Today I want to challenge everyone out there to save $500 over the next 5 weeks. That is only $100 a week, but if that seems daunting it isn’t. I will give you some advice and tips and tricks you can use to achieve this goal.
Now the assumption is that you are currently saving as much as you can, this is simply an exercise in saving extra by spending less.
Things you can reduce your spending on:
Call your cable company and tell them you need a lower rate, a coworker of mine just called his internet service provider yesterday and had his rate lowered from $65 to $54 and his internet speed increased from 25 mbps to 60 mbps. He is saving $11 per month and getting more than double the speed! Simply by calling all of your providers you could save significant money. (internet, cable, credit cards, cleaning, yard)
Eating out; whether breakfast lunch or dinner, make it your goal to only eat out as a treat. Remember this is only a 5 week challenge, you can go 5 weeks without eating out at lunch 5 times a week, try to limit yourself to just 2 times a week, that will save you on average $5 per lunch. That is $15 per week, or $75 over the 5 week challenge. Now for dinner, if you limit it to only 2 times per week as well, that is a savings of at least $25 per dinner, and if you were eating out 4 times per week, that’s a savings of $50 per week, or $250 for the challenge!
Drink less alcohol and soda, drink more water, this has helped me save a ton of money. Lets say that every beer at home is roughly $2 and every drink out is $10. If you cut down on drinks at home to only on Friday and Saturday night, and limit to 1 drink when you are out. That can be a savings of roughly $30-$50 a week, or $150-$250 for the challenge right there! (don’t forget the added benefit of calories saved)
Other easy ways to lower your bill is to remove any monthly services you pay for that you don’t use. If you aren’t using that gym membership, why pay for it? Obviously it would be better for you to work out and be healthy, but if that isn’t what you are doing, why waste that money. If you do use the gym, make sure you are getting what you pay for, go to the gym! If you aren’t using the gym for all of the available services (sauna, locker rooms, pool…) it may make sense for you to go to a lower cost gym that doesn’t offer those services. You could save $30 a month on that alone!
Take an inventory of all the automatic things you spend on every month, and figure out a way to lower them all. Turn the thermostat up a couple of degrees, make sure the lights are off in an empty room, these things can cost you extra money, and depending can save $20-$30 a month.
Do yourself the favor of making really smart financial decisions over the next 5 weeks. If you don’t have an emergency fund, this will help start one. If you have credit card debt, this will help put a dent in them. Saving an extra $500 in 5 weeks can be done, especially if you break it down as saving $100 a week or $14.29 per day. Make it a game, challenge your friends or spouse or coworkers and keep each other honest. This only works if you keep to the challenge, and maybe in the end you decide you don’t need a lot of the extras and you can just continue to save that money. A lot of these changes will last longer than the 5 weeks anyway, I’m not advocating calling your cable provider after the challenge and letting them increase the rate again, that would just be dumb!
So will you accept the challenge? Will you save an extra $500 over the next 5 weeks by cutting your spending?