Saving a hundred bucks a month may not seem like much. That’s only like $20 to $25 a week right? Big whoop!
You know what? It actually is.
Consider this: Suppose you start saving an extra $100 a month. That’s equal to $1,200 a year. Again, that may not seem like a lot… but look at it this way. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income for American families is roughly $53,000. Saving an extra hundred dollars a month means you’ve just increased the power of your paycheck by 2.26%.
Put another way, you’ve just given yourself a 2.26% annual raise, which is definitely better than some employers give!
If you’re struggling to get ahead, saving an extra hundred dollars a month could make a huge difference over time. And, to be honest, saving an extra hundred isn’t that difficult for most people. Some ways to save are obvious, others aren’t. Here are a few ideas to get you started!
Ways to Save an Extra Hundred Dollars a Month
1) Start a Written Budget
The key to great money management is to start with a plan. That means using a written budget. Starting a budget doesn’t have to be restrictive. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. By creating a plan for using your monthly income, you unleash the true power of your paycheck. Budgeting helps you avoid unnecessary splurges and keeps you from frittering your money away on small, unneeded purchases. You’ll become more aware of your spending habits and, probably, end up saving far more than you ever realized you could.
2) Track Your Spending
Tracking your spending is the perfect compliment to budgeting. It’s pretty simple, really. Just keep a written list of all the things you’re spending money on throughout the month. For instance, if you buy a coffee at the gas station, write it down. Purchase groceries at the store, write it down. Keep track of every dollar you spend, then compare it to your budget once a week. This helps you stay on budget and keeps you conscious of your monthly financial plan. Learn my trick for automatically tracking your expenses here.
3) Save $4 a Day
Here’s another trick to help you save over $100 a month. Every day, take just $4 and put it away. Seriously. Just take four one-dollar bills and hide them somewhere. Stick it in a savings account, under your mattress, or even in a jar – it doesn’t matter! Just save four bucks a day, and you’ll end up with about $120 extra at the end of the month.
4) Buy Groceries on Sale
Look, I get it. Grocery shopping can be a total PIA. Most of us are in such a rush at the store that we just throw things into the cart as we see them. We grab what we always grab, don’t plan for meals, and try to get out of the store as quickly as possible. That being said, one of the easiest ways to save $100 a month is on food costs. Instead of falling into the same old meal routine, try planning your meals based on what’s on sale that week. Buy generic store brands instead of name brand items, and even plan a few meatless meals. By planning in advance and being flexible, you can easily save more than a hundred dollars a month on groceries alone!
Resource: The $5 Meal Plan
5) Reduce Your Restaurant Visits
Going to restaurants can really wreak havoc on your budget. We used to blow hundreds a month at restaurants – and to eat mediocre food at that! By cutting back on your restaurant budget, you can easily save $100 a month or more. For example, if you’re feeding a family of four, a trip to Applebee’s probably costs you around $50 with tip. Instead of going there every Friday, make it a special night every other week instead. If you go out to lunch every day at work, pack a lunch 4 days a week. Then, reward yourself on Friday with a trip to your favorite lunch destination. By making a simple change in your eating habits, you can make a huge difference in your bottom line!
Finding ways to save an extra hundred dollars a month isn’t hard if you’re willing to look. It’s changing your habits that is tricky. But, making a few slight changes could mean all the difference in your financial situation.
Try these ideas for a month, and any others you think of, then report back on your efforts. If you stick with it, I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised with your results!
What are your favorite ways to save money each month? Let us know below.