5 Ways to Save $25 Each Month

By David Bakke

NEW YORK ( Money Crashers) -- In the grand scheme of things, saving $25 per month is not that big a deal. If you have a hefty mortgage payment or rent due each month, it may seem like almost nothing. Of course, you have to understand that this can add up to a sizable sum: If you can find five ways to save $25 each month, you'll have an extra $1,500 in your bank account at the end of the year. Truly, when it comes to your finances, every little bit helps. Here are five ways you can trim $25 -- or more -- every month.

1. Reduce your grocery expenses
Clipping coupons, although an old-fashioned method, is still viable. Buy multiple copies of the Sunday paper to cut out as many coupons as possible, organize them by expiration date and get to work cutting this major monthly expense. Furthermore, if your grocer offers a customer loyalty program, enroll to get even more coupons targeted toward your most common purchases.

2. Get a home energy audit
If your energy provider supplies free home energy audits, you could learn many ways to cut home energy expenses from it. Implementing the suggested methods can help you save at least $25 each month.

3. Bundle monthly services
Bundling services has become quite common, but you need to do your homework before doing so. While it may appear as though a service bundle can save you money, if it includes a service you really don't need (such as home telephone) you could ultimately waste money. Do the research, find the bundle that is in your best interest and negotiate with the provider to get the best possible rate.

4. Reduce water usage
Even if you take great care to reduce your expenses, you may find that you ignore your water bill. Take shorter showers, install low-flow shower devices and run only full loads of dishes and laundry. All of these practices can save you a great deal of money.

5. Cut back or eliminate personal purchases
Forget about making purchases from the convenience store -- the items there are usually overpriced. Skip the snacks and soft drinks, use the Internet to get your news, stop buying lottery tickets and forgo other minor purchases that add up over a month's time.

Final thoughts
To truly maximize your savings, you must direct the conserved money to the areas of your finances that need the most attention. If you've found a way to save $100 per month but are in significant credit card debt, use this cash to pay down your debt. And if you don't have an emergency fund set aside, start one now. Saving money is always great -- just be sure to use the money you save wisely.

What are you doing to cut your monthly bills?

David Bakke is a contributor for Money Crashers, an online resource dedicated to personal finance education including topics such as frugality, money management, investing and retirement.

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