Did you know you can save extra money every month by applying a few simple life hacks?
In fact, some of the items on the list below are so practical that I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of doing them before.
In any case, if you’re looking for ways to reduce your monthly spending or get your expenses within budget, we’ve got a few simple, yet very effective ways of helping you save money without going through a lot of effort or doing any overly frugal stuff.
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Stop Buying Bottled Water
Depending on where you live, you may not need to buy bottled water. In most cities, tap water is safe to drink. And, if that’s the case in yours, then you can save a lot of money by not buying bottled water.
Sure, bottled water doesn’t cost much. The problem is, they add up over time. If you drink a couple or so bottles a day or more, that comes out to close to or over 1,000 bottles by the end of the year.
If you’re not comfortable with drinking from the tap, you can get a water filter. There are many kinds available with some that easily clip onto your kitchen sink’s spout.
Make Your Large Purchases at the End of the Month
For more expensive items you’d like to buy, it’s always a good idea to wait till the month’s almost over before heading onto the store. Most salespeople will have a quota they need to reach each month. In some cases, they’ll be behind. This makes them more willing to give you a bargain in order to make the sale.
Build Your Credit
Credit is one of the most important things everyone needs to build up. That’s because it determines how much interest you’ll need to pay for the biggest purchases of your life. Unless you’re able to pay for your home and car in cash, it’s a good idea to build up your credit.
in addition, your credit also affects your insurance premiums. The higher your credit, the lower your monthly premiums are likely to be.
Add all that together, having a high credit score lets you save a huge amount of money.
Pay in Cash
Paying in cash is something that has changed the way I spend. Before, I used to just hand over my credit or debit card every time I bought something. It was easy and convenient.
On the other hand, paying in cash is a bit harder. You always need to replenish it. This means more frequent visits to the ATM machine or the bank.
More importantly, every time you hand over a few bills and see how much you have left reminds you you’re spending money. I think that more than anything, makes you spend less.
The awareness and accountability make you think twice about spending on potentially useless items.
Use Large Bills
In addition to paying in cash, carrying large bills also helps reduce spending. For one, you always need to break larger bills to pay for smaller purchases.
Additionally, it’s harder to put down a $100 bill than a $1 bill. I guess the $100 bill reminds you that you’re spending a bigger amount of money.
Think Twice About Using Disposables
Paper towels, filters, and other disposable items look very convenient. After all, you get to just throw them out after using then. There’s no cleaning and drying needed.
But, in the long run, their costs add up. That’s because you need to keep buying them to restock on them once you’re out.
In contrast, cleaning cloths and other items that are reusable may be a little bit more expensive. And, you’ll need to do some cleaning or maintenance to keep them working.
However, because you can keep reusing them for years, you’ll save a lot more money in the long run. While many of these items are low cost, they do add up because you’ve got tons of them at home.
Reduce the Brightness on Your Digital Devices
Most digital screens are set to be bright by default. That makes the text, images, and video look better. But, it does come at a cost.
For one, your eyes aren’t a fan of high brightness. In fact, there’s not a fan of the blue light that comes out of any digital screen, be it your television, laptop, tablet, or phone, especially at night.
Also, bright screen settings also use up more battery power. This means recharging your phone, laptop, or device more often. Unless you’re doing all your recharging in the office, this means you’re adding to your electric bill.
Research shows that you can reduce your device’s power consumption by as much as 40% by reducing the brightness of your screen. That goes a long way in decreasing how often you need to charge.
Check Your Fridge and Pantry Before Going Grocery Shopping
Checking my fridge and pantry to inventory what I have left has helped me save a good amount of grocery money in the past couple of years. Before I remember just buying stuff depending on what I saw and what was routine for me.
Now, I always make sure to check the fridge and pantry to know exactly what I need to restock on. Putting them down on paper helps me a lot too since you don’t need to try to remember everything. Plus, you can note down exactly how much you need to buy.
Of course, you can likewise take the notes down on your phone.
Eat More at Home
You probably already know this. Eating at home and cooking your own food is cheaper having a meal at the restaurant or ordering in. That’s because food establishments need to pad their prices at least 3 times to cover the cost of rent, employees, electricity, and other business expenses. In addition, you need to drive there, find parking, and leave a tip for your server.
Thus, making your own meals, be it at home or when you go to the office lets you save a lot of money over the span of a year. While it’s just a few bucks per meal, you eat 3 or more meals a day. And, you need to eat every day.
Plus, cooking your own food ensures you know what’s in there. It also almost always means it’s healthier which helps you lose weight along the way as well.
Make Your Own Coffee
Ah, Starbucks… the magical brown brew that makes people spend $3 to $6 for coffee. I know, it tastes great. And, it’s part of your routine. But, just imagine saving that extra $2 to $5 every day and still getting your cup of coffee.
That adds up to between $720 to more than $1,500 over the course of a year. Just imagine how much you can save in 5 years?
If there’s free coffee in the office, that’s a great option. If you work at home, investing in a solid coffee maker lets you enjoy hot coffee the way you want it, when you want it for a fraction of the price.
Reuse Plastic Grocery and Shopping Bags
Don’t throw away the grocery and shopping bags you get from stores. You can use them for your trash cans to make it easier to dump them out. I’ve found that having a plastic liner inside your trash bin really helps when some of the items thrown in there is moist.
The plastic can be used to contain both dry and wet items. And, it saves you from having to clean the trash can because things stick to it. This is especially true with plastic trash cans that absorb smell as well. You can likewise use brown bags but they only work for dry stuff.
Replace Your Lights with LED Bulbs
LED bulbs are low heat. More importantly, they consume a lot less power, sometimes by 80% less. This can save you anywhere from $50 to $75 on electricity per bulb over its lifetime. Just imagine how much you save with all the lights in your home.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Did you know that you’re spending an extra $150 to $200 a year by keeping your manual thermostat?
Yes, that’s how much extra your heating and cooling costs because you’re not always able to optimize your home’s room temperatures.
The solution? Get a programmable thermostat. These let you adjust the temperature based on the weather. You’ll be able to adjust them by day as well as through the different hours of the day.
Thus, you’ll to able to increase or decrease room temperature during the nights when it’s cooler and afternoons when the weather gets hot.
Weather Seal Your Home
Weather sealing your home allows the heat (during the cold months) and the cold (during the summer months) to stay in your home.
Doors and windows often have creases where the cold or warm air indoors can escape. Similarly, the opposite is true as the outside air is also able to come in. So, during the hot summer, the humid air is able to dilute your air conditioning. And, the opposite is true during the wintertime.
Weather sealing allows you to plug up these tiny holes with insulation. Thus, allowing only very minimal indoor air to get out.
Get Rid of Services You Don’t Use
Gym memberships, subscriptions, cable, and internet are some of the common expenses most households have. The problem with these items is that they’re recurring. That means you keep paying for them month after month.
If you use a lot of it. Or, it’s essential for your business or lifestyle, then there’s no problem spending that cash.
But, if you’re only using it sparingly, you might want to think twice about finding an alternative or cutting it out altogether. Additionally, we sometimes fall into the trap of getting a plan that’s higher than what we need because of the potential perks (we don’t really end up using).
For example, you might be paying for a more expensive internet provider because of it higher speed. But, if you’re only browsing the web, watching Netflix and YouTube, you likely don’t need that high a plant.
If this is the case, start cutting out the extras. And, you’ll realize savings do add up, especially in the long run.
Hopefully, these money-saving hacks help you cut down your expenses. I know they’ve helped me tremendously without causing me to go out of my way to do anything extra.