Recently, I wrote about the plan my husband and I have to pay off our mortgage in the next 10 years.  Hearing all of your comments and ideas got me sooooo excited that I started thinking about how we could get it paid off in 5 years instead of 10.  So we started talking about all the different ways we could convert some of our expenses into making larger principal payments – easy ways that would at least cut $100 in expenses each month.

Well, we came up with some pretty exciting ideas! Here’s what we’ve got:


 

One of the best ways to build wealth quickly is to find big ways to save every single month.  Check out this list to see if any would be easy for you!

Cut the Cable Bill

When I first started hearing about people doing this, I always get excited for them but was usually secretly making a list in my head all of the shows that I would be missing if we gave up cable.

Well, I’m now a full-fledged convert.  We have officially not had cable for a year and don’t miss it at all. We subscribe to Netflix and Amazon Prime, which have a way larger selection than cable (not to mention most cable shows) and are a thousand times more flexible. The two together cost about $15/month, compared to our old cable bill that was $160/month!

But cutting out cable, we save over $100 each month easily.

 

Pay Off Your Smallest Loan First

Odds are you’re probably cutting expenses to attempt to pay off debt anyways, but the secret is to pay off the smallest loan first regardless of interest rate.  I know this sounds counter intuitive for a lot of people, but the ultimate goal should be to increase your cash flow because then you’ve got more money to put towards the other loans, not to mention all the other benefits of lower monthly costs.

Before my husband and I committed to me staying at home with our son, we focused every bit of extra income towards paying off student loans, which for us were being paid into 3 different accounts.  Once we got the smallest paid off, it freed up an extra $80 a month, which we immediately started putting towards the next smallest loan.  Once that one was gone,  it freed up an additional $100 a month – which mean we immediately had $180 extra going towards the third.  So finally, once that was all paid off, we had an extra $300+ in expenses forever cut from our budget.

What started as an $80/month savings turned into a $180/month savings followed by a $320/month savings!

Related post: How to Pay Off Your Student Loans Early

 

Start Meal Planning

I didn’t start meal planning until recently and I can’t believe what I’ve been missing! Not only do you save a ton of money, but you will also save a ton of time and sanity.  By planning out all of your meals, you are able to get great deals on groceries, use similar ingredients for different days, and cut back on items that would normally get wasted.  I incorporated meal planning with a few other grocery bill-slashing tricks and cut over $500 from our monthly bill!  Meal planning is a gold mine. If you aren’t already doing this, you need to give it a try!

Related post: How I Cut $500 From My Monthly Grocery Bill

 

Eliminate Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

Depending on the type of mortgage you took out, you may have been required to get PMI, which is an extra payment that is wrapped into your mortgage each month. But after a predetermined period of time, you are able to drop the insurance if your principal balance reaches a certain amount.

For us, we were required to pay PMI for at least 5 years.  So once we reached the principal threshold (which equated to paying off 20% of the house value), our mortgage payment decreased by $80 every single month. Needless to say, this was an easy win!

 

Unplug the Extra Fridge

We used to be one of the many families out there that had an extra fridge in the basement that we used for bulk items and extra drinks.  It was definitely a nice-to-have, but after a few really high electric bills we decided we’d stop using it to see what would happen.  HOLY MOLY.  It instantly cut $100 from our monthly electric bill!  And to be honest, we realized pretty quickly that we didn’t need it at all – we had basically just been using it because it was there.

This was a huge savings with basically no change to our lifestyle – and $100 saved each month!

 

Deposit Instead of Delivery

This was one of my original mortgage-saving ideas and I got a ton of great feedback about this one.  Basically, we have decided to completely give up delivery for the next year (which has been so easy that we’re most likely giving it up forever) and instead, we will deposit $25 each time we would have delivered and opt for a frozen pizza instead. The biggest reason that this has been so easy is because we were really only doing it for convenience – we just didn’t want to have to get dinner ready!  But with a simple, easy alternative like frozen pizza it’s just a no-brainer.

Not only has this ended up being a lifestyle upgrade, but it easily saves us $100 a month.

 

Cut the Gym Membership

Cutting your gym membership is a great way to save a ton of money every month, but there’s a huge caveat – you need to replace it with at-home workouts!  You don’t want to cut out exercise, just the unnecessary monthly bill.  If you can get yourself to run outside, then you will be far better off than on a treadmill anyways.  Your body has to work harder and being outside has huge benefits for your mind and lungs.  There are also endless ways to work out inside your home (even just for 10 minutes), so try to consider all your options to find out if something will work for you.

Gym memberships have a large range, but if you have a family plan, odds are you’ll be saving around $100/month!

 

Stop Driving to Work

Gas is a huge expense and since the price is so unpredictable, it can be extra painful during certain months.  For us, a tank of gas typically ranges from $50 – $80, so cutting back on driving can be a MAJOR savings. Luckily for us, one of the perks of extensive travel is that my husband is either working from home or getting reimbursed for the cost of gas – which is exactly how we KNOW that we are saving a bundle by not having to pay for gas.  So if you can plead your case at work or find a colleague to carpool with, you will without a doubt be saving at least $100 a month.

 

PLEASE share your ideas with me about how you make big cuts to your expenses!  I need all the ideas I can get.

 

For other ideas on saving and investing, check out my Pinterest board dedicated to saving and building wealth!

Follow MBAsahm’s board Family Finances on Pinterest.

 

One of the best ways to build wealth quickly is to find big ways to save every single month.  Check out this list to see if any would be easy for you!

 

 

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29 comments on “8 Different Ways to Cut $100 in Expenses Every Month”

  1. I have written two posts you might want to check out: 17+ Things We Don’t Pay For and 19 Ways To Cut Back An Already Bare Bones Grocery Budget. Those might offer you a few tips to help you on your mortgage-free journey.

    Basically, we live and eat simply. We entertain ourselves at home for free. We buy on sale and in bulk. We cook from scratch. This is the lifestyle that will have us hopefully mortgage-free in 5 years.

    Wishing you and yours the very best!

  2. As far as saving money and eating healthier, when I’m craving pizza, I end up making it instead. The dough is a bit of work, but costs pennies to make. If you really don’t want to deal with the hassle and mess, stores like Winco sell bags of fresh pizza dough in their bakeries. But I’ll usually clean up the mess while the dough is rising and still have time to browse pinterest. The rest of the pizza cost really depends on the toppings you like, but in summers when produce is super affordable, you can save a bundle. Plus, I think making pizza is really fun.

  3. Awesome tips! I also read your post on how to pay off the mortgage early – my husband and I are also shooting for under 10 years. Can’t wait to be rid of PMI!! I LOVE your deposit instead of delivery idea. Frozen pizzas from SAMs anyone?? Another thing we do is order coffee from Amazon, in 5 lb bags – I’ve cut out my weekly Starbucks habit completely, and don’t really miss it!

    • coffee is such a huge expense!!! We try really hard to find it as cheap as possible too – and goodbye to the Starbucks days! 🙂

  4. Great great tips! Always nice to find new stuff to help cut on expenses. Pinning and sharing. Thanks for sharing at Totally Terrific Tuesday last week! I can’t wait to see what you have lined up for this week.

    Sharon
    Her Organized Chaos

  5. A quick note on eliminating your PMI: DO NOT TRUST YOUR MORTGAGE COMPANY to stop collecting it after you’re no longer supposed to pay it. As soon as you hit your loan to value ratio (in my case it was 78%), contact them IN WRITING and request that they stop collecting it. I just lost over $2,000 because I had been paying extra money toward my principal and reached the 78% LTV ratio 2 years ahead of the amortization schedule. However, I had read that the PMI would drop automatically when that ratio was reached (and indeed there is NOTHING on my mortgage company’s documentation or website stating that I would have to request that they stop it should I reach that ratio faster). When I did realize that I had reached it, I contacted them. It was 1 month before they were scheduled to stop it anyway (because I hadn’t been paying attention). They denied my request (I wrote to the CEO and it got escalated but they still denied it because they claim that I should have known to request that they stop collecting it) but said they would stop collecting it moving forward. No so, though, they still collected it for 2 months afterwards. When I called to point this out (with my mortgage statement in hand showing that the PMI was still being deducted), they still denied that they were collecting it. When I wrote to the CEO, I mentioned that as well. They did recognize that they had “made a mistake” in that case, and said that the 2 months would be credited to my escrow. Honestly, I still haven’t seen the credit to the escrow and it’s been over 2 months. So word to the wise… be VERY proactive with this. Do not assume that they will stop it when they’re supposed to. It will cost you the price of a stamp (personally, I would mail it registered with return receipt) but it might make a big difference. Request that they stop collecting it even if nothing on the documentation says that you have to request it and even if their website states that they will drop it when they’re supposed to.

    • Wow, holy moly, that is great to know! It’s very frustrating how little you can trust some of these institutions. We just reached the 78% and 5 year minimums this past month, so I’m expecting to see a difference in the next month or two. I actually called them this past week to confirm that we had our figures right and they assured me that it would automatically stop deducting, so it will be really interesting to see if that happens. Either way, I will be watching it like a hawk, so I will definitely be taking your advice if there is even one more deduction! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂 Great advice.

  6. Drinking water instead of juice, Gatorade and soda has saved us lots through the years. The kids always had water at their sports practices and games (Gatorade was only a treat) and we all got in the habit of only ordering water in restaurants. Drinks for everyone while out getting gas or other places really adds up – and water is not messy and much healthier.
    Also, taught myself to cut my husbands and sons hair. They prefer and look best in long buzz cuts so it works for us.

  7. Great tips! I’ve found that you can pretty much get used to anything so after a few weeks you don’t miss the things you cut out. I’m hopping over from the Frugal Friday link party btw.

  8. These are great ideas! I had the some thought when we cut cable a few years…what show I would be missing and my kids. None of us miss it. You can watch many shows for free online either through Hulu (just the regular one) or the networks website. We have also found other things to fill are time and with 3 kids we were really not watching it that much anyhow especially for what we were paying. I have become addicted to Pinterest and I read a lot more. Good luck with your 5 year plan.

    • Thanks! It’s totally true – you really don’t miss what you think you will! And you just start doing other things. Luckily it’s starting to warm up here, so we can finally go back outside 🙂

  9. Paying off the smaller loan or paying off the loan with the highest interest rate is a debate my husband and I have been having since January. Not that one of us thought one was better, but we didn’t know which one was better to pay off first. We did know that we wanted to use the snowball effect to start knocking out debt. Thankfully we do not have any credit debt, but the student loans are one car loan is killing us.

    Thanks for the tips! Now if we could just get rid of the second smaller fridge. haha I found your post at This Is How We Roll Thursdays.

  10. This is so encouraging for a college student. Right now I’m in a dorm so I don’t have a lot of things to cut yet, but I do have student loans that are getting pretty big. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Wow, you have so many great tips and ideas here! I am saving as much as possible right now for my wedding at the end of the year, and to hopefully buy a house in the next year or so. These ideas are going to help me a lot! Paying off the smallest debt is something I hadn’t thought of, but it’s so smart. And that extra fridge tip made me think. I don’t have one, but I had thought about getting an extra freezer in my new house. It sounds like the savings from being able to buy meat and other groceries in bulk isn’t worth the expense of the freezer!

    Thank you for stopping by and joining us for Hump Day Happenings. I really enjoyed this post and I’m pinning it!

  12. We got rid of cable before we moved to our house and we barely missed it. We got it again when we moved but we keep saying we’re going to cut it again.

  13. These are such awesome tips! My husband and I are about halfway through a projected year-long process of paying down our credit card debt and looking to save money literally anywhere we can. We recently cut out cable (which has helped tremendously!) and we’ve drastically cut down on our eating out, but I would’ve never thought to actually take that money and deposit it in a savings account or something. It would be really interesting to see how much it actually saves us. Another thing we’ve started doing is eating meatless at least once/week. It helps reduce our grocery bill by quite a bit (I try to keep ours to around $100/week for three people eating.) Thanks for these great ideas…you’re such a great resource!

    • Going meatless is totally huge – you’re not the first one to tell me how much it saves!! And honestly, it’s probably healthier for us anyways, so I think I might try to push that more with my husband. You can’t beat something that saves money and is healthier 🙂

  14. Awesome tips! I use some of my income tax and spread it out in the 12 months. That extra money each month can go to bills, parties, gifts or anything else we need during that month. The rest goes into a savings account. It’s not really cutting, but it is stretching money to last the whole year instead of a couple months.

  15. LOVE the deposit instead of delivery idea! Brilliant.

    When we got our new hot water tank installed, the guy who installed it recommended turning it off anytime that we go out of town for more than 2 days. Not only do you not have to worry about leaks, but it also can save lots of money if you travel a lot!

    We don’t own a car, and instead we walk or bike everywhere. It saves TONS of money – even bus fare can be expensive. And it helps us get in our exercise, too!

    • Wow, I LOVE the hot water heater tip! We travel a lot, so I’m definitely going to have to try that. I wish we could totally give up cars, but we’re just not close enough to things. BUT in the spring and summer months I definitely try to walk as much as possible, so we save on gas then at least. Thanks so much for the tip!!

  16. I totally agree with paying the smallest loans down first. Not only because you can redirect those funds quicker, but it also really gives you a sense of accomplishment. Plus its not terrible for your credit either by decreasing your debt to income ratio. While you may end up forking out a little bit more interest for the higher interest loans/debt, for me, crossing out one loan on my list is WAY more important than the extra interest I’ll pay!

    • I totally agree! Mindset matters more than anything. The relief of having a loan gone forever is priceless 🙂

  17. I know a lot of people swear by meal planning, but we went the opposite way. I only buy meat that is marked down. I can usually get a variety of 4-6 cuts per week of beef, pork, and chicken that are getting close to their sell-by date. Then I plan my meals off of those. IT saves us a ton of money on meat. If I find extras, I stock up to keep them in the freezer. If I don’t find as many, we get creative with eggs or beans that week.

    • That is a realllly good idea. I go back and forth between doing that and meal planning, but you’re totally right! Meat gets so expensive so you really need to plan the meal around what you can find. Great idea! Thank you 🙂

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