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5 Guaranteed Ways to Save Money

Save MoneyRegardless of your level of income, everyone could stand to save a little bit more money each month. Being able to save money is great for a lot of reasons, especially as the savings can help you reach short, medium and long term goals. I know I didn’t always have a money saving mindset as it was one that I had to develop over time.

As a reformed spender I now look for opportunities to make money work for me as opposed to wasting it needlessly on things I just don’t need. If you’re looking to cut the fat from your budget, consider some of these common, yet still effective ways to save money.

#1 – Stop Dining Out So Often

Everyone enjoys a nice meal out from time to time, but dining out too often can quickly become a gaping budget leak. Eating at a restaurant is considerably more expensive than cooking for yourself at home on a regular basis, not to mention less healthy.

You don’t have to be an experienced chef to create tasty meals at home that will satisfy the family and save money at the same time. Even if you only cook at home an extra two times per week compared to what you usually do, that difference can mean a nice amount of money in your savings account at the end of the year. It’s all about taking steps. Find something you can start with and build from there.

#2 – Drop the Gym Membership

Do you have a gym membership that hardly gets used? You aren’t alone. I used to be the same way with my 24 Hour Fitness membership that I didn’t use. Countless people across the country are members of a gym that they barely ever visit. Of course, a gym membership can be a great investment in your health and fitness if you actually use it – but it is simply a waste of money if you don’t go.

If you find that you don’t have time to use your membership, or you are able to get exercise in other ways, drop that monthly payment to quickly save some money. With the average gym membership costing $58 per month just imagine the savings you can have while working out at home.

#3 – Watch Movies at Home

There is no way around it, going to movies in person is expensive. However, there are more at-home entertainment options available than ever before, and many of them are cheap. Consider having a date night at home and watch a movie on your own TV to save money over the theater.

If you have something like Netflix or can stream a movie on Amazon then that $20 or $30 can be used elsewhere in your budget. My wife do this quite a bit ourselves and use our Amazon Fire TV Stick to stream anything we want. With that and Netflix we’re covered in terms of movie watching.

#4 – Find Free Activities

You don’t have to buy expensive tickets or equipment to enjoy yourself with activities on the weekends. There are countless free, or cheap, options that can lead to fun for the whole family. Check your local city and county websites for ideas that are open to the public that don’t come with a major cost. Better yet, you can stay home and play a board game which will cost you nothing at all.

#5 – Save Money By Planning Ahead for Purchases

Impulse buying can be a killer when it comes to maintaining a smart budget, so take your time and only make purchases after you have thought them through completely. One of the best ways to do this is to plan ahead for your purchases. This may not always be possible with all purchases but most large ones can be handled this way. We do this in our home in order to not only find the best deal possible but also find something that will fit our needs well.

 

What are some other guaranteed ways you can think of to save money? What is one thing you refuse to pay for or can’t believe others spend money on? How do you balance wanting to save money while also living life?

 

 

Photo courtesy of: Steven DePolo

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John Schmoll is a Dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry. He's passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes so that they can live lives free from the shackles of debt and empowered to make their money work for them. You can check out his other sites: Frugal Rules, for ways to improve your financial literacy; and Sprout Wealth for tips on different ways to make more money. John has been featured on Forbes, Lifehacker, Yahoo Finance and US News & World Report and more. If you're wanting to grow your blog, check out my blog coaching services to see how I can help you take your site to the next level.

9 comments

  1. I just dropped my gym membership last month! Since I already have some gym equipment at home, I prefer to work out here and I’m planning this coming summer, I will start to go jogging with my younger sister. And also, this Monday is my daughter’s birthday, I will buy her a board game because her old one was already damaged.

  2. We cut out pretty much all of our dining out last year and it is crazy how much money it saved us. Even the dinners out that we thought were cheap added up and we loved discovering that we could make it all at home for less.

    • We’ve found the same thing Shannon. With my working to lose weight I think we’ve gone out maybe 5 five times, if that, over the past year. It’s crazy how much money that has saved us.

  3. I no longer hit the gym. I think I have dropped my membership since Oct 2014. It was hard at first to fight the urge so what I did was I bought gym equipment. It was a bit pricey but I know it would help me save much money in the long run.

  4. You are right, these are all ways to save money guaranteed. But there are still some I won’t give up, like my gym membership. If I really needed to do so though I could and would.

  5. I love having a prime membership with Amazon. They have a ton of great movies and tv shows all for free with my account. They add new titles all of the time, so I am never left without something to watch.

  6. Guilty of #1, #3 and #5! But am making a good progress on reducing them now.

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