $40 a month when we can get almost anything online for free these days.

5 Tom July 31, 2012

Actually there is. It’s called breaking the law.
Just because you CAN get most stuff for free doesn’t mean it’s LEGAL to do so. In most cases, not so much.

6 Marilyn @ Two Frugal Fairfielders July 26, 2012

Many people just keep their daily newspaper subscription going indefinitely. We just cut out our daily newspaper subscription which was creeping up in price to well over $30 a month! Instead, we found a promotional subscription for Thursday through Sunday at $25 a year. A year! So, we now saving approximately $360 a year by just this one move (and we can read the online version of the paper on the days we don’t get it delivered). My tip is to find out if you can move your paper subscription to a promotional one for a fraction of the price. (That is if you are like many people who still prefer to read an actual newspaper once in a while!)

7 Emily August 14, 2012

Good ideas! A note regarding Private Mortgage Insurance that I recently learned. If you sign up for it (it is required by law if you put less than 20% downpayment on a home purchase), you are locked into paying for it for a minimum of one year. It didn’t used to be this way before the mortgage crisis, but the rules have changed! Before, as soon as you hit the tipping point of getting the 20% equity in your home, you could notify the mortgage insurance company in writing and have them cancel the policy. Not so now. You must continue to pay for it for a full year and then cancel it even if you have the 20% equity. I was shocked and ticked when I found out! Just something to be aware of.

8 Charlotte@TheCCI August 21, 2012

These are such good and truly practical ideas that almost anyone can follow. We have cut out cable completely, dropped the land line, gotten rid of the mortgage insurance, and we do buy generic brands on many things. The most difficult for me is to cut back on eating out. As a single mom, it is so hard to find the time to do it all, but I know that this would make a big difference in the budget. One option that I have avoided is to purchase convenience foods at the store since so many of them are so bad for you! I have recently discovered that there are some really healthy choices that are huge time savers. Although more expensive than other grocery items, and definitely more expensive than from scratch cooking, these options are MUCH less expensive than eating out! Great article – thank you!

9 deborah September 16, 2012

For years I was tied to my landline because no broadband of any kind was available where we live in the country, but recently I was able to get Exede Satellite (love it) and last month I “cut the cord” with “ma bell”. Believe it or not I am actually SAVING 20.00 a month plus have broadband internet; something I have never had before!

I am Ms Frugality to the max and have been all my adult life. (now 63) I cook and bake from scratch, do Once a month freezer cooking for when I am laid up with my auto-immune diseases, turn my hot water heater off every night, hang out laundry unless it’s raining and then hang in our spare BR on some attractive lines my husband made for me that don’t take up a lot of room but hold a lot of laundry…well, the list goes on and on.

I really hope that sites like yours, mine, and others will help people make better choices with their expenditures so that they can get out of debt and really start enjoying life’s little pleasures. It’s not material things that give you lasting happiness, it’s good friends, family and your faith in a loving God. Bye for now from Alabama.

10 FM September 17, 2012

The basic rules! I think instead of Review and Revise Your Cable Plan – you should check all the bills (make sure there are no errors and find where you can cut).

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