Cutting Corners: How to Save Money Each Month

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

Financial stability might just seem like a pipe dream, but there are several ways to help get you on the right track. Taking a few steps to cut back here and there can add up fast.

We have put together a list of areas where you can cut corners to make it happen. By implementing even just one or two of these tips, you will be able to reach your goal of increased financial freedom.

Energy

Certainly one of the larger expenses in home ownership or renting is the utility bill. You can still save in this arena a variety of ways. Consider replacing your older light bulbs with more efficient LED bulbs, and try to remember to turn off the light when you leave the room. Leaving home for the day? Try turning the thermostat up (or down) when you head to work so you are not cooling or heating an empty house. You can also try lowering the temperature on your hot water heater, and consider air sealing your house, especially in the winter. I have friends who air sealed their homes with window paper they bought online, and they noticed a substantial difference in their heating bill.

Entertainment

It's the digital age, we love our devices, and we love to be entertained. If you're looking to keep a little more coin in the bank every month, you might be able to cut back on your entertainment spending. Consider going out to the movies less often and waiting until that new movie comes out on Redbox. For your day-to-day home entertainment, cutting the cord on cable and going with a streaming service (as long as you don't subscribe to too many) or looking into a cheaper option like an antenna can trim down your bill. Have you looked at your cell phone data plan lately? You may be able to get by on a lower tier plan if you are paying for unlimited but only using a few gigabytes a month.

Capital One Savor Rewards
Go out more; 4% cash back dining/entertainment
Show more
Dining
4%
Annual Fee
$95
Recommended Credit:
720850
Excellent Credit
Highlights
  • 4% cash back on entertainment and dining
  • 2% at grocery stores. 
  • 1% on every other purchase.
  • No rotating categories

Food

Eating out and going to the grocery store when you are hungry is going to mean you are probably maxing out your grocery budget. You likely will be able to save hundreds of dollars just buy shopping sales, going to the grocery store with a list, and only eating out once or twice a week. Another way to save is to grow some of your own veggies. Having a garden can be especially great if you have kids and want to give them something to do in the summer. You can save on vegetable expenses, and you know it is going to taste better because it is home-grown.

American Express Blue Cash Preferred
6% cashback on U.S. groceries
Show more
Everyday Rewards
1%
Annual Fee
$95
Recommended Credit:
690
850
Excellent and Good Credit
Highlights
  • After spending $1,000 in purchases, you will earn a $250 statement credit.
  • Receive 6% cash back at US grocery stores (up to 6,000 per year, then 1%).
  • 6% back on select US streaming services (Spotify, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, ShowTime, Pandora, apple music, amazon music or video **not prime membership*  (refer to American Express Website for full detailed list if need be).
  • Receive 3% cash back at  US gas stations.
  •  3% back for ground transportation only (bus, train, ferry etc. not airlines).

Luxuries

The next time you're out shopping, think really hard about what ends up in your cart. Do you really need it, or is it just something you want? Maybe you are like me and have a bad habit of buying clothes or things for your home whenever you are out. Start giving yourself a budget, and you will find yourself with a lot of extra money. This year, I told myself I could only buy one new dress since I had so many already. I followed through on that, and it ended up saving me hundreds of dollars. You could also look into options like Rent the Runway if you need a dress or other clothing item that you would only wear one time before it ends up just taking up space in your closet. Maybe your bad habit is smoking or drinking. By cutting down on how much you smoke every day or limiting yourself on how often you go out for drinks you will find yourself with a lot of extra money, and you may also feel better about cutting down on that bad habit.

Cutting down is never fun, but if you are willing to make a few small sacrifices you will start seeing the rewards pretty quickly. Financial freedom is within your grasp if you cut some corners and save a bit more each month.