Looking to save some serious cash? We’ve got you covered with the ultimate life hack guide. From DIY products to meal prep tips, here are some favorite money-saving hacks that are sure to make a big impact on your wallet.
Life Hack That’s Saved You a Ton of Money
Someone recently asked on Reddit, “What’s a life hack that’s saved you a ton of money?” The answers are some of the greatest life hacks and the best frugal tips we could find.
These are some of the responses.
Super Glue and Baking Soda
“Dusting baking soda on top of super glue hardens it almost instantly, making it a resin-like substance that can fill cracks, dents, and holes and be painted and sanded. Saves cracked plastic totes, soles of shoes, even car upholstery dings and glass chips,” one person wrote.
That is useful to know! This a random but very useful life hack!
Going to Yard Sales in the Right Place
“Only going to yard sales in the rich neighborhoods,” one person wrote. Another added, “Amen to this. Also, the goodwill next to the rich neighborhood has newer clothes from expensive brands.”
Buying secondhand is the way to go, and thrift stores and yard sales are great places to score amazing finds. Certain neighborhoods and areas are known for good sales so find those places to go shopping.
Use the Library
“Use the library for books, CDs, DVDs, and now audiobooks.” someone wrote.
Another person enthusiastically agreed, “IF I COULD UP IT THIS MORE TIMES, I WOULD listen ppl go to you public f***** library and get a f**** library card!! Ask your librarians what services they provide, it’s always way more than you think!! Many have notaries working, tax forms and classes, access to huge online resources, local entertainment and museum passes, free tutoring; mine has a 3d printer!”
I LOVE the library and go constantly and I wish more people would use it for all its services.
Related: 13 Ways To Get Free Books for Kids
One person wrote, “There is a YouTube video for everything. I have fixed my own and my wife’s vehicles myself countless times by just looking it up on YouTube.”
Being able to do your own repairs and DIY will save you a lot of money and is one of the best life hacks to save you money.
Check the Unit Price
“Check the per kg price instead of the displayed price. The per kg price is the real price,” one person shared.
Always check the unit price to know how much you are spending.
“Bought a sim and activation card from Walgreens for my phone. Service called Net10. Went from paying $98 to $21 a month for service,” someone wrote.
Another person added, “Coming in for the real old school cheap way to get cell service… TracFone. You can BYOP, or buy a phone on Amazon to save money (or buy it from TracFone themselves). I bought a Samsun Galaxy A20 for about $120 a few years ago; not a super fancy phone, but it does what I need it to do.”
Use Half the Recommended Amount of Detergent
“Use half the recommended amount of laundry products,” someone wrote.
Another added, “And use powder detergent too! Just as effective and super cheap in comparison because you’re not paying for water.”
You don’t need as much product as they tell you. Use less and save money on detergent.
Reusable Water Bottles
“Re-fillable water bottles and taking your own coffee to work,” someone wrote.
You will save so much money and won’t ever be thirsty!
Convince Yourself You Are Broke
“Convincing myself, I’m broke at pretty much all times. When you think you have close to zero dollars, you reconsider every single purchase you make in more of a survival mentality than a logical one,” someone wrote.
This mentality can be a great way to save money, but as someone said, “I totally do this, but it takes a toll when it comes to actually spending money on yourself. There is definitely a healthy balance, but I’d say this mentality usually causes me more stress lol” so tread lightly.
Get in the habit of drinking water!
“Not only far cheaper and healthier, but you save Future You on medical bills,” wrote one person.
Make Your Own Meals
“Making my own meals” is one person’s best life hack. Another concurred, “This! Plus, investing in a nice set of glass containers for meal prepping. Sure, the plastic ones are cheap and lightweight but they do eventually stain, crack, and warp. The glass cleans easier and holds up to dishwashers. A lot of brands are also microwave safe.”
Eat Beans and Rice
Learn how to properly cook and eat beans and rice.
“Rice, beans, and some cheap meat go a LOOOOONNG way in a broke household. I grew up on pork n beans because it was so cheap and easy to make. Sometimes we couldn’t get pork but the seasonings made up for it. Definitely recommend buying rice and beans in bulk,” someone wrote.
Another added their personal experience, “I’m from New Orleans and always grateful that red beans and rice was a staple dish. Truly one of the most comforting things I can make, and it’s dirt cheap.”
Use a Voltage Meter
“Using a voltage meter to check batteries,” someone wrote, “As long as they’re all about the same level, anything registering above .5V will still work.”
Save Warranty Paperwork
One person shared, “I save all my warranty paperwork. I got a brand new shark vacuum after 7 years a few weeks ago. I only had to pay $20 for shipping. I just keep the expensive stuff in a folder with the receipts in a filing cabinet so not to hoard everything.”
One person wrote, “Not me, but I have friends who decided to go to county college to start and then transferred to a university once they actually know what degree they wanna pursue. Saved them a lot on student loan debt.”
I did this and saved a lot of money on my college education!
Sit and Wait
One person shared how they curb impulse spending, “When I stumble upon something I like and want to buy (clothes, appliances, tools) that I didn’t already need beforehand, I sit on it for at least a week before going back and buying. I can tell if it’s really something I want/need or if it was just a heat of the moment thing”, someone wrote.
“Creating a list of meals every Sunday for the week” is a great way to save money. They continued, “I love to cook every night, it’s part of my family’s wind-down routine, so I don’t like cooking everything in advance. However, prepping for meals has allowed me to feed my family of 4 for about $200/wk with 3 healthy meals a day plus snacks and desserts. Also, take advantage of the coupon list at your local grocery store!”
Stop Eating Out
One person shared how stopping to eat out saved them money, “Stopped eating out in 2020 and developed my cooking methods, and the family loves it. Family of four with the 2 adults consuming 2 “adult” drinks + tip was well over $100. Twice a week, that’s $800 a month, which is more than what our grocery bill totals per month. Cook at home.”
Buy Used Cars With Cash
“I only buy used cars with cash from saving. Saves me money: no car loan, no new car depreciation, and having cash allows me to look for deals and last give me a position to negotiate from,” someone wrote.
Obviously, you need to have the cash to do this, but if you have some cash, you can buy a cheap car and save so much money!
Always try to use coupon codes. Don’t have a coupon code? Google it!
Someone wrote, “Google for coupon codes before buying anything online. It takes a lot of trial & error, but sometimes you find gems. I once found a code for 60% off, & it worked!”
Related: How To Get Cashback on Purchases
Overpay Your Mortgage in the UK
“Overpaying your mortgage (works in UK not sure about anywhere else),” someone wrote, “So in the UK, mortgage companies allow you to pay up to 10% extra per year. A financial advisor in the 90s once told me for every extra £20 you paid per month off a 5% interest mortgage (25 years) would save you £27,000 by the end of the mortgage as well as finishing your mortgage early. From experience… it works!”
Works in the USA Too
Someone shared, “Did this on a 25-year mortgage and knocked two years off. It does not have to be hundreds extra each month.”
Have debt? “debt payoff snowballing” is the answer one person wrote.
They said, “I had several credit cards with larger balances. Instead of paying extra onto each, I paid the minimum on the highest balances and put any extra to the smallest balance. Once the smallest one was paid off, I moved the payments I was making to the small one to the next smallest… until that was paid off… adding the money paid on the lower cards to the next one… rinse-repeat until done. Got me out of debt pretty quick.”
Have extra stuff? Sell it!
“Sell everything you no longer use. Don’t throw it away or let it collect dust. Just about everything is worth something to somebody,” someone wrote.
There is the added bonus of having a cleaner, less cluttered house!
Get Housing From Work
Someone shared a great cheap living hack.
They said, “Find a job at a wilderness Lodge or resort that comes with accommodation for nothing or d*** well near it. My job (May – October) gives me a place to live and two meals a day in a beautiful wilderness environment for about 45$ a week off my paycheck. I bank enough money that without rent and expenses, I don’t really have to work the other half of the year and can survive comfortably. I guess it wouldn’t be as feasible if I owned my own house, which is something I’m working towards, but the possibility is seeming less and less likely as time goes on.”
Get Stuff for Free or Cheap
“Picking up free or super cheap items from Craigslist and FB marketplace, especially out of season. All of my hydroponic setups came from folks getting out of the hobby and clearing out their storage. Most of my gardening supplies (hoop house, carport used for shade structure, coco coir, etc.) has come from folks just wanted to get rid of stuff taking up space in storage. It’s a bit of work to just browse regularly to see what’s available, but it’s like treasure hunting that pays off regularly. I’ve also turned around and re-sold a few things that I got for free when I couldn’t put them to use. It turns out that offering something for free attracts a lot of really flaky people who don’t show up or keep their promises, but when you charge a nominal amount, it’s easier to find a taker,” someone wrote.
Most of my furniture I got for free!
Pour Hot Water on Your Car
“Dents/minor bump on a car is usually solved by pouring hot water on the dent/bump and lightly pushing them from the inside. Works perfect for bumpers and rear,” someone said.
Good to know!
Deny Yourself a Raise
Someone shared a great way to avoid lifestyle creep and save more money.
They wrote, “Each time I have received a raise at work, I have taken the difference and set an automatic transfer into a high-yield savings account that I have at another bank that’s not the same bank as my checking account so I never “miss it.” For example, my last raise made it where I would take home an extra like $60 every two weeks, so I just set the transfer for that amount. The money is safe in the savings for when life sucks and s*** happens. And it builds faster than you think because it’s not easily accessible and takes several days to transfer it over to my bank, so I am less likely to impulse buy. Granted, this all only works if you have the extra money to do so, but even transferring $5/week adds up!
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