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19 Hacks to Easily Save an Extra $500 per Month

  • Reading time:14 mins read

We all want to have more money in our pockets at the end of the month, but it’s often hard to stay within the budget.

As someone who’s been on a tight budget for most of my adult life, I know how hard it can be to make ends meet.

That’s why I’ve scoured the internet and my personal finance toolbox to bring you 19 of the most effective money saving tips to help you save an extra $500 per month.

From cutting back on your daily coffee habit to making smart grocery shopping choices, these tips will help you stretch your dollars and live your best life without breaking the bank.

So let’s dive into these 19 easy money saving tips and learn how to make our wallets (and bank accounts) a little bit happier!

1. Make your meals at home

One of the biggest reasons why people can’t seem to stay within their budgets is going out to eat way too often. An easy fix to this is creating a meal plan, buying the groceries needed to make your meals.

Meal planning benefits both your health and your wallet – you can make healthy and simple meals that you actually enjoy, and can also pack away for work!

2. Order your groceries online

If you know yourself to be an impulse shopper in grocery stores, then start ordering your groceries online.

You’ll know exactly how much you’re spending before you actually make the purchase, and you won’t have the temptation to buy things you don’t really need ‘just because they’re on sale’.

3. Cashback and rewards apps

There are many apps that give you back cash just for scanning your grocery receipts. Who said making a few extra bucks has to be hard?

A popular cashback app is Rakuten, and if you’d like to earn gift cards to places like Amazon and Target, check out Fetch Rewards.

4. Choose the store brand

I used to always look for my favorite brands of bread while doing my weekly purchases, but as I started thinking about ways to save money, I started choosing the store’s own brand items.

It’s almost always the cheaper choice, and usually the quality is about the same.

5. Carry cash

Carry cash in your wallet and only use cash to make purchases.

That way you can see the money physically leaving your hand, which may make you think twice before spending it.

6. Buy secondhand clothes

Secondhand stores have become a popular choice for many shoppers – they’re cheap and eco friendly.

I love thrift shopping, because secondhand stores have a way bigger selection than regular stores. It’s also totally possible to find brand-new items there!

7. Stop impulse shopping

When you’re looking for an item online, search for the exact product you’re looking for instead of a general category.

We often tend to start browsing the whole category and end up buying interesting products that we don’t actually need!

Next time that you need a new toaster, search for that specific item rather than typing in ‘electronics’.

8. Always have a grocery list

When going grocery shopping, always have a list of items you need to buy, and stick to it.

If you know exactly what you need to buy (rather than grabbing everything you see on sale) you’ll save a ton of time and money.

9. Have a budget check-in every week

Track your expenses and sit down once a week to go over them.

Did you stay within your budget? Are there any unnecessary expenses? Do you have any ideas to save more money next week?

10. Be prepared for unexpected expenses

Life is full of surprises, so you’d better be prepared for them!

Calculate how much money you need to have ready for unexpected expenses, and store the money separately, so you won’t have temptation to spend it unless it’s an emergency.

11. Think twice

I used to buy new items such as furniture without even thinking about it.

If you’re thinking of making a bigger purchase, take at least 3 days to think it through.

Chances are you’ll find you don’t need it as desperately as you thought you did. But, if you still want to make the purchase, then make room for it in your budget.

12. Lean into the minimalist lifestyle

Minimalist lifestyle is a growing trend, and I can see why!

Living on less and keeping life simple can be a great way to focus more on things that are important in life.

13. Keep your finances organized

Be in total control of all (and I mean all ) your income, bills, and expenses.

If you’re on track with all your earning and outgoings, you have the full image of what your financial situation is like.

14. Stick to water

Sticking to drinking water is an easy way to save money, and live a healthier lifestyle at the same time!

Try it out and see how much you can save on sodas and alcohol.

15. Cut out unnecessary monthly expenses

I recently noticed I was still paying for cable, which I hadn’t used for about half a year!

Check if you have any monthly expenses that you don’t really get anything out of – whether it’s Netflix, cable, a newspaper subscription, or a gym membership.

Keep the ones you’re actually using and cancel the rest.

16. Follow people who know how to handle money

Following people who share finance tips and encourage you to save more and spend less will definitely be a motivation boost to get in control of your finances.

17. Give yourself a monthly allowance

If you know you’ll still struggle with overspending despite knowing you shouldn’t, then give yourself a monthly allowance.

This will force you to stop spending carelessly, and save money in order to afford something you really want or need.

18. Skip the takeout coffee

Stop buying coffee out and make it at home or work instead. Little expenses like coffee can really add up, and it’s easy to spend over $100 per month on a daily cup of coffee without even noticing it.

If you really do enjoy the takeout coffee, then it’s really no use to cut it out, there are other easy changes you can make to stay on budget.

19. Search for free activities

Visiting museums, festivals, and clubs can get real pricey real fast. But you don’t actually need to spend money to have fun, there are tons of free concerts and other activities out there.

Search for free events and activities in your area, or hang out at local parks or libraries instead.

These money saving tips have helped me save thousands. Which of them will you start using?