How to Have More Money This Month

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I constantly look for ways to have more money at the end of the month. There’s two ways of approaching this. One way is to make more money and another way is to cut expenses. I will be talking about the steps I take to shave off expenses in my budget to have more at the end of the month. At this rate, I will have almost an extra $4000 after 1 year!

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Track Your Expenses

The key to have more money is to know exactly where your money is going. If you don’t know where your money is going, it’s destined to leave by itself. Having a budget is not only helpful, it’s necessary when you want to have more money at the end of the month. I can bet that almost every personal finance fanatic has had or has a budget to track.

After a while, it becomes second nature that having a budget is just a formality or it’s memorized, but starting out budgeting is a necessity. I review my budget that I have in a Excel document weekly and stare at it for a good 30 minutes to 1 hour to review what went wrong and what areas I could have improved on. Without knowing what went wrong, I would go about another day spending without asking myself key questions as to whether the purchases gave me value or not.

Categorize Your Expenses

Second, you have to understand your budget. Your budget consists of two parts, fixed and variable costs. Fixed costs are costs that you will spend on no matter what at a fixed price (things like rent, phone bill, car insurance, and health insurance).

Variable costs are costs that will vary month to month, it’s not a constant number. Examples include your utility bill, car fuel, groceries, dining out, and miscellaneous expenses. Your variable expenses are where the most opportunity lies in shaving off expenses and cut down costs. You control your variable costs because it solely depends on your choices how much to spend on the categories that I mentioned.

These are popular categories to track in Excel: Housing, Transportation, Insurance, Food, Pets, Personal Care, Entertainment, Loans, Taxes, Savings or Investments, Gifts and Donations. I have subcategories for each but subcategories depend on the individual making the budget. 

Look for Ways to Save to Have More Money

This is where the juicy part is. After going through the preparatory steps I mentioned above, now it’s time to bring home the bacon and have more money! I’m obsessed with saving money, because a penny saved is a penny I keep. During lunch breaks, I take a walk after eating my lunch to go over what I spent on for the day, what I will spend on for the week, and what areas that I can improve on. Let’s go over how I save money.

Bring Your Lunch to Work

As of 2 weeks ago, I started brining my lunch to work. Yes, it was a bit of a pain to take 15 – 30 minutes to make a sandwich the night before but when I think about the $6 – $10 a day that I save, I think about how it’s all worth it. Some popular recipes that I bring home is chicken, triple decker sandwiches, pasta, and mushroom pork chops. I add in frozen grapes, oranges, and vegetables to each of those meals so I’m eating a balanced diet. 

$6 – $10 a weekday equates to $1560 – $2600 a year (52 week year). That’s about a 2.8 – 5% increase to my salary, much better than inflation numbers. Other upsides are that I get to eat healthier, learn how to cook a little more, and not have to wait in line at a restaurant to get my food. Bringing and making your lunch is an enjoyable and cost efficient way to go about your day.

I significantly have more money every paycheck period because I put a few pieces of bread, meat, and cheese together.

Save on Your Phone Bill

I used to have Verizon as my phone carrier. It used to cost about $140 a month for 2 lines, unlimited text and calls and a 2GB data limit (so I guess $70 a month for my take). That is ludicrous. $70 a month is a lot! I was sure that I could get the same or better service at a less cost. I was right.

 Many of you know that I switched to Sprint for my phone bill and at the time, they still had the “Get 50% off your phone bill when switching from Verizon” deal going on, so I gladly made the switch. I now only pay $37.50 a month for unlimited texting, phone calls, AND a 6GB data plan. 200% MORE data but almost half the cost. I am not complaining about that. That’s an extra $390 a year for me.

Use Less Electricity

I talked to some of my friends and they all seem to spend about $100 a month on electricity. What?! How?! I pay $30 a month. I turn on the air conditioner when I need to, I use my microwave when I need to, I use electricity when I need to. If it’s a necessity, I use electricity as much as I can yet my bill is 70% cheaper than theirs. Why? It turns out they keep some electricity on while they’re at work.

One of my friends doesn’t turn off every single light that’s in his apartment while he’s at work. That’s free money going to the utility companies and the environment worsening. They also leave the AC on. I don’t understand why. Leaving the AC on would only make sense if they want to feel the burst of cold air as they return to their apartment from a hot day, which is 10 seconds of bliss. Paying an extra $70 a month for 10 seconds of bliss per day is overpaying and under-getting.

As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of buying something for value, never the price. Therefore, I love underpaying and over-getting. I also time my charges so that I use my company’s electricity to charge my phone / laptop instead of mine. I unplug my microwave and any plugs that I’m not using while I’m at work because they use electricity even when not plugged in to a device. An extra $840 a year for me compared to others.

Miscellaneous Expenses

There will ALWAYS be miscellaneous expenses every month. Life will NEVER pan out exactly the way you plan out. Therefore, it’s hard to project miscellaneous expenses they will exist. Last month, I paid $99 for a dental filling. The month before it was to replace my car battery. This month, I spent $80 – $100 shopping on Amazon for things I needed (like a weight balance, pocket knife, pillow case, business casual socks, etc).

I’m certain that there will be more miscellaneous yet unforeseen expenses every month going forward. However, controlling and lowering this expense is key. I budget $150 a month for these expenses and I’ve been at or lower than that every month. Therefore, I have more money at the end of the month. 


People say an extra $100 a month in side income makes all the difference in the world. It does, but you can also have an extra $100 a month by saving. Step one is to do everything you can that’s 100% in your control first then branch out to areas that’s not within your control. Side income may not always be in your control because you have to convince a customer to buy from you. They may not always buy.

Saving money is a result that exists 100% based on your effort. Effort doesn’t take any skill. I’m going to look for side income opportunities in the future but as of right now, I’m taking on one step at a time and minimizing my expenses. I make almost an extra $4000 a year by saving on my variable expenses. That’s a 7.2% raise that I’ll gladly take! Afterward minimizing my expenses, I will work on maximizing my income so that I can have even more money at the end of the month!

Readers, what are your strategies to have more money at the end of the month? Do you use some strategies I mentioned? Let me know in the comments below! 

Finance Solver

I grew my net worth to $40,000 as a college student through hard work, discipline, and a little bit of luck. I graduated college in 2016 and will be starting to plan for my retirement once I start working.I am planning on reaching financial independence by my early 30's and I will document my moments of inspiration all the way to desperation here.

My goal is to enable your success in personal finance so that you can realize the American dream. The first step is starting today!

Read more about me here.

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20 thoughts on “How to Have More Money This Month

  1. TJ says:

    My dad always told me it’s more energy efficient to leave the A/C on and that it works harder if you just turn it back on when you get home every time. I try to put up 5 degrees higher than than the preferred temperature when I remember

    • Finance Solver says:

      Hmm that’s an interesting thought and strategy. I haven’t thought of putting AC up 5 degrees higher than necessary, I don’t think I did that when I lived in an apartment that had a thermostat so thanks for sharing!

      I know for lights, it’s better to leave it on if you know you’re gonna need it in the next 4 minutes, but I didn’t know that for AC. My AC isn’t thermostat controlled so I think it’s going to be better if I leave it off for the 8.5 hours I spend at work.

  2. Well I just saved 20 bucks by switching to dish network’s new Flex Package. It’s a skinny bundle that has many good programming channels without all the extra stuff that I don’t watch.

    Next year I need to switch my insurance. I got some quotes from Geico and they are much cheaper than my current insurance even after getting to lower my premiums this year.

    It seems easier and sustainable to make additional money by saving/cutting-expenses than to try find a side job.

    • Finance Solver says:

      Nice! I haven’t watched TV in like 5 years, but I will have to do a lot of research when eventually I do have a TV 🙂 $240 a year in savings is nothing to sneeze at.

      GEICO is phenomenal. I pay $165 a month for car insurance and I’m only 21 years old (I’m under my parent’s plan, though). If I move back to Texas, which is my home state, I only pay $144 and there’s a good chance that I can move back to Texas so fingers crossed!

      A lot of personal finance blogs preach side hustle, and I agree. It’s just been hard for me to figure out the right opportunities because they take a significant amount of time to start / grow. I will try to get on this eventually though!

  3. When I changed to a programmable thermostat I saved about 20% on my electric and gas bill each month. This allowed me to change the temperature when I wasn’t there but when I got home it was the perfect temperature for my arrival. This has more than paid the cost of the programmable thermostat and I continue to save money each and every month since then.

    • Finance Solver says:

      I wish my apartment complex had an option for me to install a programmable thermostat. I haven’t heard of that option. I should do more research on that. I rarely turn on the AC these days because it’s getting chilly and that’s done well for my bottom line at the end of the month.

  4. Mr. MSM, are you using Nest’s Thermometer? I always wonder how good is it’s self-learning feature. I still use a very basic and old programmable thermostat (no remote access), seems to do a good job.

    • Finance Solver says:

      I sometimes go off the Personal Finance train and go out to lunch every once in a while. It’s so much easier and tastier to because I’m not the best cook in the world.

  5. I agree that everyone should always try to save as much as they can first, before they think about side hustles. Once they get to a base expenditure, it may be harder to keep on saving without significantly reducing their quality of life, so I think that’s where side hustles are great!

    I love the point about taking food to work. Food has always been the expense that can easily get out of hand for me, so buying groceries and preparing most meals at home is a huge tip!

    • Finance Solver says:

      Yes! There’s definitely a limit to how much someone can cut expenses. Once someone hits that limit, then looking to increase income that has no limit I think is a great way to go. I think I can reach the cut expense limit by the end of this year. That’s when I’ll start looking for other income generating opportunities. It won’t be easy but I’m always up for a challenge!

    • Finance Solver says:

      That’s a great psychological trick. It’s almost like only using cash to go about your day. Not a bad way to go about it!

  6. There are so many easy ways to save money these days. You mention many great ways to have more money each month and I follow many of them already. Our home phone is $4 a month for unlimited calling with Ooma and we use Ting for cel paying $30 a month for 2 phones. Anyone can save money, you just have to know where to look/negotiate. Thanks for sharing.

    • Finance Solver says:

      I haven’t heard of Ooma or Ting before, have to check them out! I know Republic Wireless if recommended a lot with bloggers and I heard they have the same coverage as Sprint. If that turns out to be true, I have to look into switching after my contract with Sprint is up. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Nice post, FS!

    I have been with Verizon prepaid for several years now. Cost has down a lot due to competition in this space. I am paying $45 for unlimited talk and text and 2GB data. I have it on autopay, so I get an extra 1 GB data. So effectively I get 3 GB of data per month. In addition, they provide always ON 3G data if I use up my 4G LTE quota. At this point, Republic Wireless would be my best bet to knock this cost down further. I am still evaluating it.

    Try Digit Savings:). Try grocery cash back apps like Ibotta, Walmart Savings Catcher, Checkout51, and SavingStar.

    We use these and in a year it has added up to a decent amount of cash back on things we would buy normally anyways.

    Keep it up, it is awesome that you are diligent with your savings!


    • Finance Solver says:

      Thanks Michael! Wow $45 a month for Verizon is pretty good, I don’t know why my plan was $140 a month, it sounds ridiculous that they would over-charge us like that. I’m doing research on Republic Wireless as well, I think as long as someone isn’t planning on moving frequently, it’s not a bad service to take on.
      I’ve heard of Digit! I’ve also tried grocery cash back apps, but I haven’t found the technology to be the most convenient. I might give it another go, maybe I was using it wrong.
      Thank you! Savings make the dream work!

  8. I really like this post because it supports the argument I like to make that people should “treat themselves like a business.” We all know that in business, net income is the difference between revenue and expenses. To increase profitability, a business must either A) bring in more revenue B) reduce expenses OR C) bring in more revenue and reduce expenses.

    This is the same concept in a real estate investment. To increase cash flow you must either raise the rents, or find a way to cut expenses or both.

    We can do this with our personal finances too! “How can I bring in more money this month? What is a side business I can start to make an extra $200-$300 this month?” You can achieve the same desired effect if you asked the question “How can I reduce my monthly expenses by $200-$300 this month?” Both questions would result in an increase of your personal cash flow by $200-$300. If you asked both questions, you could realize an increase of $600!

    • Finance Solver says:

      Yes! Someone’s finances are exactly like a business, except that there’s no employees to manage to bring home the bacon (as long as that someone isn’t in a managerial position).

      It definitely helps cutting a couple hundred dollars in expenses or bringing home a couple extra hundred dollars a month. Asking the right questions is step one and then actually going out and researching to find out what fits is step two and is arguably the hardest step but once mastered, it can lead to some substantial wealth building!

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