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.
Many of the most useful things that people can do to better their lives are simple ones that they had not realized or that were now seen in a new light. Several of these life hacks can help those struggling with money or who simply want to be better at saving money and enhancing their budget. These simple life hacks can jump-start the journey to a brighter financial future.
Here are a few of our favorite money-saving life hacks:
- 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three minor withdrawals per week which are held in Digit’s online savings account and insured for up to 250,000 until withdrawn.
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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.
- Buy Store 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.
- Go Organic By Growing It –
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!
- Stop Buying 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
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
In many cases, you can find something at a thrift store that fits your needs just as well as a similar item that could have been purchased at a retail, department, clothing or similar store. This will not happen every time, of course, but it’ll happen often enough for the trips to these places to be worth it. And don’t forget about online thrifting, which also offers access to bartering, trading and swapping items where no cash even changes hands.
- 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.
- Don’t Always Pinch Pennies –
Surprisingly, the one time it is not always wise to go for the low-ball deal is when buying any 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!
- Scan 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.
- Designate 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!
In today’s world, everybody is continually wanting to save money in order to have a little extra spending ability in case of emergencies. The good news is that this blog post will be designated for providing five different money-saving hacks or tips to try and enhance your money-saving capabilities. Hopefully, by the end of the post, readers will have a better understanding of what it takes to save money successfully.
- Save Your Extra Change –
The first money-saving tip that a lot of people probably overlooked is the fact that they don’t retain their change after making a purchase. People that collect their pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters will save a little bit of extra money every month by simply collecting their change and cashing it in at a grocery store CoinStar machine or taking the rolled coins to their local bank once per month.
A lot of people just get their change and then eventually lose it between their car seats, and their sofas, or simply never cash it in at the bank or a CoinStar machine and ended up seamlessly losing that money rather than saving it.
- Place Money Directly Into Savings –
It can be difficult to have the discipline to take money out of a paycheck or passive income and place it directly into savings. This is actually one of the hardest things for people to do when it comes to saving money because the tendency for people is to spend their money after receiving their paycheck rather than placing it into an interest-bearing savings account for storage over a long period of time.
People that have the discipline to place money in their savings account on a consistent basis end up growing their savings account a lot more than people who only place it in there occasionally. It is good to grow into the habit of storing a small percentage of your income into your savings account on a monthly basis. This where the savings account can grow over periods of time, and when an emergency pops up the savings account will be capable of bailing you out without any stress.
- Buying Bonds –
Well, this subject isn’t aligned with your standard money-saving hacks, it is actually one of the best ways to store money for long periods of time in order to save it. Buying government bonds that mature over a long period of time is actually one of the best ways to save money for the future. At any point over the Bonds lifetime can it be cashed for its current interest value, although most users are recommended to wait until it matures to receive their optimal payout.
This may seem like one of the old-school money saving tips that aren’t very relevant in today’s world; however, this still remains one of the best money saving tips that are currently available to use.
- Rewards Cards –
Many credit card memberships and store reward cards offer cash back when spending on specific types of items within their store. This is a great way to utilize a credit card or membership card as one of the money-saving tips and hacks that help you save cash.
Just about every bank that offers credit card services to its customers also provides a Rewards program of some kind. It’s important to find one that fits your needs so that you can save an optimal amount of money on a month-to-month basis.
- Save On Utility Bills –
This is one of the more efficient money-saving tips that you can take advantage of in your household. Saving money on the utility bills can certainly help you accumulate more cash over a long period of time. Getting into the habit of saving electricity and turning lights off to save cash is a great idea when it comes to trying to find a way to save a little extra money each month. This tip can work on just about any utility bill that you wish, including a combination of such. It is one of the better ways to save cash without having to do a whole lot.
Check out these Five Quick Tips to Lower Your Gas Bill from the Peoples Natural Gas website: https://www.peoples-gas.com/my-account/understand/save-money.php
- Pay With Cash –
It’s been shown that those who use cash to purchase items tend to spend less. This is true when you’re in a brick-and-mortar establishment, but it’s especially evident online. Avoid making online purchases whenever possible even though it may not be easy, especially if your payment details are already pre-loaded and all you need to do is click, “Purchase Now.”
Also consider carrying large bills when out and about. Doing so will cause you to be less apt to make small purchases, purchases that can add up to extensive expenses much more quickly than expected.
- Brew Your Coffee –
This may be a life hack that you already know about, but it’s worth considering again as the impact that it can have on your bankroll can be significant when you look at monthly and annual coffee-related expenses. For example, if you go to Starbucks every morning, consider instead purchasing a bag of Starbucks coffee for you to brew at home.
- Use A Water Filter –
This is another liquid-related money-saving life hack as buying bottled water can add a lot of expense to your life. Like with coffee, make sure to consider the savings on a monthly basis and on an annual basis as you’re likely excusing those expenses with their daily costs in mind instead. To lower your water-related costs, get a water filter. Also reduce the amount of non-water beverages that you drink.
- Exercise More –
This is a more indirect money-saving life hack, but it can have a resounding monetary impact. A healthier lifestyle allows you to need to visit doctors and hospitals less often, which can have tremendous impacts on your future budget.
- Ask For Discounts –
You may be surprised at how often you’ll receive discounts from internet providers, credit card companies, utility companies and similar organizations once you ask for them. It may not happen every time, but it’ll happen often enough to cause spending the effort to ask to be more than worth it. Also, if you’re in a situation where you can compare offers, contact similar companies and see what they have to offer you and then see what the initial one can provide in response.
- Buy In Bulk –
As long as you have storage space and don’t plan to move anytime soon, buy nonperishable items in bulk whenever possible, especially if they’re on sale. This is because bulk items tend to cost a bit less than purchasing those items in smaller amounts. These can be things like toilet paper and laundry detergent as well as food items that are canned or are otherwise nonperishable.
Saving money can seem like an insurmountable task, but it really doesn’t need to be. Take advantage of these life hacks as well as any others that you come up with your own to start increasing your bank balance today.
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 of them will make you rich. But combined, they can save you a lot of money.
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!