Money and finance are a big part of adult life. Though not everyone is financially literate, most people know at least a few of the most common money-saving tricks and employ them in their day-to-day life.
What can sometimes make the difference, however, is having access to important knowledge. In this case: some of the biggest money-saving hacks that you can use in your own life to save some money and make things easier.
Let’s jump into these money saving hacks and see what the best ways are to save money!
Use Raises and Income Increases To Save
One of the best ways to save a ton of money is to change your mindset when it comes to how you think about income and money. A lot of people, if they get a raise or a bonus, use that money to fund or increase what they view as the quality of their lifestyle. Sometimes, however, this isn’t worth the cost.
An easy way to watch your savings skyrocket while your life stays the same is, to basically, stay in your lane. Get a raise? Upgrade your automatic savings to compensate. Get a new job or change employers? More on that below, but if you get a big increase in your salary, especially if it’s substantial, and you don’t need that money to live, then save it. Don’t waste it on buying unwanted things.
Explore Employer Matching Opportunities
Many people don’t know this, but one of the biggest money saving hacks that there is comes from your employer. Many employers offer all kinds of benefits these days, from dental to vision to medical, and many others offer ‘matching’ programs for things like your 401k.
What a matching 401k program means is that your employer has to contribute to the 401k and match whatever you put in, to a certain point. That point is dictated by the company. So if a company has 1-to-1 401k matching, for example, that means you can literally double your contributions to your 401k just by asking your employer about it.
Buy Generic and Seasonal, Generally
One of the best ways that you can save money is to buy generic products, and to buy both products and food seasonally. There’s all types of ways that you can use this to get ahead if you spend some time thinking about it.
For starters, buying generic is a huge money saver: sometimes, name brands can be over 20-25% more expensive than a generic brand, for almost no changes. With food, there can sometimes be a quality decrease in the generic brand, but most brands are usually extremely similar.
In other industries, the price-gouging is a bit more egregious. In medication, for example, people regularly buy name-brand prescriptions that are hundreds of dollars more than the generic ones. Use sites like costplusdrugs to get around this, or look for other medication options that are less expensive if possible.
Finally, seasonal buying isn’t just with food or produce: it’s better to buy an AC in the winter or a heater in the summer, after all. Buy clothes you want or like in their off-season. Look for deals. Go thrifting. There’s tons of ways to save money.
Spend More Time Comparing Prices and Brands
One of the biggest ways you can save money is to take a closer look at what you purchase. It’s hard to call this a money saving hack, technically, but you can still save a boatload by doing this.
It doesn’t matter what the industry is, necessarily, though there’s definitely some industries that you can save more in than others. Before blindfoldedly making a purchase, look for a brands competitors and see if you are getting better prices.
If your purchase is special and niche, or if you’re in a location where there aren’t other options, then this may not be possible. For most people, however, it is. Switch to cheaper brands and products, and invest in getting bigger returns on larger purchases. For some people, whether it’s for a hobby or a profession, buying expensive services, tools, materials, or other objects are necessities. If you’re familiar with what you do, you can save a lot of money there too.
Rent Things You Need Temporarily
One of the biggest ways that you can waste money instead of saving it is to buy things that you won’t need forever, or even worse, buying something just to use it one time. Never, ever do that. It can be a really big waste of money.
The biggest examples are with things like suits, expensive tools or objects for singular jobs, or other stuff of that nature. Just because you need to look really nice for one day doesn’t mean you need to buy an expensive suit, renting it is often a fraction of the price.
This goes for other things too. Whether we’re talking about power tools or college textbooks, renting is almost always cheaper in the long-term than buying, so if it’s not a permanent purchase, don’t actually purchase it. Just rent it.
Review Your Budget: Weekly, Monthly, Yearly
Another huge money saving hack is to take a really close look at what you’re spending, and see if you can free some of that up for saving instead. It’s a common thing and a lot of people do it, but not everyone, and it’s worth giving it a try if you haven’t.
Unused subscriptions or monthly bills for things you don’t care about or use should be tossed. Purchases that you notice seem out of the ordinary should be reexamined. You might find that you didn’t want or need what you really got, and it was a waste of money, which could help you make better purchasing decisions in the future.
A lot of people are already on a tight budget, so if that’s you, then what would be a better idea would be to take a second look at everything and see if you can shrink your budget further, if possible. Using public services and free options for things can help a bit.
Cut to What You Need
This last money saving hack isn’t just ‘cut spending’ — it’s reducing it as much as you can in the areas you can. This isn’t just skipping treats you don’t need: it’s things like reducing a membership or a subscription to a lower tier, or buying smaller servings or portions when you’re not as hungry.
It’s more like reducing everything as much as you can: but notice in all of these examples that nothing is taken away completely. If you have certain things you just can’t live without, instead of cancelling them, it may be better to try and reduce them as much as possible.
Saving money can be difficult, but by using these — and other money hacks — you may be able to get ahead. Happy saving!