You disconnect your cable connection. You brown-bag your lunch most days. And lattes? You gave them up long back for the sake of saving money.
Still why it seems like you’re struggling to make ends meet? Maybe your old ways of saving aren’t efficient enough and need some fresh ideas for cost-cutting and improving the budget. We interviewed authors, bloggers, financial planners, and more people in the personal finance niche and came up with some effective and creative tips.
1. Treat Your Savings Like a Bill
“This is perhaps the best way to save money on the go. Determine how much and how frequently you can save. Treat your savings as if it’s a recurring bill. Automate your savings through immediate deposit via your salary account. Alternatively, you can also schedule an ongoing automatic transfer to your savings to account from checking through the bank.
With the evolution of technology, especially in the banking sector, you can take the help of some prominent apps like Digit and RIZE that make savings a true convenience.” ― Holly Reid Toodle, certified public accountant
2. Call Your Service Providers and Negotiate Discounts
“Most of the saving tip is all about cutting back the existing services and many of them are time-consuming and devastating. But here are a few things you can do today or even within a week: you can easily negotiate your cell phone, internet, cable, insurance, energy, credit cards, gym membership, and other fees. With a few phone calls, you can lower the bills by putting more money into the savings account. Even a small saving of $10 each month means you save $120 in a year.
The key to successful negotiation is being cordial and nice, firmly asking about better plans compared to the existing ones. If things don’t go as per the plan, call them back. However, negotiation is not an easy thing and requires repeated calls and some skills to get things done. Want to save your valuable time and still want lower bills, BillTrim is here for you.” ― Ramit Sethi, author of I Will Teach You To Be Rich
3. Ask Your Employer About Discounts
“Many employers offer significant savings to their employees ranging from gym membership to phone bills; you may not be aware of that. Check with your human resource team and analyze where you could be taking advantage of existing corporate discounts.” ― Jennifer McDermott, consumer advocate forfinder.com
4. Start Using Cashback Apps
“Use various cashback apps and save money on items you are already buying anyway. Apps such as Ibotta collaborate with brand-name products and offer cashback on their items. You can earn as low as $0.25 to up to five dollars or even more, depending on the billing amount. They always update the system with amazing offers and new products, so it never gets stale.” ― Dustyn Ferguson, blogger at Dime Will Tell
5. Then Stack Cashback and Rewards.
“A lot of people use rewards and cashback credit cards, but there is an easy way to multiply the effect by stacking some cashback and reward offers. For instance, if you shop through Ebates, you are eligible to earn cashback from Ebates and still get the rewards from the credit card. You can also download other cashback apps like Dosh and Drop that link directly to your credit card.
One of the best ways to triple-stack rewards is to use Ebates for purchasing discounted gift cards from Raise.com and pay the amount with a cashback credit card. You will get a handsome discount on the gift card from Raise, cashback from credit card, and another cashback from Ebates.” ― Marc, blogger at Vital Dollar
6. Follow the “One Item In, One Item Out” Rule
“Sounds irrelevant, right? Let me show you how it works: For any non-consumable item you purchase, you must sell out another item (the item needn’t be related to one another). This method fulfills two things:
- You will think more about every purchase because you may not want to get rid of anything.
- You are more likely to use the items you own regularly. Otherwise, off they go!
Start implementing this with clothes and home decor. You will get rid of things you no longer use and ultimately find this a great system.” ― Rachel Smith, blogger at Budgets and Kale
7. Make Extra Payments on Your Mortgage
I know, you might not agree with this as it sounds counterintuitive. But it is always a good idea to make extra payments on your mortgage if you want to save money in the longer run. I am sure you are thinking: ‘How does spending extra money on a mortgage save you money?’ The answer is interesting. Every year you keep your mortgage, you are liable to pay more interest. Just making one extra payment each quarter completes the payoff five years sooner!” ― Rachel Cruze, New York Times best-selling author and personal finance expert
8. Switch to Biweekly Garbage Pickup
“You might not create enough waste to need a weekly pickup. Ask your garbage company and see if they are comfortable with a biweekly pickup instead. You will save around $15 each month and almost $180 a year doing so.” ― The Savvy Couple
9. Try the “Half Payment” Budget Method
“This payment method is a great savior. It is ideal for that living paycheck-to-paycheck who feels like they are unable to clear their bills on time. Here is a simple rule for them. Add up all your bills and divide them by two. Now, pay half of the bills out of your first paycheck and the other half out of your next paycheck. This will surely give you so much financial freedom, and will remove a huge burden off of your chest.” ― Shatoria Smith, accountant and creator of Coin Counting Mama
10. Use Your Grocery Store’s App
“These days, every grocery store has a dedicated app. Download your favorite grocery store’s app and make sure to enable notifications. You will get some offers like discounted items, and free products on your grocery list in the form of a popup. It helps you give extra room in your budget or a few more bucks to put toward your next goal. Increase your savings by using a cashback rewards card.” ― Jason Speciner, certified financial planner and founder of fee-only firm Financial Planning Fort Collins