Who couldn’t use an extra $100? With so much uncertainty during these times and in the future, I know more people are looking to save what they can. Traditional personal finance advice does not always apply when we’re being faced with a global pandemic. We want to focus on how you can save $100 this month.
Saving 15% or even 10% of your income may be more difficult if your hours were cut at work or you’re facing other financial hardships. Instead of setting intimidating savings goals, I’d recommend starting simple with an attainable goal such as saving $100 per month.
Yes, this is a small drop in the bucket, but $100 may cover an unexpected expense or help you stay afloat if you have to miss a day of work due to an emergency. Better set, saving $100 can motivate you to develop a solid savings habit and stash even more money away. Plus it’s simple to do. Here are 5 easy ways to save $100 this month.
1. Stash Spare Cash in a Jar
I do this all the time and am always amazed at how much I’m able to save without even noticing. I bet most people are familiar with the idea of a coin jar. You toss all your spare change in there and once it’s full, you cash it in. A time-honored method to painless saving and a great way to keep all your coins in one place.
However, to really ramp up the savings without even noticing a pinch on your wallet, throw your $1 bills in along with the spare change. That’s right. Make it a coin and cash jar! Anytime you find yourself in possession of a $1 bill, tell yourself you can’t spend it. Put it in the jar and you’ll double the rate at which you’re saving.
In my experience, I saved $200 in about three months doing this. We use cash envelopes for some of our budget categories and my husband delivers pizzas on the weekend so we always have spare change to add. There’s just plenty of change always laying around the house and it really adds up.
2. Take It Off the Top
Think it’s impossible to save $100 this month? Take $100 and transfer it to savings as soon as you get paid. Budget and live your life like you normally would for the remainder of the month. Odds are, you’ll survive and live to fight another day.
Sometimes a limited mindset can prevent you from saving even the tiniest amount of money. If you choose to pay yourself first – whether it’s $500, $100, or $5, you’ll see that this strategy really works.
You’ll learn how to move funds around if you feel you’re falling short in one area.
For example, say you start carpooling to work, which saves you gas money. Skip meals out for a week and you’ll come pretty close to that $100 right there.
3. Sell Some Stuff
How much stuff do you have just lying around your home that you know you’ll never use? Start listing items online for sale and see how much you can earn. Use sites like OfferUp, Craigslist, and the Facebook Marketplace to get started.
You can sell everything from clothes and toys to furniture, wall hangings, tools, and exercise equipment. Be sure to take clear and well-lit images and be honest about the condition of the item. Some electronics sell well regardless of what condition they’re in.
Another thing you may want to consider doing is flipping some items that you can sell for extra cash. A few months ago, I found a desk sitting on the curb near a friend’s home. I thought it would be a nice desk for my son so I packed it up in the car and took it home. I sanded the desk down and used $4 sample size paint from Lowes to repaint it in a nice aqua color.
The desk turned out great and if I could have definitely sold it on the Facebook marketplace for $75+ or more if we weren’t going to use it.
4. Go Vegetarian for a Month
I know this may be easier said than done if you consider yourself a carnivore, but it’s still worth considering. If you already don’t eat meat with all your meals, consider going vegetarian for 30 days and you’ll likely save $100 or more during that month.
Focus on buying in-season produce and frozen veggies to keep your budget low. If you’re still eating dairy, you can buy eggs and eat cereal and milk in the morning. Also, don’t forget about beans and lentils or protein as well as avocados and raw nuts for healthy fats.
The cost of food is going up and it’s likely due to the rising cost of meat. If you give yourself a break from meat for a month, you’re bound to add much more money to savings.
5. Replace Two Restaurant Dinners With a Slow Cooker Meal
Dining out is one of my favorite things to do, but it’s expensive. I do enjoy supporting local businesses seeing as how they need it more than ever now. However, I also understand that we don’t need to dine out all the time to do this.
If you are ordering restaurant meals, lattes, fast food, etc. Realize that it all adds up each month. In fact, track what you’re spending on food outside of your home each month. The average family of 4 or 5 might spend $40 – $50 on a restaurant meal even if it’s carry out.
To easily save $100 this month, swap out two or more restaurant meals with a meal prepared in your slow cooker. There are plenty of delicious slow cooker recipes to choose from and you’ll spend way less. Perhaps you’ll even have leftovers.
Saving $100 per month may seem like a challenge especially if finances are tight, but try to focus on at least one or more of these options. Trust me, it does get easier once you commit to saving some money rather than convincing yourself that you can’t afford to save at all.
What are your favorite ways to save money easily? How have you saved $100 or more per month?