20 Money-Saving Hacks You Wish You Knew Sooner

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20 money saving hacks

20 Money-Saving Life Hacks You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner

Everyone loves a good life hack, especially when it comes to saving money. In a world where expenses seem to be ever-increasing, finding clever ways to keep more cash in one’s wallet has become something of a necessity. This article explores 10 ingenious money-saving life hacks that can help people maximize their finances while minimizing their spending.

  1. The 30-Day Rule

The 30-Day Rule is a simple yet effective strategy to combat impulse buying. By waiting 30 days before purchasing a non-essential item, individuals can assess whether they truly need the product or if it’s just a passing fancy (Clear, 2018).

  1. Discounted Gift Cards

By purchasing discounted gift cards for stores they frequent, savvy shoppers can save a significant percentage on their purchases. Websites like Raise and Gift Card Granny offer a platform to buy and sell gift cards at reduced prices (The Krazy Coupon Lady, 2021).

  1. DIY Cleaning Products

Creating eco-friendly cleaning products using household items such as vinegar, baking soda, and lemon not only saves money but also reduces exposure to harsh chemicals (Mann, 2019). This sustainable approach to housekeeping is both cost-effective and environmentally friendly.

  1. Plan Your Meals

Planning meals for the week and creating a shopping list helps prevent overspending on unnecessary grocery items and reduces food waste (Tirado, 2017). This organized approach can also save time and ensure healthier eating habits.

  1. Energy Efficiency

Switching to energy-efficient light bulbs, turning off electronics when not in use, and using a programmable thermostat can significantly reduce utility bills (Energy Saver, 2021). These small changes can add up to big savings over time.

  1. Price Comparison Tools

Utilizing price comparison websites and apps can help shoppers find the best deals on products and services, ensuring they never overpay for anything (Consumer Reports, 2018). Examples include Google Shopping, Honey, and CamelCamelCamel.

  1. Utilize Cashback and Reward Programs

Many credit cards and online platforms offer cashback and reward programs that allow users to earn points or money for making everyday purchases (Schulz, 2020). By taking advantage of these programs, individuals can save on future purchases or even redeem rewards for travel and experiences.

  1. Shop Secondhand

Thrift stores, garage sales, and online marketplaces like eBay or Poshmark provide opportunities to find quality items at a fraction of the retail price (Peterson, 2019). Buying secondhand can result in significant savings while also promoting a more sustainable lifestyle.

  1. Automate Savings

Setting up automatic transfers to a savings account can help individuals effortlessly save money (Meyer, 2018). This “set it and forget it” approach ensures consistent savings without the need for constant monitoring.

  1. Repurpose and Upcycle

Before discarding old items, consider repurposing or upcycling them into something new and functional (Breyer, 2015). This creative approach not only saves money but also reduces waste and supports a sustainable lifestyle.

  1. Learn Basic Home Maintenance Skills

Acquiring basic home maintenance skills can save individuals a significant amount of money by avoiding the need for professional services (Rowe, 2017). Learning how to fix leaky faucets, patch drywall, or unclog drains can reduce long-term expenses.

  1. Use Public Transportation or Carpool

Opting for public transportation or carpooling can save money on fuel, vehicle maintenance, and parking fees (U.S. Department of Energy, 2021). Additionally, this eco-friendly approach helps reduce carbon emissions and traffic congestion.

  1. Cancel Unused Subscriptions

Evaluate monthly subscriptions and cancel any that are not being used, such as streaming services or gym memberships (Pritchard, 2020). This simple step can free up money for more essential expenses or savings.

  1. Cook at Home

Cooking at home instead of dining out or ordering takeout can save a substantial amount on food expenses (Tumin, 2021). Preparing meals at home is often healthier and can be an enjoyable activity for the entire family.

  1. Take Advantage of Free Events and Activities

Many cities offer free or low-cost events and activities, such as concerts, art exhibits, or workshops (Fottrell, 2019). By participating in these events, individuals can save money on entertainment while also enriching their lives with new experiences.

  1. Utilize the Library

Libraries offer more than just books; they also provide free access to movies, music, and even educational courses (MacBride, 2018). This cost-effective alternative to purchasing or renting media can save money while supporting local community resources.

  1. Buy in Bulk

Purchasing non-perishable items in bulk can lead to significant savings over time; however, it’s essential to compare the unit prices to ensure you’re getting the best deal (Trae Bodge, 2021). Sometimes, stores may temporarily increase the price of a larger quantity item, making it more cost-effective to buy two smaller items instead. To compare unit prices, simply use the calculator on your smartphone to divide the total price of each product by the base unit (e.g., ounces, pounds, or liters). By doing the math yourself, you can confidently determine which option offers the greatest savings. When buying in bulk, also be mindful of storage space and expiration dates to ensure that it remains a cost-effective choice.

  1. Invest in a Slow Cooker

A slow cooker is a versatile and energy-efficient kitchen appliance that can save money by allowing users to cook large, inexpensive cuts of meat or prepare meals in advance (West, 2021). This time-saving device can lead to healthier, more affordable meal options.

  1. Refinance Debt

Refinancing high-interest debt, such as student loans or mortgages, can save individuals money on interest payments over the long term (Singletary, 2020). Research available options and consult with a financial advisor to determine if refinancing is the right choice.

  1. Grow Your Own Food

Starting a small garden or growing herbs indoors can save money on groceries while providing fresh, organic produce (Green, 2019). Gardening is not only a cost-effective hobby but also a therapeutic and rewarding experience.

By incorporating these money-saving life hacks into their daily routines, individuals can find themselves with more financial freedom and less stress over expenses. A little ingenuity goes a long way in keeping one’s wallet happy.

Fact Sources:

Breyer, M. (2015). 50 ways to reuse your garbage. Treehugger. https://www.treehugger.com/ways-to-reuse-your-garbage-4864329. Retrieved on September 29, 2021.

Clear, J. (2018). The 30-Day Rule: A simple method to control impulsive spending. James Clear. https://jamesclear.com/the-30-day-rule. Retrieved on September 29, 2021.

Consumer Reports. (2018). How to find the best prices online. https://www.consumerreports.org/shopping-retail/how-to-find-best-prices-online/. Retrieved on September 29, 2021.

Energy Saver. (2021). Save money and energy today. U.S. Department of Energy. https://www.energy.gov/sites/default/files/2021-03/save_money_and_energy_today.pdf. Retrieved on September 29, 2021.

Fottrell, Q. (2019). 10 cool ways to save money on entertainment. MarketWatch. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/10-cool-ways-to-save-money-on-entertainment-2014-03-13. Retrieved on September 29, 2021.

Green, P. (2019). How to grow your own food and save money. Money Crashers. https://www.moneycrashers.com/grow-your-own-food-save-money/. Retrieved on September 29, 2021.

MacBride, E. (2018). 12 things you didn’t know you could get for free at the library. The Penny Hoarder. https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/save-money/library-perks/. Retrieved on September 29, 2021.

Mann, T. (2019). 19 green cleaning products that really work. The Spruce. https://www.thespruce.com/green-cleaning-products-that-really-work-4684304. Retrieved on September 29, 2021.

Meyer, G. (2018). 7 ways to automate your savings. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/garrettgunderson/2018/03/15/7-ways-to-automate-your-savings/. Retrieved on September 29, 2021.

Peterson, H. (2019). 11 places to buy secondhand clothes. Business Insider. https://www.businessinsider.com/where-to-buy-secondhand-clothing-online. Retrieved on September 29, 2021.

Pritchard, J. (2020). How to save money by cutting subscription services. The Balance. https://www.thebalance.com/save-money-by-cutting-subscription-services-4582785. Retrieved on September 29, 2021.

Rowe, M. (2017). 5 DIY skills that will save you money. HowStuffWorks. https://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/budgeting/5-diy-skills-that-will-save-you-money.htm. Retrieved on September 29, 2021.

Schulz, M. (2020). 7 best cash back credit cards. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/credit-cards/best/cash-back/. Retrieved on September 29, 2021.

Singletary, M. (2020). Is refinancing your mortgage worth it? The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/08/13/is-refinancing-your-mortgage-worth-it/. Retrieved on September 29, 2021.

The Krazy Coupon Lady. (2021). How to buy discounted gift cards and save a bundle. https://thekrazycouponlady.com/tips/couponing/10-ways-to-buy-gift-cards-for-less. Retrieved on September 29, 2021.

Tirado, B. (2017). How to save money on groceries: 28 tools and tricks to save $100 or more. The Penny Hoarder. https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/save-money/save-on-groceries/. Retrieved on September 29, 2021.

Trae Bodge. (2021). 12 ways to save money on groceries. AARP. https://www.aarp.org/money/budgeting-saving/info-2021/save-money-on-groceries.html. Retrieved on September 29, 2021.

Tumin, D. (2021). How much you can save by cooking at home. The Balance. https://www.thebalance.com/cooking-at-home-4171962. Retrieved on September 29, 2021.

U.S. Department of Energy. (2021). Carpooling and public transit can save you cash. https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/articles/carpooling-and-public-transit-can-save-you-cash. Retrieved on September 29, 2021.

West, L. (2021). 12 money-saving slow cooker tips. The Spruce Eats. https://www.thespruceeats.com/slow-cooker-tips-to-save-money-1388742. Retrieved on September 29, 2021.