What could you do with an extra $300 a month? You know the saying “every penny counts,” yet how do you make those pennies add up to dollars? A few small changes can help you save money every day and keep more in your pocket.

Imagine how $300 could be put toward a car payment, pay down a medical bill, or help get your kid their dream toy for a birthday present.

These 9 budget tips can help you save money fast to provide some financial “breathing room” or to use toward a special savings goal.

  1. Host a Game Night

    Instead of meeting friends out for dinner, have them come over for dessert and board games. To cut costs, ask them to contribute a bottle of wine or a six-pack toward the festivities.

  2. Cancel Your Gym Membership

    If you’re a gym regular, keep it up and enjoy yourself! But if you don’t go to the gym at least 3 times a week, you may be wasting some money. Check out a local recreation center where there is a fitness room. These gyms can cost as little as $24 a month and might be half that price if you’re 50 or older. 

  3. Empty Your Storage Unit

    The average monthly fee for a 10’x10’ storage unit is $100. Evaluate what you need versus the “maybe we’ll use that … someday” items—and as you hold each item ask yourself if it’s worth $1,200 per year?

  4. Have Coffee In vs. Coffee Out

    Learn to make lattes at home and you can save almost $10 each week.

  5. Search for Coupons

    As internet shopping becomes commonplace, always take a moment to search for an online coupon before Checkout. Often you can save on shipping or receive 10% off all for a few clicks.

  6. Switch Cell Phone Plans

    Ask about different plans to see which best fit your needs and might cost less. Or consider switching to a less pricey providers or get a prepaid plan.

  7. Buy Generic

    At the supermarket, store-brand groceries can cost 10% less than name-brand products. So if you spend $100 a week on name-brand groceries, buying store brands instead is an easy way to save $10 or more.

  8. Call Your Insurance Company

    See if there are discounts available for having multiple policies with the same provider. And if you have enough savings on-hand to cover expenses for filing a claim, then consider raising the deductibles on your policies as this will lower the annual premiums.

  9. Lower Your Energy Usage

    There are multiple ways to save on energy costs by managing air drafts, adjusting hot water heaters, and monitoring the washing/drying of clothes.

    • Air Drafts

      Check for spots where outside air can enter your home—the most common locations are doors and windows, followed by locks, electric outlets, air conditioners, and recessed light fixtures. Install weather stripping and door sweeps, plus cover outside vents, including air conditioning units.

    • Water Heater

      Adjust the water heater temperature to 120 degrees or, if you have only a knob, turn it down a level. You can save up to 10 percent on energy costs, yet still have all the hot water you need.

    • Washing/Drying of Clothes

      Using the cold cycle in the washer can save up to 90 percent of the energy costs. While a clothes dryer is one of the highest energy vampires, use a clothesline (inside or outside) to hang dry as many items as possible.