Being a dad, it’s always been really important to me to watch our family expenses. So I’m always learning how to save money each month.
When our little Sofia was born, we had to look at our budget and cut out all unnecessary expenses. And there were quite a lot. We were amazed at how much we were spending once we wrote it all down on paper. Since then, I have become obsessed with finding ways to save more money every month. So here are some of the things that have worked really well for us, and hope they work just as well for you.
1. Cheaper Mobile Phone Plan
We use our mobile phones all the time. But that doesn’t mean that we have to overpay for them. Find a cheap mobile phone service and pick an affordable plan. It’ll be worth it once the monthly bill arrives.
The American mobile virtual network Republic Wireless offers cell phone plans that cost from $15.
2. Cut Monthly Bills
Electricity can be a huge expense for your household. So, find a way to reduce it and save money in the process. Unplug your appliances when you’re not using them, buy energy saving light bulbs or open your windows more often in summer to save on air conditioning.
Then there are the cable bills. Those can often reach $99 a month. Think it’s time you finally got a digital antenna or subscribed to Netflix? With so many cheaper options, you no longer need cable television. Netflix provides tons of options for adults and kids and costs many times less.
3. Eat Out Less
Dinners at restaurants or drinks by the bar are the biggest enemies to your budget. Meal after meal, you eat away your salary.
The best way to save money on this is cooking meals in your own kitchen and cutting the times you go out to eat. But if you really need to, make sure you ask for coupons and discounts.
4. Quit Smoking
Both your lungs and your wallet will approve of this. When you wonder how to save money each month, look at the cigarette pack on your table and throw it in the bin. That’ll be one of the biggest savings.
Here is Australia, a packet of smokes is $20 so many smokers spend $500 or more every month on smoking. It’s nuts.
5. Use Your Car Less
Avoid using your car. All the money you give for gas can be put to a greater use. Not to mention that you’ll protect the environment, too.
If you’re single, live in a metro area, and don’t need the car to transport kids, then it may be cheaper for you not to own a car at all.
Average car ownership costs are huge. To buy a car, here in Australia you’re looking at $15,000 for a decent second hand car which will last roughly 5 years so that’s $3k a year. Then you add the ongoing costs like petrol $2k a year, insurance and registration another $3k a year, so total you’re looking at $8k a year at least.
$8k a year means you could catch a cab roughly 160 times at an average fare of $50. So that’s 3 cab rides a week. Or alternatively you could catch Uber about 320 times as it’s roughly twice cheaper.
Something to think about, right?
6. Create A Grocery List
If you go shopping without a plan, you’ll end up buying a bunch of unnecessary stuff. That ruins your goal to save as much money as possible each month.
Solution? Create a grocery list and buy only the things on it.
7. Repair, don’t rebuy
It’s the easiest to replace the broken or torn stuff with new ones. But it’s not a good way to save money monthly.
Instead, try repairing everything. If there’s a hole in your trousers, stitch it up. If something is broken, glue it together or use duct tape. You’ll save a lot more than you can imagine. (I’m speaking from my personal experience).
8. Cancel Memberships
Stop asking yourself “How can I save money?” And act. Grab all your membership cards or go through your bank statements and look for recurring payments, and remember when the last time you used them was. Those that have dust on them should be immediately canceled.
You subscribed to a magazine, but you no longer read it. You have no time to watch movies on Netflix or go to the gym. In that case, cut these expenses. You can work out outside or at home, go to the cinema once a month to see a movie and read the top stories online.
9. Wash Your Car
This is aimed especially at those who live in a house out of town. Why pay someone else when you can wash your car in the yard and enjoy the sunny day?
10. Fill Your Piggy Bank
Here is how to save money each month: fill your piggy bank with coins every day. Whether it’s the change from the store, the small remains of your salary or just a few bucks you’ve found around your home, this is your money. So, you better save it.
11. Refinance Your Mortgage
Chances are good that your credit rating has improved since you have a mortgage on your home. That means that you can refinance it and get a lower interest rate.
By paying less money to the banks or mortgage companies, you’ll be able to save if you get a better interest rate. We managed to save 0.70% by refinancing our $600k mortgage last year. That’s $4,200 every year.
12. Get A Cheaper Credit Card
Speaking of banks, did you know that most people don’t realize they’re paying way too much on their credit cards? To give you an example, my current card is at 18% annual interest. There are cards out there with 10.99% interest rate. I pay my balance in full each month so it doesn’t matter to me. But most people don’t. So if they pay 18% instead of 12% on let’s say $10k that’s $600 every single month.
That’s why you definitely should check your credit card deal.
13. Take Uber
Thanks to our modern society, taxis aren’t your only option when you need someone to take you to a certain place. Use Uber instead and save money.
What’s more, you’ll get the first ride for free.
Here in Sydney, Uber is roughly 50% cheaper than cabs.
14. Start A Garden
This is one of the coolest ways to save money monthly. If you have the right conditions, start a garden and don’t buy some or all of your vegetables or fruits when the season is on.
15. Make Coffee At Home
We have a habit of buying a cup of coffee before going to work. That’s totally fine, but it costs a lot when you analyze it monthly. So, add the coffee to your plan on how to save money each month.
If you invest into a thermal cup, it’s around $5-10. But then you can just make coffee at home, and take it with you to work. That’ll be at least $500 – $1k savings each month.
16. Have Fun For Free (Or Very Cheap)
Who said that you have to pay a huge sum to have fun? Just go outside.
Look for free attractions in your town, go hiking or fishing, have a picnic, swim and even hunt for happy hours to receive the biggest discounts. Anything is acceptable if you’re having fun while saving money at the same time.
What Did You Think?
What did you think? Have you tried any of these tips on how to save money each month? Know a few more? Share your thoughts in the comments! Thanks for reading.