Everyone says they want to save, but what I think they – and me – really want are easy ways to save money today, tomorrow, and next month. Heck, wouldn’t it be great to see your bills paid on time, your debts paid off, and your retirement accounts overflowing with cash?
I know that’s my goal in life.
Some people ask, “How do you stop spending money?” The quick answer is – just stop, but that’s like telling someone that wants to lose weight to just stop eating. It’s not helpful and it doesn’t get anyone anywhere.
The truth is, there are ways to save money on a tight budget, creative ways to save money, and yes, easy ways to save money every month.
Here are some of my favorites:
Easy Ways to Save Money Today
Let’s get right to it…
1.Pay less for car insurance – If you don’t do a lot of driving but can’t or don’t want to give up your car, consider getting car insurance that charges you per mile. There’s a company called Metromile. I ran across them a while ago and fell in love.
Here is how they work…
There is a low base rate and then you pay per mile. When you get your free quote, you give them your zip code and estimate how many miles per month or year that you drive and they give you a price. The car insurance is exactly like any other car insurance, but it is a great deal, and cheaper if you don’t drive much.
For me, I drive about 500 miles a month, so 6,000 miles a year. It was about $30 a month for my insurance. Your mileage may differ, of course, but it’s free to check it out and you never know, you might save a bunch of money and when it comes to easy ways to save money today, not overpaying for car insurance is one of the easiest!
2. Make a plan – It’s easy to say you want to save money, but without a plan, it rarely gets done. Even if all you want to start saving is $50 or $100, you can’t do that unless you know where and how you’re spending your money.
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but just track your spending habits for a week or two or even a month. Chances are you’ll find places where you can cut back right away without giving up everything you love.
For example, I’m a lover of Starbucks, but I try to limit the number of times I go there.
Just this week I ended up there two days in a row. One was with a friend for coffee and bagels. My part was $7.49.
The very next day I’m back there with my mother.
I paid for both of our coffees and it was $11.45.
So, in two days I spent $18.94 on coffee. Yikes! While that isn’t a lot of money in some ways.
That’s a silly amount of money to be spending on coffee.
Luckily, that doesn’t happen often, but if it did, I could easily save almost $80 a month by cutting Starbucks out completely or at the very least $40 a month by only going once a week.
While $40 doesn’t sound like a lot, it adds up quickly and in a year I’d have $480 in savings.
It is a start, and when it comes to easy ways to save money today or even how to save money each month, all you need is a start.
If you want a whole bunch of other ways to save, check out my Ultimate Savings Guide.
You’ll get over 250 money-saving tips that you can start using immediately.
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3. Cut utility costs – One great way to reduce your heat and a/c bills is to use a programmable thermostat.
It will automatically keep your home a little warmer or cooler when you’re at work, and then warm it up or cool it down so you’re comfortable while you’re home.
This can really help you save each month.
Less Easy Ways to Save Money Today
These next couple of easy ways to save money today are only for those that want to save money or die trying! They are not for the faint of heart.
1.Ditch your ride – That’s right. Unless you live in the middle of a cornfield as I do, there’s a good chance you can get by without a car. Sure, it can be a pain in the backside not to have your own transportation, but let’s face it. A car is a money suck.
According to AAA, the average cost to own a car is $725 a month. In some big cities, it is going to be higher due to parking and insurance costs.
When you’re looking at the cost of your vehicle think about all of these expenses:
- Car payment
- Regular maintenance
Getting rid of your car, if possible, is a great answer to, “How to save money every month,” and if your budget is super tight or you are struggling financially, then this could be a real lifesaver for you.
I know of what I speak here.
I went a few years without a car. For two of them, I was living in Tampa.
I had a bike and could ride it to where I needed to go or I walked. Trust me, I missed my car in the hot summers, but I loved not having the expense.
I also spent a year in a small town in Ohio without a car.
That was a bit of an adventure, but I walked a lot, did without some things, and when I could order what I needed online.
I also lost a few pounds from all the walking, so that’s another side benefit.
2. Downsize your living space – This could include selling your home and moving into a smaller space and let’s face it none of us need as much room or as much stuff as we currently have.
This could also mean renting out a room in your home or getting a roommate.
One option I really like is moving closer to where you work.
If you can find a less expensive place, you can save money on housing costs as well as walk to work or take public transportation which makes ditching your car a lot easier.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking, neither of these seem like easy ways to save money, and you’re right.
They take a lot of commitment on your part.
I know for myself, my big goal was to do both of the above or at the very least not have a car payment or seriously reduce my housing costs.
I can’t begin to tell you how much peace of mind it gives me now that all of my monthly living expenses (mortgage, utilities, car insurance, and so on…) are all of $650 a month combined.
My point is, the changes I made in my life have been worth it completely.
Saving money doesn’t have to be difficult.
You can make small changes or big ones.
It’s up to you and how badly you want to save money.