Cents and Sensibility

Save $300 in 30 Days

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Spending too much money? Try the 30-day money challenge and start saving instantly! Starting April 1, focus on these tips. By the end of the month, you should save at least $300!

Cash is King: First thing’s first. Take out cash that will cover your monthly bills, transportation, food, and recreation. That’s it. Read this blog to determine how much you should spend per category. Then, put those credit/debit cards away. For an entire month, we will live like they did back in the day and use cash only. Don’t forget to put your loose change in a jar every night. At the end of the month, you will be surprised how much you will save.

Bills, Bills, Bills: Reduce your bills by calling for better rates on your auto and home insurance, cable, house, and cell bills. Double check for discounts (student, elderly, security systems, low-income, etc.).

Cut the Cable: Cancel cable and subscribe to Netflix or Hulu instead. Besides, a lot of the good shows are on regular channels anyway.

Shop for Discounts: Shop smarter by researching/shopping online (using discounts and coupons). Check this blog for the best coupon sites. You can even search for specific items and redeem coupons on site. Don’t forget about old school garage sales, consignment and thrift stores, Goodwill and Craigslist before you spend full price. You may be surprised by what treasures you’ll find.

Figure out Food: Cut food cost by planning meals ahead of time. Make and shop off of a grocery list. Shop groceries once a week for the following week. Try store brands (saving an instant 25 percent). Stop buying bottled water-try Brita and refill your water bottle instead.

Resist Restaurants: Cut your eating out in half. If you eat out twice a week, now try just once. Cook dinner and make your lunch instead. To save even more, only order water for your drink.

YOUR TURN: What are your best money-saving tips? Let us know in the comments!

About Dr. Karen Ratliff

Karen Ratliff

Credit: Dr. Karen Ratliff

Dr. Ratliff is a certified life coach and professional educator, assisting many people in accomplishing financial, career, and educational goals.  She is also the author of “Tightening Your Bootstraps: 104 Tips to Kick Your Debt to the Curb Now.” Keep up with her budgetary advice via Twitter @drkarenratliff and her website at