11 Simple Life Hacks That Will Save You Money
Life hacks are amazing and if you do a quick Internet search you’ll find life hacks for just about everything. There are countless websites that have time-saving hacks, laundry-saving hacks, Netflix hacks, money-saving hacks, and so much more. Since we’re interested in educating the public about ways to save money, get out of debt, and proper money management skills, we figured why not list some of our favorite financial hacks.
Three-quarters of Americans today live from paycheck to paycheck, logging around $3,700 per month in routine expenses and carrying an estimated $15,000+ in debt. So, it just makes sense that more people than ever before are worried about saving funds.
These simple life hacks can jump-start the journey to save more money, get you out of debt, and create a brighter financial future.
Here are a few of our favorite money-saving life hacks:
1. Sign up for Digit –
Digit is an app that automates savings via a proprietary algorithm that evaluates the person’s spending habits and saves micro-amounts accordingly.
The concept is to make savings painless and automatic. On average, expect two to three minor withdrawals per week which are held in Digit’s online savings account and insured for up to 250,000 until withdrawn.
When you’re ready to use the money for things like a vacation or a new refrigerator, you just send them a text and the money will be transferred to your checking account and ready to use by the next day. They use 128-bit bank-level security and they don’t store your bank login info. It’s completely free and they have a “no-overdraft guarantee”. Digit allows unlimited transfers with no minimums and there are never any fees.
2. Buy store brand (not name brand) products –
When buying dry goods, canned goods, paper goods, cleaning supplies, and perishables, look for generic or “store” brand labels. They often have exactly the same ingredients and some are even the very same product but half were labeled with a name brand and the other half were labeled with a store brand or generic brand.
Often you can find generic organic labels as well. This can save you 20-25 percent or more according to recent Consumer Reports and personal experiences. These products may be sitting on the highest shelves or on the lowest shelves so don’t forget to look there. Usually, stores will place the highest price items in the middle at eye level so they make more money.
3. Go organic by growing organic –
Buying organic produce can be a pricey endeavor. But you can get twice the yield at a fraction of the cost by starting a private organic garden. It’s easier than you might think. Check out this great article for all of the supplies and steps you need: http://bit.ly/2kt0QYR
This is also a great project for families to enjoy together and all it takes is some seeds (or starter seedlings), a bit of dirt, some compost, some water, and a little bit of TLC. Think of how much money you could shave off your grocery bill every month!
4. Stop buying commercial household cleaning products –
The list of toxins in the average bottle of household cleaner is long and scary. Research has linked these toxins to everything from allergies and asthma to cancer and difficulty conceiving children.
Switching to pure simple cleansers is healthier and much cheaper. Lemon juice, baking soda, white vinegar, old coffee grounds, and simple hot water can do the same cleaning jobs for pennies. Check out these 50 things you should stop buying and start making: http://bit.ly/2kjf0s5
5. Skip the prepped produce –
Pre-peeled carrots, de-strung green beans, diced onions, triple-washed lettuce, pre-chopped broccoli, and pre-chopped cauliflower – these may save precious minutes in the kitchen, but they can really add up on a grocery bill.
For families that are pressed for time, the kitchen produce prep work will go faster by forming an assembly line, with every member tackling a different vegetable. Always remember that you pay more for convenience!
6. Keep tires fully inflated –
The U.S. Department of Energy states that simply keeping vehicle tires fully inflated will improve gas mileage between 0.6 and 3 percent. As a side benefit, fully inflated, well-maintained tires are safer and need to be repaired or replaced less frequently. It’s something that not many people think about but it’s a super easy and quick way to save money.
7. Go thrifting –
Recycling and re-using gently used items is not just a great way to save the planet by keeping landfill waste in check. It is also an awesome way to save money. Thrifting comes in all shapes and sizes, from secondhand couture to flea market bargains. It is easy to acquire clothing, accessories, shoes, furniture, luggage, kitchen and bath items and lawn and garden items and more for a fraction of what retail stores would charge.
And don’t forget about online thrifting, which also offers access to bartering, trading and swapping items where no cash even changes hands.
8. Don’t buy a new car –
Financial experts like Dave Ramsey have blogged about how just 39 percent of the wealthy opt for new luxury cars. The rest drive Hyundai, Toyota, or Honda and most frequently buy used instead of new.
Buying used makes smart financial sense. Buyers take less of a hit on off-the-lot depreciation, spend less time and money fixing “new car” bugs and have more funds in the bank at the end of the day.
9. When buying a big ticket item, don’t pinch pennies –
Surprisingly, the one time it is not always wise to go for the lowball deal is when buying a electronics such as computers. It’s also a good idea to not go too cheap on things like a winter coat or pair of shoes. The longer it lasts, the cheaper it becomes. If you have to keep replacing these items it can really add up!
10. Scan grocery receipts for cash back –
Smartphone apps like Ibotta and Checkout 51 give you cash rebates on your grocery store purchases; all you have to do is scan the receipts after you shop. For just a minute of your time, you’ll likely earn about $5 a week, adding up to hundreds a year.
11. Designate one day per week as a “no spending” day –
Take 24 hours away from the endless cycle of browsing and buying and reconnect to family, nature, and the good things in life that are always free! Maybe you do this every Sunday. It’s not too hard to create a “no spending” day and you’ll be surprised at how much you can save!
These financial life hacks are super easy to accomplish and if they become a habit and better your life, then all the more reason to give them a try. These are simply small everyday adjustments and none will make you rich. But combined, they can save you a pretty penny. If you need help with other money-saving ideas or you’re having trouble getting out of debt, give us a call toll-free at 1-866-699-2227 or visit us online at www.advantageccs.org and we can help you get back on track!