7 Ways to Save Big, Fast
We’ve all been there before: there’s something that comes up that requires you to fork over a big chunk of change… that you don’t have! Whether it’s a car repair, a doctor’s visit, an emergency with the house, or anything else that life might throw at you, you need to come up with a few hundred dollars in a month.
You might know that money doesn’t grow on trees (wouldn’t that be great, though!?), so what is there to do?!
Sure, you could come up with a nice amount of money from some side hustles, but that probably won’t bring in the kind of money that you’ll need by the end of the month! If you’re just looking to find the money in your own budget, there are some ways to do it that you may not have thought about.
You can find places to save a lot of money FAST!
1. Cut out soda and alcohol
Soda and any kind of alcohol are just so expensive! If you’re in a real pinch and need to save money quicky, stop buying drinks! If you drink 2 sodas a day and a 12-pack of beer in a week, you could be looking at close to $25 or more in savings each week!
Water is a great alternative. It’s free (make sure you’re not buying bottled water, and are using your water bottle!) and it’s zero calories! Your wallet and your waistline will thank you!
2. Stop eating out
No more take out. Not even a sandwich or a bag of chips from the vending machine at work. Everything adds up! That $1 bag of chips and that $5 sandwich every day add up to $30 a week and $120 a month.
And what about date nights? Even at just once a week, $20 for the sitter and $60 for dinner add up to $320 each month! Netflix and make a recipe off of Pinterest (and then submit it to Pinterest fails if it doesn’t turn out) costs much less! You don’t need to spend money to have a great time together!
It is possible to go out on a budget, but if you’re trying to save fast, cut it out completely for now.
3. Cut out the trips to Starbucks
I know what you’re thinking: “where else am I going to get my morning Caramel Macchiato?!” Yes, they’re awesome, but did you know you can get syrups that are just as good online? Try out some of the recipes for copycat coffee drinks on Pinterest!
Think about it like this: if you buy a bottle of syrup for coffee for $15, you’ll have it for at least a month. Or you could take that $15 and send it on 3 grande Caramel Macchiatos at Starbucks. That $4 drink every day before work quickly adds up to $80 (most likely more) a month. Make your own coffee, get your own syrups to try out, and you’ll still have money left over without walking around like a coffee-less zombie (which no one wants to see!).
My favorite Starbucks hack is to make my personal favorite: iced coffee. Here’s the recipe I follow, written by an ex-barista.
4. Plan your meals
Own your shopping trips instead of having them own you! If you have a planned list of what you’ll need to make dinner for the week, you won’t be swayed by impulse buying. Plan everything in advance and you can make sure everything fits into your budget!
I recently joined $5 Meal Plan in order to help me eat at home more and cut my food spending. It’s only $5 a month (the first two weeks are free HERE) and you get meal plans sent straight to you along with the exact shopping list you need in order to create the meals. The meals are easy to make and are affordable.
5. Breakup with cable
You can do it! Breaking up with cable saved me $120… and we had the basic package (it was a bad company, to say the least). If you have any subscriptions, you’re looking at saving between $150 and $300 a month!
There are so many streaming services online to sign up for that you’ll never even miss cable. Hulu (you get 6 weeks free for clicking here), Netflix, Amazon (where you can now get Showtime and Starz streaming through Amazon) are all incredible options that, even if you got all of them, would still only cost around $30 a month! For my sports fans out there: you won’t even need to miss football! Here’s how to watch football for free LEGALLY!
6. Stop buying water bottles
This needed to be a separate category from the soda and beer. Invest in a good water filter (this is the one that we use, and it’s the same one that is often used by missionaries in third world countries) and a good water bottle and you won’t have to pay for water all month. If you are buying cases of water bottles every week and using bottles as your only drinking water, this would wind up saving you $15 or more each week or $60 a month!
7. Slash your grocery budget in half and eat out of your pantry
I am an avid believer in the Pantry Munch; my own little word for not spending any money to buy food, but just eating what we have in the pantry and the freezer for a month. Cutting out my grocery budget for a whole month was tough, but it saved us $400! I’d be willing to bet that you have enough food in your pantry and freezer that ou could feed your family for the whole month without a problem!
Even if you can’t do a full no-spend month, try to only use your grocery budget to supplement the food that you already have at home. If you only wind up spending half of your grocery budget (which should be $100 per person in the house, so a family of 4 should have a budget of $400 each month), that’s still a nice chunk of change that you can save!
If you went and cut out everything and changed your habits that I suggested here, you could easily be looking at $1,000 or more that you could save!
There are plenty of other ways to save out there that will help you save money in a hurry, you just need to get a little creative!
What do you do to save money fast?