These money saving life hacks will help you spend less on stuff that doesn’t really matter so you can save or spend more on the stuff that does matter.
When money is tight you have two choices spend less or earn more. When you’re living a frugal life your choices are more complicated. It’s not always about spending less, but spending less on the stuff that’s not important to you so you can either save more or spend more on the stuff that is important.
It’s an important distinction to make because too often, being frugal is seen as being synonymous with being a tightwad. The two terms are not interchangeable.
By using smart and simple life hacks, you can reduce your spending and still enjoy life.
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13 Smart (and Simple) Money Saving Life Hacks
1. Ask and you shall receive
It’s true (mostly), if you ask, you will receive.
Most companies will offer promotions to save money but only if you ask. They don’t always advertise that they’ll give you extra discounts or that they’ll throw in extra services as freebies so you have to ask.
Next time you’re getting ready to pay your insurance or utilities bills, call the company first and ask if they can lower your bill or offer any extra incentives to keep you as a loyal customer. The worst they can do is say no.
2. Raise your credit score
A low credit score can cause a high cost of living. It used to be that credit scores only impacted your ability to get a loan. Now they impact the interest rate you’ll pay on a loan and potentially impact what you pay for things like insurance and utility services.
A quick and simple life hack to raise your credit score is to pay your credit card balance 10 days before it’s due. Utilisation rates are checked at the end of the billing cycle but before your payment is due. So, even if you pay the card in full each month, your score will reflect how much credit you’ve used, not what you’ve paid off. Sneak, huh?!
3. Go incognito
If you’re shopping on the internet; go incognito (Google Chrome) or be sure you clear your cache and browser history.
Companies can follow your online searches and use present their offerings based on that history. Wherever possible, use a guest option rather than signing up for an account.
So, use this little life hack to make sure you always get the best deal available.
4. Monitor the brightness
We’re all using more power than we need to because of the brightness of our TVs and computer monitors.
The factory settings are usually much brighter than needed, so save some money, energy and probably your eyes, too by lowering the brightness settings on your screens.
5. Carry cash
There’s plenty of research available that shows if you pay with cash rather than a credit card, you spend less. Why? Because when you hand over cash, you feel it in a tangible way. When you’re carrying larger denominations, like $50 dollar bills, you’re less likely to break it to make an impulse purchase.
So, consider only using cash. And, as much as possible, carry larger denominations.
6. Strategic planning
Plan ahead for large purchases. Whether you’re planning on buying a car or a coffee maker, always make your purchase at the end of the month and haggle.
Most sales people have a quota of some kind and it’s usually measured by the calendar month. Use that to your advantage. Even if the sales person has had an awesome month, they’ll still be eager to secure one more sale for the month.
The banks and government would like it to be otherwise, but the truth is, cash is still king. Always ask what their best price is if you pay with cash.
7. Brew your own coffee
Don’t give up your morning commute coffee; brew it at home.
Invest in a travel mug and take your coffee with you. It’ll save you at least $3.oo per day.
Save the expensive barista coffee for when you’re taking the time to sit in a cafe and enjoy, not just the coffee but the scenery, too.
8. Enjoy a flexitarian menu
What’s a flexitarian? The term refers to being flexible about what you eat.
You’re not a vegetarian but you’re also not eating much meat. Eating vegetarian meals a couple of times per week can save you some significant cash. Especially if you can either grow some of your own produce or get it cheaply from markets or local growers.
9. Buy store brands
This is the perfect life hack for choosing to spend money where it matters and save where it doesn’t.
Do you really need to buy the name brand flour or will the store’s generic brand at 25% of the price do the job? Same goes for sugar, paper towels and tea bags.
You might need to do some testing initially but, for the most part you won’t notice and difference in the product, just the price you pay at the check out.
Life hacks should make life better right? Use this one and you can still buy your favourite (expensive) ground coffee if that’s what’s important to you.
10. Ditch bottled water
Instead, buy yourself a water filter and a refillable bottle. You’ll save money and you’ll have a positive impact on your environment.
Bottled water is responsible for huge usage of natural resources and is completely unnecessary.
11. Drink more water
Especially before eating. Make sure that gnawing feeling isn’t thirst, first. Drinking water about 30 minutes before a meal also fills you up so you eat less. That’s a bonus if you’re trying to shed a pound or two. And, you’ll save money!
Dehydration can be the source of a lot of minor ailments, too. Persistent low grade headaches, constipation, dry and dull skin all these things can be alleviated by upping your water consumption. So, grab that water filter today.
12. Daily exercise
Lower your medical bills by exercising daily. There’s plenty of research available showing the positive outcomes of a daily exercise habit on both your physical and mental health.
Start with a walk at lunchtime, it’s free and there’s zero opportunity for impulse purchases, which lunch breaks are notorious for.
13. Vocational schools
If you have a vocational college (we call them TAFE colleges) nearby, find out what services are offered to the public and get some of life’s little luxuries for a lot less.
My local vocational college has everything from hair dressing to fine dining available to the public. Students need willing subjects (students are always supervised) to enable them to learn their trade and you get that service at a fraction of the price you’d pay in a retail environment.
Money Saving Life Hacks
You don’t have to slash and burn your lifestyle in order to increase your savings or lower your cost of living. Using these simple life hacks, you can still enjoy the good stuff by just making sure you’re not spending too much on the stuff you don’t care about or by finding cheaper ways to do the same thing.
Life is too short to sacrifice all the fun stuff.
What little life hacks do you use to save money so you can enjoy your favourite luxuries?
Other posts you might enjoy:
- 7 Financial Resolutions Worth Making for the New Year
- How to Save a Little and Still Live a Lot
- 8 Easy Ways to Save Money When Shopping for Clothes
- When Money Is Tight – Tips for Living on Next to Nothing
- 13 Reasons Why You Need An Emergency Fund
- 10 Easy Ways to Save $1000 For Your Rainy Day Fund
- 11 Excuses to Stop Making So You Can Start Saving