When your budget is tight, even $100 a month is a lot of money. Being able to shave off $100 from your normal spending frees up that money to be used on things that are more important: bills, debt, and repairs are all good examples of things that an extra $100 a month can go a long way towards fixing.
How do you shave off that $100, though? It must take a big sacrifice, right? Actually, it’s pretty easy if you’re vigilant of the little ways money can slip away throughout the month. None of the following tips alone will save you $100 a month, but when used together you could easily save that much each month without radically changing your lifestyle.
The idea of cutting coupons probably brings to mind a picture of your grandmother hunched over a table, snipping away with a pair of scissors. Regardless of how young you are, it’s something you should be doing. A dollar here, a dollar there: it adds up faster than you think, especially if it's a product you use regularly and you use a coupon to stock up on it.
The only downside with coupons is they can sometimes lure you into buying things you don’t need. To avoid this, draw up your grocery list before you start cutting, and only cut out coupons that are for things already on your list. It’ll keep you on the straight and narrow, and help you avoid buying stuff you don’t need.
It’s fun. It’s exciting. But buying lotto tickets is at best a bad habit, and at worst an insanely bad investment strategy. There’s an old saying that the lottery is a tax on those unable to do math, and while that’s a little harsh, the truth is that your chances of winning anything from the lotto are so low that it’s a better investment strategy to dig in your yard for hidden treasure.
Most lotto players already know this and don’t see any problem with spending a couple dollars a week having fun. Nothing wrong with that, right? Time for some math. If you spend $6 a week on lotto tickets, that’s $24 a month. And that right there is a little over a third of the $100 target we’re trying to hit. Ask yourself: would you prefer that jolt of excitement, or the peace of mind in knowing you have savings to fall back on?
This isn’t so much a way to save, as it is to earn a little extra from the things you already have to spend money on. A lot of credit cards have cash back deals that earn you a few cents with each purchase. Check to see if yours is one, and if it isn’t, think about applying for one that has a favorable rate on it.
A note of warning though: under no circumstances should you do this if there’s the possibility that you’ll be late with your credit card payments. A few dollars each week is not worth the danger of loading up your credit cards with debt. The hit to your credit rating and the interest you’ll be charged will wipe out any good cashback deals have done for you. Only use cashback deals on your credit cards if you’re confident you can make the payments on time.
These tips are just the start of what you can do to shave off money from your expenses each month. By sticking to these simple strategies you could be looking at $100 in extra cash each month. If you’re interested in saving more money, check out some of our other articles on budgeting and saving.
If you find yourself hit with an emergency your savings can’t handle, there are other financial resources available to you. For example, a payday loan is a type of emergency loan that could provide you with up to $1,200 between paychecks. You can add that amount you to your emergency fund by this time next year by sticking to our simple strategy for saving an extra $100 each month. Just stick to your guns when it comes to your savings game plan, and you’ll be surprised to see how fast it adds up!