Do you find yourself at the end of the month with very little money to spare? Maybe you want to save up for that fun trip to the Caribbean or to put some extra money into an emergency fund? In any case, a budget can help you do that! We have come up with five easy tips to save money fast with a budget.
Cut TV Services
Cable TV is a major expense for anyone! It can cost anywhere from upwards of $100 a month. If you are looking for some ways to save money, consider trimming your TV services in your budget. You could be paying more than $200 a month for cable, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Youtube Red, and so forth. Just by cutting cable, you can likely trim your budget for TV services down to less than $100 a month. If you are feeling particularly ambitious, you could even cut it down to under $50 a month if you keep just one or two services. That means that you'll be saving almost $2,000 a year just by cutting some TV services.
Have a Fixed Amount for Grocery Expenses
Because I love to cook, it can be challenging for me to stay within my grocery budget. I have found, however, that by budgeting roughly $50 per week per person on groceries, I have been able to limit the money that I spend on groceries. Plus, it encourages me to only get food that I will actually eat, so it limits the amount of food that I throw out. The easiest way to save on grocery expenses is to figure out what items are on sale and base your meals around those items. Additionally, shopping on Wednesdays will help you save money and get better food, as most stores begin new sales and are freshly stocked on Wednesdays.
- 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).
Cut Your Going Out Budget (and Drink Water!)
You can save a substantial amount of money just by cutting your restaurant budget by $5 per visit. Instead of getting coffee, tea, juice, or pop, choose water! Not only is it healthier for you physically but also it is healthier for you financially. By cutting your expenses $15 a week, you will save $60 a month and $720 a year just by drinking water!
- Unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment
- 2% at grocery stores
- 1% on everything else
Get Rid of Your Gym Membership and Exercise at Home
If you are consistent about going to the gym on a regular basis, you may not need to worry about this tip, but there are a lot of people who spend $50-$60 a month on a gym membership that they rarely use. Consider taking a gym membership out of your budget entirely and, instead, exercise at home. You will save $600-$720 a year just by pulling out those weights you have at home, running outside, or using Youtube for stretching and exercise routines!
Decrease Your Gas Budget
I normally budget $100 for gas each month, but if I cut that in half every month, I could save an extra $600 a year. Look for ways that you can cut down on spending money on gas. Maybe it is a rewards card, which can be especially lucrative if it is connected to where you shop for groceries. Maybe you can carpool with a coworker, even if it is just a day a week (or month!). You should also consider public transportation. If you live in a larger city, an annual transit or metro pass will pay for itself in just a couple of months.
Budgeting can definitely be challenging, as it is literally painful to save money sometimes. But if you are willing to make a few adjustments to your lifestyle, you will be able to save money fast with a budget!