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Want to have more money at the end of every month? 5 simple tips to save more money, even on a low income: learn how to save $1,000 a month consistently. Plus, a useful free printable to help you with the $1,000-a-month challenge!
Let’s cut to the chase here: most people suck at saving money.
Do you know what this means?
It means that these people will have to borrow money to pay for it in case of an emergency.
And you really don’t want to find yourself in this position. But most of all, you don’t want to add financial stress to your life.
That’s why I put together a list of some of the most impactful tips to save money, starting right now.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you to take personal responsibility for your money. And no matter whether you are on a six-figure salary or are struggling on a low income, you can make a difference by using these tricks without ever feeling like you are cutting back on the things you value the most.
Tips to save money: how to save $1,000 in a month
1. Don’t spend
You are walking around the mall with a friend and all of a sudden:
An incredibly edgy black dress winks at you from the shop window. You know that you will look like the next Kate Moss by wearing it. You have to walk inside…
Stop right there.
Let’s rewind here. What happened? If you are trying to save money, why are you at the mall in the first place? Second: don’t spend money.
What I mean by that is that if you are trying to save money, you should never hit the buy now button.
Leave the item for at least 24 hours.
Give yourself time to really evaluate each and every purchase. Cutting down on impulse buying is one of the best things you can do to reduce your spending.
So before you buy anything, ask yourself these questions:
- Can I live without this item?
- Can I really afford it?
- Will I actually use it?
This highlights whether you genuinely want or need it. By asking yourself these questions, you will be able to make smarter decisions about whether to spend money or not.
If you’re still thinking about the item the next day or a few days later and can afford it, then feel free to make the purchase.
2. Think about what each item really costs you
In my journey to financial freedom, I discovered many good reasons for living with less.
Every time we buy stuff, we end up exchanging our life for things that we own.
Or, as Henry David Thoreau put it,
The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.
It’s time to stop measuring the cost of things with money and start thinking: “How many hours will I have to work to pay for it?”.
I now use this strategy all the time.
If there is something I want to buy, I just do some quick calculations to see if it’s worth the effort:
- Calculate the real value of each hour you work. If you make $40,000 a year and work 40 hours a week, you make around $20 per hour.
- Now that you know the real value of each working hour, calculate the life cost of everything you buy. Spending $20 on lunches every day? 1 hour of your life. An $80 pair of jeans? 4 hours of your life.
No matter how old you are, we all have a limited amount of time on this planet. Given that, we must spend our money on the things that are most important to us. We shouldn’t spend our time working for things that don’t bring us long-term value.
This is the whole principle around a great book I read a while ago, Your Money Or Your Life. It’s a great book if you are up for a good read. It will help you gain control of your money and finally begin to make a life instead of just making a living.
3. Don’t let sales tempt you
We are all guilty of it.
We see an incredible offer: a minimalist vegetable cutter that goes so well with the rest of our kitchen gadgets. Hard to say no.
But let’s be honest. Will we ever use it? Big sales are created to tempt us to buy things we don’t need. Giving in often means spending money on items we know we wouldn’t use.
So for each item, you are tempted to buy during a sale, ask yourself whether you would buy it if it were full price.
How many things you bought on sale would you give away in a heartbeat if someone offered you the money back?
Think about that skirt you got for $40. How many times did you wear it? Once?
Or that nail polisher that still has the seal intact?
Because the reality is: when you decide not to buy something and move the difference in your savings account – it’s almost as if you’re getting paid to save.
4. If you save it, move it
Do you know what you should do every morning while you are drinking your cup of coffee?
Check your savings account balance.
Whenever you save money by not buying something, just transfer the equivalent amount you saved into a separate savings account (CIT Bank has a great savings builder account that gives you up to 10x more than your average standard bank account). It sounds silly, but this is a great way to make sure you keep the money you are saving in your pocket (and avoid further temptations).
It’s a scary habit to try at first, but it gives you great motivation when you get into it because you can see the immediate results of your actions by watching your savings account balance going up and up every day.
The more your savings account balance goes up, the more excited to save you will get – and you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
5. Think about your end goal
Saving money is a huge step toward having more freedom and financial security. And it can become addictive.
But what’s truly important to make sure you stick with it is to decide what you are going to do with the money afterward.
And knowing this is vital because:
- Having a specific goal in mind will ensure you are far more likely to follow through with it.
- It will help you to focus on something positive during difficult days.
- Reaching that goal will give you far more satisfaction.
No matter what your goal is, make sure to write it down and remind yourself of why you have decided to take action in the first place.
Want to book a flight to your dream destination? Pay off debt? Set up an emergency fund? Buy a special gift for your loved one?
Just learn how to manage your money, and these tips will help you get whatever you want.
Practical tips to save $1,000 in a month
1. Negotiate utility bills, cable, banking, and internet costs
Sure: you can turn off the light when you walk out of a room or try to lower your thermostat one degree…but you know what I really love?
I love to be warm! My grandma’s house was always so cold in winter that I made a decision when I was little: no matter how rich or poor I would be as an adult, I would never feel cold in my own house.
But this doesn’t mean I throw money out of the window! Or pay over the odds to stay warm. The reality is that I saved over $300 in utilities last year. All without lowering the thermostat!
And even with electricity and gas prices going up year on year, I have managed to cut my utility bills for 5 years in a row.
So how did I do that?
I negotiated my bills. I compared prices with other companies and found out who had the best deal. Don’t be afraid to switch providers. I know it sounds boring, but you know what? A couple of hours of your time can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars every year.
- Set a yearly reminder on your calendar a month before your cell phone deal expires, your utility deal ends, etc.
- Search comparison sites for better deals, and if another company can offer you a competitive rate, switch.
- If you are unsure about switching or love your current company for some weird reason, call their customer service and find out if they can put you on a cheaper plan (and feel free to use the “I can’t afford my current plan” line). Don’t give up too quickly. I did this 3 times with my mobile provider, and in the last 3 years, I went from paying $20 for 4Gb of data to paying $9 for 12Gb! How is that for a win?
2. Shop smarter
Online shopping is a great thing.
In the dark ages, if you wanted to find a good deal, you only had 2 options:
- Be extremely lucky and walk into a shop with a discount.
- Hunt for bargains going from shop to shop, probably ending up spending more money in gas compared to what you actually saved.
But these days things are much easier!
All you need to do is:
1. Decide what product you want to buy
2. Check for bargains
Look on websites like:
Within a few minutes, you can find the same item for the lowest possible price.
3. Use cashback websites and apps
It’s possible to get 3-20% back on pretty much everything you buy these days (including groceries). Once you’ve found what you want to buy and where you want to buy it from, simply check on cashback websites and apps to see where you’ll get the biggest cashback bonus:
Rakuten ($10 bonus if you sign up here) is a great app. You can download it for free, and with over 2,000 stores to choose from, you will be able to make some extra money every month!
Swagbucks is one of my favorite apps for cashback. I made over $200 in less than a year! Plus a free $5 bonus for signing up.
Fetch Rewards is an incredible app. While I am writing this, it has over 268,000 reviews on the apple store and a score of 4.8 stars and over 43,000 votes on Google Play, and a score of 4.3! How many other cashback apps do you know with these stellar reviews? With Fetch Rewards, you simply scan any grocery receipt after you shop and save on thousands of popular products throughout the store. Earn points on every receipt you scan. No clipping coupons, chasing down expiring deals or missing out on savings. Just shop, scan and save. Yes, it’s that easy!
3. Cut unused subscriptions
I know what you are about to say: “I don’t have any unused subscriptions, Sara. I know exactly what I am spending, and I need them all!”
But do you?
Here is the challenge: login to your bank account and go through the last 3 months’ statements.
Look for recurring payments, and find out exactly where your money goes.
Look for things like:
- Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu
- Gym memberships
- Sneaky apps subscriptions
- Pandora, Spotify
- Magazines and newspapers
- Software subscriptions
- Online gaming
You’ll be surprised by what you’ll find.
For each subscription, ask yourself these questions:
- What is this subscription for?
- Do I actually use it?
- Do I really like it?
- Is it worth keeping it for that money, or will the money look better in my savings account?
For example, last month, I was having fun going through our statements (I am a nerd like that) and found that we were still paying for a car-sharing service we barely use. We decided to cancel it straight away, and boom, we saved around $60. We would have never known if I didn’t enjoy so much looking through numbers.
4. Reduce insurance costs
This is pretty much the same deal as with your bills. Whether we are talking about house insurance, car insurance, medical insurance, or any other type of insurance, savings can quickly add up if you get a better deal.
Most of us tend to pick a good rate to start with and then can’t be bothered to shop around ever again.
And this, my friend, is what insurance companies live for.
They wait for you to become complacent, and then they start to let your premium creep up year on year, until all of a sudden you pay hundreds of dollars more than you should.
Last year, we finally managed to save over 30% on our home insurance by using a broker. We live in an apartment in an old converted house. It comes with much charm but also with a hefty price tag on insurance.
If you want to save on insurance, shop around at least once a year.
You can start by comparing rates on websites like Bankrate. Bankrate’s site lets you find the lowest rates just by entering a few details, so you’ll know where to start. You can then start checking with other reputable insurance companies to see what prices they can offer you.
With insurance, always check reviews and the legitimacy of the companies you are looking into. What’s the point of saving $50 if they won’t cover your claim?
5. Earn more money
Sometimes we get so fixed about the idea that we don’t have enough money that we seem to forget about one of the most powerful tips to save money: earning more money.
You can do this in so many ways:
- Negotiate your salary at work
- Start a side hustle or learn how to make money from your hobby (yes, I suggest you get working some more, instead of watching another series on Netflix)
- Freelance from home in your spare time, using some skills you are good at
- Sell stuff you don’t use anymore
- Learn how to make money using your creative skills or make things to sell
- Take part in an online focus group and make $150 or more
There is money waiting for you if you are willing to put in a few extra hours a week to save more!
Ready for the challenge?
Download my free $1,000 savings challenge printables and get started today!
Let me know how your challenge goes!
Stop being addicted to shopping and become addicted to savings!