7 Simple Ways to Save More Money This Year
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It’s hard to believe we’re more than halfway through 2018. Did you have goals to save more money this year but have fallen off in your efforts? There is still much of the year left and you can make great headway towards your goals by working to save money each month.
Whether you want to pay off debt, save more for retirement or some other financial goal, saving more money is a great first step.
You may think it’s difficult to save money each month but it’s not. There are many ways to save money and most require little inconvenience. In fact, just trying a handful of ways can save you $250+ per month!
1. get money back on your shopping
Did you know you can get cash back from shopping at the store by simply scanning your receipt? With Ibotta you can earn cash back from items you buy at the grocery store. After you’re done shopping you scan your receipt and Ibotta matches it against cheaper offers and pays you the difference.
Ibotta doesn’t just work at grocery stores, they also work with over 350 vendors – both online retailers and brick and mortar stores.
Ibotta connects to your PayPal or Venmo account so you can get paid right away. If you’d rather not scan receipts, you can use the Ibotta app on your phone to locate sales for the store you’re at.
Ibotta gives you a $10 bonus just for signing up.
2. Kill the high interest Debt
If you have high-interest debt, 2018 is the year to get serious about killing it! You may think it’s impossible to pay off debt. I used to feel the same way, but I was able to pay off over $50,000 in debt by working hard at it.
The best way to kill high-interest debt is to reduce your interest rate, so more of your payment works for you.
Online lenders like Best Egg can help you slash that rate in half or more so you can pay off the debt quicker. You can have the funds within one day by refinancing through Best Egg, and repay with a three or five year loan.
You can get rates as low as 5.99 percent with Best Egg, though that will require a minimum credit score of 700 and income of $100,000, among other requirements.
Check your rate at Best Egg to see how much you can save on your debt payments.
If you only have credit card debt, you may benefit from using a balance transfer card to kill the debt. Here’s a list of cards that may help you do that.
3. Automate Your Saving
Life gets busy, and it’s easy to forget to save money. Paying yourself first treats saving money as a bill to yourself. It’s the first thing you should do with your money each month.
It doesn’t matter how much you save, it can be as small as $10 per month. It’s the act that counts, not the amount.
CIT Bank let’s you automate saving and pays 1.55 percent on your cash (which is more that 20x the typical average), with a minimum starting balance of $100. CIT Bank charges no monthly fees!
You can get even more if you open a Money Market – 1.85 percent, with the same minimum starting balance of $100.
4. Get Rid of the Contract Already!
If you still have cable, this is one of the easiest ways to save more money with little effort. I used to think we couldn’t live without cable, and over two years into being cable free we’re not looking back and are enjoying saving over $80 per month!
There are many available options to help you cut the cord and save $50+ per month.
Both Hulu with Live TV and Sling TV give access to many of the same channels without a nasty contract. Hulu with Live TV gets you 60+ channels for $39.99 per month and Sling TV is $25 per month for 30 channels.
When it comes to racking up the amount you’re saving, cutting the cord is second only to automating your savings.
5. Cancel Unused Subscriptions
How many memberships or subscriptions do you have that you don’t use? The gym membership is an easy one for many. If you have a membership and don’t go, that’s lost money.
The same goes with magazines, bills with hidden fees that result in overcharging and more. You can try to negotiate those yourself, but you may overlook a bill or not actually save money.
Trim automates much of that for you for free, helping you save more money and stop wasting money that can go to other goals.
6. make money in your spare time
One of the best ways to save money is to make money. There are many ways to make money that require skill, or extra time but the best way to make extra money is to monetize your down time.
The best way to do this is through online surveys. There are many legit survey companies that let you make money while watching TV or sitting at the doctor’s office. Here are some of the highest paid survey sites to make money in your spare time:
Survey Junkie: This is our favorite survey site. They pay you cash straight to PayPal or let you redeem rewards for Amazon gift cards.
Pinecone Research: This site pays $3 per survey and you can choose between PayPal, Amazon or restaurant gift cards for your payment. They also pay to do product testing.
Global Test Market: Global TestMarket lets you make money for answering surveys, testing products, and also asks for feedback on products you already use around your home.
Global TestMarket has paid out over $30 million in earnings since 2016. You can redeem earnings as cash to PayPal or as gift cards.
Inbox Dollars: Earn money for taking surveys, watching TV or making purchases online. Get $5 just for signing up.
Panda Research: Panda Research pays you for a number of different activities – answering surveys, reading emails, referring friends and more. The minimum payout is $50 and they pay via PayPal on the 1st and 15th of each month. Panda Research does require phone verification when they do your first payout to confirm your identity.
Surveys will not replace your income but they can be a good way to pad your savings account in your spare time.
7. lower your car insurance
When was the last time you compared your auto insurance rate against other providers? Forbes reports that nearly 40 percent of drivers haven’t compared rates in the past three years and nearly 20 percent have never compared rates.
If that describes you then you’re likely leaving hundreds of dollars on the table each year. We all must have auto insurance but there’s no sense in paying more than you have to.
Comparing rates helps you determine if you’re paying for something you don’t need, or simply have too much coverage – both of which will result in you spending too much each month.
Compare rates at Allstate to see how much money you can on your auto insurance needs and still have the vital coverage you need. The average driver saves over $350 per year when they switch.
8. Bonus: refinance your mortgage
What is the interest rate on your mortgage? Have you tried to refinance your rate over the past five years?
If the answer to that second question is no you may be overlooking a money saving opportunity. While interest rates are slowly on the rise they’re still low from a historical perspective.
Refinancing your mortgage can not only lower your mortgage payment, it might also allow you to pay off your mortgage faster if you maintain the same payment after refinancing.
Check your rate at LendingTree to see how much you can save by refinancing your mortgage. LendingTree lets you compare up to five lenders at once so you can find the best possible rate.
You Can Save More Money this Year with Little Effort
The best part of the above list is that you can do most, if not all, with little effort. You don’t even have to try all at once. In fact, I’d recommend against it. Instead, identify 1-2 ways that might help you now and give it a try. You’ll be surprised at how seeing the savings will motivate you to save more money.
Don’t give into excuses! Look for opportunities to save more money this year. With a little work, you might be able to save thousands that can go towards another goal.
What’s one way you’re going to save more money this year? What’s one thing you refuse to do to save money? Do you automate your saving?
John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.
Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.
Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.
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