Dollars and Sense: 12 Clever Life Hacks to Amp up Your Savings Game

Raise your hand if you want to supercharge your savings account! (Now put them down; I can’t see them.) Everyone loves saving money, and thankfully, there are plenty of tips, tricks, and hacks to give anyone a healthy savings balance. Recently, financially-savvy men and women met in an online discussion to reveal how they can save a few dollars consistently.

1. Drink More Water

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Let’s face it: We all spend too much money on soft drinks, alcohol, coffee, and other pricey beverages. Water is free, so you’ll save serious cash by drinking it at no cost! In 2023, most U.S. city water supplies are exceedingly safe to drink, making the decision to forgo this complimentary beverage even more puzzling for people looking to be more savvy with their financial situation.

2. Convince Yourself You’re Broke

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When you’re broke, you save money and cut back on spending without giving it a second thought. One person suggests taking this concept one step further and training yourself to believe you’re broke. “Convincing myself that I’m broke at pretty much all times is the way to go,” one man reveals. “When you think you have nearly zero dollars, you reconsider every purchase you make in more of a survival mentality than a logical one.” It’s hard to argue with this strategy.

3. Stick To Used Cars

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Everybody knows that buying a new car is one of the most foolish financial situations a person can get into. Yet, each year, millions of men and women purchase new vehicles. Here’s a tip: Instead of buying new, look for gently used cars with low miles that are still under warranty. Paying nearly double the price for the same vehicle makes no sense. Why would anyone want to put themselves in that unfavorable situation?

4. Never Carry a Credit Card Balance

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Incurring debt is the number one reason people struggle to maintain a healthy savings account, and falling into credit card debt is a trap that is difficult to dig out of. There’s an art to using credit cards responsibly: If you pay off your balance each month, you’re golden! Never carry a credit card balance; this debt will hurt your credit score, and you’ll begin to accrue interest. Plus, certain cards have rewards that can be lucrative, leading to more savings than you’d expect.

5. Use the “Wait It Out” Method

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Exercising patience before making any impulse purchase is a time-honored way of saving money. You’d be surprised how little you want an item a few days — or even a few hours — later! “When I stumble upon something I like and want to buy that I didn’t already need beforehand, I sit on it for at least a week before going back and buying,” relates one man. “That way, I can tell if it’s something I want or need or if it was just a heat of the moment thing.”

6. Do Plenty of Research Before Making Decisions

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As someone who meticulously researches every purchase I make (big or small), I can attest to how much money this strategy can save a person! By doing some due diligence, you can always ensure you never spend more than you should. As a result, I always stand by my savvy financial decisions and have a healthy savings account as proof of my frugalness. My strategy comes in handy during vacation time!

7. Cut Out Small Daily Transactions

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Tiny purchases may individually be only a few dollars a pop, but trust me when I say that they add up big by the end of the month. “Stop buying things like daily Starbucks, fast food, novel purchases, and stupid gadgets you do not need and will just toss in a year anyway,” advises one woman. “I used to waste thousands of dollars on purchases like that.”

8. Use Coupons

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Although using coupons can sometimes feel embarrassing, saving money is nothing to be ashamed of. I wish I could be like my mother, who expertly used coupons during my childhood to maximize savings during her weekly trip to the supermarket. Luckily, in 2023, couponing is more convenient than ever, as digital coupons can be easily (and discreetly) used at most grocery stores.

9. Buy Meat in Bulk

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Bigger is always better, especially when buying meat in bulk! If you have a freezer, don’t use it to store frozen premade dinners from the supermarket — use it to store protein for later! Buying meat in bulk is one of the best ways to maximize your cash at the grocery store, which naturally leads to more money in your savings account.

10. Put Extra Money Towards Your Mortgage

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One of the savviest ways to add more well-deserved money into your savings account is to focus on paying down your mortgage principal as often as possible. Who wouldn’t want to trim a few years off the most significant loan they’ll take on in their lives? “Did this on a 30-year mortgage and knocked two years off,” admits one woman. “It does not have to be hundreds extra each month, either. A little bit goes a long way.”

11. Stick to a Cooking Schedule

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Weekly trips to the grocery store can be expensive, but not if you have a game plan! Many people advise creating a cooking schedule before you go shopping and only buying items you’ll need for meals on the list. This ostensibly cuts down on impulse shopping and purchasing unhealthy food and snacks. Not only will this save you money in the long run, but you’ll become a better home chef in no time!

12. Start Thinking in Terms of Working Hours, Not Money

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If you struggle with saving, it’s time to adjust your mindset. One person shares an ingenious way to look at purchases from a fresh perspective. “Every time I want something frivolous, I question how long would I have to work to have it,” he explains. “Is it worth an hour of my time? Ten hours of my time? Would I be happy if I worked at my job and they told me this is what I’m getting instead of a paycheck for that time? Most times, the answer is no.”

Source: Reddit.

12 Frugal Meals People Eat Even When They’re Rich. Do You?

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When money isn’t a problem, people tend to indulge in all sorts of luxuries they couldn’t afford when they didn’t have excess money to spend. However, sometimes, even when money is easy, there are food items you can’t say “no” to. Here are some of the most addictive, economical meals you can eat, even when money is no issue.

12 Grocery Store Luxuries That People Love To Treat Themselves With

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Sometimes, grocery shopping can be a chore. It can feel like just one more thing to get done during the week, so you don’t have to worry about it during the weekend. When money is tight, it can be even more overwhelming to try and get the best deals on food until you get to that one item you can’t resist. We all do it, splurging on that one food item we can’t do without. To that end, here are some of the most luxurious food choices people must have.

12 Dream Treats People Would Splurge on if Money Were Infinite

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Imagine a reality where your bank account was bottomless and financial constraints vanished. What would you choose to splurge on? Here are 12 dream treats members of an online forum would throw their money at if money were no object.

10 Frivolous Things People Spend Their Money On When They Could Be Saving

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Are you spending your money frivolously on stupid things when dealing with a tight budget, or saving more for emergencies? We all do. Door Dash and Uber Eats? Need I say more? Between the higher menu prices, delivery fees, and tips, you can spend $35 on a single sandwich! It’s absurd, and yet so many people do it. Worse, they know it’s a waste of money but will continue using the services. I’m guilty of using the delivery apps myself. Someone recently asked on an online forum for other examples of dumb things people waste their hard-earned cash on, and these are the top-voted responses.

Lovingly Limiting Loans: 10 Wise Ways To Set Money Boundaries With Family

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Family ties are undoubtedly some of the strongest bonds in our lives. We share laughter, create lasting memories, and support each other through thick and thin. However, navigating boundaries can be complex when it comes to financial matters. Here are 12 wise ways shared by members of an online forum to set monetary limits with family members.

This article was initially published and syndicated by The Cents of Money

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