We get it. Going to a restaurant or hitting up the drive-thru is so much easier than making meals at home. But while you’re enjoying the freedom of not having to cook for those picky eaters, you’re spending way more eating out than you would by eating in. Instead, invite friends over for taco night instead of meeting up at a restaurant. And hey-if you want to splurge for guac, we won’t judge.
5. Meal plan.
Okay, practically speaking, if you take restaurants off the table, how can you do this “meals at home” thing without stressing out? Start meal planning! You’ll cut back on the amount of money you spend on food each month. That means more of your hard-earned income can go toward paying off your debt.
6. Break up with your barista.
If you don’t know where all your money’s going each month, we’re pretty sure your favorite coffee shop can find it for you. Brewing your own coffee at home is a simple way to save money fast.
7. Visit the library.
Remember libraries? They have plenty of books and movies you can check out-for free! Your wallet has never loved movie night more than it does now.
8. Plan your grocery trips.
Make a list and stick to it! Use the calculator app on your phone while you browse the aisles to make sure you’re sticking to your budget. Do impulse items always end up in your cart? Try ordering your groceries online and then picking them up curbside at the store. Oh, and don’t ever shop on an empty stomach!
9. Avoid expensive hobbies.
Do you really have $200 a month to spend on golf? Are you serious? But it’s not just the golfers out there who need to rethink their club dues. Do you spend a ton at craft stores but never get around to starting your project? Home improvement stores can also cost you several Benjamins in one visit.
10. Ditch the gym membership.
You can still go for a run outside-for free. Gather some friends and start a running club. Or do those fancy HIIT workouts at your local park. You can get fit and healthy without spending a ton of money. Then move everything you save to your debt-free goal.
11. Find free entertainment.
Put a spending freeze on your entertainment costs for a little while. This means no going out to the movies, concerts, mini golf or whatever you do for fun that costs money. Instead, challenge yourself to find free ways to stay entertained. Take the kids to the park, go for a hike, enjoy a free concert, or look for a free event in your community.
12. Make a budget!
You can’t make any money goal a reality without a budget! That’s why it’s important to do a budget every single month (before the month begins). The premium version of EveryDollar will help you budget like a pro in no time. Not only does it connect to your bank account, but you’ll be able to track your spending and even tackle your debt in real time.
13. Start a side gig.
Starting your own business has never been easier! Do you have a knack for making things? Sell your products online. Are you an animal lover? Take up dog walking or pet sitting. Whatever it is, Christy Wright’s Business Boutique is a great resource to show you how you can turn your favorite hobby into a serious money-making machine!
14. Get a part-time job.
Not into starting your own business? Then consider a different side hustle. Become a driver for Lyft or Uber. Or deliver pizzas at night to bring in extra money. You can even deliver other types of food in your spare time by working for places like Uber Eats or Grubhub. It’s a small sacrifice for extra cash in your pocket.