Admit it—being a responsible person is not always easy. The idea of saving money can be painful many times. Few of us give up the creature comforts or abruptly lower the living standard to save pennies. It’s hard to tell your children or spouse that something is beyond the monthly budget. Moreover, it’s not always fun to sacrifice, keeping the big picture in mind intact.
Though meeting some big financial goals like an emergency fund or paying off debt requires some genuine effort on your part, the good news is that there are various ways to save money without big sacrifices. Check out these great little ways to save money painlessly.
1. Cut Your Cable
You enjoy watching at least a few series or shows each week to unwind and relax. But you could access most of the shows and series you love for a lot less. Needless to say, the cable is full of hidden fees, broadcast fees, and you always deal with random price surge or channel packaging changes. If you get a cable bill over $20/month, believe me, you are paying too much. Surprised?
Netflix at $7.99/month after a free month and Hulu can be a better alternative. Wait Wait! You think both the streaming services do not offer your favorite channels. We know you will love the Roku box! It has more than 2000 channels so you can easily mix and match as per your family requirements and budgets. The biggest perk of cutting the cord in favor of streaming is NO commercials.
2. Switch to a Bank That Pays
Yes, there are some banks which offer a variety of financial planning services. Moreover, the have some reward programs that will pay you some cash as rewards when you hit a certain threshold. Brightpeak Financial, for example, pay you $100 once your savings hit $1000. To know more about the offers and other rewards program currently active, click here.
Another good option is PNC Bank, which has three different cashback options, ranging from $75-300. Online banks offer some freaking savings, as brick and mortar locations avoid passing their savings on to you in the form of cash bonuses and better interest rates. Moreover, Capital One 360 also has some fantastic cashback options, including one for kids.
3. Save While You Spend
There are tons of great ways to save while you spend, and most of them require minimal effort. Just make sure you don’t use this as an excuse to buy unnecessary stuff. Some people find it easier to shop with cash, but if you are among those who prefer shopping online, you must know about programs like Ebates or Inbox Dollars. Both give you cashback on the purchase.
On joining – Ebates gives you $10 gift card while Inbox Dollars gives you $5 cash. We strongly recommend signing up for both, then decide which one is better to use and which one works with the stores of your choice.
Another painless way to save is by rounding up and keep the change. If you bank at Bank of America, make sure you sign up for their keep the Change Program. Your spare change will be transferred automatically to your savings account.
4. Take Advantage of Special Discounts
Are you a teacher, senior citizen, a student, or in the military? If you fit in any of these groups, always ask for the appropriate discount. Many times, entertainment facilities and stores offer discounts but avoid posting or advertizing them. Be brave and ask as it costs nothing. Discounts for teachers are extensively available than you think.
Jo-Ann Fabrics, for example, offers a Teacher Rewards Discount Card. Michael’s offers a flat 15% discount on all purchases. On the other hand, Barnes & Noble Educator Program offers various rewards and discounts for teachers.
Check with your employer if you are eligible for savings on anything from your business attire to the cell phone bill.
5. Hire a Bill Negotiation Service
Sometimes reducing your cell phone, cable, internet, insurance, and energy bills is a matter of thinking outside the box. You can potentially save a lot of money, but it requires patience and even more expertise. If you are good at negotiation and can remain on hold for longer while talking to the customer support, the ball is all yours. Else, one great option is to look at a service such as BillTrim.
This innovative service helps negotiate better rates for all your monthly bills and then splits the difference with you. Though the service is chargeable, you won’t have to pay anything upfront. They get paid only if they save you money, which means it’s painless and a no-brainer at the same time.
Suppose your cell phone bill is $200/month and they lower it down to $100/month. They will charge you 25% of the savings as a service fee which comes out to be $25 in this case. The rest $75 (or 75% of the savings) goes back to your account. To know more about Billtrim, click here.
6. Make Your Home a Sanctuary
To make sure you do not cross the monthly budget, you plan to spend your free time and weekends at home. It’s essential to design your home interior in such a way; it hooks you easily. There are various ways to decorate on a budget or even smarter ways to revamp you uncluttered space for free.
All you need is a fresh coat of paint to transform your interior completely. Ok, you don’t even want to spend money on paint? Just take some time to clear the clutter and deep cleaning your house from top to bottom will make all the difference.
7. Exercise at Home
Honestly speaking, Gym membership is the worst investment one can make. Speaking of staying at home, consider terminating your gym membership. On average, a gym membership costs thousands each year, and many times they go unused or barely used.
If the outside weather is pleasant, go outside! Or prefer working out at home or any of the nearest local community recreation center. If you need to work out outside home, check with your local high school off-hour pool access. Also, a bike ride or a family walk costs nothing and helps you remain healthy and energetic.
Meeting your financial goals requires a lot of effort, but not every attempt at saving has to hit you where it hurts the most. Implement these little hacks to save painlessly. Believe me or not, saving money can be a fun family challenge and it gets even better if your family members contribute significantly.
You may notice that with a little effort in painless saving, your family will start on their mission to becoming super-savers—and actually, enjoy the whole process.