101 ways to save $500 a month

Written by admin on May 21st, 2011

for less. Additionally, students can save themselves the headache of trying to sell their textbooks at the end of the semester by renting them from Chegg.com or CampusBookRentals.com.

#30 Get a Realistic Meal Plan – Chances are pretty slim that your child will actually use the full meal plan. Really, who eats cafeteria food on a Friday night? Instead of forking over a fortune for a full meal plan downgrade to a 7 or 14 meal plan. Your student will still have access to food more nutritious than candy and diet soda and you’ll save a few dollars.

#31 Take Advantage of Student Discounts – Students are eligible for all sorts of discounts especially on travel. Invest in a Student Advantage card that will net them 10-15% discounts off air, train and bus fair. The card will pay for itself on the first trip.

#32 Deduct Medical Expense – You may be able to deduct medical expenses for spouses and dependants if they exceed 7.5% o f your gross income. This includes tuition and related expenses for special schools the student may need to attend for developmental or learning disorders. A qualified tax consultant can give you more information about the code.

Personal Services

#33 Repair Instead of Replace – Stretch out your shoe dollars by taking worn out kicks to a shoe repair shop.  Replacing worn out soles and repairing the tips on heels is a lot cheaper than doling out hundreds of dollars on a brand new pair of shoes.

#34 Hand Wash – Most clothes that say dry clean only can be washed in the machine or hand washed. Cut the dry cleaning budget by hand washing silks and sweaters in cold water. Linens can be put in the machine. However, bold colors such as red and navy should still be sent to the cleaners.

#35 Stretch It Out – Make hair color last by using a touch up kit to color roots. You can add two weeks to the life to your dye job.

#36 Go to a Beauty School – For basic services, such as a manicure or basic cut, ditch the expensive salon and go to a beauty school. You’ll receive a deep discount off beauty services in exchange for letting students sharpen their skills. Don’t worry, students are monitored by experienced staff who make sure they do the job right.

#37 Take Pets to Grooming Schools – Likewise, pet grooming can also be relegated to a grooming school rather than going to an expensive pet parlor. Pets will receive the same four paw treatment for less.

#38 Work Out Cheaper – Exchange your expensive gym membership for one at the YMCA. You’ll get the same workout at up to half the cost. If you are particularly self motivated, search online for free workout routines you can do in your home.

#39 Switch Pharmacies – Save money on your medication by switching to lower priced generics at pharmacies such as Walmart or Target.

#40 Go Mail Order – If you need the brand name medication, then check out your medical plan’s mail order service. You can often get the same medication for less purchasing it through the mail rather than going into a pharmacy.

#41 Plug Money Leaks – Pay attention to where your money goes by logging all purchases for one to two months. You may be surprised to find you are leaking cash like a sieve by spending it on unnecessary items or things you can get for much less if you switch to the home version. For example, ditch the lattes at your local coffee bistro by purchasing an espresso machine and making your own at home.

#42 Get Waived – You can save or more simply by asking the cell phone company to waive the activation fee if you are a new customer. If they decline, let them know that the activation fee is the deal breaker and threaten to walk away. Nine times out of ten, the cell phone company will waive the fee to keep you.

#43 Unlimited Talk for Teens – To keep up with their busy social lives teens spend, pretty much, all of their time talking and texting on cell phones. Invest in an unlimited calling and text plan to avoid potentially outrageous cell phone bills.

#44 Combine Plans – If you are paying for a cell phone for an elderly parent, instead of purchasing a separate service, simply add them to your existing family plan. Most providers only charge per month for additional lines vs. per month for a basic cell phone package.

#45 Drop the Landline – With cell phones, wireless and cable internet available, there is no particular reason to have a landline telephone anymore. Even major cities have begun reducing the number of landline pay phones in their towns. Maybe you should consider cutting the line too.


#46 Wash in Cold, Air Dry – 90% of the energy washing machines use goes towards heating up the water for use in the warm and hot settings. Severely reduce this energy drain by washing clothes in cold water. Forgo the dryer and hang clothes out to dry.

#47 Install Solar Panels – Energy from the sun is free and abundant. Installing a twenty panel solar energy system produces enough power to service up to 30% of the energy needs of an average sized home. With the tax rebates offered by the government until 2016, now is the perfect time to go green.

#48 Install Solar Water Heater – If your water heater is due for a replacement, then consider installing a solar powered water heater. A 56 square foot system will save up to 0 per year in energy costs. In addition to saving you money, installing solar products on your home increases its value in today’s environmentally conscious market.

#49 Insulate Walls and Crawlspaces – It is estimated that a 1/3 of a home’s energy is wasted because of a poorly insulated home. If your house is not already designated as energy efficient, then you can benefit from having the walls and crawlspaces insulated. You’ll lower your energy bills and household noise will be reduced as well.

#50 Install a Power Saver – Conserve energy for use when it is needed most by installing a power saver that turns the heat off at night when everyone is asleep. You can set it to start warming up the home 30 minutes to an hour before it’s time to get up for the day.

#51 Get an Energy Audit – Download the checklist from EnergyStar.gov and check for energy leaks in the home. Or if your power company offers an audit service have them come out and tell you what you can do to make your home more energy efficient.

#52 Layer Up – If you are chilly, instead of turning up the thermostat, put on a sweater. You’ll save 1% on your heating bill for each degree you lower the temperature.

#53 Switch to Compact Fluorescent Bulbs – Although compact fluorescent bulbs cost more initially, in the long run they are the cheaper choice. They use 75% less energy than regular bulbs and last 10 times longer.

#54 Buy Out of Season – Buy large ticket appliances out of season. For example, you can up to 40% on the cost of a new air conditioner if you purchase one in the dead of winter rather than the middle of summer.

#55 Get Inked – Printer ink is ridiculously expensive. Cut your costs by getting cartridges refilled rather than buying new. If you can’t find anyone in your area, check online for mail order companies that perform this service.

#56 Cut Out the Lawn – Downgrade your full service lawn care and pick the extra work. For example, have your landscaper take care of the lawn while you take on the responsibility of edging and trimming the bushes. Better yet, do away with this luxury altogether and become your own landscaper.

#57 Refinance – Although the housing bust was tragic, there is one positive thing to come out of the whole mess. Interest rates are at an all time low. If your interest rate is at least 1% or more above the current rate consider refinancing. On a 0,000 home, you could lower your monthly mortgage payments by 0.

#58 Make a Smart Move – If your nest is empty or you otherwise don’t need as much room as you used to, consider moving to a smaller home. You’ll save on the rent and energy costs tend to be lower on smaller homes.

#59 Do It Yourself – Many household repairs can be done by anyone with enough time and patience. The internet is a wonderful resource for learning how to minor repairs like caulking a tub or fixing a leaky faucet.

#60 Rent Tools – While it is nice to have an assortment of tools on hand whenever you need them, it really is a waste of money to purchase specialty tools you’ll only use maybe once every few years. Save money by renting tools from places like the Home Depot.

#61 Borrow Tools – Better yet, there are places where you can borrow tools for free. No, not your neighbor’s garage. Tool lending libraries are available in most major cities. Search Wikipedia for “tool lending library” to get a complete list of cities that offer this service.


#62 Get the Promo – Look into the promotions your cable company is offering new customers. If it is a better deal than what you are currently getting, ask the cable company to switch you. If they decline, threatening to move to a competitor will usually have them seeing things your way.

#63 Cut the Cord – Better yet, cut the cable if you don’t watch

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