If you’re looking for ways to save $200 a month to get started on your saving journey, then this article is for you. And here’s a pro tip: you can even use these same tips to ramp up your saving even more. I mean, why end at saving that much per month when you can use these tips to see how to save $200 a week?
Let’s be honest: you’ve probably read a few “how to save money” lists in your time, and have come across many of the same things in every list you read – and for good reason, because some things just plain old work!
I’ve included a few of those items here because they’re definitely worth repeating.
At the same time, there are also a bunch of items here that you’ve almost certainly never seen before.
All of these ways to save $200 a month (or more) will actually help you save $200! I’ve personally done most of these and they really work!
1. Start a side hustle or side hobby
A side hustle/side hobby is something you do on the side to make extra income, typically in the evenings/weekends when you’re not working. It could be starting a blog, walking dogs, babysitting, etc.
This “tip” is really more of a way to make money rather than save money. However, when you look at the big picture of what actually happens when you start a side hustle, it can definitely help you save a lot of money too.
Why? Because a lot of people typically spend money in the evenings/weekends eating out, going out with friends, any anything else that costs money.
When you take that time to “work” on something, like writing a blog post for your website, you’re saving money you would otherwise be spending. Which makes this one of the most productive ways to save $200 a month!
I definitely recommend doing something productive on the side that makes you money (which also prevents you from spending money). Take a look at my post on 50 of these types of ideas for ways you can do this.
2. Create a budget at the beginning of the month
I think everyone knows budgeting money is super important – but often people don’t do it because they don’t know how!
So I’ll show you how to keep it real simple.
All you have to do is sit down and write out all the items you absolutely must pay for each month, no matter what.
This includes things like rent or mortgage repayments, the average cost of your utilities bills, transport costs, debt repayments like credit cards, how much you want to spend each month on food etc.
These are your “hard costs” that you’ll need to pay.
Now take your monthly income and subtract the costs above. The leftover money is what you have to spend on everything else.
Then, before actually spending any of it, subtract $200 from your leftover money and put it somewhere you can’t touch.
The rest of the money, you can spend however you like!
Budgeting may seem like one of the most obvious ways to save $200 a month, but it’s amazing how many people don’t do it, usually because it’s “too hard”.
But really, budgeting isn’t as complicated as you may think! Even just following the above method is very simple – give it a try to see for yourself.
3. Start a health detox
You’ve probably never seen this on any personal finance list of ways to save money, but here it is!
So how in the world can you save money and improve your health at the same time?
Well, here’s the thing: A lot of people equate getting healthy with eating a lot of expensive organic foods and buying supplements.
That can definitely be true, however it’s only half the “health” equation.
The other side of getting healthy (or detoxing) is about eliminating all the “bad” things you put your body through. For example, drinking alcohol, smoking, staying out late partying, and eating not-so-great foods like pizza and McDonald’s.
All of the above costs money, and is taxing on your health too. So why not take one month to eliminate all your bad health habits.
You may find you save well over $200 depending on how poor your habits are. Your new habits will carry you forward for the rest of your life if you’re diligent with your changes!
Making this one of the ways to save $200 a month that will help a bunch of other areas in your life too, not only your finances!
4. Start an emergency fund this month
Whether you already have an emergency fund or not, here’s what you can do!
Put $200 in it with your next pay check (or do it now if you have money in your savings account!)
Your emergency fund is a sacred account that you’re not allowed to touch unless you absolutely need to. By putting money into this account, you’ll have set aside money you may be impulsed to use otherwise.
I know this sounds like one of the simples ways to save $200 a month that you may be inclined to gloss over, but not so fast.
In fact, it’s actually incredibly powerful when you put something aside with the intention to not use it until you need it.
It’s a psychological (and physical) way to save that really works!
5. Bundle all your insurance products with one company
I was shocked at how much money you can save when you bundle all your insurance products under one roof. This also works for any type of products that a big company can offer (for example, utility companies offer an array of services that can be bundled).
I do find insurance is where you can save the most money with bundles. What you’ll want to do is call a few insurance companies and get quotes.
Once you get some prices after a few phone calls, compare them with each other and decide which combination of price and service you like the most.
If you have many services with many companies, bundling is one of the easiest ways to save $200 a month.
Not only that, what you’re also doing is shopping for new services too to see if you can get lower rates instead of doing what so many people do and just continue paying based on your current terms.
I did this recently with my vehicle insurance and saved $400 with just a few phone calls!
6. Cut as many subscriptions as you can
Well, here’s one of the ways to save $200 a month that you’ve heard time and time again, but it goes a really long way to saving you money every month.
In my case, I used to subscribe to a $50 gym membership, $10 magazine subscription, several online movie/TV streaming services, and other random things.
Did I use all these things to their fullest? No. Of course not. Does anyone? Perhaps a thing or two…. right.
Today, I’ve only got a $10 budget gym membership and Netflix (for which, if I’m being honest, a family member has taken over payment responsibility). This really really helps my bottom line every month.
So take a look at all your monthly recurring fees. Then find the items you can totally live without – and live without them!
You should also find the ones you can sorta live without…and live without them too.
You’ll only be keeping the subscriptions that give you tremendous value or truly fill a need you have.
Also, think about switching to lower cost subscriptions/alternatives if it’s a “must have”.
For example, I did this with my gym membership. The “new” gym is smaller and has a budget feel, but I’m saving $40 a month and that’s a win overall.
7. Try a 30-day “home cook meal” challenge
I like to do 30 day challenges of a bunch of different things and one of the best ones I ever did was a 30-day cook everything at home challenge.
This challenge is exactly like it sounds. You cook at home for one month straight and you’re not allowed to eat out. You’ll also need to pack a lunch every day too!
When I did this challenge, I got a lot better at cooking and especially meal planning. I also became a more conscious shopper and really made sure I started checking for deals.
Before trying this, I used to eat out for lunch daily while at work and would go out for dinners a few times a week. This alone was costing me roughly $150-$200 a week. Not cool.
If you’re someone who also eats out a lot, even if it’s just lunches at work, you’ll quickly see that this is one of the ways to save $200 a month that can actually save you a ton more than that.
8. Try a 30-day “cash only” challenge
Another fun challenge is a cash only challenge, where you won’t use any debit or credit cards for an entire month. All your spending will be physical bills only.
This challenge is incredibly powerful because you’ll physically be pulling money out of your bank account, exchanging it when you buy things, and digging into your wallet when you need cash.
The psychology behind this great for helping you to save. After all, when you physically pull money out of your wallet to spend it, your mindset is so different from when you just use a piece of plastic.
And then when you actually hand your hard earned money over, or even just think about doing so, you’ll likely begin to get real conscious about spending that money.
You may even find that you put back more shopping items you pick up! For me, personally, I definitely think more carefully about how much I actually need the item.
Bonus challenge: If you get any $1 or $5 bills while doing the cash only challenge, or even any loose change in your wallet, put all of it into a glass jar when you get home.
Just doing this alone is seriously one of the most effective ways to save $200 a month (or close to it!). And the best part is that your savings here will be on top of making better purchasing choices for the month.
It’s a huge win overall!
9. Try a 30-day “no spend month” challenge
In my opinion, this challenge will save you the most money out of any challenge on the list.
A “no spend” month is truly the money challenge of all challenges, as it involves you spending a total of zero dollars on anything unessential.
This means that you’ll only spend money on essential items to survive, such as food, clothing, and shelter. Anything else is “extra”.
You’ll also want to keep your spending on the frugal side when covering your basic needs.
Remember, the goal is to save money. And if you’re looking for ways to save $200 a month, what better way to do so than to (almost) stop spending altogether!
This is a challenge that you obviously can’t do long term as you may need, say, clothes at one point.
But it’s great for one month or perhaps even a few times a year.
Yes, it may seem very restrictive (because it is!) however just remember that it’s a short term challenge to save money. You can go back to your usual ways after the challenge is over – with better spending habits hopefully!
And if you’re not sure how to spend your time if you’re not spending money, check out this article on 50 free things to do this weekend as a starting point!
10. Try a 30-day “drink water only” challenge
When I had unhealthier habits, I used to spend over $200 on drinks alone.
Soda, alcohol, energy drinks – it wasn’t the smartest way to live…
So I decided to try doing a 30-day water only challenge and it seriously changed my life as I ended up breaking my bad drinking habits permanently.
Meaning that not only was my body refreshed, but my budget was pretty refreshed too – making it one of the healthiest ways to save $200 a month on this list!
11. Set up an automatic savings transfer
I used to work for a company that gave us the option to automatically withdraw money from our pay checks to purchase company stocks. And you can bet that I participated in this.
Every pay check, they would take 10% of it to purchase stocks. By the time I finished, I had easily accumulated a few thousand dollars in stocks.
And here’s the thing…. I didn’t even notice the difference of 10% less money in my bank account every pay period. It really made no difference.
But saving a few thousand dollars in stocks was a massive difference to my overall financial situation!
You can do something similar with your own savings account as one of the easiest, most hands-off ways to save $200 a month.
All you have to do is set up an automatic savings transfer where $200 gets deposited into a savings account every time you get paid.
After a while, you won’t even notice the fact that your account is down by $200 each pay period and so saving this amount will make little to no difference to how you’ll experience daily life.
At the same time, you’ll be growing a substantial savings account every pay period without you needing to do a thing!
Best of all, the money you’re saving is “out of sight”, so you’re unlikely to touch it!
Most banks/financial institutions offer this service, so contact yours to find out the best way to do it.
I can’t reiterate enough how simple this tip is to save you money – especially for people who struggle to consciously save each month!
Summary of ways to save $200 a month
As you can see, it’s really very simple to find a few ways to save $200 a month that can work for you.
And the best part about these tips is that they’re great for setting up strong savings habits that you can then use to save even more!
After all, saving $200 a month is a good starting point. But when you can also use these ideas to save double this amount – or even more – you’re really making sure that you’re putting yourself on the path to financial security.
About the author
If you’re looking for good reads about personal finance, check out Jason’s blog at Mint Habits where he shares useful money tips for every day people.