Have you ever wished saving money was easier? Trying (but failing) to save money month after month can be stressful, to say the least.
The thing is, saving money doesn’t have to be difficult. Just as there are life hacks to make your life easier, there are money-saving hacks to make saving money easier.
In order to help you save money as efficiently and easily as possible, I’ve put together this list of my top 51 money-saving life hacks.
Follow these hacks and I guarantee you’ll be able to save more money while stressing less.
Money Saving Life Hacks
Ok, ready to hack the matrix of your wallet or something like that? Take the red pill and read onwards…
1. Get an E-Reader
I love reading a good old physical book every once in a while, but there are two problems with physical books:
- They take up a lot of space
- They cost more
This is why I (and many others) have adopted e-readers into our lives. They're light-weight, can carry thousands of books, and electronic books cost way less than physical books.
Now don't get me wrong, I still buy physical books occasionally, but I don't need a physical copy of every book I read.
2. Get Books From the Library
Continuing on from the hack above, if you know you're only going to read a book once, just borrow it from the library.
3. Setup Automatic Credit Card Payments
Even though I use a service called Trim to remind me to pay my credit card bill every month, there are still times when I miss the message and almost forget to pay.
The best most fool-proof way to avoid late fees is to set up automatic payments. This will also ensure that your credit score doesn't get hit just because you forgot to pay.
You can set up an automatic payment in three ways:
- Automatic minimum payment – This will help you avoid late fees but not interest charges
- Automatically pay the full balance – This will help you avoid late fees and interest charges but you have to make sure the account the payments are coming from always has more money in it than you owe or else you risk an overdraft fee.
- Pay a fixed amount – This could be any random amount. This is a good option if you're paying off credit card debt and slowly whittling away at a large balance.
Most banks should have an option to set up automatic credit card payments online. If you can't find the option, call customer service.
Important: As I mentioned above, remember to make sure you always have money in the account your automatic payments are coming out of.
4. Setup an Auto-Deposit to Savings/Investments
Are you noticing a theme? Automatic systems make for great money-saving hacks.
Since paying yourself first is one of the most important personal finance tips to follow, making it automatic is just a no-brainer. It's easy to do too (you should be able to set it up directly in your online banking).
If your primary bank offers crappy interest rates (as most do), I recommend setting up an auto-deposit to a Wealthsimple Savings Account instead.
There are two benefits to this:
- You'll earn 2% interest on your savings (most brick and mortar banks offer less than 1%)
- Your savings won't be directly where you can easily spend them
5. Automate Your Investing
Investing is awesome because it allows your money to make money. The only problem is that investing takes time and knowledge.
Anyone CAN learn how to invest, but not everyone has the time or the willingness to actually do it. Luckily not all hope is lost as nowadays you can actually completely automate your investments as a complete beginner.
How? With something called a robo-advisor. Yep, you can pretty much have a robot invest your money for you (don't worry, these robots are really good at it).
Here's my #1 recommended robo-advisor:
- Wealthsimple – This is the robo-advisor I use myself and I've had a flawless experience with it. Tons of features and great customer support, plus it's available in Canada AND the U.S.
6. Automatically Find the Best Coupon Codes Online
I remember back in the day whenever I was about to buy something online, I'd look for coupon codes on Google for the site I was purchasing off first. The codes I found were usually expired or not working, but occasionally I'd have some success and find a working code (after searching for 5 minutes or longer and testing several different codes).
These days, finding and testing coupon codes is as easy as clicking a button.
All you have to do is download the Honey browser extension and it will alert you whenever a coupon code is available. If it finds multiple, it will test every available code to find the best one.
7. Do a Money-Saving Challenge
If you want to save a large sum of money in a specific amount of time (e.g. save $1,000 in 52 weeks), then a money-saving challenge might be the perfect savings hack for you.
To start out, I recommend trying out the 52-week money challenge. How it works is simple:
You save $1 on week one, $2 on week two, $3 week three, up until $52 on week fifty-two. By the end of it, you'll have $1,378. That's the basic version of the challenge.
If you want to do something a bit different (and possibly more effective), check out these 52-week money challenge variations.
8. Get a Piggy Bank
Ohhh piggy banks. I remember my brother stole mine once when we were kids and I caught him counting my money in his room. I was pretty upset at the time but now it's pretty funny.
Anyway, whoever said piggy banks were just for kids? Adults can benefit from piggy banks too!
- Get a piggybank
- Insert all spare change into said piggybank
You can decide when to crack your piggy bank open but you should try to wait at least a year. You might be surprised by how much you have saved at the end of a year!
9. Automatically Save Your Spare Change
Speaking of piggy banks, if you use a credit/debit card there's a chance that you won't be dealing with much change. Don't worry, there's a way for you to save spare change too.
All you have to do is sign up for one of these apps (they both do the same thing):
- Mylo (Only available in Canada) (Read my full review to learn more)
- Acorns (Available in the U.S. and Australia)
Here's an example of how both of these apps work:
- You buy something for $5.20
- That purchase is automatically rounded up to $6
- The extra $0.80 is automatically saved for you
The apps will also automatically invest your spare change which means even more earnings for you.
10. Buy Refurbished Electronics
If you need a new computer, mobile phone, tablet, e-reader, or something else, going for a refurbished model can often save you a good chunk of cash.
For example, Apple offers refurbished products at up to 15% off the original product price. They also rigorously test their refurbished goods (they're basically good as new) and each product comes with a one-year warranty.
Not all refurbished products will be held to as high of standards as Apple, but just make sure to read the fine print before buying anything refurbished and you should be good.
11. Get the Most for Your Money Online
If you shop online at all and you always pay full price, you're doing it wrong. There are so many easy and basically effortless ways to stretch your dollar online.
Here are just a few ways to save money online:
- Ebates (free $5-$10 welcome bonus) – After you sign up, make sure to download the Ebates extension. Once you have it installed you'll be alerted of any cash back opportunities automatically and you can earn with the click of a button.
- Swagbucks (free $5 bonus) (Full Swagbucks review) – Just like Ebates, make sure to download the Swagbucks extension after you sign up. By downloading the extension you'll be eligible for a $10 bonus and you'll get automatic cash back alerts.
- BeFrugal (free $10 bonus) – As you may have guessed, BeFrugal also has a browser extension, so make sure to install that after signing up.
Don't be afraid to sign up for all of these sites either. Each site offers different cash back percentages so signing up for them all will give you more options.
12. Collect Rainwater
Although this man went to jail for collecting nearly 13 million gallons of rainwater in his man-made ponds, collecting rainwater is not illegal (as long as you don't go overboard like that guy).
For example, having a bucket collecting the runoff from your roof will not get you in any trouble. Just make sure to check your provincial/state laws before getting started.
Now, why would you collect rainwater anyway? Well, it's great for watering your lawn and garden and doing so will lower your energy bill.
13. Get a High-Interest Savings Account
Not all savings accounts are created equally. Most of them will give you a 1% interest rate or LESS. With those returns, your money is losing value each year.
If you want to improve your returns, signing up for a separate high-interest savings accounts is easy and quick.
As I mentioned above, I personally use Wealthsimple as their Smart Savings Account offers a 2% interest rate. Plus, they offer unlimited free transactions, no minimum account balance, and no monthly fees.
14. Use Cash
I'm a credit card type of guy so I don't really use cash very often at all. According to some studies, that might be causing me to spend more.
How? Because using a credit card is a lot easier and more convenient than using cash. I don't know about you, but for me, handing over a $20 bill hurts a little more than just swiping a piece of plastic.
For these reasons, using more cash in your life might be a good idea. I'm not saying you have to ditch your cards completely, but maybe carry some cash in your wallet for certain purchases.
A good way to slowly incorporate cash into your life is with the cash envelope system.
15. Get a Groupon
Although not going out at all may save you money, it also might make you go insane. That's why some group activities every now and then are worth the extra spend.
However, before you go and spend a premium on rock climbing, white water rafting, or whatever other activity you have in mind, check Groupon first. They offer thousands of deals on all sorts of local activities.
I've used Groupon to get cheap GoKarting tickets, cheap tickets to ScienceWorld, and right now I'm eyeing up some restaurant deals that look tempting.
So, if you want to do something fun, exciting, and new, and you want to do it for an affordable price, Groupon is your answer. Check out some of the current deals here.
16. Check Your Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans have two directional options for a reason, but many people don't know why.
Here's the deal:
- In the summer, your ceiling fan should be rotating counterclockwise. This will cause air to be blown down giving you a nice breezy cooling effect.
- In the winter, your ceiling fan should be rotating clockwise. This will cause the warm air near the ceiling to be pushed down.
Once you've optimized your ceiling fans for the proper season, you should be able to adjust your thermostat a bit to save money on electricity.
17. Buy Forever/Permanent Stamps
Receiving and sending physical letters is great, but with postal prices rising, it can be tempting to use some other form of communication like email.
If you want to ensure that you won't have to pay more to send a letter in the future, consider stocking up on forever stamps (or permanent stamps if you're in Canada).
Even if postal prices rise, these stamps will always be good for sending a one-ounce letter in the US, or a 30-gram letter in Canada.
18. Buy in Bulk
There are a ton of different ways to save money on groceries, but one of the best ways is to stock up and buy things in bulk. This is especially effective when something goes on sale.
19. Automatically Get Money Back when Prices Drop
Paribus is a fantastic service for anyone who shops online. How it works is simple:
- You shop online
- Paribus monitors your shopping through your email (they never sell your data); and
- Whenever they discover potential savings, they let you know and they help you get your money back
How do they identify these saving opportunities? I'm glad you asked. They look for 3 things:
- Retail price drops – For example, if you bought something from Walmart for $10 and a week later it's being sold for $5, Paribus will work to get you that $5 extra that you spent back in your wallet. They currently monitor 25+ major retailers for these types of price drops.
- Late deliveries – For certain retailers that promise set delivery dates (e.g. Amazon), Paribus will track the package. If your package is delivered later than the date stated, they'll make sure you're compensated.
- Hotel price drops – If you book a hotel online, Paribus will scan the web for a lower rate and help you rebook for less.
Paribus has already found over $30 million worth of savings for its users, and best of all, it's completely free to use. Check out Paribus here.
20. Order Water at Restaurants
Out of all the money-saving hacks on this list, this is probably the least exciting one.
Ordering water at a restaurant may not be as nice as ordering a glass of wine or a Moscow Mule, but it's a whole lot cheaper (and healthier too).
So, unless it's a special occasion, try to stick to water when you can.
21. Buy a Water Bottle (And Maybe a Filter)
According to this post from Money Crashers, bottled water can cost anywhere from 600 to 3,785 times more per gallon than tap water.
And here's the thing:
- Bottled water isn't cleaner than tap water (most of it comes from the same source)
- Tap water is held up to higher standards
- Producing bottled water is terrible for the planet
Now I'm not telling you all this because I want you to shun bottled water for the rest of your life. I still think bottled water is handy on some occasions. However, for most situations, filling a reusable water bottle with tap water is the better (and cheaper) option.
If you're worried about the water quality where you live, get a water filter. They're worth the cost.
22. Install a Programmable Thermostat
According to Energystar.gov, about 43% of the money you spend on your utility bill goes towards heating and cooling your home. So, if you're spending $2,200 on utilities each year, about $946 of that is going towards heating and cooling.
That's a big chunk.
Now, think about how often your house is being heated or cooled when you're not even home, or when you're asleep. That's money just pouring out of your wallet.
With a programmable thermostat, you can put your system on a schedule. You can have it turn off when you're asleep or at work, and you can have it turn back on before you wake up or get back from work.
According to Energy.gov, by simply turning your thermostat down 7-10°F for just 8 hours a day, you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling.
23. Lower Your Bills Automatically
Have you ever tried negotiating one of your bills to a lower price before? If you have, you know that it can be a time-consuming process.
The time spent negotiating on the phone can be worth it if you're successful, but you're not, well, then you've just wasted your time and you're probably in a bad mood now too.
Luckily there's now a way to skip all that hassle. A service called Trim has been created to help you negotiate your bills automatically.
Trim can negotiate your:
- Car insurance; and
- Home security bill
Best of all, Trim is completely free to use. The only time Trim will cost you anything is if they successfully negotiate a bill to a lower price for you.
In the case of a successful negotiation, they take 25% of the first year of savings that they acquired for you (e.g. if they save you $100, they'll take $25). I'd say that's worth it for the completely hands-off experience.
24. Automatically Find and Cancel Unused Subscriptions
If you thought bill negotiation was all that Trim could do, you thought wrong. One of my favorite features from Trim is the recurring subscription tracker.
Instead of having to keep track of all your subscriptions yourself, Trim easily does it for you. On top of that, if you find a subscription that you don't need anymore, just ask Trim to cancel it. Easy peasy.
25. Cook Extra
Meal prepping is hands down one of the best money-saving life hacks, but some people make it too complicated. The easy way to meal prep is to just cook extra of what you're already making.
For example, if you're making stir-fry one night, double (or x3 or x4) the recipe and store the extra away for leftovers. Cooking more of something you're already making doesn't take that much extra time so this works out pretty well.
By simply doing this you've now saved money by not having to buy lunch or cook something new, and you've saved time because you don't even have to think about what to eat.
To save even more money and time, check out the $5 Meal Plan. This program sends you a list of meals every week along with a done-for-you grocery list. Best of all, each meal only costs $2/person or LESS.
26. Opt for Quality
There are times when you should go for cheaper things to save money, and there are times when you should spend a bit more for higher quality. Being cheap is not always going to save you money.
Here's an article from MoneyUnder30 listing 12 products that you should spend more money on for higher quality.
27. Find High-Quality Clothes for Cheap
Speaking of high-quality vs. low-quality, clothes are one of those things that you'll probably want to go high-quality on. You don't need your entire wardrobe to be high-quality, but having some nice clothes for work and special occasions is always nice.
One good way to find well-made apparel for cheap is at thrift stores, but there's one problem: thrift stores are often filled with a lot of junk as well. It can take a long time to sort through the crap to find the gold.
Another place you can look is on the internet. The only downside to this is that you can't see or feel the clothes in person. Luckily, the good sites offer free returns so that shouldn't be too big of a problem.
Here are some good sites to find quality clothes for cheap:
Another way you could change up your wardrobe without spending any money at all would be to host a clothing exchange with your friends.
28. Scan Your Grocery Receipts
If you take a couple of extra minutes out of your day before heading to the grocery store, you could earn hundreds of dollars in cash back by simply scanning your receipt into a few apps.
Here's how it works:
- You download one or more grocery cash back apps
- You check the apps before heading to the store for offers that you're interested in
- You add any good offers to your account (e.g. $1 cash back on a pack of Oreos)
- You go to the store and buy the Oreos (Don't forget the receipt!)
- Once you get back home, scan the receipt into your app and you'll earn that $1 cash back
It's really as easy as that. Here are two of the best grocery cash back apps to use:
- iBotta (Available in the U.S. only) (Occasional sign-up bonus is offered) – iBotta users have already earned over $500 million in cash back.
- Checkout 51 (Available in the U.S. and Canada) (Earn a free $5 bonus if you redeem an offer within 30 days) – Read my full Checkout 51 review for more details.
Download both apps if you want more offers and more cash back opportunities.
For more savings, you can check out these other apps that pay you cash for receipts.
29. Grow Your Own Vegetables and Herbs
Although the apps above will help you save quite a lot of money on groceries, an even better way to save is to grow some food yourself.
According to Money.com, a 600 square foot garden could save you approximately $600 a year on produce.
Don't have space for that? You could still grow veggies and herbs in planters on your porch or inside your apartment for savings of around $100 a year or more.
On top of saving you money, growing your own produce is a hobby that you might end up really enjoying, so it's really a win-win. Hone that green thumb!
30. Make DIY Household Products
Laundry detergent, spray cleaners, disinfectants, dishwasher detergent, and many other common household products end up costing hundreds of dollars each year.
It's a necessary expense though, right?
Well yeah, it is, but that doesn't mean you have to buy the expensive stuff from the stores. Many household products can actually be made with common affordable ingredients that you probably already have at home.
Check out this post from MorningChores.com for 50 homemade product ideas.
31. Use the 24-Hour Rule
This is one of my favorite money-saving hacks because it's so simple yet so effective. Using the 24-hour rule is one of the best ways to stop wasting money.
Here's how it works:
- You see something you want to buy
- Instead of buying it right away, wait for 24-hours first
- After 24-hours, see if you still want to buy it
By waiting it out, you give yourself more time to think over the purchase and you can rationally decide whether it's something you really need or not.
For bigger purchases, you can step this rule up a notch. For example:
- For purchases over $100, you could wait even longer (48 hours, 72 hours, a week, etc.)
- For really big purchases (e.g. $1,000+), you might want to wait even longer (2 weeks-a month+)
32. Save Money on Restaurant Reservations
With a simple app, you can get up to 30% cash back at a ton of different restaurants in your area.
Sound good? Here's how to get started:
- Download the Seated app here for a $5 sign up bonus (or use the code DYLAN219 when you sign up)
- Select a restaurant near you
- Select the ‘Walk-in' option or book a reservation
- Head to the restaurant and enjoy your meal as usual
- At the end of your meal, scan your receipt into the Seated app and you'll earn your cash back
That's all it takes! Five simple steps to a cheaper meal.
Best of all, this works no matter how many people are dining. You could go out for a meal on your own, or you could book a party with 12 people to earn a huge amount of cash back.
Right now the Seated app is only available in the U.S. but I'm hoping it comes to Canada soon.
33. Create an Emergency Fund
Having an emergency fund can potentially save you thousands of dollars in interest charges throughout your lifetime.
Think about this:
When some expensive emergency happens in your life and you don't have the money to pay for it right away, where's the next place you go?
Well, maybe you ask a family member or friend to help out, but most likely, you go for your credit card. This approach can work out okay if you pay off the bill before any interest is charged, but otherwise, you're just spending extra money that an emergency fund could have saved you.
For example, imagine there are two people named Eli and Leah. Last week, both Eli and Leah's cars needed $1,000 repairs.
Eli, who has a $1,000 emergency fund ready at all times, was prepared for this situation. He gets his car repaired and moves on.
Leah, on the other hand, was not as prepared. Without an emergency fund, she pays for the repair with her 19% APR credit card. Worst of all, she only has an extra $100/month to pay off the bill. At that rate, she'll pay about $97.27 more than Eli for the same repair, just because of interest.
Quit risking it and learn the ins and outs of building an emergency fund.
34. Shop at the Dollar Store
Ever since I was a kid I've enjoyed going to the dollar store. There's just something fun about looking around to see what you can buy for a dollar or less. Sadly, most dollar stores sell things for way over a dollar now but that's beside the point.
Because dollar stores sell their products for so cheap, a lot of people think everything in the store must be junk. That's true for a lot of the stuff they sell, but not everything.
You can actually find some good deals at the dollar store if you know what to look for.
Check out these posts to learn what to buy at the dollar store (and what to stay away from):
35. Intermittent Fast
First off, what is intermittent fasting? Simply put, it's a type of diet, but there are a ton of different variations of it.
The most common variation is when you limit yourself to an 8-hour eating window (e.g. eat from 12pm-8pm), meaning you fast for 16 hours a day. Doing this offers a ton of different health benefits.
This obviously isn't going to be for everyone and you should definitely check with your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet, but intermittent fasting is definitely a viable way to save money.
For example, this fellow personal finance blogger does intermittent fasting and says he's been saving about $100 a month since starting.
I personally did intermittent fasting for about 6 months and I definitely saw some big benefits. I had more time in the day, I was more energetic, and after a few days of doing it, I completely adjusted to the new eating schedule.
On top of saving you money, intermittent fasting can also help you lose weight, which is something you can earn money from. With a service called HealthyWage, you can win up to $10,000 for hitting your weight loss goal.
If you used intermittent fasting to help you save money and also lose weight, you could come out of it richer and healthier. Calculate your potential weight-loss prize here.
36. Negotiate Bank Fees Automatically
Late fees, overdraft fees, ATM fees, interest charges, foreign transaction fees, monthly service fees, the list goes on. There are a ton of different fees that banks just LOVE to charge you.
Paul Kesserwani, Founder & CEO of Cushion.ai, discovered that Americans pay U.S. banks over $200 billion each year in fees and interest charges. That's why he created Cushion.ai, a fee-fighting bot designed to help you get your hard earned cash back from the banks.
How it works is simple:
- You sign up and hook up your bank accounts
- The fee-fighter scans your accounts for bank fees and then asks for your permission to fight them
- Within 24-hours, you'll have a full summary of your refund
Best of all, fee discovery from Cushion.ai is completely free. If the Fee Fighter successfully gets any of your fees refunded, Cushion keeps 25% of the refunded amount.
Pretty sweet right? You get to sit back while the Fee Fighter negotiates with your bank for you and saves you $100s each year.
37. Shop with Discount Gift Cards
If you want to receive instant savings on gas, groceries, food, clothing, and more, just buy a discount gift card. This is honestly one of the best ways to make quick savings but not many people have ever tried it.
As an example of how effective this is, let's say you go to Dunkin Donuts every day for a coffee. To save some money, you head to one of the discount gift card shops below and find a $50 DD gift card selling for only $40. That's an instant $10 in savings.
Best of all, if a store is having a sale, your discount gift card will just stack on top for even more savings.
Here are some of the best places to buy discount gift cards:
- Gift Card Granny
- CardSwap.ca (for Canadians)
- Ebates Gift Card Shop – Receive cash back on gift cards
- Cardpool (affiliate program)
If you want to earn free gift cards in your spare time, sign up for Swagbucks.
This isn't a revolutionary money-saving hack but you can't argue with its effectiveness. By simply finding someone to ride to work, school, or somewhere else with, not only are you helping out the planet, but you're also helping your wallet.
39. Walk or Bike When You Can
If you don't have a friend to carpool with but you're not far from where you need to go, you could simply walk or bike instead.
A bonus to this one is that you'll get some exercise, get the blood flowing, and you'll get some fresh air. All of these things are great for your health.
40. Save Money Without Thinking About It
I love technology. New apps and services are being created every day that make saving and managing finances easier, and I've included many of them on this list of money-saving hacks.
One of the apps/services that I WISH I could use myself, is Digit. Sadly, it's not available in Canada yet 🙁
What makes Digit so special is that it helps you save money in a smart way.
Instead of helping you save a specific amount every day, week or month, Digit helps you save money only when you can afford it.
To figure out how often and how much you can save, each day Digit analyzes your:
- Recent spending
- Upcoming income (regular and irregular)
- Upcoming bills; and
- Account balance
Any savings that Digit finds will be automatically transferred to your Digit account and applied to Savings Goals if you have them set up.
Other important information:
- Digit funds are FDIC insured for up to $250,000
- You can withdraw at any time for free
- You can pause Digit automatic savings at any time
- If a Digit transfer causes you an overdraft fee, Digit will reimburse you
41. Shop Online Incognito
A lot of websites and online retailers use things called ‘cookies' which store information about you in your browser. They're primarily used to make your browsing experience smoother, but recently some people have been suggesting that they might be used for other things as well.
In particular, there's been a rumor going around that airline websites have been using cookies to increase flight prices unfairly. People have tried to come up with evidence for this but it's still not 100% proven.
However, if you want to be safe anyways, whenever you go to book flights, hotels, or even purchase something online, just do it in an incognito or private browsing mode, which most major web browsers offer.
42. Change Phone Plans
Here in Canada, we don't have many options for phone plans. They're all pretty similar and there isn't much to choose from.
If you live somewhere with more options, you have the luxury of shopping around for different (cheaper) phone plans that better suit your needs. So, take a look at your current plan, see what you really need, and then shop around.
If you find a better offer, that doesn't necessarily mean you have to leave your current plan. You can always call and negotiate. Having other offers on the table gives you some negotiating power.
If you want a really affordable phone plan, I recommend checking out Mint Mobile. Their cheapest plan starts at $15/month and offers unlimited nationwide talk and text AND 3GB of 4G LTE data per month (along with other features).
43. Do No-Spend Activities
Instead of going out every weekend and spending a fortune, why not do something that won't cost you anything? You could host a board game night at your house, you could have a picnic, you could go for a stroll, let's just say there are a lot of fun things you can do for free.
For more ideas, check out this list of 75 things to do on a no spend weekend.
44. Use Cash Back Apps
This list of money-saving hacks is already filled with cash back methods, but you won't want to miss out on these cash back apps. These are unique apps that offer some of the easiest cash back you'll ever earn.
Here are two of the best cash back apps:
- Drop (Use the code 222gz for a $5 sign up bonus) – This app is a passive income machine. All you need to do is link up your credit card to the app and pick your favorite stores and you'll earn cash back whenever you make a purchase with your linked card.
- Shopkick – This app will pay you to walk into stores, scan products, and do other small tasks. You don't even have to buy anything to earn!
45. Get a Rewards Credit Card
This completely goes against the “Use Cash” money-saving hack that I listed above, but there's a reason for that. If you can manage a credit card responsibly, I believe the pros of using one definitely outweigh the cons.
One of the biggest pros of using a credit card is that most of them have a rewards system. You can earn cash back, travel miles, rewards points, and other things, as you make purchases on your card.
As you earn these rewards, you're basically getting more value for each dollar you spend on your card. You don't get that with cash.
Here's the important bit though:
You need to pay off your entire credit card bill every single month. If you fail to do this, the amount you'll end up paying in interest charges will end up costing more than your rewards are worth.
46. Rent Your Spare Room on Airbnb
An easy money-saving life hack you can use to lower your monthly rent bill/mortgage is to simply have someone else pay for some (or all) of it! You don't need to rent out your spare room all the time either, having just a few occupants a month should take a good chunk out of your bill.
Oh, and if you're worried about crazy people coming into your house, don't worry too much. It's easy to background check people on Airbnb, renters have to confirm their identity, and you can talk to them beforehand as well. You can also check the reviews on their profile.
If you don't like the idea of renting your room on Airbnb you could also consider getting a roommate. The only problem with having a roommate is that you don't have the freedom to have the house to yourself whenever you want.
47. Stay in an Airbnb
Just as you can rent your room on Airbnb to save money, staying in an Airbnb when you travel is a great way to save money as well. Just make sure to compare hotel prices and Airbnb prices before you travel.
Another small bonus of staying in an Airbnb instead of a hotel is that you'll probably get way better wifi.
48. Plant Trees
Planting trees strategically around your home can lower your air conditioning costs by up to 30 percent! On top of that, trees can increase the value of your property, so it's a win-win scenario.
49. Check If Your 401k is Healthy
Do you know how well your 401k is performing? Do you believe it's performing at it's best? These are important questions to ask yourself as your 401k is going to be quite important when it comes time to retire.
You may not even be aware of it, but there are a few major things that could be eating up the returns in your 401k. Your portfolio might not be diversified enough, your returns might be getting diminished by hidden fees, or you might have the wrong allocation of assets in your portfolio.
All of these things can affect your returns, and your 401k needs constant adjusting in order to perform at its best.
The founders of Blooom recognized all of these issues and have made it their mission to help Americans optimize their 401ks for retirement. They'll help you manage your 401k, avoid hidden fees, and balance your portfolio, all while following an investment strategy that suits your needs.
If you're unsure of how well your 401k is performing click here for a free no-strings-attached 401k health analysis.
50. Get Arcadia Power
Arcadia Power is a company that helps renters and homeowners lower their energy bills AND use clean energy to help the planet. Best of all, this service is completely free.
Once you're signed up and you've linked your utility account, Arcadia Power will start connecting you to cleaner energy and looking for better electricity rates to help you save money. It's as simple as that.
51. Get a Money Management App
This may be the last money-saving hack on this list, but I also believe it to be one of the most important. With a good personal finance app, managing and saving your money becomes a lot easier.
A good app gives you the ability to:
- Set budgets
- Create bill alerts
- Monitor your transactions
- Categorize your transactions
- See all your accounts, investments, and net worth, in one place
- and more!
Keep in mind, however, that in order for any of these features to be useful, you have to actually use them. You should try to get in the habit of checking your app every week.
The question is…which personal finance app is the best? Well, they all offer different features, but here are the two I recommend (they're both free to use):
- Mint – This is the one I use as it's available in Canada and the U.S. It has all the features listed above and it gets the job done nicely.
- Personal Capital – This is the app I wish I could use but it's only available in the U.S. It has some features that Mint doesn't have and it's also missing some features that Mint has.
If you don't know which app to choose, I recommend downloading both and testing them out for yourself. You may even end up keeping both as they each offer their own unique features.
Now that you've read my massive list of money-saving hacks, I want to hear from you:
Do you have any of your own money-saving life hacks that I haven't mentioned? What's your favorite money-saving hack from this list? Let me know in the comments!