I created The Pay At Home Parent in February of 2018 to help you be a successful home-based business owner, blogger or side hustler. As a wife, mom and frugal homemaker, I still make a full-time income on a part-time work schedule and I know that you can too!
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Learning how to save money each month is key to living a frugal yet comfortable family life. Could we really be spending more than $350 per month extra unnecessarily? Let’s find out!
If you want to know how to save money each month, then we need to agree that there are two undeniable realities in life: death and bills (okay yes, and taxes).
I get it, you’ve read budgeting blogs and tried everything to cut back on expenses while you pay down debt. Still, there are months where you barely scrape by or have to dig into savings or sell something off.
What is the answer? Will this financial struggle ever end?
Before you look for a second job (or try to sell off a family member), let’s consider five easy ways to save $350 per month.
These applications can put money back into your pocket and ease some of the worry about bills.
I’ve also previously shared how to save money fast on a low income.
18-24 year olds in the US can also join Pinecone Research to earn up to $3 per survey. They are extremenly exclusive, so act fast!
6 Simple Ways to Save at Least $350 in Your Monthly Budget
1. Start Budgeting
Knowing exactly what you earn and spend is the first step to saving money each month. Without a budget plan, there is no way to gauge your progress (and hold yourself accountable).
Grab a pencil and paper and write down your monthly bills and debt payments. Then make categories for necessities like groceries, clothing and entertainment. Write down your monthly income and determine the exact amount that is leftover each month after expenses and bills are paid.
You can start chipping away the budgeted amount for categories that are not necessary. Of course you’ll want to keep money on the budget for entertainment, but if you need to save money fast, then the best way to do so is lessen your unnecessary expenses.
The remaining ways to save money each month on this list will help widen the gap between your monthly income and expenses (and ultimately help you save more money).
2. Make Your Coffee at Home
Average savings between $50 – $80 a month
If you’re anything like me, you need coffee and you can’t go without it. With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it is often more appealing to hit the drive through than to brew at home.
Those frequent trips to Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts or a variety of other caffeine avenues begin to hurt your budget. The average person at Starbucks spends around $4.50 per transaction. Add that up to three to five times per week, and you’re spending about $20 a week and $80 a month.
Flip that around by making your coffee at home. Setup your coffee pot to come on in the morning and grab that cup of daily-fuel to go.
If you don’t even know if your coffee maker still works, don’t fret. You can grab a cheap one and the coffee will still taste fresh.
If you are like me, maybe a nice Espresso maker is the only thing that will curb your daily coffee shop stop. Whether you go big or go cheap, you will save money daily by brewing your own coffee.
3. Bring Your Lunch and Breakfast to Work
Average savings between $150 – $200 a month
I’ve worked a 9-5 job in an area where fast food and takeout was almost unavoidable. Even the $6 to $10 lunches add up to $50 a week or $200 a month in expenditures.
Put money back into your budget by committing to bring your breakfast and lunch from home. Take the time on weekends to meal-prep. This will allow you to have fresh and great-tasting food, but without the high price tag of eating on-the-go.
We always have some ridiculously handy meal prep containers on hand so that I can send my husband out the door with some yummy leftovers for lunch!
4. Eat Out One Fewer Meal Per Week
Average savings between $50 – $80 a month
After a hard day of work, it’s so easy to grab take-out for the family to enjoy. For a family of three, those take out meals can be up to $25 – $30 at a time. It may be difficult to cut back on take-out or even excessive date nights. But what if you committed to cutting out one takeout or restaurant meal each week? That would save you $120 this month.
5. Cut Your Cable
Average savings between $100 – $150 a month
Major cable companies are struggling because millions of customers have dropped cable recently. You may have signed up for an introductory rate, and now find yourself in the midst of a $100 – $150 monthly bill.
With so many online platforms available like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube TV and Sling, there is no reason for such high cable bills. After all, can you really say you watch all 1,000 channels you have in your listing?
Take the time to review your monthly bill and consider when you can get out of your cable contract. Also research alternatives and the services they provide. It might surprise you that cutting the cable cord could put more than $100 a month back into your budget.
6. Cut Your Grocery Budget
Average savings between $50 – $100 a month
Now wait, my previous monthly saving tips suggest adding to that grocery list for breakfast and lunch items as well as making coffee at home. How can you save under these circumstances?
The next time you go to the grocery store, read through your receipt. Take an inventory of the things you bought on last week’s trip. Did you cook that package of chicken breasts that were on sale? Is that bag of potato chips even opened yet? The fact is that we often buy more than we need at the grocery store.
Simply taking an inventory of the items you buy can help you identify things that you don’t need. Consider simple macaroni and cheese lunches or other cheap spaghetti dinners. It isn’t much, but if you were to cut one to three items off your weekly list, that can add up to $50 a month in savings.
If time is scarce and grocery shopping is put to the bottom of your to-do list, try AmazonFresh for unlimited grocery delivery!
Although my husband enjoys name brand food items, I like to try substitutes here and there. Over time we have found certain off-brand foods that we enjoy as much as the name brand options! This also helps us save money each week on our grocery trips!
How to Save Money Each Month When Money is Tight
After reading this through you might be thinking I expect you to starve your way out of debt. That is definitely not the case! Preparing meals and eating more at home is a great way to save. It simply takes more will power and work.
These simple money saving ideas only scratch the surface of frugal living. For my husband and I, simple fixes like these allow us to save some money each month.
Take your savings goals in strides. Start by saving money each day until you are saving money each week. In time, you will be saving money each month!
Gaining momentum in your savings can help you get the most out of your monthly budget. The result? More money in your pocket and hopefully more peace of mind.
We now know how to save money each month. It’s the actual doing that we need to work on every day!