Saving money doesn’t have to be hard. Whatever your dream – with a few small changes to your lifestyle, you can pocket more money! Financial professional Mindy McIntosh talked with WSMH about 4 ways you can stash away $100 a month and encourages you to fill out this budget worksheet to help you stay on task!

1. Cut Your Food Expenses
One trick that could make a big difference is analyzing what you buy and cutting out unnecessary or frivolous items. For example: Eliminating the weekly bag of potato chips or 12-pack of soda at the store. Dining out also gets expensive. Remember restaurants mark up items they are selling. A $15 entree might only cost $3-5 to make at home.

2. Negotiate & Compare
Shop around to find which company is willing to give you the best deal. You might even be able to negotiate with your current providers. Some cable bills are over $100. Look into a cheaper streaming service or cut the cord all together! If you’re struggling to pay off credit card debt, call the company. They want their money back, so they may be willing to lower your interest rate to make it easier to pay down debt.

3. Challenge Yourself
Every month take a set amount of money from your checking or other spending accounts and put it into savings. Automatic transfers are easy to set up! Take on the 5 cent challenge. This is how it works: on the first day save a nickel, increase that savings by a nickel each day. Do this for one year. The most you’ll set aside is $18.25 on day 365. After a year you will have saved $3,358.05.

4. Reduce Withholding at Work
If you’re waiting on baited breath for your tax refund each spring, consider changing your withholding to benefit your finances year-round. You can make this change at any time by going to your payroll office and filling out a new W-4. Make sure you are making good use of the extra money in your paycheck. Set up an automatic transfer to a savings account or bump up your 401(k) contribution rate.

Click here for the 5 cent challenge.

Click here for a tax withholding calculator from the IRS.

Download a budget worksheet here.

My Weekly Budget on the iPhone App Store