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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.