Making more money is the one thing that people always want to do. Have you ever thought that saving money can be just as effective as trying to make more of it?
There are plenty of things that you can do right now to save yourself some extra cash.
I’m going to take you through 20 clever money hacks to help you save money every day.
Without further ado, let’s jump straight in a look at these 20 money hacks.
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20 Money Hacks
1. Use cash instead of cards where possible
I’m a huge believer in the money envelope system.
Using the money envelope system is a great way to help you curb your spending habits. I don’t know about you but watching physical cash get less and less is not on my list of fun things to do.
In fact, I hate it. There is a big difference in pulling out your debit card to make a purchase and paying outright with cash.
Whenever I have cash to spend for some reason I always think twice before handing it over. There is something much more present about holding physical money in your hand.
If overspending is your weakness then the cash envelope system should definitely be on your radar.
It has the potential to make you huge savings!
Not only that but if you can be disciplined enough, you know that once the money you have in your envelope is spent you are done for the month.
No more spending for you.
2. Meal plan
Whoever invented meal planning is a sheer genius. Meal planning has the ability to save you hundreds of dollars each month.
We recently started meal planning as a family and honestly, I really underestimated how much money it could actually save us as a family.
I make sure that I bulk cook at the beginning of the month and freeze what I can.
I then make other meals around that that can maybe last a couple of days.
Just by doing this I don’t have to worry too much about what to cook and can avoid the temptation of wanting to get a takeaway during the week.
If you don’t really have the patience to meal plan for the whole month, I mean let’s face it, its hard work coming up with meal ideas.
There are actually some really good companies out there that can meal plan on your behalf. Platejoy is a really good example of this.
You simply take a short quiz and let them know about your preferences for food and they get back to you with a meal plan that is easy to adjust if need be.
Not only this but they will also let you know exactly which ingredients you need in order to make the meal. They will make sure that you use up the ingredients so that you don’t have any food wastage left at the end of the month.
It is genius!
You can take Platejoy for a spin yourself with a 10 day free trial and $10 off your first month using the code CRAZY10
Decluttering is a secret weapon that many households just don’t utilize.
I’m not sure about you but in my house, we are always complaining about having too much clutter and not having enough storage space for things.
There is an easy solution to this.
Get rid of your clutter.
But don’t just throw it away, sell it and get some money for it.
You’ll be surprised at the things that people will buy online. I have sold tons of things on eBay in the past, things that I thought were junk but the other person couldn’t wait to get their hands on.
Don’t be so quick to dismiss your clutter as junk, you probably have some hidden gems in your home too.
4. Use cash back apps
There are so many great apps out there at the moment that can help you to save money on everyday purchases.
Here are a few that I love:
Ibotta is a really cool app for saving money on items that you want to buy.
You simply download the app add offers from the store that you want and shop.
Once you are done, just take a photo of your receipt and upload it. Within 24 hours you should get your cashback. So easy to use and well worth it.
Rakuten is connected to 2500 stores each offering cashback on purchases that you make.
Again very easy to use, just download the app or you can shop instore and wait for your cashback rewards to come in.
Paribus works slightly different from Rakuten and Ibotta.
Have you ever purchased a product only to find out that a short time afterwards the price dropped? It’s one of those annoying things that you wish you could do something about.
Well with Paribus you can.
Shop online and Paribus will monitor your receipts whenever you make a purchase. If they detect a price drop on anything that you have purchased they will let you know and help you to get the price difference back.
It’s like saving money without actually having to do anything.
All 3 of these cashback reward systems are great but best of all they are free to sign up to so you have nothing to lose and money to gain.
Sign up now before you spend any more money.
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5. Tighten your budget
I’m going to assume that you already have a budget in place. If you don’t you need to work on that ASAP.
Having a budget is crucial to you being able to have better control over your money.
Every month you should take the time to go over your budget and make cutbacks where you can.
There is always somewhere you can make a little more room to save money.
You can cut your cable for a few months and stream movies from Amazon instead or take your lunch to work instead of buying it at work which is going to be costly.
No matter what tighten your budget as much as you can and you will definitely benefit from it in the future.
6. Save small amounts of money each week
There are a few different ways that you can choose to do this.
Some people like to have a set amount of money each week and put it away until the end of the year.
Personally, for me, I love to save a particular note or coin. When I lived in the UK I used to save up £2 coins. I don’t really know why I chose this particular coin but I did.
Each time I would shop and get change if there was a £2 coin in there I would put it to one side and not touch it until I felt that the time was right.
It took a little bit of discipline at first to not use the money but eventually, it became a habit and it didn’t concern me at all.
In the end, I ended up saving a few hundred pounds without ever feeling like I was really doing anything.
It was a great feeling.
7. Stop accumulating more debt
The more debt that you accumulate the more money you will be spending because you will be paying interest on that money.
A good little trick is to think of your money in terms of time.
If you get paid $20 an hour to work and you have to pay $20 in interest charges then you will basically spend one hour of your day just to pay for interest.
Doesn’t feel so good, does it?
If you want to save yourself some money then you need to take this money hack on board and stop accumulating more debt and start to pay it off as quickly as you can.
8. Incorporate no spending days
Having no spending days are not only a great challenge but it means that you get to have some fun without ever spending a cent.
You could decide to go to the park as a day out. Take some homemade sandwiches with you so that you are not tempted to buy food whilst you are out.
Have some fun and come back home.
No spending days are a really good way to help you save money without feeling that you are restricted or have to spend your time locked in the house.
A lot of these money hacks are going to be a battle in your mind. Learning to save money and pay off debt requires a complete mind transformation on your part.
It won’t happen overnight but it will happen.
I can guarantee you that when you are debt free and living the life that you want to you won’t be thinking about the time that you had to go to the park without spending any money.
You will just be grateful for the experience.
9. Eat at home more
This is a biggie. We spend way too much money on eating out.
I recently watched a program where a particular family ate out 5 nights of the week! Can you imagine that? I don’t think I even want to know how much that cost them at the end of the month but I know it must be horrific.
By choosing to eat indoors you can save yourself hundreds of dollars every month.
There is nothing wrong with the occasional treat but it has to be an occasional treat and not something that you build a habit of doing every weekend if you can’t afford it.
Eating a meal at home costs an average of $4.31 compared to eating at a restaurant which costs $20.37 according to Wellio. You can take a look at the study here.
That’s a massive amount of money to pay for convenience. You might want to think twice before deciding to eat out next time.
10. Wait 30 days before making a purchase
I love this idea but I can’t honestly say that I love doing it. I’m still human and still have to control my spending habits.
There will be times that you just want to treat yourself to something nice or think that you need something that you have just seen in a shop.
9 times out of 10 you don’t really need it.
The rule here is that if you see something that you think you really need then you should wait 30 days before buying it.
If at the end of the 30 days you still feel that you really need it you can go ahead and purchase it as long as you have the money.
On the other hand if after the 30 days your desire to buy the item has left you then you just saved yourself a pile of cash.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I bought something that I felt I really needed only to find that I didn’t really need it a month later.
If I could have all the cash back on those purchases I would be a rich woman right now.
11. Learn to fix minor things yourself
When something goes wrong in the house your first port of call is to call out an expert of some sort to help you fix it.
This costs money and usually quite a lot of it.
There are some little things that you could probably teach yourself to do that would eventually save you some money.
I remember a few years ago when my children were smaller they got something stuck down the toilet. I didn’t know what to do so I called out a plumber.
It took him all of 30 seconds to remove the item from the toilet then he handed me a bill for £60 ($75).
At that moment I wished that I could have rewound time and researched how to do it myself, I would be £60 better off for it.
Cars are another thing where you can save money. Learn how to change the engine oil yourself and do little things to maintain your car and you will save yourself some money there too.
You might just surprise yourself with the things you can learn once you put your mind to it.
12. Start to invest
Learning to invest is an excellent way to make some extra money.
The good news is that you don’t have to have floods of money to be able to do it. You can literally just start with the money you have in your back pocket.
Acorns is a great way to start learning about investing and it will literally cost you pennies to do it.
What Acorns does is, each time you make a purchase they round that purchase up to the nearest dollar and invest the change on your behalf.
So if you purchase a coffee for $2.70, Acorns will round it up to $3 and save and invest the $0.30 cents for you.
This way you can invest money without even feeling it.
13. Buy second hand
You might not be a fan of buying things second hand but buying second-hand doesn’t need to mean that all your clothes come from the second-hand shop.
When we bought a new house we needed lots of things for it.
Instead of going out and buy everything brand new we decided to get some items second hand and it saved us so much money.
I even managed to bag myself a beautiful chandelier for £50 ($62). I also got a lovely second-hand dining table which looked brand new for a fraction of the price in the shops.
Don’t be so quick to dismiss second-hand items.
14. Save instead of credit
Its always going to be in your best interest to save up for what you want instead of using a credit card to pay for it.
I can guarantee you that if you pay for that thing outright with money that you have already saved up for not only will you respect it more but you will also essentially have paid less for it because you have eliminated the need to pay interest on it.
Get into the habit of saving up for purchases rather than just getting happy and buying everything on credit.
Did you know that banks make most of their money from loans and credit card debt?
The average credit card debt in America is $10,307. That is for those with an average net worth of negative or zero (source).
That’s pretty scary as with a net worth of zero you really should not have any debt at all.
Don’t let your household be a part of that number.
15. Exercise for free
Gym memberships cost on average $40 – $50 a month. When you start adding that up over the year its quite a hefty sum of money.
Consider how many times you actually use that gym membership.
If the numbers don’t make good sense to you then perhaps you should start thinking about other ways that you can work out for free.
There are many ways that people work out at home for free these days. You only need to do a quick youtube search to find out how.
16. Keep the temperature in your home regulated
It’s important that you keep the temperature in your home consistent.
Moving the gauge up and down each time is going to cost you much more in the long run.
The best thing to do is to keep the temperature steady and even turning it down by 1 degree can save you a lot of money on your monthly bill.
17. Buy store brands
Just because something is a store brand does not make it any worse off.
Usually, companies that spend thousands upon thousands on marketing have to recuperate their costs somehow.
That comes in the form for charging more for the actual product.
Don’t get sucked into buying branded items.
It’s a trap that you could do without.
Always give generic brands a try where you can.
18. Make your own kitchen cleaner
I used to spend so much money on different cleaning products every month. I used to get through tons of kitchen cleaner and other kitchen products.
It was only later on that I discovered that I could actually have the same desired effect just by making my own.
You can have the same cleaning effect just by using basic ingredients like white vinegar and baking soda.
If you want to know more about how to make your own cleaners, take a look at this post.
19. Wait for price drops
If you are not using Ibotta to monitor price drops then another great way is to wait before you make certain purchases.
There are particular times of the year when you know for sure that a lot of big items go on offer.
Black Friday, Cyber Monday and around Christmas are great times to buy the things that you really need.
If you make these planned purchases then you will have time to save up for them and have the opportunity to save the money to buy them without the need for credit.
20. Make sure you have a grocery list before going shopping
This is one of the biggest things that I did to reduce my grocery budget.
I never went shopping hungry and I always went with a list and stuck to it.
Having a grocery list will force you to only buy the things that you really need and help you to have the discipline to walk past the bakery section without making a purchase.
Make sure your grocery list is well structured so that you don’t end up walking up and down each aisle 20 times before you find what you want.
The idea here is that you want to be in and out as quickly as possible with only the things on your list.
If you want to know more about how to cut the cost on your shopping budget, take a look at this post.
Final thoughts on money hacks that will save you money
These money hacks will hopefully help you to save some extra money each month.
If you take the time to implement these money hacks you will get to keep those extra coins in your wallet and not someone else’s.
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