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8 Moves That Can Net You an Extra $550 Per Month

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Who couldn’t use an extra $550 each month? Good news: Making these small (and pretty painless) adjustments to your spending habits can help you get there—and without having to eliminate anything you love.

1. Eat in one more night per week.

On average, we dine out 4.5 times every week, spending around $250 per month—meaning each meal costs about $14. Cut just one restaurant meal per week, opting instead for leftovers or something else already in your pantry.

Money saved: $56

2. Reduce your food waste.

Speaking of raiding your pantry, the average American household wastes about $1,600 on uneaten food every year. Eat leftovers, properly store foods for longer shelf lives and look for recipes using scraps and certain ingredients past their prime, like banana bread, vegetable stock and soup.

Money saved: $133

3. Use free apps and coupons.

Obvious, yes, but rounding up a few coupons before hitting the store or online site easily saves $30 per week, according to one survey. And use free apps and browser extensions, like HoneyCoupon Sherpa and Grocery iQ, for totally effortless savings.

Money saved: $120

4. Drop your gym membership.

According to Statistic Brain, 67 percent of gym members never show up. If that’s you, stop paying and bank the cash instead. To get your fitness fix, Google free workouts or look for free outdoor classes in your area. (If you are a regular gym user, consider cutting other recurring memberships you may not be using.)

Money saved: $58

5. Negotiate your Internet bill.

Research competitor prices, then negotiate with your service provider for a potential monthly savings of about $50. Many states also offer subsidies for low-income residents, which could cut costs even more.

Money saved: $50

6. Cut the cord and tune into Netflix.

Paying at least $100 per month for dozens of channels you rarely watch is becoming harder to justify. Drop your cable package in favor of an $8 basic Netflix subscription and save big.

Money saved: $92

7. Optimize your energy consumption.

Small changes can go a long way toward a lower utility bill. Putting bricks or pebble-filled water bottles in toilet tanks saves about $3. Simply unplugging “energy vampires,” like your computer, can spare another $6.25. Each degree you tap down your thermostat in colder months can shave 3 percent off an $183 average electric bill—meaning bumping yours down 3 degrees could net an extra $16 per month.

Money saved: $25

8. Sign up for a cash-back credit card.

According to CreditCards.com, average credit card use among people who pay the bill in full each month is $1,154. Swiping a card (with no annual fee) that offers an average 1.5 percent back on all purchase won’t net you major savings—but what’s the downside? Plus, some cards offer up to 5 percent back on special bonus categories, like groceries, gas and restaurants.

Money saved: $17

This post originally appeared on Grow.

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Chris Peach Author 150x150

Chris Petrie

Chris (Peach) Petrie is a personal finance expert, money coach, speaker and podcaster.

In 2011, Chris and his family were exhausted from living paycheck-to-paycheck and facing a mountain of debt. They started going against the society standards of misbehaving with money and made the decision to take back control of their lives and money. Within seven months they paid off $52,000, started saving like crazy and began building real wealth.

The word spread fast and Chris started showing friends how to create a budget over dinner. Soon after he started showing their friends how to do the same and eventually Chris started teaching personal finance classes around the community. As the need for the classes grew, Chris launched Money Peach in 2015.

Money Peach was created to help everyday people remove the stress and fear of money by showing them how to save more, make more, and keep more of their money.

Chris Peach has been featured in places like Business Insider, The Huffington Post, Elite Daily, and CheddarTV.

When Chris isn’t at “work” he can be found at the Crossfit gym or riding on the fire truck — Chris is also a full-time firefighter in Phoenix, Arizona.

5 Comments

  • My wife and I still eat out every once in a while. We use Groupon deals to help us save money. A lot of new restaurants create these amazing deals (e.g. >50% in savings).

    Reply
  • Hey Chris!

    Great reminders on ways to save. My girlfriend and I were just talking today about tightening up our budget a bit.

    Another tip that saved me $300 a month on parking for my job. I approached my banker and asked if I could park in their lot during business hours. He said yes! You never know until you ask 🙂

    Reply
  • Yep, it’s been close to a year since we cut the cable and switched to Netflix. We lost 2-3 shows because they are on other networks (HBO, i guess) but it is definitely worth the fortune that we were paying. Can’t believe we could have done this a lot sooner. My next family savings move is to get a better internet deal because CCnet is taking a lung out of me.

    Reply

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