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The 12th of the month is here and all the money is gone. You frantically stress about how to survive until the next payday. You weigh your options: borrow money, payday loans, or call your sister for the $20 you loaned her 2 months ago.

In other words, you’re desperate. What’s worse is that there are 18 more days left to go. What can you do to avoid being put in this position again next month?

Saving money can be easier than you think. Here are five money-saving tips that work well for non-budgeters.

 

#1 Direct Deposit

By taking the time to set up direct deposit, you can have a specific amount of money directed to a savings account.

For example, if you get $100 directed to a savings account every month, by the end of the year there would be $1,200 in that account. Direct deposit is easier and more convenient than taking the money out yourself every paycheck.

Just set it, forget it and enjoy the savings at the end of the year.

 

#2 Pack Lunch

Lunch usually costs $10 to $15 a day. If you pack lunch you can save $50 a week; assuming lunch costs $10 a day. Over the course of a year that equals to a savings of $2,400! Not sure what to pack? Check out these easy meals for lunch!

Related: 10 Healthy Meal Ideas For Weight Loss

 

#3 Cook Dinner

Think of dinner as a time to get creative. Cook basic recipes like spaghetti, stir-fry, and chili.

If you enjoy the social aspect of dinner, try hosting a potluck dinner. Potlucks allow you to try a variety of dishes while only cooking one. When there are friends, food, and conversation – dinner is always amazing.

 

#4 Reduce Expenses

Most people will overlook how important reducing expenses can be. Take the time to spend 30 minutes reviewing expenses in detail.

Cable, phone, groceries, gas, shopping and anything else that you spend money on. Shop around for cheaper rates or if possible, get rid of it all together.

For example, at my house, we got rid of cable immediately. We were watching Netflix 98% of the time. The other 2% was only during football or basketball season. For us, $150 a month did not warrant that. While you may want to keep cable, there could be something else that can be easily reduced.

 

#5 Free Activities

Saving money got you stuck at the house? Not anymore!

Check out this list of free activities to get your weekdays and weekends packed with laughter and excitement. The list includes activities such as fishing, game night, festivals and more.

Related: 9 Amazing Activities To Do Instead Of A Workout

 

These 5 simple and effective tips will save you the funds needed to avoid mid-month stress and wallet starvation. Remember, making small changes can yield big results and consistency is key when creating lasting results. Try out these 5 tips and let me know if it made a difference in your month.

 

What are your tips for saving money?