In the world of working 9-5 or whatever your set hours may be, it’s called work for a reason, amirite?! You may be living your dream job, but whether you love it, hate it, or something in the middle, I’m assuming some form of labor is required to get that paycheck!
I’m the kinda gal who believes that any amount of money adds up, no matter how little. And if there are small, relatively painless ways you can save that hard-earned money or maybe even get something back, why not I say! This is NOT about being cheap or sacrificing quality- I wouldn’t ever wanna go there. Spending more is worth it where you want it to be worth it. But I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like a good deal on something they’d buy anyway, or anyone who said “YES! I am SO glad I spent more on that than I needed to!” I save when it’s worth it. If a product is cheap but stinks, I’d rather spend more and get what I really want and like it. Know what I’m sayin?
Here are some ways I try to save or get some mula back in my pocket. I’m sure there’s a lot more I could be doing that I haven’t even tapped into, but so far these have really worked for me and don’t take much. You may even be doing some of these already! This is not a sponsored post, just stuff I happen to like doing. Give some of these tips a whirl and see how they work for you!
1. Using Money-Saving apps and Websites
I go through Ebates when I shop online- lots of stores are on there, and you get a small percentage back that gets paid out throughout the year. They can explain it more here, but I’ve been doing it for years and no complaints- just a little more money than if I hadn’t been using it! Ibotta and ReceiptHog are other cool apps for logging receipts and making money. You’re not going to make a ton overnight. It will take time, but you will get a payout eventually. Sometimes you can get lucky-I recently won $100 on ReceiptHog! Whoo hoo! So yes, it’s worth it!
Retailmenot is a great site to check out before making purchases online. Here you can see what online coupon codes are available for most stores. I’ve saved so much money finding codes here that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise!
The Krazy Coupon Lady is also a really great site for saving! I’ve read so many tips for saving here! Definitely check it out!
2.Using (Not abusing!!) credit cards.
Ok, I know credit cards get a bad rap sometimes, but they don’t have to be evil! You can make them work for you if you’re responsible with them. Many offer cash back or other deals/perks when you use their cards.
Credit cards for stores you shop at often can also be worth it. Store cardholders may get exclusive deals or offers through email or snail mail. If you’re a regular at a store, this may work in your favor!
Not tryin’ to lecture, but always read up on all credit card policies before opening one up, and of course, be responsible. If you don’t trust yourself, don’t do it. It’s never worth it if you’re going to get into serious debt. But if you’re good about paying them off or paying them down, hey, why not?
3. Plan shopping trips and get those coupons ready!
Rarely do I go shopping without a plan. Before I shop I usually plan out what I want or need, then I put in a little legwork to see what coupons I have or that are out there for me to use. I don’t mind doing this at all, I actually enjoy it! I keep a little coupon organizer in my purse, separated by store- I’d rather not scramble for coupons when I’m checking out. I also have coupons/scan codes on my phone with deals ready to use.
4. Cutting back where you can
This looks different for everyone, but take a look at where areas you spend the most. Which ones are necessary and which can be reduced or eliminated altogether? I noticed recently that I’ve been spending frequently on food I don’t need. Candy. Snacks. I didn’t even think twice about it til I saw my credit card statement and saw a pattern. I’m thinking twice about that now and I’m sure my bank account (and waistline) will thank me!
One thing I do do is make my own coffee. Maybe this is just me being lazy but I personally don’t like stopping anywhere before work (though others may say they don’t like making anything before work!). I love my Starbucks and Wawa drinks (and hey, when you need your Starbucks, you need your Starbucks). But making my own when I can has saved me quite a bit over time. If you don’t want to give up the daily coffee runs, where else could you cut back? Clothes? Makeup? Reducing where you can in any way, or even the frequency in which you buy can make a difference! Put the money you would have spent in the bank.
5. Consider buying in sets or in bulk.
Think about this example- greeting cards, at least the ones I tend to like, aren’t that cheap. In fact, some are flat out expensive! Depending on the occasion, I do buy single cards. But to do it over and over (these days it feels like there’s a birthday party or occasion almost every weekend!) can take a toll on your pocket! Target and plenty of other places sell really cute blank or theme cards in bulk, and this is often cheaper than buying them one by one. It really depends on what you’re buying and in some instances you’ll have to calculate if you’re actually saving anything at all. It’s worth doing a little math to find out!
6. If you know you’ll need it, buy during a sale or clearance.
I don’t mean buy something just because it’s on sale. You can actually lose a lot of money that way. But if you know you need something (be real with yourself) or have been wanting something, you can really score a deal! If you have been looking for a winter coat and you find a great deal on one even if it’s not in season, why not shop for it then? Keep in mind too that there’s always a better time of the year to get the best deal on certain items like electronics, gadgets, coats….
7. Signing up for store emails.
I know, this sounds like your inbox will hate you. BUT I never know when the mood to shop may strike, or when I’ll need to get something. I like knowing about any current deals when I’m actually looking to shop at a certain place, and these emails keep me in the loop. If they get to be too much, remember you can always unsubscribe!
8. Saving spare change.
In the rare occasion I carry cash, I put away any change after spending into a small piggy bank. All those pennies, dimes, and nickles really do add up over time, and you don’t even notice it! When you feel that bank getting heavy, spend/save that money as you wish! You’d be surprised what that can get!
9. Put money aside each paycheck.
For some of you, this may be automatic. And I know for others, after paying off bills, loans, rent, or whatever you can’t avoid, there simply isn’t a ton left to put aside. Don’t be discouraged! I still go back to my belief that something is better than nothing. Even if it’s not as much as you want to be saving, put as much as you can aside. You will need it for something eventually, and you have to start somewhere!
10. Find a good way to get the best return on your savings.
I don’t know about your bank, but my bank didn’t have such a great return on my savings account. As in I would get pennies back when I could have been getting much more. So what I did was open up an online savings account that has a higher earning rate. Do some research and find one that works for you! People also use Roth IRAs or other forms of saving that yield a higher return.
What are your favorite ways to save? What has worked best for you and what will you try?