10 Money Saving Hacks to Help You Reach Your Financial Goals
When you are focused on reaching your financial goals, learning how to save money and cut your budget is important. The more you can save, the more quickly you will be able to reach your goals, whether it's pay off debt, buy your first home, or build your investment portfolio.
These 10 money-saving hacks can help you reach your financial goals by helping you save money on your everyday expenses
Use Money-Saving Apps
You use your phone for everything else, why not use it to save money? There are many apps that you can use for shopping that will save you money, from Target's app to Ebates to Ibotta.
These apps reward you for shopping frequently at one store, automatically apply coupons to your order, or help you earn cash back, making it easy to save money on the things you already purchase.
Switch to a Cash-Only Budget
Another strategy you can use to save money is to pay cash for your daily expenses.
Here's why: Many people do not stop to think about the money they are spending when they swipe a debit or credit card, which can cause you to spend even more.
In addition to keeping you more aware of the money you are spending, using cash also acts as a buffer to overspending because you cannot spend money you do not have. But keep in mind that in order for this to work, you cannot use your debit or credit cards. You may even want to leave the cards home when you go shopping.
Stop Shopping at Convenience Stores
There can be huge price differences depending on where you shop. If something is convenient, it tends to cost more. For example, a single cup of coffee can cost $4, but you can get an entire bag of coffee for $8.
The same goes with eating out. Buying groceries and cooking at home is much cheaper than eating out.
Cut Your Utility Bills
Many people assume that there is not much you can do to change your utility bills. But there are money-saving strategies you can use to lower the price of your utilities.
Start by installing low-flow shower heads and faucets. You can also set your thermostat a bit lower in the winter and a bit higher in the summer. Take the time to seal the cracks around your windows and doors. You can also call your cable company and ask if they can lower your monthly bill.
Stop Paying Interest
One of the best things you can do if you want to reach your financial goals is to stop wasting money on interest.
If you have credit card debt, come up with a debt payoff plan. Then try to reduce the amount that you pay in interest. Call the credit card company to see if they can offer you a lower interest rate. You can also transfer the balances to an interest- free credit card to help you save while you are paying off your debt.
Your statement will show you how much of your monthly payment is going to interest each month. If you only pay the minimum balance, most of your payment each month will go toward interest.
Prep Your Meals Once a Week
Many people end up eating out or ordering takeout because they are too tired to plan and cook a meal at the end of the day. One strategy to deal with this is to prep your meals for the week on one day. This may mean cooking and freezing your meals so that all you have to do is heat them up when you get home.
A slow cooker can also make it easier to cook for yourself. You can use the same strategy and pack your lunches for the week on Sunday to save time and money.
Do Repairs and Maintenance Yourself
Another way to save money is to take care of car or home maintenance and repairs yourself.
The internet makes it easy to find videos that will take you through the process of changing your oil or repairing your dryer, and you can save money by ordering the part and doing it yourself. If it intimidates you, then ask someone who knows how to do it walk you through it the first time.
You may be surprised at how easy it is and the savings can add up quickly. For example, you can save hundreds of dollars a year just by doing your oil changes yourself.
Try Buying Used
Another option to save money is to try buying used instead of new. This may not work for every item, and you may end up using something as a holdover until you can save up and pay cash for the model you want.
Craigslist and eBay make it easy to look for used items. Yard sales and consignment shops are also good options.
Wait Until the Price Drops to Buy
If you need to buy something the day it comes out, then you will likely pay full price for the item. If you can wait, often the price will drop on the item. This strategy works well in electronics and it can also apply to seasonal clothing.
If you are someone that needs to have the latest fashion or tech toys this may be a big adjustment, but it really can make a difference in how much you spend.
Have Someone Shop for You
If you struggle with sticking to a list or impulse purchases, then you really may be able to save by having someone else do the shopping for you. This is most effective for your grocery shopping. There are several stores that will shop for you for free or for a small fee and all you have to do is pick up the groceries. There are also services that will deliver the groceries to your home which makes it even easier.
Updated by Rachel Morgan Cautero.