20 People Share Their Foolproof Money-Saving Hacks
Times are tough for everyone around the world with the ongoing economic crisis. Making ends meet can seem like a daunting task with no foreseeable way out if, like many others, you may also not have a backup financial plan. According to economist experts, things are about to get a little harder before they get better.
So best prepare for the coming drop in household incomes by rethinking our finances. Recently, a thread on Reddit went viral for sharing tips on money-saving hacks we can adopt to cap unnecessary excessive spending and we’ve shared a few of the best and most practical tips to make that happen. So gear up and let’s get frugal!
I make my own bread. I probably eat way too much of it but I use the no knead method and it’s easy.
I bought a steel coffee filter so I could stop buying paper ones (honestly a petty amount of money to save but hey it’s also better for the environment), clipped more coupons from both digital and online sources, invested more money.
What helped me is leaving my credit card and cash at home when I go out.
I’ve gotten rid of all but one of my streaming services and I rotate through them and binge watch. So Netflix for a couple of months, prime for a couple of months, then Apple etc…
And I don’t buy takeaway coffee.
Image source: LoubyAnnoyed
Just googling “website coupon code” whenever I am about to make a purchase that has a coupon code space to enter. Just bought lift tickets to ski and saw that section. Opened a new browser and searched for it. Found one that gave me $25 off. It worked and took me about 3 minutes to find.
I balance my accounts daily. It takes 5 minutes max, and it helps me see exactly what’s coming and going, what’s expected, and where I’m at. It makes keeping on track really, really, easy.
Make one day a week where you don’t spend any money for anything.
I started selling a bunch of stuff on eBay/FB market place and really digging into my “am i ever reallllyyyy guna use/wear this?”
Getting rid of Amazon prime was the best decision I made. I didn’t realize how many unnecessary purchases I had made. Also f**k Jeff Bezos.
Image source: blue3091
Group buy / batch cook
I dedicate one weekend a month to massive batch cooking to stuff the freezer with easy to make, healthy meals during busy weeknights. It’s usually all family members on deck to help.
If you can coordinate with a few friends, agree on a few recipes that everyone would like in their freezer, you can usually get better cost per unit when you buy in bulk. Then, fire up the tunes, break out the wine or beverages of choice and cook your a*s off with your friends.
My buddy and I banged out a large vat of home made sauce, 8 large pan lasagnas and a hundred stuffed shells in a weekend…and it was insanely cheap AND healthier than the high fructose corn syrup s**t in jars.
To avoid allowing myself to purchase unnecessary things, I made a note on my phone with links to everything I wanted to buy. Occasionally I would spend a long time saving up for those things. Often times, months would pass and when I had money to buy something from the list, I decided I didn’t really want it anymore. This has meant I only buy something extra for myself once every couple of months. This helped my self control, my wallet, and gave me perspective on what’s important.
Mine was setting up my direct deposit for a portion to go right to my savings before it hits my checking so I don’t see it. You can either do a percentage or a set amount. I do a set amount and when I get a raise, I up the amount a little. Currently, I have $200 go to my savings and the remainder hit my checking. I learned to live without that $200 as if I am not getting it, and my checking is $400 to $600 more per month depending on how many paychecks I get a month. I realize that many don’t make enough to di this, but I started with $50. Got a small raise and upped it to $75. Got a promotion with a 30% raise and then put it at $125, etc.
Image source: artimista0314
For me I have a really bad issue with buying cheap (and sometimes expensive) snacks whilst on my lunch break. Like I’ll go to the market by my job for a bag of chips and get a $2 bag sometimes because it’s $2…whatever, y’know?
Well, that adds up. Especially if I’m already planning on buying a lunch.
So on days where I grab the bag but then decide to put it back on the shelf, I immediately move that $2 to my savings. It definitely adds up over time, especially if it’s a more expensive snack like a $5 bag of chips, or a $8 pastry. If I could theoretically afford it in that moment, then I can definitely afford to send that money to my savings.
As soon as my car was paid off, I took half the payment I was making and put it into a ‘car savings account’ to be used on repairs of my car or hopefully build up to the point that replacing my vehicle was relatively painless. Eventually, the repair for the car was not worth it and I still was able to get a decent trade in value for it, combined with my savings, my monthly budget didn’t change at all.
When interest rates were low, I refinanced the house. Rather than a cash out like all of the cool people were doing, I just changed it to a 15 year instead of a 30 year mortgage. I will save well over 6 figures in interest, my payments really didn’t change by much. Also, the equity is there if I need it for emergencies but I am not paying interest on money I don’t need to borrow.
Item 5 in your list reminded me of something an old colleague told me about: have an annual house maintenance calendar full of lots of preventative jobs to do at specific points through the year.
Usual things like clearing out your gutters, jet washing the patio, etc, life admin tasks like renewing annual insurance policies, but then also things I’d never think about doing like pulling all the furniture/storage boxes etc away from external walls every autumn/spring to check for damp/mold.
I can’t say I’ve actually put anything as regimented as this in place myself ? but it sounds like a good idea!
Giving myself pocket money.
Without a doubt this stopped frivolous spending.
I give myself a small amount of pocket money every week out of my paycheck and I’m allowed to spend it 100% guilt free on anything I want.
It helped me save so much money as I saw all my money as mine and available for spending. Now I love saving up my pocket money to high amounts to buy special things, or just save.
Totally changed my view on the value of money and I’ve never saved so much in my life as now.
Image source: SharkCream
For frugal financial advice, here are a few that help me.
It’s kind of a Holy Grail in this sub already, but can’t be reiterated enough – use your local library, if you can!
Create wishlists or leave the item in your cart for at least a day or two when you want to buy something online. This form of “window shopping” helps curb impulse purchases and if it is an items you actually want, you might get a discount code from the site.
Set up text or email notifications on all your accounts for any withdrawals more than $0.01. Bank account, debit cards, credit cards, etc. It helps you catch items you may be missing if you aren’t tracking your expenses already (like a streaming service you never use!) and will alert you to fraud much quicker as well.
Using a credit union instead of a bank. Game changing in terms of low / no fees and low / no minimum balance.
If an article of clothing you like loses a button or gets a small tear or the hem comes undone, your dry cleaner will probably fix it for a couple of dollars. This is way better than throwing it out or waiting months / years until you get around to mending it yourself for free. For plain buttons, they probably have a close match if you lost it, or there may be hidden extra buttons sewn in. If the buttons are more custom color or shape, move a matching button from the bottom and replace the bottom button with a close match.
My entire house has been supplied by thrift store and Craigslist finds: dishes, area rugs, sheets $2, dressers $25, bed $100, toaster $5, blender $5, pots and pans $75, towels $2.50 ea, kitchen table and chairs $25, silver ware $8, etc.
All items match, coordinate, function and/or are quality made. Tons of fun finding them, memories and feelings of treasures found linger as I am surrounded by them. I’ve found them most of the time within a days outing in search of each one. Because they are in such good shape, I imagine they are from people moving, or donated during estate liquidation ext.
Seriously, Americans have so much stuff there is no need to buy new.
I joined a Buy Nothing Group on Facebook and the gifting community has been amazing. I was able to furnish a room in my apartment from gifted items.