7 Easy Ways to Save Money That You Never Thought Of
Financial experts use these hacks to save lots of money every month
Sometimes saving money is easier said than done for a variety of reasons. With the holiday season quickly approaching, putting money away for a rainy day can seem even more difficult. However, according to financial experts, saving money is easier than you think.
"Saving is your margin," Eric Maldonado, a certified financial planner and owner of Aquila Wealth Advisors, told the publication. "When things happen — your car breaks down or there's a layoff, or smaller stuff like gifts for the holidays — you have something to fall back on."
Maldonado recommends aiming for a savings rate closer to 20% of your take-home income. "You can live off of 80% and put 20% toward deferred gratification," he says. "If you're just starting out, then it can be too daunting, but you can work toward it."
"One of the biggest mistakes people make is buying things you don't need," says Vivian Tu, author of the forthcoming book Rich AF: The Winning Money Mindset That Will Change Your Life. She recommends "taking a beat" before making any purchase. "Really ask yourself, 'Why do I want that thing? What makes it special?'" she suggests.
Cary Carbonaro, a CFP and senior vice president at financial advisory firm ACM Wealth, recommends setting aside a small amount of money each month for future big expenses. "If you know you're going to spend $1,200 at Christmas, then put aside $100 a month for the whole year," Carbonaro suggests. "Everybody overspends in December unless you budgeted for it."
Ryan Greiser, a CFP and founder of the financial firm Opulus, relies on online grocery ordering with curbside pickup over in-store shopping. "We noticed that if we did curbside pickup, our bill was $50 to $100 less than if we went into the store because we only bought the things on our list. It reduced impulse buys and allowed us to easily compare prices and coupons that popped up on the screen," he said, revealing that it helped them save $200 to $400 a month.
Greiser's family also started saving $10 to $30 a month by rotating their streaming subscriptions based on what shows they were currently watching. "We keep one or two active subscriptions and cancel the rest or pause it when a show wraps up so we can rotate to the next one," he says. He also pauses his fitness subscriptions when the weather is good enough to exercise outside. "They are month to month, so easy to pause and restart."
Don't be afraid to ask for discounts. "You have power as a consumer," Tu says. This can be asking your bank to waive late fees or overcharge fees, or asking for a discount on shoes that have a scuff on them. "Be polite, be kind, but you can be entitled and understand that your business has value," she adds.
Shop around for cheaper insurance and find discounts on the bills you don't look at very often, too. This helped Greiser save a total of $1,000 on his bundled auto and home insurance plan.
Signing up for cashback apps like Rakuten, Ibotta and RetailMeNot allow you to earn cash back for online shopping. "I highly recommend using cash-back apps," Tu says. "I know it seems like kind of a pain to sign up, but you can save hundreds of dollars a year because it lets you get cash back on purchases you were already making."