1. Cut your cable bill
Estimated Monthly Savings: $75-$100
With so many subscription based TV options, this is an easy win. Most of us already have Netflix and a number of companies offer live TV such as Hulu. I recently cut my cable bill and don’t miss it. I end up watching less TV and spend more time working on projects, hanging out with family and friends or reading books.
2. Make coffee at home
Estimated Monthly Savings: $60-$80
I know, going right at the heart of the very thing that makes life manageable. Especially for working parents! Don’t get me wrong, I really do love coffee and “must” have it in the morning to get my day going. So, here is what I do – I make coffee at home 5 days a week and buy coffee 2 days a week from Starbucks or my local coffee shop, Bird Rock Coffee. Maybe you decide to make it a home during the workweek and then treat yourself on the weekends. Personally, I like treating myself on Fridays to kick off the weekend!
3. Work lunches
Estimated Monthly Savings: $100-$150
This has been the toughest area for me. When you are a working parent, free time is precious, and making lunches daily seems impossible. The alternative is spending $5-$10 per day at your work cafeteria or getting fast food and it really adds up.
Meal planning is a must. Try cooking meals on Sundays and packing up lunches for the week. Start with 1-2 lunches per week and build up!
4. Skip on soda or alcohol
Estimated Monthly Savings: $20-$50
Obviously, eating at home saves a ton of money, but you can’t expect to eat every meal at home. When you do eat out, order your favorite entree and skip the soda, tea, or alcohol. If you are celebrating a special occasion or getting drinks with your friends this isn’t an option. However, when it makes sense, skip on the drinks. You may find you enjoy your entree more anyway and the bill will be much lower than you think!
5. Car washes
Estimated Monthly Savings: $30-$40
Living in Southern California, it’s typical to see new cars everywhere and most people like to keep them looking shiny and clean. I get that, but rather than getting a car wash every week, consider reducing to 1-2 times per month or washing your car at home. I’ve found that once a month is fine.