How would you like to save $100 this month? What if you could save that much every month? Well, it’s probably easier than you think. All you need to do is make small, specific, intentional lifestyle changes and then watch the effect they have on your bank account! In this post I will walk you through exactly how to make 5 lifestyle changes that can save you $100 every month.
5 LIFESTYLE CHANGES THAT CAN SAVE YOU $100 EVERY MONTH
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FIRST THINGS FIRST
Before you start changing your lifestyle so you can save money, I highly recommend finding your motivation for doing so. Why do you want to save? What would an extra $100 (or up to $500 if you try all 5) mean to you every month? Imagine what could you do with that money.
Maybe it would mean you’ll have $100 extra to put towards your debt. Or maybe it means your child can take part in a special extra curricular activity. Perhaps you want to save $100 each month and be able to take special trip with your hubby at the end of the year. Think about what you would actually do with that money. Make it realistic. And make sure it’s something that matters to you.
Then write down your reason and put it everywhere. Write it on a post-it and put it on top of your money (or debit card) in your wallet. Put your reason on your fridge, on your bathroom mirror, in your car, anywhere you look often.
You want to see your motivation right in front of you all the time so you can literally keep your eye on the prize and keep your momentum up. If you’re having a weak moment and you’re tempted to go back to your old money-wasting ways, you want to be able to look at your reason for cutting back and remember why it’s worth it.
This will likely be the deciding factor for your success with these lifestyle changes and really every other thing you do to save money.
Ok, PSA over.
1. DITCH THE DRIVE-THRU COFFEE
Yeah, yeah, you’ve heard it before. But this piece of advice is near and dear to my heart.
I have a major caffeine addiction and I used to get my fix via a drive-thru every single morning. Half the time I’d grab a bagel or muffin for breakfast while I was there.
I actually thought I was holding back by only getting Starbucks on Fridays and sticking to Dunkin’ the rest of the week. Let me tell you, the girl who thought that was BROKE.
It turned out that I was spending about $150 on these coffee trips over the course of a month. That’s some expensive coffee!
I actually already had a keurig and a drip coffee maker at home on my counter which I had previously only used on the weekend, what a waste!
So I started using my Keurig and spent 2 minutes in the morning making my own coffee. I invested like $10 of my coffee savings on a travel mug that I loved. I taste tested some k-cups until I found delicious coffee that satisfied my caffeine need. And the savings started adding up!
Pro tip: I buy my k-cups when they go on sale at Bed Bath & Beyond and they usually let you use a 20% off coupon on top of the sale. That’s the cheapest way I’ve found to buy k-cups.
But even if you pay full price for k-cups, it’s way cheaper than paying for drive-thru coffee everyday!
2. BROWN BAG YOUR LUNCH
It can be so tempting to go out to lunch with your coworkers and get away from work. And on those days that you’re not at work it can be tough to avoid picking up lunch somewhere while you’re out and about running errands.
But all those lunch dollars add up quickly. And I’d bet you’d rather be spending that money elsewhere if you knew how much all those lunches are costing you.
Just think it over quickly. How much does each lunch cost? How many days a week do you buy it? Multiply that number by 4. Isn’t that A LOT for lunch?
Here’s the thing about brown bagging lunch… It’s hard not to feel bad for yourself when everyone else has some kind of delicious take-out lunch and you’re sitting there in the break room with your sad peanut butter and jelly.
You have to keep it interesting!
Do not just bring the same old sandwich or boring salad to work everyday. Find delicious, inexpensive lunch options that you can easily prep the night before. With a little effort and pre-planning you can actually enjoy your packed lunch.
Here are 15 lunch ideas to get you started.
3. BE INTENTIONAL WITH HOUSEHOLD COSTS
Most of the time we just go through our day to day tasks on autopilot without even thinking about how much everything is costing us. Electricity and water cost money. All of the disposable items we use cost money. And so do cleaning supplies.
By making an effort to use less of all the things that are costing us, we can end up saving big.
Don’t worry you don’t have to radically change the way you do everything. In fact, that’s the least effective way to make change.
Instead, make one small change at a time.
Maybe you want to lower your electric bill. You’ll focus on unplugging things, turning off the lights when you leave the room, and basically turning off everything as soon as you’re done using it.
Once you’ve mastered using less electricity, you can tackle the next thing. Maybe you’ll shift your focus to using less disposable products. You will continue to use less electricity but you’ll also make an effort to use less paper towels, and tissues, and ziplock bags. You’ll shift from using paper plates and plastic cutlery to using reusable, real ones when you can.
Keep adding one more small change in your household behaviors and over time you will see serious savings!
Tip: Make sure you get your family on board. That can be the thing that makes all the difference.
4. SHOP LESS
Here is some tough love. Stop going out and buying stuff that you don’t need “just for fun”.
If you want to save money, spending less of it is the best place to start!
So, stop meeting your girlfriends at TJ Maxx to walk around and catch up. Instead, meet at a coffee house, go for walk outside, or get together at someone’s home.
Another key to shopping less for the things you don’t need is to shop less for the things you do need. Impulse purchases will sneak their way right into your shopping bag if you’re not careful! The less time you spend in any store, for any reason, the less of a chance those impulse buys will have to get you.
If you want more help in curbing your shopping habits, check out this post: 5 Easy tips to Shop Less
5. BUY USED
Alright, I know that shopping used has a stigma, but it’s so much better than you think!
There are so many things that we just don’t need to buy brand-new, but we usually don’t even think about it.
The biggest thing that comes to my mind when I think about saving money by buying used is kids clothes. Aside from a few special outfits, why would pay for brand-new, big-price-tag clothing when it’s just going to get spilled on and messy?
If you shop used items strategically, you can actually get gently-used, brand-name items for the same price as no-one-knows-its-new generic items.
Just check things out a little bit before you buy them and make sure they’re in good shape.
Wander into your local thrift store and you’re sure to find some fantastic, affordable treasures.
Another great place to find some incredible used items is your local Facebook yard sale group. I recommend that you join the group or groups in your area and then unfollow them so you are not bombarded with notifications every time something is posted. Just check it out once in a while to see if anything has been posted that you’re interested in.
A friend of mine actually bought a huge backyard swing set / playscape for $45 from a Facebook group like this!
You can also shop for used clothing and items online with resources like Poshmark and ThredUp.
if you’re still not sold on buying used, check out this excellent explanation of why buying used isn’t gross from This Tiny Blue House.
START SAVING EVERY MONTH
Make sure you motivate yourself with specific goals and then start in on making these lifestyle changes. Stop buying drive-thru coffee, start packing lunch, cut your household costs, shop less and buy used. You are sure to save at least $100 a month by making these lifestyle changes, but you will probably save much, much more!
Psst… Want to save even more? Hop on my email list here. It’s my favorite place to give you money saving tips and insights that I just don’t share anywhere else. Plus you’ll get lots of free financial tools just for signing up.
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