People tend to talk about how hard it is to save money, the degree of difficulty varies from living off of one spouse’s income, not having enough money to put away, having too many expenses or hundreds of other reasons that come up before even dropping a dime into that cute ol’ piggy bank!
There are a few quick and painless tricks you can use to save almost instantly and build up your savings fort a lot quicker. Saving doesn’t necessarily mean putting hundreds of dollars away, when you save on your daily activities you are indirectly making more money available for yourself, which equals to savings down the road.
Use the following money hacks and you will be a savings pro in no time!
1. Set an automatic saving transaction for $9/week
Spending 9 dollars a week is super easy, in fact you probably already spend it on gum, coffee and that blueberry muffin you always think twice about before buying. Saving $9 a week is even easier, when you automate your savings, the transaction becomes routine, part of the background, as I like to call it. Just as the painting hanging on your living room wall, you will not pay any mind to the automated savings transaction, it will blend in with the rest of your bills and you won’t feel a pinch.
The 9 dollars is simply transferred from your checking to your savings account on a weekly basis. You can set it up online, if you are registered for online banking, or visit your bank for a teller’s assistance.
Why $9 dollars? Because it’s all about making the first step to saving on a regular basis and testing the waters. The best part is you will get used to the $9 and, eventually, will want to challenge yourself with a higher amount.
Baby steps are key here, don’t jump from $9 to $50/week, because you will find yourself transferring the saved money right back.
I started off with $9/week with my retirement plan. I first saved with a savings account and gradually made my way up to mutual funds. After 5 months I increased my savings to $25/week. A year passed and I was $1038.80 closer to my goal (accounting for 6% interest rate). The final saved amount may vary depending on the interest rate set, and the weekly amount chosen.
2. Pick the
right wrong time to shop
Just as eggnog has its prime season, so do most of our shopping items. When browsing for specific products, be aware of the off season timing for best prices and deals. I just bought my fall boots in April for half of the already reduced price! What would’ve cost me around $150 during the peak season (August- October), ended up costing me only $40! The trick is to shop discount before they ship the items away for the change of season. Apply this strategy to most of your shopping and you can save thousands of dollars per year.
My Savings with the Seasons:
Office heels $10 – regular $30
Leather Boots $40 – regular $150
Guess Fall coat – $50 – Regular $110
Total Savings of $190
Quality trends tend to last for more than a year, so don’t worry too much about keeping up with the latest styles, besides your wallet will have a style of its own with all that saving!
3. Use apps to save money
It’s official, the smart phones are smarter than us humans! You’re definitely missing out, or just paying extra, if you’re not using these special apps designed to help you save money. This is definitely not an exhaustive list, just some of the ones I tend to use on a regular basis.
This app will show where you can locate the cheapest gas rate in your area. Who said the oil industry is just colluding in price rigging? Turns out you can still find gas stations posting lower prices and this app will lead you to them! A few dollars saved here and there will sure add up in one month, especially if you’re a heavy commuter.
To add to the gas savings, parking shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg either. Check out this app for parking prices before you pull into the lot, it even includes hourly and flat rates. Pay an extra $10 bucks for parking across the street or walk 5 blocks for the
savings? It’s up to you, you savings pro!
Welcome to virtual coupon heaven everyone! You will find hundreds of offers from clothing to groceries. Ugh, how badly I want that summer dress that is definitely NOT on sale right now, good thing I can scan the barcode and the app will tell me if there are any special offers for it!
4. Sell and buy your stuff in classifieds
Online shopping is now the “go to” for many North Americans and so is the local online classifieds, where you can find tons of goodies without the retail tag price.
List of Items I recently bought:
Dinner glass table on dark wood stand with 4 chairs – $90 – regular price $300+
Bike – FREE – Regular price $100-$150
Brand New Puma shoes – $30 – regular price $100
Authentic Coach purse $50 – regular price $100
Jacuzzi – FREE – regular price $1000+
Landscaping rocks – FREE – Regular price $100+
Total Savings of: $1530-$1580
Not everything can (or should) be bought through classifieds, just as not everything should be bought in retail, pick and choose your items and find the best savings balance between the two resources.
5. Shopping for a vacation getaway? – better empty your browsing history
Yes, the browsing history has been responsible for many relationship break ups but it has also been known to make you pay more for airfare. Clear your cache so the airlines don’t see you are searching for tickets, this strategy has been proven to save you anywhere from $50 per ticket.
The point is to save on regular activities without having to fork over full prices for all the items you buy. These hacks will free up your wallet and allow for