Saving

8 Moves That Can Net You an Extra $550 Per Month

Parker O'Very

Who couldn’t use an extra $550 each month? Good news: Making these small (and pretty painless) adjustments to your spending habits can help you get there—and without having to eliminate anything you love.

Related: 101 Ways to Save More Money Now

1. Eat in one more night per week

On average, we dine out 4.5 times every week, spending around $250 per month—meaning each meal costs about $14. Cut just one restaurant meal per week, opting instead for leftovers or something else already in your pantry.

Money saved: $56

2. Reduce your food waste.

Speaking of raiding your pantry, the average American household on uneaten food every year. Eat leftovers, properly store foods for longer shelf lives and look for recipes using scraps and certain ingredients past their prime, like banana bread, vegetable stock and soup.

Money saved: $133

3. Use free apps and coupons.

Obvious, yes, but rounding up a few coupons before hitting the store or online site easily saves $30 per week, according to one survey. And use free apps and browser extensions, like Honey, Coupon Sherpa and Grocery iQ, for totally effortless savings.

Money saved: $120

4. Drop your gym membership.

According to Statistic Brain, 67 percent of gym members never show up. If that’s you, stop paying and bank the cash instead. To get your fitness fix, Google free workouts or look for free outdoor classes in your area. (If you are a regular gym user, consider cutting other recurring memberships you may not be using.)

Money saved: $58

5. Negotiate your Internet bill.

Research competitor prices, then negotiate with your service provider for a potential monthly savings of about $50. Many states also offer subsidies for low-income residents, which could cut costs even more.

Money saved: $50

6. Cut the cord and tune into Netflix.

Paying at least $100 per month for dozens of channels you rarely watch is becoming harder to justify. Drop your cable package in favor of an $8 basic Netflix subscription and save big.

Money saved: $92

7. Optimize your energy consumption.

Small changes can go a long way toward a lower utility bill. Putting bricks or pebble-filled water bottles in toilet tanks saves about $3. Simply unplugging “energy vampires,” like your computer, can spare another $6.25. Each degree you tap down your thermostat in colder months can shave 3 percent off an $183 average electric bill—meaning bumping yours down 3 degrees could net an extra $16 per month.

Money saved: $25

8. Sign up for a cash-back credit card.

According to CreditCards.com, average credit card use among people who pay the bill in full each month is $1,154. Swiping a card (with no annual fee) that offers an average 1.5 percent back on all purchase won’t net you major savings—but what’s the downside? Plus, some cards offer up to 5 percent back on special bonus categories, like groceries, gas and restaurants.

Money saved: $17

Related: How I’ve Racked Up $1,550 From Cash-Back Cards in Less Than Three Years

acorns+cnbcacorns cnbc

Join Acorns

GET STARTED

About Us

Learn More

Follow Us

All investments involve risk, including loss of principal. The contents presented herein are provided for general investment education and informational purposes only and do not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any specific securities or engage in any particular investment strategy. Acorns is not engaged in rendering any tax, legal, or accounting advice. Please consult with a qualified professional for this type of advice.

Any references to past performance, regarding financial markets or otherwise, do not indicate or guarantee future results. Forward-looking statements, including without limitations investment outcomes and projections, are hypothetical and educational in nature. The results of any hypothetical projections can and may differ from actual investment results had the strategies been deployed in actual securities accounts. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.

Advisory services offered by Acorns Advisers, LLC (“Acorns Advisers”), an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Brokerage and custody services are provided to clients of Acorns Advisers by Acorns Securities, LLC (“Acorns Securities”), a broker-dealer registered with the SEC and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (“SIPC”). Acorns Pay, LLC (“Acorns Pay”) manages Acorns’s demand deposit and other banking products in partnership with Lincoln Savings Bank, a bank chartered under the laws of Iowa and member FDIC. Acorns Advisers, Acorns Securities, and Acorns Pay are subsidiaries of Acorns Grow Incorporated (collectively “Acorns”). “Acorns,” the Acorns logo and “Invest the Change” are registered trademarks of Acorns Grow Incorporated. Copyright © 2019 Acorns and/or its affiliates.

NBC Universal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns Grow Incorporated.