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6 Ways to Save Money on Amazon that You Probably Never Knew

6 Ways to Save Money on Amazon that You Probably Never Knew

If you’re reading this, you probably love shopping on Amazon just like I do. And if you’re anything like me, you also want to buy as much as you can and save money in the process. Well, you could wait for the sales season to do all of your shopping. But if you want to save money on Amazon right now, there are ways to do it. And here are six ways you could do just that.

1. Amazon Warehouse Deals

Not many people know this even exists! But hey, you could save a lot of money by going to this page and browsing through the deals.

You probably haven’t seen this page before, and I won’t blame you. It’s carefully hidden in the Today’s Deals page. It’s the sixth link on the top link bar, right beside the Deals and Bargains link.

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I found a great HDTV here at almost 30% off, which I now use for console gaming. Sure, there were some dents and scratches, but they were in places that were not visible anyway. I still enjoy playing my NBA2K15 with my friends in HD quality. And yes, they don’t notice the scratches at all!

2. Amazon Outlet

This is another one of those hidden links in the Today’s Deals section. Amazon places their products on markdowns, clearance items and overstocks in this Outlet section.

You can’t find every type of product you want here, but what’s really neat is you could browse item categories depending on how much savings you want. For example, you could go to the Television and Video section and choose products that would give you a 50% discount.

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3. Add Items to Your Shopping Cart, but Don’t Check Out

A pretty unusual trick to save more money: put all the items you want to purchase in your shopping cart, and then don’t check out. After a few days, Amazon might just e-mail you an offer for a discount or with an offer of coupons for the stuff you just left in your cart.

Of course, this doesn’t always work. You kind of have to hope that Amazon’s computers identify you as one of the lucky buyers. It did work for me once, and I got a 10% discount for the items in my cart.

Word of advice: don’t use this trick when you’re in a hurry. Otherwise, though, if you can afford a few days of waiting, then trying this out won’t hurt you.

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4. Savings.com’s PriceJump

One of those really neat tools you can use is Savings.com’s PriceJump. This online tool will tell you whether or not you are getting the best deal on Amazon, or if you can get better prices elsewhere.

It’s pretty straightforward to use. Once you find the item you want to buy in Amazon, copy its URL from the address bar. Then paste it to the space provided in the PriceJump tool. Results will vary, though. Just recently I was shopping for a new MacBook Pro. I checked the price with PriceJump and it told me that I could save at least $150 dollars if I were to buy it from another site.

5. Snag Discounted Amazon Gift Cards

Another source of savings I found while browsing online are discounted Amazon gift cards. You could search for people who are selling the discounted cards in Google to find a list of sites that offer this service.

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Personally, I use the GiftCardGranny.com as my go-to site for finding discounted gift cards. The cards they sell here are from Ebay, so you would also need an Ebay account to make this work.

6. CamelCamelCamel

A weird name for a highly useful service, CamelCamelCamel allows you to track the price history of a particular item on Amazon. You even get to see all this data in a neat chart. You could use this tool by entering the URL of the Amazon product you want to buy in the space provided at the top of the site. It will then display the price history of all the purchase options (Amazon, 3rd Party New, or 3rd Party Used).

You save money by using this tool through its Price Tracking option. Set up an alert by indicating your desired price, then put in your e-mail or Twitter account to get a message once that price is reached. Then, you can keep on saving!

Featured photo credit: I am a computer geek!/Bram Cymet 79-365 via flickr.com

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Last Updated on June 6, 2019

The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

Are you on track for retirement?

If not, don’t worry, I’m not sure either. I save each month and hope for the best.

Fortunately, I’m at an age where most people don’t save so I’m ahead of the curve.

But, what if you aren’t in your 20s? What if you’re near retirement and are looking to gauge where you stand?

If so, keep reading. Here’s how to prepare for retirement and save wisely during the process.

What Does the Average American Have Saved for Retirement?

Saving for retirement is tricky.

Tell someone straight out of college to save $10k a year for retirement and it’ll be next to impossible.

Make the same request to someone decades older and they’d be more likely to be able to save this amount. But, a 20-year old college student can be “financially ahead” of someone saving more than them. Why?

Age matters in your financial journey. The younger you are, the more time you have to save and put compound interest to work. As you get older and have more saving power, you’d have less time to put compound interest to work.

Here are the average savings Americans hold by age bracket:

20’s – $16,000

During this stage, most people are paying loans and moving up the corporate ladder. Your best bet during this stage is to focus on eliminating debt and increasing your income. Don’t focus only on getting a high-paying job neither.

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Instead, focus on learning via Podcasts, reading books, and taking specialized courses. Doing this will make you more valuable and give you more career options.

30’s – $45,000

At this stage, you’ve hopefully escaped your entry-level salary and work at a career you enjoy. Your earning power has increased but you now have more obligations. For example, marriage, kids, and a mortgage.

Set a plan to pay off all your debt and focus on eliminating unnecessary expenses. Leverage financial tools like Personal Capital to ensure you’re on track for retirement.

40’s – $63,000

This is the stage where you’re at the prime of your career. Top financial institutions recommend you have at least 2 to 4 times your salary saved up. If you’re falling behind, start maxing out your 401K and Roth IRA accounts.

50’s – $115,000

During your fifties, you’re close to retirement but still, have time to save. You may be helping your kids pay college tuition and other expenses. Since you’re at the peak of your earning power, max out all your retirement accounts.

60’s – $172,000

By this point, you should have about eight times your salary saved up. If not, you’ll depend primarily on social security benefits averaging $1400 per month. Max out all your retirement options as much as possible before retiring.

Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget

The sad reality is that most Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement.

Even high-earning power isn’t enough to secure one’s financial future. You need to have the discipline to save for retirement while time is in your favor. Don’t wait for you to have a high salary to save, start with having a small budget.

First, get a clear picture of where you stand. Write down a list of “needs” and “wants.” For example, Netflix and Amazon Prime are “wants” and a “cell-phone” is a need.

Use tools like Personal Capital to analyze your spending patterns. Personal Capital allows you to add all your financial data in one place–making it a powerful option to gauge where you stand.

Once you know all your expenses, organize them from highest to lowest expense. When you can’t cut more expenses, call your service providers to negotiate a lower price. If you’re not good at negotiating, use services like Trimm to lower your monthly expenses.

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How to Save Money Each Month

By this point, you know the average amount of money you should have saved for retirement based on your age.

But, breaking this down into monthly goals can be challenging. Here are some rule of thumbs to follow:

Aim to contribute 10%–15% of your salary each paycheck. Review your progress each week.

Why so often? The reality is that life gets in our way and you will have many financial setbacks. Your goal isn’t to be perfect but to get back on track instead.

Reviewing your finances weekly lets you know where you stand with your retirement. This doesn’t have to be a long process either. All it takes is login in Personal Capital to view your net worth and check how much you have saved for retirement.

Turn saving into a game and aim to save more each month. It will get challenging but you’ll get creative and find more ways to save.

Top Money Saving Challenge Tips

To prepare for your financial future and not be another statistic you need to be different.

How?

By adopting new habits that’ll help you become a saving machine. Here are some ways you can save more:

Automatically Contribute Towards Retirement

If you’re working for a company, you can automatically contribute towards your 401k. If you’re not currently contributing more than 10%, make this your goal. Contribute 1% more today and automatically increase this amount a year from now.

Odds are that you’re not going to be negatively affected by contributing 1% more. Many times we spend our money on things we don’t need. Contributing more towards retirement is a great way to secure your financial future.

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Use the Right Tools to Know Where You Stand

Once you’re contributing more towards your retirement accounts, gauge your progress. Make use of finance tracking apps to help you view the big picture of your retirement.

When I’d first signed up for the app Personal Capital, I didn’t know I had a negative net worth. Despite saving thousands of dollars, my debt brought my net worth to the negative. Knowing this motivated me to save more and spend less.

Now, I have a positive net worth. But, it was because I was able to view the big picture using the app. Find out what your net worth is using a finance tracking app and you may surprise yourself.

Bring in Experts to View Your Blind Spots

If you have too little or too much money saved, you should consider hiring financial experts.

Why?

You may need someone to hold you accountable to help you reach your financial goals. Or, you may need help managing your money as effective as possible.

Regardless of the reason, getting help may help improve your financial situation.

Before you hire an expert, find out which areas you need help the most. For example, if you’re constantly overspending, find a debt counselor. If you’re struggling with choosing the best investment options, hire a financial advisor.

Speed up Your Retirement Contribution

After learning how to manage your money well, the next best thing is to earn a higher income.

You’re capped at how much you can save but not much you can earn. Even if your employer isn’t giving you a promotion, you can still take charge of your financial future. How?

By starting a side-business.

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This will be something you’d work on after you’ve finished your day job. Once you start earning income from your side-business, you’ll be financially better off.

The best part is the more work you put into your side-business,[1] the more potential it has to earn more money.

So start a side-business in an area you’re familiar with. For example, if you enjoy writing, do freelance writing for small e-commerce businesses.

Once you’re earning a higher income, you can contribute more towards your retirement. Don’t wait for the right opportunity to secure your financial future, create one.

Reach Financial Freedom with Confidence

What if you were able to retire tomorrow with no problem, all because you’d have enough money saved up and little to no debt left to pay off? How would you feel?

My guess is that you’d feel happy and relieved.

Most Americans are falling behind their retirement goals for many reasons. They’re not prepared, they carry bad money-habits and are thinking short-term.

For you to retire successfully, you need to work backward and adopt better habits. Contribute more towards your 401K and focus on growing your income.

If you do, you’ll save money and pay debt faster.

Don’t beat yourself up if you’re behind your retirement goals. Take the first step today towards a brighter financial future. Isn’t retirement worth the hard work and sacrifice to be at peace?

Featured photo credit: Huy Phan via unsplash.com

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