In today’s economy living (and all the expenses associated with it) can become incredibly expensive. This is why we must do our best to save and invest our money! We need it to grow and allow us the opportunity to live how we want to live. The following are 14 money saving life hacks that will help you keep more money in your bottom line so you can enjoy the true pleasures of life.
1. Clear your browsing history.
When shopping online and comparing prices, make sure you clear your cache and browser history. (Especially when buying airline tickets!) Online companies follow your searches based on your cache and history and will raise prices based on this information. Also, when you make a payment online, use the guest option instead of signing in and up as a new account. New customers usually get the lower prices.
2. Lower the brightness on the TV and computer screen.
Not only will this help your eye health, but by lowering the brightness of your TV and/or computer monitors from the default setting you can reduce your power consumption by up to 40%. The default brightness is the setting that is made to make the TV or computer look good and bright in stores (with all that florescent overhead lighting!).
3. Carry large bills.
Research shows if you pay in cash rather than credit card you will likely spend less. The reason? You can actually see what you’re spending when you use cash. And to take it a step further, if you only carry $50 dollar bills you are less likely to break it, which saves you from making impulse buys.
4. Build your credit.
Whether you have good credit, fair credit, or bad credit, work on building it up. Not only is credit used to determine your rate on loans, but utility and insurance companies have begun using credit scores to determine your monthly premium.
5. Wait until the end of the month to make large purchases.
All sales reps have quotas to meet per month, so if you wait until the end of the month to make a big purchase you can be potentially saving a lot. If a salesperson has had a slow month they may be willing to give you a deep discount in order for them to make any sale—and their quota. Tip: This is especially true with car dealers.
6. Paint your roof white.
If you are a homeowner, painting your roof white may save you thousands of dollars on your electric bill. Traditional roofs are a dark color and, as many of us know, dark absorbs more heat. So your dark color roof is absorbing more heat than a lighter colored roof, causing you to use more air conditioning during hot summer days. It may be worth the upfront investment to paint for the long-term savings!
7. Brew your own coffee.
Can’t kick your coffee habit? Instead of spending $3 per cup at your fancy coffee shop, try brewing coffee at home. Doing so will save you thousands of dollars per year—home brewing cuts your cost to about $0.25 per cup.
8. Become a flexitarian.
The term flexitarian refers to someone who is flexible with how they eat—not a total vegetarian but not eating much meat either. With prices of beef and various meats increasing, eating vegetarian 2-3 times per week will save you some significant cash.
9. Buy generic.
Did you know that many name brand household products carry the same ingredients as generic brands? You can save thousands of dollars by simply buying the generic store brand instead of the well-known brand.
10. Buy a water filter.
You’d be surprised at the amount of money spent each year on bottled water. Buying a water filter will not only save you money but can also add health benefits. Filtered water can be better for you than spring water because of the process it goes through.
11. Exercise daily.
Research shows that exercising daily limits the amount of trips to the doctor’s office, which can ultimately lower medical bills.
12. Dine out at culinary schools.
Dining out can become very expensive, especially if you do it often. So dine out at culinary schools! You can get a delicious five-course meal for nearly half the price.
13. Drink water before eating.
Many people overeat because they mistake thirst for hunger. Drinking water before a meal will allow you to only consume what you need, which in turn will save you money on meals.
14. Ask and you shall receive.
Most companies usually offer promotions to save money but will not proactively offer it. So simply ask! Whenever you work with a gas company, phone company, Internet provider, or even your credit card company, ask if there is a way to lower your costs.
This post was originally published on April 18, 2016.