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How to Save Money Every Month

Updated on February 1, 2015

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How to Set a Monthly Money Saving Goal: Budgeting Your Money

If you want to effectively save money every month you need to set a goal and have obtainable ways to do so. Setting goals really helps motivate us toward reaching a goal and everyone has something they could save for. So ask yourself some questions: Why are you wanting to save money? To buy a new car? To have something to fall back on in your savings account? Let's say you want to buy a new, $12,000 vehicle and you want to buy it within six months. That means you will need to put $2,000 aside every month in order to reach your goals.

The first step to take when creating a money saving goal is to analyze your expenses and look at where you are spending your money. Doing this will help you see where you can make cuts on your spending. If you have Microsoft Excel, it is very easy to set up a pie chart to get a great visual of your spending every month. I have created an example (see the photo below) to show you some categories that you can add to your chart. As you can see, I just used to columns to write down what I spend my money on and how much I spend each month. All you have to do after that is highlight those two columns and click the pie chart.

Using the pie chart as a visual you can see in which areas you need to cut your spending down. For example, my food expenses are pretty high because I eat out a lot. This is something I can change.

Once you have set your goal, you need to figure out how much money you have coming in each month and how much you will have to set aside from that amount. Your budget is the money you have to spend during that month.

Pie Chart of Your Monthly Expenses

Save Your Change

Use Cash Instead of Your Card to Save

Many of us have quit using cash because it is so much easier to just slide your card to pay for things. Yes it is easier but, when you only use your card as a payment method you don't see the actual money you are spending.

I recommend only paying your bills with your debit/credit card. Some places actually give you a discount for going paperless and using your card to pay. After the bills are paid take the rest of your budget out in cash and put your card away. Using cash will enable you to actually see the money you are spending and might make you more conscious to how you use it and will help you stick to your budget.

Another great thing about using cash to pay is that you get change back! I know, I know, not everyone is as excited about change as I am but, it really adds up! Every time I get change back from a transaction I bring it home and put it right in my change bag. Before you know it, you will have enough change saved up to fill your tank with gas or splurge on those shoes that didn't fit into your budget. You can also get some change rolls from your bank and add them to your savings account. It takes time but it really does add up and will help you reach your savings goal faster.

How to Start Cutting Down on Your Expenses

Now that you have figured out where your money is going it's time to start cutting back. Stopping at the local coffee drive-thru has become a part of so many people's morning routine. That's about $4 a day and $80 a month if you only go on weekdays. So it might be time for you to break out the old coffee maker that is way back in your kitchen cabinet and start brewing your own every morning. It costs about $10 for a can of coffee and about $5 for creamer. Those items should last you a month, maybe an extra $5 if you are a creamer lover, so about $20 a month. That's about a $60 savings already!

Tobacco users can do the same thing with their chew/cigarettes. You can't exactly brew your own tobacco but you can roll your own cigarettes and cut down and possible quit in order to reach your monthly savings goal. You would not only be getting healthier but also saving money at the same time!

Plan Some Home-Cooked Meals

Another category many of us are spending too much money on per month is food. So quit eating out so much! Not only is it usually healthier to cook at home, you can make the same things you get in the restaurant for a much lower price and have leftover ingredients for another meal.

Another great thing about buying your groceries instead of eating out is that you can plan ahead and buy things like chicken, cheese, and eggs in bulk and save more money. If you sit down at the beginning of each week and plan some meals ahead that use the same ingredients you can buy only what you need and in bulk which are both money savers.

Cut Down on Entertainment Expenses

It's almost unbelievable how many people still go out to the movies when it costs about $12-$15 per person and then an extra $10 for popcorn and a drink at the concessions. If this is something you do a lot you can really cut down on this entertainment expense buy going to a dvd kiosk or investing $10 a month in Netflix or a similar movie program. Going out doesn't have to be obsolete, however, it's worth it to cut back in the name of saving some money to do something more meaningful than seeing the latest films.

Another large entertainment expense, especially for younger people, is going out to the bar to socialize. When did partying at home become lame? It doesn't have to be. Instead of paying $5 or more for a single drink at the bar plus a tip, pitch in to make a batch of a favorite drink and hang out at home. You can still meet new people if everyone brings someone they know and it will definitely help your wallet. If you do decide to go out, you can have some drinks at home first and split a cab both ways with a couple of friends.

More Ideas to Save Money

There are so many ways to save up during the month and the different ways really depend on your lifestyle and what you do in your spare time. Here are some ideas that may apply to you:

  • When the weather is nice, bike or walk to work or school. Even if it's only once or twice a week it still saves some gas.
  • See if your local bus route works into your routine and ride the bus every once in a while.
  • Split entertainment costs with your date. Sure it's nice to be able to buy something for someone but if you do it constantly it can add up to a lot of wasted money.
  • Color your hair at home. This is a pretty simple process if you are doing all-over color or streaks using a cap.
  • Start couponing. Subscribe to some local stores' newsletters and save the coupons for things you usually buy.
  • If you are not in a contract with your gym drop the membership and pick up biking, hiking, or walking.
  • Save energy. This will cut down on your utility bills and put more money in your pocket.
  • Learn how to change your own oil and more DIY projects that can cost you.
  • Drop your cable service and invest in Netflix or reading.
  • Only buy food that is on your list at the grocery store. Some impulse buys just rot in the fridge.
  • Assess your car insurance and phone bills. See if switching to a different company can help you save.
  • Put your savings into a bank account that will give you some interest each month.


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    • erorantes profile image

      Ana Maria Orantes 3 years ago from Miami Florida

      I like your hub. Thank you for the advices on how to be good at saving money, so later, we can spend it on important things. We need to get for use. Planning how to spend the money is good. Life is pleasant. Budget have to meet someone needs, and going around with good tips on how to do it . It is an excellent advice.

    • John-Rose profile image

      John-Rose 5 years ago from USA

      Great hub, although my wife and I have or are doing just about everything on your list. One of the things that you have that hoped Yakut a lot was using day and not debit card. You can really watch your money disappear when it actually in your hands.


    • gracekeys profile image

      gracekeys 5 years ago from Newcastle, WA

      It is incredible how much alcohol is such a huge expense! I've been campaigning my hubby to drink more water and less alcohol, although he drinks maybe 4-5 times a week in moderation. Adding $5-15 in beer/wine at dinner really adds up. About your Excel/pie chart, check out It's free and it categorizes everything for you through your bank and credit cards if you allow access. You can also create a budget so you can see if you're on target or over budget.

    • Sadie14 profile image

      Brittany B 5 years ago from U.S.

      Summerberrie- I thought I was the only one who would wait in those lines just for a diet coke! Haha! It's not too bad when they have the large for a dollar deal but you could still get a cheap version in a 2L at the store for a dollar.

    • Sadie14 profile image

      Brittany B 5 years ago from U.S.

      You're welcome adjkp! I hope some of my tips can help you save even more!

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

      I'm always looking for new ways to save money! I'm so glad you pointed out the huge hit a budget can take just from hitting a coffee shop each day!

    • roxanne459 profile image

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      Awesome! All of the steps are very well organized and easy to follow. I was a single mother for many years and now I have two boys who are soon entering the teen years. It seems that no matter what your personal situation is, there is always a need to save money and spend wisely. Voted Up and useful

    • Nare Anthony profile image

      Nare Gevorgyan 5 years ago

      Sadie, the tips are great! One suggestion is instead of taking a pic of comp screen, just take a snapshot, which will give you a clearer image :)

    • profile image

      summerberrie 5 years ago


      Very useful ideas. I can save a chunk of change by not going through drive thrus for diet coke! Voted useful.

    • adjkp25 profile image

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      I’m happy to say that we do a few of your ideas already at my house. I hadn’t thought about a couple of your suggestions but I think I will give them a try too.

      Thanks for the ideas.

    • Sadie14 profile image

      Brittany B 5 years ago from U.S.

      Thank you alliemacb and Horatio Plot! Haha Horatio isn't it supposed to be the other way around? :)

      I know that this has been a huge part of my life lately just moved to a new place and got a job but the in-between was really hard.

    • Horatio Plot profile image

      Horatio Plot 5 years ago from Bedfordshire, England.

      Useful, practical advice Sadie.

      In our house my wife saves it and I spend it! Must do better.


    • alliemacb profile image

      alliemacb 5 years ago from Scotland

      Great hub. Your tips are really useful. Must try to save more money each month. Voted up.

    • poowool5 profile image

      poowool5 5 years ago from here in my house

      Good hub, Sadie14, there are tips here that everyone can use.

      I cook from scratch most nights, but I need a tip for how to cut grocery bills with 3 teenage boys in the house who eat non-stop! lol! No cure for that I fear.

      We have a change jar too, and a favorite activity with my youngest is to hike the whole massive pig to the grocery store and tip all the change into one of those machines that counts it up for you. We always try to guess how much was in the pig, then we go buy icecream with the proceeds!

      Thanks for all the great ideas, some of these are new to me, and definitely worth trying. Voted up and useful!

    • Sadie14 profile image

      Brittany B 5 years ago from U.S.

      Thank you tigerbaby! We all have something we want to save up for!

      Kittyjj- eating out doesn't always have to be expensive but it should definitely be just as a treat when saving money.

    • Sadie14 profile image

      Brittany B 5 years ago from U.S.

      That's great daisydayz! I love change! It has helped me have gas to get to work so many times! A change counter at home is an awesome idea. Those coinstars and other coin counters at the grocery stores take like ten cents a dollar so it kind of defeats the purpose in desperate times. Thank you for your comment!

    • daisydayz profile image

      Chantele Cross-Jones 5 years ago from Cardiff

      Great hub, these are easy tips that people just don't think about! We have a change counter too and I knew how fast it can add up, its surprising. Plus I work in a bar on the weekend and (although it may sound a little desperate) at the end of the night when we have cleaned up I go around and pick up all the small change people have dropped on the floor, some weekends I can make my share of the taxi home or my bus fare for the next day! People just don't care when they drop small coins in a busy place but it really adds up for me!

    • kittyjj profile image

      Ann Leung 5 years ago from San Jose, California

      Thanks for sharing a great hub. Home-Cooked Meals is the number one money saver in my family. Eating out three times would cost as much as a whole month home-cooked meals. I didn't know a cup of coffee costs $4. Good thing I don't drink coffee. ;)

    • tigerbaby777 profile image

      tigerbaby777 5 years ago from Nampa

      Excellent hub! I'm going to give some of your ideas a try. Voted up and interesting.