Let’s talk about something everyone loves but rarely does enough of – saving money!
Now, we know it might not sound as exciting as blowing cash on the latest gadgets or going wild at the mall, but trust us, having some extra money in your pocket is a total game-changer.
It’s essential to know some life hacks for saving money, so a Redditor asked, “What are some interesting life hacks for saving money?”
This received thousands of replies, but we have listed down the top money-saving life hacks for you to use!
1. The 72-Hour Rule
One user perfectly summarizes it: “This is not mine, but ‘The 72-hour rule” is pretty helpful. Basically, the gist of it is, if you want something that is not a necessity, instead of buying it immediately, add it to a list (in my case, I use a spreadsheet, but whatever works), then wait 72 hours. If, after 72 hours, you still want it, then you can buy it. It seems that 80-90% of the time, after the 72 hours is up, I don’t end up buying the item I thought I wanted. The reason I like doing it with a spreadsheet is I can then, at the end of the year, easily add it up and see how much money I DIDN’T impulsively spend.”
Another user shared, “I love this. Mostly I do it with online shopping. I’ll log in to Amazon some days, check my cart, and just be boggled by the things I wanted to purchase a couple of days ago. It’s a good rule.”
That sounds like a smart idea, right?
2. Buy Reusable Items
Redditors seemed to love this idea.
Someone wrote, “Try buying reusable objects in place of single-use ones. It’s better for your wallet and environment. Steel water bottles, reusable K cups, dish towels instead of paper towels, etc. Over time the costs of little things really add up.”
Another one added, “Water bottles are a huge one. They don’t even have to be steel; companies/events may give plastic sports bottles away for free, and those can work fine until you can afford an insulated or metal one.”
Try to buy as many reusable items as possible; it will surely be a long-term investment for you!
3. Say NO to Coupons
The trick to saving money is to only buy items that you really want. Don’t fall prey to those 50% off coupons and buy things you don’t need just because they came with a good deal!
One user said, “Don’t buy something that you normally wouldn’t buy just because you have a coupon.”
Another one elaborated with their personal experience: “+1000. Right after graduation, I became a slickdeals addict. “Oh wow, an item that is pretty useless to me is on sale; better get it.” At some point, I found that my whole place was cluttered with stuff that I used once. Now, I’d rather pay full price for an item when I’m sure I want it than buy on a discount in the hopes I’ll want it someday. Funny enough, that is quite cost-effective. I can’t tell you the number of hard drives I have avoided buying with that strategy.”
4. Do It Yourself
Who needs an expensive store-bought item when you can unleash your inner creativity? This money-saving tip allows you to do it yourself instead of paying mechanics or plumbers!
One person said, “If you can buy a tool to complete a repair for the same price as the repair itself, buy the tool and repair it for free next time.”
Another agreed and commented, “You should already be satisfied. You paid yourself $970 for your time, AND you gained a skill.”
5. Compare Prices
This is a very smart way to save yourself some extra bucks!
One user advises, “When at the grocery, look at the price/oz or whatever unit it is instead of the total price. It’s usually posted in one corner. It’s not going to save you tons of money, but it does add up. Plus, it takes out the guesswork when comparing similar items.”
Other Redditors agreed, and one commented, “Yes, people so often overlook the unit price. It matters! Even if it does cost more to buy a larger jar of instant coffee, for example, that’s still cheaper than buying the same jar at the rate of the smaller one.”
So, always compare prices and go for the cheaper option!
6. Trust in Portions
Another hack shared by a Redditor: “I try to cost things as portions of better, or more fulfilling things i.e., A coffee is 1/10 of a new game. Ten meals out is a weekend away etc.”
Another user added, “I do that too. “Is that new outfit worth 4 hours in charge of 20 patients in a locked psych ward in a state hospital?” I don’t buy a lot of new clothes.”
So assign portions to any expensive item you want, and you won’t feel the need to buy it unnecessarily.
7. Homemade Meals
Now instead of paying for overpriced food at malls or grocery stores, try to eat before you go out. This way, you will save yourself some extra cash.
You can even learn to cook by yourself instead of ordering takeouts every other day.
One user wrote, “Always eat before going food shopping.”
Another one said, “Same with me, and I hate it! I just went grocery shopping an hour ago and spent $111… Probably still gonna need more food in 2 weeks.”
Someone summarized it by commenting, “Eat before shopping AND have a list of what you plan to buy. Base it on what meals you cook at home, and BOOM! Save money and eat healthily!”
8. Bank Statements
Often times we are not even aware of how much we spend on little items. These things may seem cheap individually, but adding them all up can take a toll on your wallet. So, another tip is to always review your bank statements and be aware of your spending!
One Redditor commented, “Learn how to log in to your online banking system and review your statement regularly. You’ll see how quickly money flows out for coffee…snacks…. and unnecessary purchases. Also, set a budget and STICK TO IT.”
Another user shares a saving tip: “Adding on to this, I set up something called “roundup” automatically online through my bank, whereby every purchase I make with my main account is rounded up to the nearest dollar, then that difference is deposited into my savings account. It’s worth checking to see if your bank does this as well, as I’ll end up saving an extra $20 or $30 bucks a month without noticing.”
9. Act Like a Smoker, but Don’t Be a Smoker
Ever thought about the mind-blowing money-saving hack that can turn your piggy bank into a treasure chest? If yes, then this one is for you!
A Reddit user explains this hack: “I don’t smoke but live my financial life as a smoker. Meaning every Monday, I transfer the sum of one week’s worth of cigarettes to my savings account. If people that earn less than me can afford to smoke, so can I.”
Another person commented, “This is a great idea. My husband and I used to smoke, but we gave it up for our health and because it was expensive. That saving disappears quickly to other things! I will have to start doing this.”
So don’t be a smoker, but you can surely save up some money this way!
10. Don’t Buy Cheap Items
One user wrote, “Don’t buy the cheapest option. Often the middle-priced option will be the best value. Things that are too cheap aren’t worth what you paid for them.”
Someone else agreed and said, “Good strategy. Try not to buy based on price or status, but instead, look for the best value. Value is like a ratio between item quality and price. Get the best quality that meets your needs for the lowest price you can afford.”
Do not take loans if you don’t really need the money! Being in debt is definitely one of the worst things you can do in the world of finance because, remember, the toll of interest can be a burden on all your other investments.
Someone commented, “If you can avoid it, never take out a payday loan.”
Another user added, “You’d be better off working a second cr***y job. Never, under any circumstances, owe those people.”
12. Library Cards
A person said, “Get yourself a library card. It’s not just books but also movies, workshops, education, software, computer time, and music. I’ve probably saved thousands on all sorts of things. If it weren’t for the library, I probably wouldn’t have been introduced to awesome books like American Gods, The Way of Kings, All Systems Down, or The Road.”
Another wrote, “Any book you want to read is probably available at your county’s library. Just go to their website, look it up, and reserve it, and they will transport it to your nearest branch. Wait for an email that tells you it’s ready for pickup, and go get it.
You can get ebooks, DVDs, music, and comic books the exact same way (they treat ebooks like books: they have so many “copies” they are allowed to send to a reader at any given time). Save not only money but space in your home, too!”
So, what are you waiting for? Go get yourself a library card and avail all these free fun services!
13. Save Those Coins
Remember to save those pennies and dimes! They can be worth a lot more than you’d expect them to be.
One Redditor shared their personal experience: “Mum tagged me in a Facebook post about how many $2 coins fit in a Coke bottle. That was years ago, and every year since then, I’ve filled at least one Coke bottle. I use that money for Christmas presents, and anything leftover (which is quite a bit now that I only have three friends) goes straight into savings.”
Another one added, “I used to have a giant lava lamp-shaped bank. I started by filling it up. Then I traded all the pennies for nickels. Filled it again, traded all the pennies and nickels for dimes, and again, exchanged for quarters. By the 5th filling, I had over $2500 in change.”
14. The 3x Rule
Imagine this: You are walking through a store and see a coffee table. Now you really want to buy it, but you aren’t too sure if it is budget-friendly. What do you do?
Now that’s where the 3x rule comes in.
One Redditor explains, “If you can’t afford to buy it three times, you can’t afford it.”
Another one exclaims, “Where has this advice been my whole life!”
15. Act Broke
This Reddit user has the advice of the day. They say, “Acting broke. Trust me. Nothing helps you save more than acting broke. And there is a way to do that without becoming a mooch. Eat at home if your friends have a dinner planned at an expensive place. Pregame if you’re going clubbing. And if anyone asks you why aren’t you eating/drinking/coming for that vacation just say you’re broke. I learned this the hard way.”
This comment has caught the eye of many users who are praising this hack!
One replied, “Honestly, this is great advice.”
16. Buy Secondhand
Want to know the ultimate secret to keeping your wallet fat and happy? Buy secondhand whenever you can.
Most of the time, the item will work well and may cost you half of its original price!
One Redditor wrote, “Buy secondhand! Today I have secured myself a solid pine desk for my daughters’ room, no marks or damage, for £10, and a worn-once, three-piece navy suit for my son to wear at our wedding next year, also for £10.
I buy maybe 80% of my stuff secondhand. I bide my time, wait for a bargain, and I have saved sooooo much money over the years.”
17. Dollar Store
Try going to your local Dollar Store, where everything is priced at $1 only. If you are lucky enough, you can find all that you need there.
Someone said, “The dollar store LA’s Totally Awesome brand cleaner is crazy good!”
Another replied, “Dollar store bleach. Dollar store vinegar. Dollar store cleaning products. Dollar store air freshener.” You can really find everything there!
18. Separate Bank Accounts
If you are going to save money, you need to keep track of your spending. And what’s a better way than having different back accounts for different needs!
A user commented, “Separate everything out. Use multiple bank accounts. Use one for “play money,” Use one for rent/mortgage/whatever, Use one for recurring bills (gas, car payment, insurance, bills, etc.). Do you know one easy way to not accidentally blow your rent money on dumb stuff? Keep it separate from your “go party with jeff on a friday night” money.
19. Thrift Stores
A Redditor wrote, “Buy “defective” clothes. They’re usually way cheaper than regular clothes, and most of the time, you can’t even tell what’s wrong with them. Usually, it’s just something like the arms being marginally too long or a pattern that was from last season (and even then, most people can’t tell what’s from this and previous seasons).”
Another one replied, “Also, buy at thrift stores. Outlet stores also have cheaper products (in every sense of the word compared to their other retail locations). They are somewhat less high quality with lower thread counts etc, than the locations found in malls with the higher price etc…”
So, visit those thrift stores and buy defective clothes now. You might even find good deals there!
20. Food Stamps
Someone wrote, “If you’re low income, apply for food stamps (or whatever your city/state calls the equivalent).
Seriously, there’s no shame in it. I neglected to apply for several years when I was really struggling because I had to unlearn the stigma that they had when I was growing up. Times have changed. If you need help, don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask for it. I qualify for the maximum amount where I live. It doesn’t cover my monthly food expenses, but it gets me through a few weeks, and I could make it stretch if I really needed to. It never hurts to apply.”
Another person said, “Also, as an aside, some states like New York, for example, will let you use them at farmer’s markets oftentimes as worth double, so that 5$ worth of veggies you got actually costs you 2.50$. You can also use them to buy vegetable seeds.”
If you feel like your bank account is leaking cash faster than a sieve, then this hack will help patch those holes for you!
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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.