When you are strapped for cash and trying to contribute to a savings account, finding an additional $100 a month to save is not easy. It may not be easy, but it is certainly not impossible! There are ways you can cut back and save an extra $100 (or more) a month!
The CGS Team has come up with 4 ways that can help you save an extra $100 each month (maybe even more!). Make sure you are truly dedicated to giving your savings a boost, because the things below may be more difficult to part with than you think!
Quit the Gym & Workout at Home
The truth is you really don’t need a gym membership to get in shape. Sure the vibe, the machines, and the steam room help, but they do not actually lose the weight for you. You can work out at home or run around the neighborhood and still get the same results as if you were a gym member. Check out the article Workout Workarounds to help you build a home workout space for little to no cash!
Quitting the gym can save you some money each month, including membership dues, the cost of gas for driving back and forth, and the cost of cute workout clothes. You may also be able to get a deposit back. If you can’t live without the gym, ask if they can put your membership on hold for a month or two, just until you get your savings right.
If quitting the gym isn’t an option some companies give employees discounts at specific gyms, or they have a fitness center of their own! Even some insurance plans reimburse gym dues and expenses. Have you checked out the benefits available to you? There are always options.
Note: The gym is just one example of a service/subscription that can be cut, especially if it’s not being used. If you find that you have other unused subscriptions or services, get rid of them. Even if it’s a small amount of money that you’re throwing away each month, it will add up.
Prepare Your Own Meals, All of Them!
We are very serious about this one. As easy as it is to drive to McDonalds, order a meal and chow down, it’s not only bad for your waistline, but also your wallet. Avoid fast food, restaurants, vending machines, café snacks, coffees, and any other food or drinks that you may purchase while you are out and about.
Instead, do your grocery shopping once a week and prepare every single meal of the day, and don’t forget the snacks like peanuts or carrots in-between meals. Check out 6 tips for healthy meal-prepping to get you going! If you are one of the many women who enjoy buying lunch every day or sipping a Starbucks latte a few times a week, then you will see a huge difference in your savings account if you prepare your own meals for the month.
It’s going to be a transition, but it will be better for you all around. You will know exactly where your food is coming from. You will be able to prepare what you like and control how healthy you want to eat. You will be able to save so much money by not eating out!
Note: Your daily latte may seem inexpensive, but have you added that up into a monthly or yearly cost? That could be your $100 in savings right there! Check out 5 Unexpectedly Expensive Habits for a few other “seemingly” inexpensive habits that can add up quickly.
Reduce Your Housing Costs
Living on your own can get very expensive. Rent, utilities, cable, and more can add up each month and suck your savings dry. If you live in an apartment, then consider taking on a roommate or two as it will help cover the costs. Does the thought of roommates make you cringe?
Consider looking for a less expensive place. Even if it’s not a luxurious as you would like, are you really planning on staying there forever? Most likely it’s a temporary situation until you can get a house of your own. With that thought in mind, cutting the cost of rent will be a huge money saver.
Moving back in with mom and dad for a few months can save you an enormous amount of money. Again, it’s probably not the most ideal situation, but if it can help you save enough money to get ahead, then it’s worth it. If you have your own mortgage, think about refinancing. Getting a lower interest rate and monthly payment can help significantly throughout the life of the loan.
Don’t be afraid to get rid of the extra bills you don’t need. Cable is nice, but Netflix is only $8 a month and gives you a lot of great options. Make sure that you are not leaving the lights or air conditioning on when you aren’t at home.
Power and energy bills usually are the largest of the utilities bills, so always be cautious of what is running and what needs to be turned off when you’re away. Check out the articles 4 Ways to Lower Your Monthly Bills and 4 Ways to Lower Your Energy Bill for more tips.
Get Ready to Cut Coupons
Since you will be preparing your own meals moving forward, coupons can help you save a lot of money at the grocery store. The Sunday paper is usually filled with a variety of coupons. You can also check the websites of some of your favorite manufacturers. If your local grocery store has a rewards program, consider signing up. They will usually offer extra discounts for members.
Don’t be ashamed to cut coupons. The ultimate goal is to save money, not to worry about what anyone else will think. Would it make you feel better to know that country singer Carrie Underwood cuts coupons? Read about it in the Saving Celebs article.
Do you think you could make the 4 changes listed above? Do you have any other ways that help you save money? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below or posting in the City Girl Savings Facebook Group. Let’s all discuss and see what we can learn from others!