We all love them.
They’re like the gift that keeps on giving.
And here’s the deal:
I like to keep things simple. So for me, the best money saving tips are effortless.
So if you’re trying to keep some extra money in your pocket, you’ve come to the right place.
The best part?
You can use these financial hacks to trick yourself into saving money.
So let’s dive in.
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Tip 1 | Save While You Spend
The goal is to save money on everything you buy.
So one of my favorite money saving tips is a cash back app called Ebates.
Because if you’re buying things you know you need anyway, then you might as well save money doing it.
So here’s how Ebates works:
You sign up for an account and use the search bar to find the retailer you want to shop at.
For my visual readers, here’s how that looks:
As you make purchases, you’ll earn cash back.
Ebates currently works with over 2,500 stores, so all your favorites are probably covered.
And I’ve saved over $1,000 since joining in 2013. Like last year, I bought furniture and got $59 from that purchase alone.
You can’t beat that.
Overall, it’s an awesome way to save money without any extra effort.
Note: The Ebates link above will give you a $10 welcome bonus for signing up and shopping.
Tip 2 | Delete Credit Card Numbers from Online Retailers
Are you an online shopper?
But here’s the deal:
We’ve made it far too easy on ourselves to spend money online.
When you auto-save your credit card info, you’re opening the door to impulse purchases.
Don’t even get me started on Amazon’s one-click buy feature.
Talk about financial death by a thousand cuts.
So when it comes to money hacks, it comes down to this:
Give yourself time.
And when you clear out your card information, you’re giving yourself time to think it over.
Why? Because you’ll have to decide if it’s actually worth it to dig through your wallet for your card.
And guess what?
Half the time you’ll end up telling yourself the purchase can wait – or you’ll just forget about it completely.
Tip 3 | When it’s on Sale, Stock up
Did you know that sales cycles usually run every 6-8 weeks?
So you know what that means:
If your favorite item is on sale, then grab extra because it won’t go back on sale for several weeks.
And here’s another thing:
Meat and produce are the two most expensive items in the grocery store.
They also go bad the quickest.
And one of the best ways to cripple your budget is to buy things as you need them, not when they’re on sale.
So here’s what works for me:
I buy extra items when I’m getting a discount. And when it comes to food, I use my FoodSaver to vacuum seal it for freshness.
Nobody likes throwing money down the drain.
But the research shows that the average person wastes $2,200 of food each year, and I knew I probably wasn’t the exception.
So my FoodSaver prevents my food from going bad before I can eat it.
And these days, when meat goes on sale at the grocery store, I buy double and freeze the extra.
It’s a foolproof way of saving money.
Tip 4 | Use a Cash System
This is one of my favorite money hacks.
If you’ve read how I saved $15,000, then you’ve heard me talk about how I love my cash system.
But don’t just take it from me:
Research shows that people who use cash spend 12%-18% less than people who use plastic.
Those are odds you want to put in your favor.
Here’s the deal:
Handing over your hard-earned dollars sinks in much more than swiping a card. You’re more aware of what’s coming in and going out. It’s eye-opening.
So I gave myself 12 weeks to try it and decide if it worked. In the first month, I saved $178.
I was hooked.
If you’re new to the cash system, then I recommend giving cash envelopes a shot. They’re cheap and easy to use.
If you love your new cash system, then switch to a cash envelope wallet that’s durable. It makes managing your money a breeze.
Tip 5 | Make Saving Money Automatic
This is one of the easiest steps ever:
Set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account.
This is called paying yourself first.
And by automating your savings, you don’t give yourself time to miss that money.
Trust me, you won’t even think about it. Just treat it like another bill.
Tip 6 | Practice a No-Spend Week
You’ve got to try this.
It shines a surprising light on your spending habits.
And the best part:
No-Spend challenges empower you to become creative when it comes to saving money.
You’ll start thinking:
Maybe I should start making my coffee at home to save myself $30 each week.
Or if I packed my lunch, I’d save $60.
After all, it’s the small expenses that kill your budget.
So start your no-spend week by only spending money on necessities.
- Cook at home
- Avoid the coffee runs
- Say no to impulse purchases
- Don’t pay for services you don’t need
Then watch the magic happen. This is one of the money hacks that gives you a small “win”
You successfully complete a no-spend week, and you feel like you’ve reached a victory. It’s powerful.
Tip 7 | Convert Money into Hours Worked
Think about this:
Let’s say a shopping trip cost you $200. How many hours would it take you to make that money?
If you make $20/hour, that’s 10 hours of work.
If you make $15/hour, that’s almost 14 hours of work.
Are you willing to give up hours of your time for that purchase?
A new mindset changes everything.
Tip 8 | Name An Account
If you give one of your bank accounts a specific name, like “Disney World” or “Miami Beach Trip” you’ll be more likely to hit your savings goal.
Because the best thing you can do for a goal is to define it.
And by giving your account a name, you’re also giving it a purpose.
This is actually a behavioral concept called mental accounting. It’s been proven to be more effective than just stashing money away.
Tip 9 | Use the 48-Hour Rule
“Let me think about it” is one of the best things you can say when it comes to your finances.
So hit the pause button for at least 48 hours.
Here’s the idea:
When you wait, you allow the rational side of your brain to think of more practical ways to spend that money.
Like getting out of debt or investing.
And another thing:
Beware of the deals that are only good for a set amount of time – 20 minutes, 1 hour, or even 24 hours.
Marketers are smart.
This is one of their sales secrets to convert consumers into customers quickly.
Don’t fall for it.
Tip 10 | Keep the Change
And by that I mean, keep a change jar.
This is one of the surprisingly simple money hacks that saved me $288 last year.
Anyone can do this.
Every day when you come home from your cash system, toss the extra change into your jar.
People who do this save, on average, $150-$300 each year.
Tip 11 | Take It To Zero
…with your zero-based budget.
A zero-based budget is by far the most effective budgeting method you’ll ever use.
So what is a zero-based budget exactly?
Let’s use an example:
If you budget all your expenses for the month and still have $150 left over, then you aren’t done budgeting yet.
You need to assign that $150 to a category. Savings, fun money, retirement – whatever.
If you don’t, you risk wasting that money.
Here’s a zero-based budget in action:
See how income minus expenses equal to zero? That’s because every dollar is assigned to a category.
Tip 12 | Make it Visual
It’s no secret that visualizing your progress means you do better.
But how many of us actually do it?
Here’s the deal:
One of the best ways to save money is to print out a savings chart and keep track of it.
When you hit milestones, you can celebrate your victory.
Tip 13 | Break Your Goals Down Into Smaller Ones
Goals, goals, goals.
They just work.
Several years ago, Forbes did a research study about goal-setting at Harvard University.
They asked students if they had set specific, written goals, as well as if they’d made clear plans to achieve them.
Here were the results:
- 3% had written goals and plans to reach them
- 13% had goals in their heads but hadn’t written them down
- 84% had no goals at all
After 10 years, the same group of students were interviewed again.
The results were surprising:
The 13% of the class who had goals, but did not write them down, earned twice the amount of the 84% who had no goals.
The 3% who had written goals were earning, on average, 10 times as much as the other 97% of the class combined.
Chances are, this isn’t the first time you’re hearing that you should have written goals. And it won’t be the last.
There’s a reason why books like these are so popular. Those principles will transform your life.
So here’s what it comes down to:
The man at the top of the mountain didn’t fall there. He set goals, developed a plan, and worked hard to get there.
So what are you waiting for?
I hope you enjoyed these money hacks. Let us know in the comments:
What money saving hacks can you recommend?
Thanks for reading.