3 Easy Ways to Save Money Each Month

If you are like most people, it can be a constant struggle to stay within your budget. When you look at larger economic trends it's easy to see why. Real wages, or wages adjusted for inflation, have barely increased over the last several decades. Instead of being able to create a higher standard of living for ourselves and our families, we find ourselves treading water financially. We are working harder than ever and getting nowhere, it seems.

3 Easy Ways to Save Money Each Month
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Expenses, on the other hand, have often been rising much faster than the inflation index. College tuition, prescription drugs, home prices, tickets for theme parks, and cable television costs continue to soar year after year. Clearly, it's getting harder to make it in this world. Need a little helping hand? The following are three easy ways to save money each month.

Saving Money on Your Monthly Loan Payments

With college tuition soaring in the last 20 years, most college graduates find themselves struggling with overwhelming debt from their student loans. As college costs accelerated at an alarming rate, enrollees were faced with a difficult choice, to finance their education or give up on their dreams. 

Luckily, there are ways to reduce your monthly student loan payments. With interest rates hovering at historic lows, it's possible to work with a private lender to refinance your loan. You'll get attractive rates and be able to consolidate all your existing loans into a single loan with one easy payment. You can also work with your private lender to remove a cosigner when you refinance your student loans.

Learn to Make Meals from Scratch

One of the biggest areas where you can save money every month is on food expenses and restaurant meals. While it is tempting to reward ourselves with a $5 coffee, if you buy one of those each weekday, you'll spend $1,250 over the course of the year. If you buy lunch at work every day and have 2 restaurant dinners a week, you could easily see annual expenditures of another $4,000 per year.

Fortunately, there is a way to enjoy amazing food for only a fraction of the price. Start by taking some online cooking classes. You'll learn the basics of food preparation and can focus on specific ethnic cuisines, if you like. If you find a recipe that intrigues you, get the raw ingredients and prepare the meal at home. When you cook from scratch, you will be able to enjoy delicious food for just a fraction of the usual cost.

Be a Smart Grocery Shopper

You can also save a lot of money each month if you change your approach to grocery shopping. Typically, we run into one store to pick up prepackaged or prepared items that are not on sale. When we do this, we pay more than we should have. In addition, when you buy a prepared item instead of the raw product you get a lot less food value for your money.

If you are serious about saving money on groceries each month, start by shopping the sales. You can quickly peruse the online ads for several local stores. When there is a big discount or BOGO (buy one get one) offer for an item you use, purchase in quantity. You can also shop outlet or discount grocery stores for great bargains. 

For instance, one store offered a gourmet soup base for $3.99 while the outlet location had the exact same product for only $.99. By being a savvy shopper, you can save lots of money month after month.

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