7 Ways to Save $500 Right Now

Everyone wants to save money. Or at least make more money. I know, I’ve totally been there. Wouldn’t you love to save $500 right now?

I’m all about making money and saving money. That’s part of the reason I love to side hustle and have shared my journey on this blog! Imagine being able to save more of your income by making small daily changes in your lifestyle.

By having extra money, could you take more vacations? What dreams could you pursue? Get out of debt?

It’s a lot to think about. If you want to jumpstart your savings goals, I’m sharing seven ways to save $500 right now. None of these tips are crazy! All of these are things I have actually done myself, and I was able to notice the savings right away.

7 Ways to save $500 this month

Review Your Car Insurance

You should be checking your insurance rates at least once a year. When I lived in an urban area and could walk everywhere, I was literally driving my car only a few times a month.

When I called my insurance to see if I could get a lower rate since I was barely driving, they couldn’t lower the price.

I decided to shop around with a site called Insurance Quotes that compares rates for auto insurance along with health, life, and home owner’s insurance. It’s so important to shop around if you want to find the best premium rate.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure for more info.

By comparing my options, I was able to find some more affordable auto insurance which provided me with the same amount of coverage.

I saved an average of $600/year!

If you shop around for the best car insurance, I bet you could save money as well.

This is one of the best ways to reach a goal on how to save $500 pretty quickly!

Adjust Your Cell Phone Plan

Cell phones are tricky. They are expensive and it’s amazing how much of this expense can eat into your budget.

A cell phone is becoming more of a necessity in this day in age.

So do you just stick with a high bill and tough it out

Luckily, you have a few options!

First, make sure you are getting the best deal. Paying for unlimited data, minutes and texts is only helpful if you use all of these in excess. Consider downgrading your plan to a lower tier – this could save $10-$20 a month.

Don’t upgrade your cell phone every two years – this often incites new deposits and fees that are one off expenses. If you have a monthly payment plan that includes paying for the cost of a phone, that fee can be anywhere from $10 – $40 per month for a two year agreement.

That equates to $240 – $960 for two years, depending on what make and model cell phone you have. Just think how much money you would save if you held onto your phone for four years instead of two!

This is a great way to save $500 over this time period. If you really want to save in this area, consider a pre-paid plan. I know plenty of people that pay around $30 a month for a basic phone and low data plan. Here are some of the pros and cons of switching from a contract plan to a prepaid plan:


  • Monthly savings (generally cheaper)
  • Flexibility (cancel any time since you’re not in a contract)
  • No overage fees


  • Phones can be more expensive
  • Limited roaming and international call capabilities (may have to pay extra)

An additional way to save money with your cell phone is to switch to a plan that does not involve a contract. Companies like Straight Talk provide month-to-month service with great coverage and wifi.

Prorate Utilities

If your electric or heating bill spikes during certain months and is lower other months, consider prorating your service.

This works really well if you rely on the a/c or heating for half the year. I didn’t even know this was an option until I called my utility company to make a payment.

The rep asked if I wanted to consider prorating my service since some of my bills in the summer were around $300 but dropped down to below $100 in the winter.

By switching to this method, I was able to predict my monthly utility bill instead of waiting around to see what it would be each month.

If you prefer to stick to a monthly budget to optimize your spending and maximize your savings, prorating your utilities could allow them to become more regular fixed bills.

Depending on the time of year you decide to do this, you could have instant savings and have an easier time budgeting each month!

A Pantry Challenge

You guys know I love to go out to eat. Especially if someone else is paying for it, like a mystery shopping company ;).

However, this month I’m going to eat as many of the items in my pantry as I can to cut back on expenses.

I normally don’t stockpile, but I’ve found myself buying groceries lately and not using what’s in my pantry and freezer. I’m talking about frozen fruit and veggies, pasta, sauce, soup, bread mixes, a bag of apples – the list goes on and on!

I decided to take a week off from grocery shopping and use the staples that are in my kitchen.

The hardest part about this challenge is that it’s boring! To make this challenge exciting, I made a list of all the different meals I could make and stuck it on my fridge for inspiration.

I’ve also looked at recipes online to find some dishes that I normally don’t make to make it more fun. If you have trouble coming up with recipes like I often do, I’d recommend trying the $5 Meal Plan service.

The $5 Meal Plan is a subscription-based service that sends you weekly meal plans for delicious meals that have inexpensive and natural ingredients and also require very little prep.

You can check it out for free for 14 days and pay just $5/month for your meal plans after the trial ends!

If you are single, you could save anywhere from $50 – $100.

If you’re married or have a family, think how much more you could save in a week, potentially $100+.

And, if you do a pantry challenge monthly, imagine how much food waste and money you could save. Even if you skipped purchasing groceries for a week, how much could you potentially save?

Related reading:

Haircuts and Nail Salons

Beauty care is such a tough category when it comes to saving money.

One of the easiest ways to save money is with haircuts and nails.

Do you really need to get your haircut every 6 to 8 weeks?

Are you spending $40 – $80 on a mani/pedi every two weeks? Skip the nail services, and DIY it for a month!

Consider switching to a beauty school. For years, I have gotten my haircut by my local beauty school.

The students are eager and the instructors are monitoring the salon the entire time. I have never had a bad experience! Most beauty schools also offer nail services, eyebrows and hairstyles (think prom, weddings).

I used to pay around $130 every time I needed a cut and color (including tip). Once I switched to a beauty school, I was out the door for under $50.

That’s an $80 savings, not to mention hundreds of dollars a year.

The best part – my cut and color looked exactly like what I would get at a regular hair salon. If you love to pamper yourself but know you could be saving more in this area, check to see if there are any beauty schools in your area and compare the rates for the services you need.

Save and Double Check on Fees

If you can’t pay off your credit card each month, call and ask for a lower APR rate.

I know this may seem a little awkward, but do it anyway. Credit card debt burdens many Americans and it’s one of the worst types of debt because the interest rate is often so high.

A lower interest rate or temporary 0% APR will help you save more money and pay your debt down faster as a result. When it comes to lowering your interest rate, the credit card company isn’t just going to do this for you – you have to ask for it!

Make sure to ask if the person you are speaking to has the authority to change your rate.

If you pay on time and have a good credit history with them, they usually will do this. Sometimes it does involve running a credit check, but if this means lowering your APR rate several points, why not?

Don’t forget to review your other bills each month, like your credit card statements, cell phone bill and cable bill. Have you ever paid a bill late and been charged a late fee? That’s the worst!

I recently forgot to pay my credit card and was charged a $25 late fee for paying a day late.

That’s a ridiculous amount to pay! I called my credit card company and they took it off my bill. If this happens to you – don’t accept it.

Always call and try to have it taken off.

Sell Something

Bringing a little more money in can always boost your savings!

Go through your closets and list stuff on eBay or Craigslist. I know you all have at least $50 to $100 sitting in your closet.

If you put your mind to it, you may have the whole $500! If you need help with Ebay, I wrote a tutorial on how to sell and ship an item.

One of the best things I ever sold was my MacBook. After I spilled water all over it and dropped it on the floor (bad luck right?), I took it to a repair shop and they were able to save the hard drive for me.

I ended up selling the MacBook to a guy on Craigslist for $475 in parts.

Consider selling old electronics, clothes and purses, outdoor equipment, tools, camping gear, furniture – the list is endless! You could probably make $500 in this category alone!

Other Ways To Save More Money This Month

While the seven above tips can help you save a ton of cash, there are just a few more things I want to mention that can help you save more money each month.

Get Cashback

I use websites and apps like Fetch and Rakuten to earn points and save money on the things I already buy. Now, this won’t help you if you start buying more items just to earn cashback. But, if you already shop online or pay for groceries, why not get money back from it?

See What You Can Do Yourself

Can you make your own coffee and lunch instead of going out? Can you change your own oil in your car? Are you able to start a garden or container garden to supplement the food you buy? While these little things may not seem like much, they can make a huge difference in your day to day spending, which can mean more money saved.

Save Automatically

This may sound super easy and like it shouldn’t be mentioned, but you’d be surprised to learn how many people don’t already do this. Start saving money automatically! You can do it each payday, once a week, once a month, whatever works for you. And it doesn’t have to be a lot of money either. Even just saving $5-$10 a paycheck is more than nothing at all. If you need help saving automatically, apps like Acorns and Digit may help!

Do you think you could save $500? 

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  1. I love these tips. I shop around my insurance policies every time they come due. Sometimes I end up sticking with the same company others times it is cheaper to switch. Definitely worth the time and savings. I should check out my cell phone plan as I haven’t shopped it around in a while Thanks for the reminder.

  2. All great ideas! We are in the process of getting rid of all of our debt. I just told my husband last week I wasn’t going grocery shopping in the next 2 weeks because we need to eat the food that’s already in our pantry and freezer!! He just looked at me like, “ok”. haha. Saving money, honey!

    1. Kristin Larsen says:

      Saving on groceries can really make or break a budget!

  3. I like it! I try to review my subscriptions every three to six months. With more and more companies moving to a subscription model, it makes sense to stay on top of it. Making it a challenge like “can I go three months without Hulu and Sling?” can help. And who knows? Maybe you won’t end up re-upping the subscription at the end of the challenge, resulting in even more savings.

    1. Kristin Larsen says:

      I’m pretty sure I only have Sling when new episodes of the Walking Dead is on, ha!! It’s so much more convenient than cable, right? I’m locked into my internet bill, but I got such a good rate (I think) that I’m satisfied with the price. I also try to remember to use Amazon Prime since it’s included in membership πŸ™‚ I’m all about a challenge though – I recently cancelled Amazon music to save $8/month and I don’t miss it at all!

  4. My husband and I just changed our house and car insurance. We had been with the same company for almost 15 years and we looked around and got more coverage on the house and cars for $500 a year less than we were paying.

    I also bundled phone, internet, and dish network for another savings. There is always a way to cut expenses!

    1. Kristin Larsen says:

      Bundling is such a great way to save money, good tip!

  5. One thing I’ve found in the process of actually trying to cancel my cable is that they will often offer you a promotional discount if you talk about cancelling or downgrading your plan. I called to reduce my service to internet only, and they reduced my bill by $10 a month. Not a huge bump but any little bit helps.

    Love your blog! You guys are killing it. Take care.

    1. Hey Andrew! You are so right! Hey, that $10 a month helps and can go towards something else πŸ™‚

  6. Excellent list. I am not sure how comfortable people are with cutting their own hair but I do. I use a Creaclip which did cost me money to buy but it works well. I always just trim mine though I don’t go for color and styling. And to help save on food cost I always try and use coupons when I can.

    1. Oh I haven’t heard of that, great idea! I only recently started coloring mine again due to finding a few grays haha. I figured after years and years of keeping it simple, I can muster up the money to spend a little more πŸ™‚

  7. Thank you for the great list. I recently bit the bullet and decided to cut back on my cell phone service which has now saved me a whopping 200. per month!! Can’t believe I let that go on for so long. Thanks again!

    1. Holy cow that’s soo much money! Yippee!

  8. Selling something is probably the next viable option for me, as I don’t have a car (so no car insurance) and I already have an inexpensive cellphone plan. I know for a fact that I have things lying around my apartment that I don’t use that I can sell. It’s just a matter of me taking the time to sift through everything. I’ll probably do the purging next spring before I move.

    1. I feel like you can always find something to sell if you need to. Before I did my big move across the country, I started selling things a few months prior to moving. It really made things easier!

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