15 Ways to Save Money Each Month Without Depriving Yourself

Worry that you can’t save money every month without cutting out the good things? It’s possible to stash away more cash monthly and still experience the activities and events you enjoy. With our 15 tips, you’ll be able to put more in savings while also avoiding FOMO.

Many experts recommend having at least $1,000 set aside for emergencies. Yet 69% of Americans don’t have $1,000 saved, and 45% don’t even have a single penny in savings!1 Luckily, it’s never too late to start — and you don’t have to decimate your “fun budget” to fill your savings.

Instead of trying to cram a new savings plan into your existing routine, cut down on regular monthly expenses. This way, you’ll be able to add a set amount of money to your savings account or money market every month without feeling the pinch. To help you get started, we’ve compiled 15 simple ways to save money monthly:

1. Refinance your car or truck.

Maybe your credit has improved, or rates have gone down since you bought your ride. If you have an existing car loan, contact your creditor or financial institution to see if they can refinance at a lower rate. You’ll potentially save money each month on your payments.

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Tip: With a Desert Financial auto refi, you could also get up to $500 cash back!2

2. Refinance your mortgage.

With rates still near historic lows, it’s a good time to ask your credit union about refinancing your existing mortgage. While there are no guarantees, if you’re able to snag desirable terms and/or a lower interest rate, you could potentially save hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands over the life of your loan!

3. Cut your subscriptions.

We get it, you need your digital subscriptions to stay sane. But do you really need Netflix and Hulu and Disney + and HBO Max and Spotify and Vudu and … well, you get the picture. Whittle down the subscription avalanche to a manageable bump and you’ll save cash every month.

4. Ditch cable or satellite TV.

Still springing for a cable plan with all the bells and whistles? Have a satellite (TV) hanging over your head? There’s no need for expensive cable when you have one of the subscription services that includes broadcast and cable shows (see #3, but don’t go overboard).

5. Automate your savings.

If you leave saving money for last, you’re liable to spend your whole paycheck before you save a dime. Instead, set up your direct deposit so a portion of your paycheck goes straight into savings. That way, you won’t “accidentally” use your savings money for new cookware, a robot vacuum or a MasterClass with Gordon Ramsay.

6. Trim your phone plan or look for discounts.

In today’s world, you need a phone to connect. But do you really need the latest iPhone with unlimited everything? See if you can pare your phone services down by scrapping the unlimited calling, bundling family plans together or checking into credit union phone discounts. Even if you only save $10-15 a month, that’s still up to $150 bucks a year you can add to your savings account.

7. Maximize your credit card rewards.

If your credit card offers rewards, like our Visa® Real Rewards Card, Premier Rewards American Express® Card or Cash Rewards American Express® Card, use your card to pay monthly bills so you can earn points, then pay off the balances. Trade your earned points in for extra cash or use them to purchase gift cards so you can cut down on your monthly grocery expenses.

8. Dine at home.

The average American household spent over $3,500 dining at restaurants and fast food places in 2019, an increase of over $1,000 from 2010.3 We’re not saying you should make every meal at home. But if the average family cut their restaurant dining in half, they could potentially save $1,750 a year. That’s a lot of dough! Get more thrifty secrets.

9. Download a coupon app.

Clipping coupons is so 1990s, but the idea of saving money on everyday purchases is evergreen. Save cash by downloading apps with in-app coupons from your local grocery retailer. You’ll typically get the same deals as you would with a print flyer or newspaper coupon — with zero risk of paper cuts!

10. Change your insurance.

Insurance is something you don’t really use until you need it. Because it’s not top-of-mind, you might be paying more than you should for auto, life, renter’s, home or other insurance coverage. Did you know that Desert Financial will shop around for new insurance at the right price, so you don’t have to? Simply request an insurance quote online and we’ll shop top carriers for coverage options that fit your budget.

11. Turn off one-click ordering.

We know it’s a convenient time-saver, but it’s also a serious threat to your wallet. When retailers like Amazon offer you the opportunity to add a credit or debit card to your account and turn on one-click ordering, it’s all too easy to start spending. Automatic pet feeder? Click. A new wallet? Click. Three tops, 600-thread count sheets, an instant camera, two PlayStation games and five toys for your kid? Yeah … also one click. That’s why turning off one-click is a smart move if you’re prone to overspending.

12. Carpool or take mass transit.

Arizonans spend about $2,764 on gas annually just for their work commute, according to data compiled by Business Insider.4 If you’re not telecommuting (or living close to work), you could be spending extra dollars you don’t need to. Check with your HR department to ask about carpool and rideshare resources — some workplaces even offer rebates or bonuses for carpooling!

13. Change your thermostat setting.

According to APS, raising your thermostat just one degree in the summer can cut cooling costs by 2-3%.5 While that doesn’t sound like much, it all adds up. Especially if you’re willing to go a few degrees warmer for several months at a time. Get more tips on lowering your summer A/C bill.

14. Scrap your morning routine.

We’re pretty sure [insert any self-made millionaire’s name here] didn’t get rich eating $10 avocado toast and drinking $6 lattes every morning. Sorry, but if you want to stash some green, the daily Starbucks run must go. If you really need an early a.m. pick-me-up, keep your fridge and cupboard stocked with the items you need to get your caffeine fix and your hunger sated before work.

15. Do your own HOMEwork.

In-home services like cleaning, maintenance and lawn care are convenient time-savers, but they come at a price. And that price tag can equal hundreds of dollars spent every month. If you’re keen on saving more, take the time to do the cleaning and routine maintenance yourself. Think of it as a natural workout that pays you back.

Saving money doesn’t have to be a chore. By following one or more of the steps above, you’ll be able to save money each month without even missing it. No need to cut out hobbies you enjoy or places you like to visit. By trimming down the essentials, you can have the best of both worlds — a steadily growing savings account and a rich, full life!

Want expert tips on budgeting and more?

Attend one of our free Financial Wellness webinars.


2The cash back is paid based on 1% of the total loan amount ($10,000 minimum), not including any additional loan dollars toward ancillary products (Guaranteed Asset Protection [GAP], Mechanical Breakdown Protection [MBP]). The cash back will be deposited into your Desert Financial savings account within one business day of the loan funding. Maximum cash back amount is $500. Cash back amounts are subject to all applicable taxes and are the responsibility of the member. Offer available for the refinancing of non-Desert Financial auto loans only and is valid for a limited time only.

The material presented here is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to be used as financial, investment, or legal advice.