Saving $50 a month may not seem a lot but hey it all adds up. Get in the habit of saving a little extra every month and it might inspire you to save even more.
I think having a specific goal or dream to save for makes it so much easier to stay motivated don’t you?
When I had a burning desire to visit family overseas but not a whole lot of extra cash I decided to do what I needed to get that airline ticket. I put on a big garage sale, sold furniture and collectibles on eBay and picked up extra shifts at work. It worked!
Having that motivation in front of you makes a sacrifice seem totally worth it.
What would you like to save up for? Your wedding, Christmas gifts for the kids, a trip to somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. How about paying off a credit card debt or school loan? Or a buying a home fund.
It could be a project around the house you’d like to finish. You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’ve finished it and added to your home equity!
Whatever you decide to save for, having a little extra put aside can make the difference between feeling you don’t have enough to knowing you have a safety net if you need it.
How to Save that Extra $50. Dollars or More Every Month
Start with your cable, phone and internet.
You can turn down the thermostat, but if you trim these bills you’ll get the biggest potential savings. Research online and on the phone. You can do it!
1. TV Cable
Most money saving gurus tell you to cut your cable bill to save money because this is a BIG one. A typical bill for cable in the US is $132. a month without phone.
Can you cut your cable and use streaming services only?
Online streaming services can give you a lot of entertainment for less.
- Netflix is currently $8.99.-16. per month.
- Hulu is $5.99- 12.00 per month.
- Amazon Prime is $119. annually or 12.99 per month.
To use streaming services you need an internet or broadband connection. Internet or broadband plans average from $29. up to $100+ per month depending on what’s available in your area. Some plans include modem router rental, some don’t. If you want wifi you need a modem router!
So let’s add it up. Say your internet service bill is $50. a month and you signed up for Netflix and Amazon Prime. With the most expensive Netflix plan, you’d be paying $79. a month.
So by cutting cable you’ve saved around $53. a month.
How to Cut TV Cable:
Search and compare local US internet providers here. If you’re not moving, it makes sense to sign up for a 24 month agreement (make sure your rate is guaranteed for the entire time). But if you do move, most companies will move you within their service area at no cost or allow you out of the contract if you move out of area. Check to be sure.
If you’ve got the option, get a monthly plan that includes the rental of a modem router to save money.
Get the fastest speed that makes sense for your budget. If you’re all streaming at the same time, then you’ll need at least 20Mbps download speed or more. If you only occasionally watch shows or game, then you can get by with lower speeds.
EXTRA SAVINGS TIPS
- Don’t be tempted to spend more to buy or rent movies or shows on Amazon Prime. In fact, I don’t think Amazon is worth the money unless you absolutely need the 2 day shipping. Skipping Prime will save you an extra $12.99 a month.
- Use your library for extra entertainment options. Sure DVD’s are old school, but if you have a DVD player around why not use it? Most libraries stock new releases. Save on going to the movies and wait till the video comes out – make your own popcorn too!
- Start with creating an account on your library website so you can request titles ahead of release. They can be picked up in a reserved area. Most libraries don’t charge to rent movies, so the whole family can watch for free. Audio books and ebooks are another way to take advantage of this free resource.
How much can you save on your entertainment expenses?
Is it time to give up your landline if you still have one? If you de-bundle your local internet/cable/phone service package now’s the time to drop the landline. Unless you live in a rural area where cell service is non-existent, it makes sense to cut the cord on a corded phone.
You can call 911 or emergency services from your cell phone. Be prepared to give your location since emergency operators won’t have that information.
The average cost of a landline is $15.-45. per month. If your provider uses a VOip (internet based) calling service you’re probably paying less about $20. per month. You’ll still need to have internet service for VOip to work. VOip translates to voice over ip or internet protocol.
Unless you have family or friends in foreign countries and you can’t call long distance any other way, ditch the landline. I use WhatsApp on my cell phone to call out of the country for free.
So by cutting your land line you’ve saved $15.-45.00 per month
How to Cut the Landline Cord:
Research online and with your current phone provider. If your phone service is bundled with cable and internet, ask for an “internet only” price. Be prepared for the cost of your internet to go up once you un-bundle your phone. You should still be saving money.
Remember your goal is to get your total monthly costs down. Keep a running total of what it will cost you to change your plan and make notes so you can refer back to them. I like to write notes and the date down on the paper bill; when I called in and what I was quoted. Ask about a cancellation policy if you change your mind.
EXTRA SAVINGS TIPS
- Take advantage of apps on your cellphone like WhatsApp to call long distance or out of the country. Whatsapp is owned by Facebook. Once you download the app, you’ll be asked to add your contacts from Facebook and your phone contacts. Just choose the ones you want to WhatsApp with.
- With WhatsApp you can video call, send texts and call for free. Once you get it set up it’s as easy as dialing from your phone. Enable Wifi in your phone’s settings for WhatsApp otherwise you’ll be sucking up your data allowance pretty quickly. Other apps to call internationally for free are Viber and Skype.
How much can you save getting rid of your landline phone?
3. CELL PHONE
We can’t live without our smartphones but US users can easily pay $80. per month and more for data and service. That’s a lot more than other countries.
If you can shave some money off your cell phone bill you’re going to add to your savings a lot quicker.
One way to start is to ask yourself how much data and minutes you really need. Are you using more than the national average of 5-6 G per month? Is the unlimited plan worth it?
Consider using a prepaid carrier like Cricket. You pay a fixed amount up front each month like $40. a month for 5G of data and unlimited talk/text.
So by changing your cell plan you could save up to $40.+ per month
How to cut the costs on your cell phone bill:
Most prepaid companies like h2o and Cricket run off big networks like AT&T. Crickets’ plans are no contract and no extra taxes because prepaid carrier monthly rates include taxes and fees. On a regular carrier these can add up to 20% to your bill.
Only pay for the data you need. Don’t pay up for unlimited if you only need the average.
If data speed and cell coverage are important and you don’t want to trade down to prepaid, look at what the competition has to offer.
See if sharing a plan with your partner can save you. That’s what I did. I went from paying $55. a month on AT&T to $30. on a TMobile plan.
If you’re over a certain age, there may be additional discounts available. Ask!
EXTRA SAVINGS TIPS
- Don’t go for the upgrade on your phone each time a new one comes out. If the cost of your phone is bundled into your plan you’re stuck in a contract and you’re paying for more for the phone in the long run.
- Once your phone is paid off and your contract is up, start researching for a better deal.
- Really ask yourself what do you need most in a phone. Will it honestly make a difference to have the latest camera, software or model? If you spend most of your time talking and texting or using apps then you don’t need the Apple XR.
That’s how you can save $50. or more a month. If you add up all three of these options you could save more than $130.00 !!
What will you do with that extra cash and how much did you save?? I still remember that trip, it was SO worth it!