3 Money Saving Tips- Ways we save almost $400 each month-Navigating Adulthood

3 Easy Money Saving Tips- How We Save Almost $400 Every Month

In a previous post, I talked about the importance of a savings account and how a savings account really came in handy when I landed in the ER a few days before my wedding with a kidney infection. This is a nice introduction for today’s topic: easy money saving tips.

I am sharing 3 small things that Mr. Navigating Adulthood and I consistently do every month that help us put money towards a rainy day fund. I PROMISE that these won’t be outrageous money saving tips like, “We bought 4 chickens so we don’t have to buy eggs anymore.” Nope, these are tips that you might very easily be able to integrate into your own life.

Money saving tip #1: Saves $210 a month

We make an effort to bring lunch 4 times a week. Why not 5 days? A few years ago, we committed to bringing lunch 5 days a week. However, we quickly realized that there were some days we would wake up late or we would honestly get tired of eating the same lunch for three days in a row.

How You Can Use This Money Saving Tip: Packing your own lunch doesn’t have to be hard- you can start with bringing a PB & J with an apple and a cheese stick. Try bringing lunch and you’ll see the savings quickly add up.

  • When we buy lunch at work
    • Let’s look at some numbers: an average lunch in Cambridge near MIT runs about $10 for Mr. NavigatingAdulthood. An average lunch for me is about $6 [yay for having a cafeteria!= $16 a day if we both bring lunch. 
    • If we estimate 17 work days per month, eating out for lunch for 2 people at 4x a week= $272. [<—-our average MONTHLY grocery bill is $270!]
  • When we bring lunch
    • A recipe I often use is pasta puttanesca from BudgetBytes. I add 2 cans of tuna and a bag of frozen bell peppers for an additional $3.25. Total recipe costs around $10.50 for 8 servings. = $1.31 per serving. [$2.62 for 2 servings] If you add 2 apples for $1.00, lunch for both of us = $3.62 a day if we both bring lunch.
    • If we estimate 17 work days per month, bringing lunch for 2 people at 4x a week= $61.54

Monthly Savings= $210.46

Money saving tip #2: Saves $93 a month

We don’t have cable. Did you know the average cable bill is $103 a month? Source: Forbes I feel like everyone talks about how cutting out cable can save you a lot of money, but it’s absolutely true! We pay $10 a month for Netflix. When we want to watch movies that aren’t on Netflix, we get them for free through our local library. [putting those tax dollars to work!]

How You Can Use This Money Saving Tip: Take the plunge and cut your cable bill! Or at the very least, stop paying for movies on demand and try renting them for “free” through your local library. Remember that since you pay taxes, you’re kind of already paying for this library service.

Monthly Savings= $93

Money saving tip #3: Saves $70 a month

Even though our work schedules are different, we carpool. I drive to work every day and Mr. Navigating Adulthood has to take the train to commute into Cambridge. Because we live a decent distance from the nearest train station, he has to drive to train station. A monthly parking pass for the train station is $70.

  • I live about 30 minutes from the office and need to wake up at 7:00 for enough time to get ready and then drive there.
  • Mr. Navigating Adulthood has to wake up at 6:00AM so he can get to the train station by 6:30 AM, park, and then catch the 6:45AM train to get to work around 8:00AM.

So, to save money, I give up an hour of sleep and wake up at 6:00AM with Mr. NavigatingAdulthood. This gives us enough time for me to drop him off at the train station to catch his train. This also means that I get into the office at 7:20AM. But on the bright side, it allows me to catch up on emails every morning before everyone gets in!

How You Can Use This Money Saving Tip: A lot of my coworkers who live in Boston carpool to get to work. They have a system where a group of 3-4 people will take turns driving to work on a weekly rotation. From what I’ve heard, this is a huge cost savings on gas and tolls. Try seeing if there’s a coworker who lives near you who might be willing to carpool. It might be a little inconvenient, but the savings can really add up.

Monthly Savings= $70

Grand total saved per month: $373

What do you think? Are a few of these tips doable for you? How do you save money?

Money Saving Tips- How We Use 3 Easy Ways to Save Almost $400 each month

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  1. Nice saving tips. We also cut the cord on cable years ago don’t miss it a bit. I remember a friend telling me about an offer for cable TV at $99 at included some premium channels and something he couldn’t pass up. I just thought in my head, ‘You know your paying an enormous fee just to watch TV.’ You have several options to get by: the internet and borrowing multimedia at the library for free.
    At my job, we get complementary breakfast and lunch which saves us tremendously. Although it’s cafeteria style food, it will do. And plus if I don’t like the food that day, I could always bring food from home

    1. Hi Kris, thanks for stopping by! I agree 100% on cable- most of my coworkers are sports fanatics so they think we’re crazy for not having cable. What happened to free tv? I feel like that’s no longer a thing anymore.

      I’m so jealous you get free breakfast and lunch! It must be a huge timesaver in the morning because you don’t have to allot time to make and eat breakfast.
      Ying NavigatingAdulthood recently posted…10 Cheap Summer Date Ideas Under $10 [That Aren’t Netflix]My Profile

  2. Great tips! Packing lunches for my husband has been one of the biggest money-savers for us because restaurants in downtown New Orleans where he works are so expensive. I try to cook at least two meals a week that result in leftovers so he has a couple choices each day for what to bring.

  3. This is great thank you! There are so many other benefits to be reaped from these money-saving tips. Not only do you save money from carpooling, but you get that extra conversation time with your hubs! And from bringing food from home, you know exactly what’s going in your body. From not having cable, you can allocate your time to more productive, fulfilling tasks and hobbies.

    Excellent post, you’ve got yourself a new subscriber and blog friend :)!

  4. This is a great list! I take a salad to work for lunch every day but try to pack it full of foods I love-hard boiled eggs, avocados, nuts, spicy lunch meat, cheeses. It’s easy enough to switch out ingredients so it doesn’t feel like I am eating the same thing every day but easy enough to prep the morning of. Meal planning doesn’t save money if you don’t want to eat it, or it’s too complicated to put together!

  5. Awesome tips Ying! It’s hard these days to save money when costs just keep rising. As a single-income home we scrape for every penny we can save so that we can give the kids more experiences.

  6. I absolutely love this post. My boyfriend and I have started packing our own lunches to work, and it saves a lot of money. I love the rest of these tips – I can’t wait to try them out!

  7. Carpooling has saved me a crazy amount of money! It’s really interesting because in the Bay Area we have this thing called Casual Carpool which is this sort of sketchy sounding but totally unofficially official neighborhood carpool. You have an unofficial designated meet up point where people and cars congregate and 2 people get into each car which takes them over the bridge into the city for a suggested donation of $1! It’s $2.50 cheaper than public transit!

    1. Hi Jing, thanks for reading. Casual Carpool sounds really cool- I would sign up for it in a heartbeat if it was in the Boston area. I’m all for not having to sit in traffic!

  8. These are awesome tips Ying! I’m super big on meal prep and always make sure I have lunch for work (I actually feel a bit stressed if I don’t as I’m always too lazy to go out and buy my lunch). I then really try and limit eating out with my boyfriend once a week. Usually a Friday night is our eating out night and then we’ll plan our meals for the week on the weekends. I’ve definitely found forward planning to help save money, and that way we also don’t over-buy groceries when we shop.
    Amanda 🙂

    1. Hi Amanda, thanks for reading! I’m the same way- I have slight anxiety if there’s not some sort of food ready to go in the fridge. On Sundays, I commit to having some sort of protein ready to go [ex: chicken, beans, lentils, etc] and a carbohydrate [ex: rice, sweet potatoes, noodles, et. This makes eating at home during the week so much easier!

      I love your tip about planning out meals for the week during the weekend. Will have to try that this weekend!

  9. Great tips, Ying! I also pack lunch to work, and we don’t have a cable. That saves us hundreds of dollars a month. I walk to the metro and take the train, but Mr. FAF has been carpooling with his roommate to save on gas. ^.^

  10. Haha I hate the “get some chickens for free eggs” tips. Girl I don’t think chickens are even legal in our city. Bringing lunch is really smart! You know what I do to save even more? I don’t eat 😂 that’s as good as the chicken tip! Hahaha

    1. I don’t think chickens are legal where I live either! Although if they were allowed, not sure I’d be willing to put in all that work. Eggs are just over a dollar a dozen where we live

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