31 Easy Ways To Save Money This Month

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You don’t need anyone to tell you that you should be saving money — I think we’re all aware of that by now.In an economy where most people don’t have piles of extra cash just sitting around, waiting to be funneled off into a savings account, what you could use are some real tips for actually finding the extra cash to put away.

I might just lose my mind if I hear one more person recommend making your own coffee or bundling services. No one buys a $5 Mocha Chip Frappuccino every single morning and my mum is the only person I know who still has a landline.

So here are 31 ways to save money on common expenses — and in some cases, actually earn a little extra cash — for real people who don’t want to live like penny-pinching hermits. And we’re not just talking $2 here and $7 dollars there — you can save one extra Benjamin this month. In fact, there are enough tips here to save $100 a day for the entire month if you’re really ambitious.

Pack a lunch every other day

When most of my weeknight dinners consist of frozen pizzas or protein shakes, you can bet I don't want to sit in the break room with a depressing sandwich at lunchtime.

However, limiting lunches out to every other workday is a simple way to save $5 to $15 per meal -- easily $100 over the course of a month.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

Borrow a dress/suit

With friends' weddings, corporate conferences, maybe even girls' (or boys') nights out, it can be easy to find a new excuse to buy a dress or suit every month.

But unless you plan to wear that garment several more times in the future, it's not really worth the expense.

If you have an event coming up, just borrow a nice outfit from a close friend or rent one for the day -- yes, ladies, you can rent dresses.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

Clean out your closet

You know you have clothes in the depths of your closet and dresser drawers that will never be worn again. Maybe they're not your style, or don't fit anymore.

If you have some fairly nice stuff, you can take it all to Buffalo Exchange or similar retailers for cash on the spot.

Tip: Washing and hanging everything nicely will increase your chances of making a sale.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

Let your roots show

Getting your hair professionally coloured is ridiculously expensive, especially if you're a brunette living as a platinum blond.

If you dare, perform your own at-home touch up, or simply wait eight weeks instead of four. The ombre hair trend is very in right now, anyway.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

Add an automatic transfer.

Here's an easy way to save without cutting a single expense: Set up an automatic transfer of $25 per week from your checking account to your savings account.

I guarantee you won't miss the money.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

Skip the bars this weekend

By the time you take a cab, grab a bite to eat, order a few rounds of drinks and cab back home, you're looking at a very expensive night out on the town.

Pick a Friday or Saturday night to stay in, order take out and have some friends over, each bringing along their favourite refreshment.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

Clean your own house

Some of us don't have the luxury of employing household help, but there are plenty of people who spend at least $100 on a house cleaner every month.

Try cleaning up after yourself just once -- you'll save a lot of cash and gain a greater appreciation for all your maid does for you.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

Put a freeze on your gym membership

A number of personal finance experts always point to the gym membership as the first expense that should be cut. Sorry, I love my gym, as expensive as it is.

If you're in need of extra savings this month, freeze your membership instead of cancelling it.

This will allow you to resume your fitness routine in the future without having to pay sign-up fees again.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

Buy your plane tickets a month early

Booking last minute travel is an easy way to pay an extra $100 or more.

If you know you will be travelling for the holidays, buy your tickets now.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

Refinance your mortgage

Mortgage rates keep falling to new lows, and those who financed their homes even just a few years ago can stand to cut a couple of percentage points off their interest rate by refinancing.

That translates to big savings on the monthly mortgage payment.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

Don't spend any money for a week. You will save far more than just $100.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

Take on a freelance assignment

Whether you're a great writer, designer, tailor or have any other skill people pay for, lend your services to earn a quick $100 this month.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

Make a list before heading to the grocery store

Quit smoking already

You don't need me to explain the financial benefits of quitting.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

Buy a water filter.

Bottled water is one of the most wasteful products you can spend money on -- get a filter and reuse an aluminium water bottle.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

Cancel your PMI

If you purchased your home with less than a 20% down payment, you may have gained enough equity by now to cancel expensive private mortgage insurance.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

Have a yard sale

I'll be the first one to admit that putting together a yard sale is a giant pain, but it's really worth the trouble once you clear your house of clutter and have extra cash in your pocket.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

Transfer your credit card balance

Expensive credit card interest will eat up the money that could be going toward savings.

Seek out a credit card company offering a promotional 0% balance transfer and move your existing balance to the new card.

The catch: You have to pay off your debt during the introductory period or you'll be back at square one.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

Go meatless

Have you ever compared the price between a pound of ground beef and a can of beans? There's a huge difference.

You don't have to live off of tofu to save money, but swapping two meat-based meals a week to vegetarian options will save a ton on food costs.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

Buy your jeans at a discount retailer

I wholeheartedly admit that I'm a denim snob. You will not see me wearing anything other than Paige, Joe's or True Religion.

You will also not see me pay anything close to retail price for my designer denim. If you're just as picky about your jeans, buy them from stores like TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack and Loehmann's, where denim is usually discounted by at least $100.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

Use an HSA

If medical expenses are eating up your monthly budget, look into opening a health savings account (HSA).

These accounts allow you to deposit pre-tax money, much like a 401(k), to be used to cover out-of-pocket medical costs. Restrictions apply, so find out if you qualify.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

Start an Amazon store

Man Vs. Debt community manager, Joan Otto, writes that she began selling old books and DVDs through an Amazon store and now brings in $180 a month on average.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

Collect your debts

Someone probably owes you money. Time for them to pay up.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

Try bartering

Yes, bartering. People really do exchange goods and services instead of cash, and they are saving a ton of money on everything from haircuts to child care.

Real Simple states that the Craigslist bartering boards have experienced a 100 per cent increase in just the past year.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

Sell your unused gift cards

It's essentially cash just sitting around untouched -- sell gift cards you haven't used and put the money in your savings account.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

Trade in video games

Whether you're an avid gamer or have kids with Xbox controllers surgically attached to their hands, we all know the $60 game that was the hottest thing you could own last month has all but been forgotten about in favour of the next.

Game Stop will buy used games in-store, or you can try listing them on Half.com.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

Have movie night with Redbox

Date night at the movies is easily $40 if you buy two tickets, popcorn and drinks.

Go out a couple of times and throw in one DVD purchase, and you've spent about $100 just to watch a few movies.

Redbox lets you rent movies for $1 per day -- enough said.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

Switch to generic prescriptions

Kiplinger.com reports that making the switch from name-brand to generic prescriptions can save you thousands per year on the cost of medication, as well as co-pays.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

In fact, go generic on food and cosmetics, too

You know there's no real difference between Cheerios and Safeway Toasted Oats, so why pay an extra $4 per box?

Same goes for most drugstore makeup -- my favourite brand NYX is just as good as Mac and a fraction of the cost.

Sure, a few products are hit or miss, but overall, switching to generic brands when shopping can save 20 per cent or more.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

Drop cable for Hulu or Netflix.

How many hours a day do you waste sitting in front of the TV? Better yet, how much money are you wasting paying for premium cable?

Hulu Plus and Netflix are only about $8 a month, and you'll become much more productive once you no longer have 1,200 channels to flip through all day.

Source: GoBankingRates.com

Order your glasses online

There's no law that says you have to buy your frames from your optometrist's office. After an eye exam, take your prescription and shop online for a deeply discounted pair of frames.

There won't be any friendly assistant to ensure they fit just right, but hey, you're saving serious dough!

Source: GoBankingRates.com

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