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10 Saving Tricks You Haven’t Tried Yet

10 Saving Tricks You Haven’t Tried Yet

It seems like we can never have enough of cash. Most of us are in the perpetual state of needing more than we earn. Most often, it appears we are actually earning less than what we need. But the reality is quite different. It’s not that we don’t earn enough, it’s actually we don’t save enough. We’re eager to spend as soon as we get our paycheck and thus, how much we earn, we readily spend all of them. The end result is,  we find it difficult to afford things we need the most and often, we might end up turning to loans to save ourselves.

But all of this continual despair and hardship can be avoided. It just takes a bit of self-discipline and wisdom. With proper planning and wise spending, we won’t have much difficulty in making ends meet. Below are the 10 unique and rather unusual saving tricks, often looked over by most of us, which can helps us save a few dollars each month.

1. Partner with someone frugal.

The truth is that not all of us are very wise in terms of making financial decisions. But we could make up for our shortcomings by seeking out a significant other who’s frugal and has a financial head on their shoulders. This is one of the great saving tricks. They help us make better decisions while spending money and keep the balance between earnings and expenditures. One could even focus solely on earning and leave all the works of financial management on the partner’s shoulders.

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2. Unplug.

The plan to execute this trick is quite simple. Unplug just about everything when you are not using it. This includes lights, laptops, coolers, fans, heaters and other such electronic items. This way we can save a significant amount of energy. And, saving valuable energy doesn’t mean we are only contributing to mother earth but also to ourselves. As energy bills make up a significant chunk of our expenditure, with this way, we can spare ourselves a dime or two.

3. Buy fewer clothes.

This one might seem rather silly of the saving tricks. But clothes do make up a significant portion of our expenditures. Moreover, in the case of most adults, they do not actually need to buy more clothes as they already have a fair possession of attires. People often wear only a fewer set of clothes among the ones they possess and rest remain hanging in the closet more often than not. So one could do with buying fewer clothes. For this, going a year without buying clothes could be a good idea.

4. Become good friends with your neighbors.

Well, it’s always good to be friends with more people and more so with one’s neighbors. This way, one doesn’t always need to buy new goods even if they’re required just for a while or even just for once. One can not only turn to their neighbors for help when something is needed at the crucial moment but also look up to them for those things one needs once in a blue moon. This way, a significant amount of unnecessary expenditures can be avoided.

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5. Save your time.

They say time is money and rightfully so. One could save a little bit of time across their activities and add up those moments to do more, leading to some more cash. By saving time, we can use it to do other jobs to make more cash. Time can be saved by avoiding unnecessary chores, which is of course for a person to decide himself/herself, by spending less time on social media, increasing speed at reading and many other ways. By doing works quicker and avoiding waste of time, life can be made significantly more productive. So, search for the moments you can steal every time you’re at work.

6. Graduate sooner.

Normally, bachelor courses are four years long. But one could take more courses in a year so that the program can be completed even within three years. This way, the tuition fees for the courses can’t be reduced as they need to be paid anyway. However, extra annual fees for accommodation, food, libraries and other annual college fees can be avoided. Moreover, you could even avoid potential tuition hikes by paying the fees early. It’s quite challenging but you could save thousands of dollars with this trick.

7. Go shopping at late hours and at sales.

Go shopping at closing hours, just when the owner is about to call it a day. You can bargain and get a few more things at the same price. Furthermore, with late night shopping, you can avoid bustling crowds and won’t need to go through lines at the checkout. And, along the way, you can have your pick of the bargains and markdowns that would otherwise be put out for the next day. This way, you can spare a considerable portion of your monthly budget.

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8. Go vegetarian.

Generally, vegetarian food items are less expensive than even the cheapest varieties of meat. Moreover, vegetarian diets have proven to help reduce the risks of various health hazards, thus avoiding the potentially high medical expenses. So consider going vegetarian and see how much you can save by doing without flesh. Going vegetarian has several benefits, one being that it saves you a considerable share of your budget.

9. Go to bed earlier.

You may be wondering how something like this made the cut. But this one has huge potential, although it is more likely to have never struck more of us than not. The idea is that, going to bed early means we don’t have to use electricity at late hours of the day. We can work with daylight, if we can make up for going to bed early by waking up early in the morning as well. This way, extra expenses which would have to be used for paying electricity bills can be avoided.

10. Buy cheaper versions of goods.

Everyone knows that buying items at a cheaper price will surely help reduce expenses. There’s nothing to fancy about with this idea. But what I’m trying to suggest is that a lot of times, we could do all fine by turning to lesser known brands, which are also the cheaper ones. Let us take the example of Finecoffeeclub. They basically provide coffee capsules to fit Nespresso machines, but at about two-third of the cost of the Nespresso brand. So if you are looking to regularly save money and you are a coffee drinker, this is a great way to go. This is just an example. Most often, prices are inflated just because of the brand name, with not much difference in terms of quality. So this could help you solve a lot of your financial woes.

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Featured photo credit: Tips on saving money via stockrockandroll.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Definitive Guide to Get out of Debt Fast (and Forever)

The Definitive Guide to Get out of Debt Fast (and Forever)

Debt can feel crushing, like a weight that is always weighing you down. Looking at those numbers, it can feel as if you’ll never get out from under it. However, if you really want to learn how to get out of debt, it is possible with a great deal of focus and self-control.

Getting out of debt isn’t impossible. Like any big goal, all that it takes is an action plan to identify where you are and creating a plan to zero out your debt.

Identifying All of Your Debts

The first part of paying off your debt is getting a complete picture of what you owe. When you have everything written out in front of you, it makes it much easier to create an action plan. Depending on how much you owe, it might also help you realize it’s not as bad you might have originally thought.

Here’s how you can get started identifying your debts:

1. Own Your Debt

Before you start identifying all of your debts, take a moment to process that you have debt but want to get out of it.

Forgive yourself for any past mistakes, missed payments, or overspending. It might be painful to accept how much debt you have at first, but you must own it.

2. Make a Debt Tracker

It’s astonishing how few people ever created a tracker to understand their total debts. Most likely, it comes from not wanting to accept the guilt of having debt, but, if avoided, it can make it nearly impossible to get out of debt.

Open up a new Google or Microsoft Excel sheet and list out all of your debts. Start with the name of the creditor, interest rates, total balance, loan term length (if any), and the minimum amount due each payment. This will include student loans, credit cards, and any other type of debt owed.

3. Get Your Debt Number

Once you’ve made your debt tracker and taken the other steps, identify your total payoff number. This is crucial, as you will have a starting point and a clear goal that you are trying to achieve.

Prioritizing Your Debts

All debt is not created equal. It’s imperative to understand that there are different types of debt.

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1. Understand Bad and Good Debts

Bad debts are usually paying for things you want instead of always need. While there might be some emergencies that max out your credit cards, often times it’s excessive spending[1].

There are three main types of bad debt:

  • Credit Card Debt: The average American household owes over $16,000 in credit card debt!
  • Auto Loan Debt: According to CNBC , the average auto loan in the US is $30,032!
  • Consumer Loan Debt: Consumer loan debt isn’t as common as credit card and auto loan debt, but it’s still considered bad as interest rates are usually between 10-28%.

Good debt is identified as investments in your future. Here are three common types of good debt:

  • Student Loan Debt
  • Mortgage Loan
  • Business Loans

2. Decide Which Debt to Pay off First

Once you know each type of debt and their interest rates, you can begin to pay off debt quickly.

Focus on paying off bad debt first, regardless of if it is a credit card or auto loan. Start by paying off the loan with the highest interest rate first.

If you have several credit cards with different interest rates, you want to focus on the one with a higher APR. You will actually save more money by eliminating the card with the highest interest rate.

3. Don’t Pay the Minimum Amount

Paying the minimum amount digs you into a hole as interest rates will offset your payment. Even a small amount more than the minimum can help you pay off debt much faster.

Removing Obstacles to Pay off Debt Quickly

Creating a debt tracker and prioritizing a plan is simple, but avoiding temptation can be difficult.

1. Set a Reminder to Track Your Debt

“If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.” -Peter Drucker

It’s so important to track your debt to ensure that you get it paid off quickly. Similar to working out and measuring your results, you need to track your debt constantly. Start with a weekly reminder, where you sign on and log your updated number. Did you increase, decrease, or stay the same?

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Regularly tracking your student loan balance can be incredibly motivating, as well. You will get a huge confidence boost each time you see your total debt amount decreases.

Set weekly and monthly goals so you can have short term wins and keep the momentum going.

2. Hide Your Credit Cards

If your biggest debt is credit cards, you need to eliminate temptation and remove them from your wallet.

Some people have gone to extreme measures by freezing their credit cards. Why? This would create an ice block around your card, which would require you to chip away at it slowly. This will give you time to think if it’s the best idea to buy that thing you’re about to buy.

3. Automate Everything

Willpower can be a huge downfall to paying off your debt. By automating your bills each month, you will ensure that willpower isn’t involved.

4. Plan Ahead

Getting out of debt will require some sacrifices, but with enough planning, you can make it work.

For example, if you know that you have a friend’s birthday or family dinner coming up, plan ahead for the costs. Whether you need to cut back on spending the week before, pick up a side job, or meet them after dinner, do what is needed.

5. Live Cheaply

The only way to get out of debt is to make some sacrifices on your spending habits. Find ways to save money each month so you can apply that amount to your outstanding debts. Here are some ways to save money each month:

  • Live with roommates
  • Cook dinners and prepare lunches for work instead of eating out
  • Cut cable and choose Netflix or Amazon Prime
  • Take public transit or bike to work

Finding the Lowest Interest Rates

The higher your interest rates, the harder (and longer) it will take you to pay off any debt.

If possible, you want to find ways to lower your interest rates to help get out of debt quickly. Here’s how you can get started:

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1. Maintain a High Credit Score

Your credit score will have a large impact on your ability to refinance your loans and receive a lower interest rate. If you have a low credit score, it’s unlikely you will be able to refinance your loans. Use these credit tips to increase and maintain an excellent score:

  • Never miss a payment
  • Don’t exceed 30% of your credit limit
  • Don’t sign up for more than one card at once
  • Limit hard inquires, like auto-loans and new credit cards
  • Monitor frequently with free credit-tracking software

2. Find Balance Transfer Offers

Start by opening a free account on credit.com. Credit.com offers you the chance to open a free account and see what type of balance transfer offers you can receive. Some of your existing credit cards might already have 0% or lower APR balance transfer offers available.

Contact each of your credit card providers to ask about lowering your rate for a one-time balance transfer offer[2].

If you do take advantage of this option, make sure that you use a balance transfer and not a cash advance. Cash advances have a ton of high interest fees (15-25%, depending on your credit card) and will only compound your debt problem.

How to Get Rid of Debt Forever

Setting up a plan, removing temptations, and getting the lowest interest rates is the first step to get out of debt.

1. Keep Monitoring and Adjusting

Once you have a plan, don’t get comfortable. Track your debt payoff plan and make the necessary adjustments when needed.

Monitor your credit scores with a free site like CreditKarma. The higher your credit score climbs, the more likely you will be to secure a new, lower-interest loan.

2. Earn More Money

There are only so many ways to save money. Instead of clipping another coupon or making sacrifices for your morning coffee, find ways to earn more money!

Think about it…it is much easier to find ways to earn an extra $1,000 per month than find $1,000 to cut from your budget.

Here are some examples of ways to earn more money:

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Talk to Your Boss

Have a conversation with your boss about current salary and/or commission rates. If you’re not satisfied or want a change, don’t be afraid to look around at other positions. Some of them might even have a student loan debt reimbursement plan!

Start a Side Hustle

This could be coaching students on the weekends, driving for Uber, or taking paid online surveys. There are tons of ways to make money outside your 9-5. Now that you have a clear plan to pay off your debts, you’ll be more motivated than ever to figure out creative new ways to earn money.

Build an Online Business

There are so many websites and blogs that earn money from ads, affiliates, and other online products. Find your niche and get started.

3. Celebrate Your Wins

As you progress in your debt payoff journey, don’t forget to celebrate your wins. You need to always reward yourself for the hard work and discipline that is required to get out of debt.

While you shouldn’t celebrate so big that it increases debt, make sure to factor in little rewards to keep you motivated.

4. Set New Financial Goals

Eventually, with a plan and these steps, you can rid yourself of your debt. Once you do, make sure to celebrate your monumental achievement, but don’t stop there.

Now, you can focus on acquiring wealth and increasing your net worth. Set new financial goals so you have a new target to aim toward. Here’s how to set financial goals and actually meet them.

These could be anything now that you are debt free! Think about where you want to travel, buying your first home, or saving for your future retirement. Just like before, make sure that your goals are specific, measurable, and achievable.

Conclusion

Congrats, you can now set a plan in motion to finally pay off your debt quickly (and hopefully forever)!

Remember, if you want to get out of debt quickly, it’s not always easy. Just like any big goal, there will be sacrifices, challenges, and problems to overcome.

More Tips on Getting out of Debt

Featured photo credit: Pepi Stojanovski via unsplash.com

Reference

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