Easy Hacks to Squeeze a Few Extra Dollars From Your Budget


It seems like there’s always something new that I’m adding to my “To Do” list. There are things I want to experience or places I want to travel to, but there’s also home improvement projects, paying down student loans, or saving up for a new car. Unfortunately for me, all of those things cost money. Some of them cost a lot of money. So what do you do when you’re dying to upgrade your kitchen, but you can’t afford those new countertops? You start saving money! Saving money isn’t always easy, especially if you’re already spending most of your budget each month. But I promise, it’s possible to squeeze your budget a little more to get a few extra dollars. Of course, none of these hacks will solve a financial problem entirely. But these simple tricks might help you save another few bucks each month–without eating ramen for every meal.

Cut the Cord

I bet you could probably make it without cable. With so many different streaming services available these days, you don’t even need cable at all. There are big names in streaming, like Netflix and Amazon Prime, but many TV channels also have their own apps available. There’s also Sling and Hulu Live if you can’t exist without live programming.

Shop Generic

Trust me when I tell you that the only thing better about name-brand products is the marketing. Opt for generic products when purchasing things like prescriptions, cleaning supplies, and paper products. I promise that the store-brand bleach is just as effective as its name-brand counterpart.

Cancel Memberships and Subscriptions

If you don’t use something regularly, or could stand to live without it for a while, you don’t need to keep paying for it. Consider splitting family plans or membership sharing with family or friends.

Become More Eco-Friendly

Making a few eco-friendly tweaks to your everyday life could wind up saving you some money. You don’t need to change around your entire life, but simple things like taking shorter showers, fixing leaky pipes, or installing LED lightbulbs can all reduce your monthly bills.

Quit Smoking

Look, you should quit smoking for the health benefits alone. But if you’re trying to save money, quitting smoking can be a great way to keep your wallet a little fuller. Prices vary by state, but if you live somewhere like New York, you might be paying more than $10 a pack. If you smoke a pack a day, quitting could mean annual savings of close to $4,000 a year. Even in states like North Carolina, where a pack might cost around $5, you’re still looking at keeping around $2,000 over the course of a year.

Eat Out Less

I know that the Indian restaurant down the street has the best chicken tikka masala you’ve ever had, but you could save a few extra bucks this month by eating at home. Depending on the restaurant, two dinner meals out could cost as much as a week’s worth of groceries. So, skip the restaurants, even if it’s just for a little while. Making your own food will require more time and planning, but it’ll be worth it when you watch the savings roll in.