I love to save money. Who doesn’t right? While you can search for ways to save, I figured I would show you the many different ways I save and how they work.
After all, seeing how a real person saves as opposed to a random list can be much more beneficial. Here are the various ways I save money.
5 Quick Tips to Save Money
- Automate Your Savings.
This is first because it is hands down the biggest one. I found that when I started working I was like many others – I spent my money and then saved what was left over. Some months that meant saving $20. Other months I saved nothing. After a couple years, it was no surprise that I wasn’t getting ahead financially.
So I made a change. Instead of spending first and saving what was left, I saved first and spent what was left over. To do this, I set up automatic transfers.
The first one was to my savings account. I wanted to save 10% of my income each month. So I took my paycheck and multiplied it by 2 since I was paid bi-monthly. I then took it and multiplied that number by 0.10 and got my savings amount goal. My last step was to log into my bank account and set up the transfer. In about 5 minutes I was done and guaranteeing I was saving 10% of my money each month. (Really I was saving more since I was putting money into my 401k plan at work as well!)
I also did this for my brokerage account. I set up a monthly transfer so that I didn’t have to think about investing my money each month. I just took a couple minutes to set it up and never looked back.
- Use Online Cash Back Sites.
Another way I save money is when I shop online. Before buying anything, I check out cash back sites. There are many out there but I stick with eBates. They offer anywhere from 1% cash back and up at many stores. When I shop through their online portal, they put the cash in my account and then PayPal it to me.
One extra step that I take and suggest you do as well is to search for online coupon codes. I will then compare the savings as sometimes you can only get one or the other. Most times though I do get to use both the coupon and get the cash back from eBates.
- Use Credit Card Malls and Discounts.
Another option when shopping online is to check out if your credit card offers any discounts. I have a Discover card and they have all sorts of partnerships with retailers. When I need printer ink, I use my Discover card and shop through their portal at Best Buy. I get 5% cash back from Discover (compared to 2% at eBates). And since I am a Best Buy Rewards member, I save an additional 15% off my ink. Also see the Discover Rewards Calendar.
- Earn Credit Card Rewards.
Speaking of credit cards, I only use two when shopping. The one is my Discover card that I use depending on what they offer 5% off on per quarter.
My other card is an American Express Blue Preferred card. I get 6% cash back at grocery stores and 3% cash back when buying gas. The trick I use is to buy gift cards at the grocery store. This allows me to get them at a 6% discount.
The only catch is there is an annual fee on this card. There is a no-fee version, but the cash back amount is lower.
- Collect Coupons.
Last but not least are coupons. The trick with these is to only use the coupons for products you really buy. For me, most times this narrows the list to body wash, deodorant and shampoo. I collect the coupons and then wait for sales.
I either will shop at CVS or the grocery store depending on the sale. Many times at CVS I end up buying 4 items and paying less than half because of the sales and my coupons. At the grocery store, I take advantage of the sale and use my cash back American Express card to get a bigger savings.
That is how I save money. Of course, saving money when shopping is great, you still have to “save” that money. In other words, actually move the money to a savings account.
This has helped me to really boost my savings. Anything I save when shopping gets moved to my savings account so I don’t have it to spend at a later date. My checking account (and budget) thinks I spend full price when in reality I paid much less and saved the difference.