I’m here to tell you a secret: Even if you make under $30,000 a year, you can still have money for your company’s health insurance plan and for a plan that can save you on taxes. (Like a Health Savings Account or a Flexible Spending Account).
Don’t believe us that you have $100 lying around for healthcare? We dare you to do three of the items on this list and see if it doesn’t turn up $100.
Once you save $100, you can use it for… fill in the blank. Your healthcare (while saving on taxes at the same time), your bills, your student loans.
Start with an honest assessment
In this list of twelve plus ideas, we provide something for everyone. Regardless of your age or your income, we guarantee there is an option for you on this list. The first step is to do an honest assessment and ask if you can cut back in some areas.
Ready to find an extra $100 this month?
Have one less coffee a week
According to a report from Motley Fool, most Americans spend $1,1000 a year on coffee. That’s about $92 a month. Assuming one coffee a day is between $3 and $5, (so $35 a week on the higher side, if you have only one coffee a day), you could save $20 this month by having one less coffee.
Which coffee to cut out we leave up to you. Or maybe, you don’t have to cut it out at all. Maybe, you could go for the small or medium instead of the venti?
Avoid a high shopping price tag
I won’t deny, there are multiple valid reasons to buy clothes. From expressing your personality and style to dressing well for work, to wanting to treat yourself to an outfit just because.
You can still have all of those, but avoid the high price tag.
Go to a thrift store or place with lower costs (like TJ Maxx or Marshalls) instead of making a full price purchase online or at a retail store.
Only eat out once a month
Save eating out for special occasions like birthdays, celebrations, and anniversaries. And when you do eat, try to stick to a budget. One way to do this is to skip the extras, like a side or a refill on your drink.
Brown bag your lunch
If you decide to only go out once a month, you will suddenly have many opportunities to pack your lunch for work. (Because if you’re bringing your lunch with you to the office, you won’t need to go out for lunch).
Finding you’re still hungry and your lunch box is empty? That’s okay. Just remember to stay on budget and keep your meal price to a minimum.
Keep healthy snacks at your desk
Another trick you can use is to buy healthy snacks (nuts, dried fruit and trail mix are a good choice, assuming you’re not allergic) and keep them at your desk to tide you over until your next meal.
Download a free budgeting app
Here is a list of the 8 Best Budgeting Apps of 2019. Note which ones are free and which ones aren’t. Pick one a free one to set up.
You will have to go through some leg work to create a login and link your bank account(s) and credit cards. But this will hopefully provide transparency on your spending and where you can cut down.
Buy generic brands
Most companies have a generic brand you can purchase that has a lower sticker price. But if you want to save even more, use tools like GoodRx.
Use GoodRx for your prescriptions
GoodRx is a price comparison tool that allows you to find lower cost options and savings on prescriptions, even if they’re not covered by your insurance.
Use EAP or telemedicine
Whether you need mental health counseling or a diagnosis on if you have the flu, there are often reduced cost options.
Your employer may offer an Employee Assistance Program, or EAP. Often, employees receive this service for free and are given a yearly allotment of calls to use.
In addition, you can literally call into the doctor if you’re feeling unwell. Use your phone for a telemedicine appointment.
Cut ties with cable if you still have it
If you still have cable and you really, truly use it, you can skip this tip. But if you don’t use it as much as you used to (or use it at all), it might be time to consider switching to a subscription service.
Lower your grocery bill
There are several ways to accomplish this one:
- cut down on the number of groceries you buy
- only buy a few organic items instead of every item being organic
- only use Instacart every other month
- don’t use a food service subscription like HelloFresh or BluApron (If you want to do that, save it for a special occasion instead of having it be your regular meal prep option)
Sign up for your grocery store’s rewards program
Your grocery store might offer a free member rewards program that earns you points or gives you discounts. When you buy the store brand, you may be eligible for additional deals or discounts.
Speaking of discounts…
Ask about discounts
There are often discounts at retail stores or other stores for students, teachers, seniors, in-store promotions or even AAA.
Sometimes, it is not obvious that these built-in discounts are available. It never hurts to ask the cashier if one of these discounts is offered.
Use your library card
While many people have a subscription service or can rent the movie they want for $3 online, you can spend $0 on the rental when you go to the library.
In addition to not spending money on the loan, you also get to keep it for longer and have more time to watch it.
All you need is a library card (which is also free).
Like we said, if you combine three of these tips, we are pretty confident you’ll end up being able to save $100 this month.
Tell us your story in the comments!