17 Money Saving Hacks: Save $5000 to $8000 a Year
Who doesn’t love tried and tested money saving hacks?
The word “genius” might be a tad far fetched. I don’t profess to be a money saving Einstein or anything.
But what I can say is – these tips have worked for me over the past 5 years and I stand by the figure of $5000 – $8000 as being a realistic amount that you can save, provided you’re prepared to exercise a little discipline!
Sometimes the hardest part of changing is taking that first step. This is especially so when you’re stuck in a financial routine.
The good news is, I don’t think any of these tips require any major, unthinkable changes to your life.
Even if you think your budget is trimmed to the max, there is invariably still room for a little more trimming in my experience.
Just spending few hours a month thinking about how you can be more intelligent with your finances can make a huge difference and small wins definitely add up over the course of the year.
So here’s 17 saving tips to leverage right away!
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Get Better Deals On Your Bills
Most people/households will have a minimum of 8 different types of bills to pay each month.
There’s your gas, electric, water, phone, broadband, life insurance, medical insurance, pet insurance etc…
These are normally subject to fixed term contracts, after which you can negotiate a new deal or change providers.
There’s therefore a ton of money to be saved each year just by keeping a close eye on these expenses and making sure you hustle hard when it comes to renewing your contract.
Price comparison websites are the dream tool for this task.
I saved $500 last year by keeping a close eye on when my contracts expired and negotiating with my current provider or taking my business elsewhere.
Stop Paying Credit Card Interest
If you’re paying interest on your credit card(s), you’re doing it all wrong!
Most credit card providers will give you up to 2 years interest free on purchases if you transfer to them.
It’s easy to get complacent and to even forget that you’re paying interest if it’s docked by direct debt or added to your debt!
Don’t let this happen!
If you’re already making use of an interest free deal, make sure you record when it expires and transfer your balance to a new provider in good time!
If you don’t, before you know it, you’ll be paying completely unnecessary and totally wasteful interest!
Use Technology to Your Advantage
There are now several credible money saving websites/apps that are well worth a look if you want to organize your finances, expertly budget and set money savings goals.
Some of my favourites are:-
- Paribus – This app tracks your purchases by connecting to your emails and automatically secures you a refund if you buy something and the price drops;
- Trim – This is app like having your own personal finance PA. It will help you plan your budget, organize your personal finances and will even negotiate reductions on your bills for you. Most people save between $5 – $50 a year using it;
- Rakuten – This app secures you cashback when you buy qualifying items through it. A great way to save money on things you’re probably already buying anyway;
- Cleo – A must have budgeting app that helps you budget on your smartphone.
(Paribus compensates us when you sign up for Paribus using the links provided.)
Pay Off Loans Fast
Easier said than done, right?
However, depending on the type of loan you have, the quicker you can pay off your loan, the less interest you’ll ultimately end up paying.
If you’ve got numerous loans, then paying them off as soon as possible can add up to huge savings.
With this said, you should always check your loan repayment terms as some loans have prepayment charges for early repayment.
It’s essential you check the T&C’s to make sure these charges don’t apply, and if they do, that they don’t end up costing you more than the money you’re saving on interest by discharging your debt early.
Budget Like a Pro
I am not sure there is such thing as a pro budgeter but let’s pretend there is and you’re one of em.
If you don’t organize your finances then you’re going to be shooting from the hip when it comes to getting the most out of your money.
So, spend at least an hour a month allocating your money so each dollar has a purpose. This way you’ll be discouraged from splurging on things you don’t need, you’ll be able to set money saving goals and you’ll know where you are with your finances at all times!
Whether it’s booking a train, flight, taxi ride, vacation, concerts or even sports events, you’ll be surprised at the savings you can make by booking early.
It’s a supply and demand thing. The more demand there is for something closer to the event, the more you’re likely to pay.
Granted, you cannot always plan everything in advance and sometimes it’s good to be spontaneous.
However, there’s usually large scope throughout the year to make huge savings if you’re just that little but more organized with when you book things!
Do One (or two) Big Shop(s) Each Week
If you’re going to the grocery store 7 times a week then you’re probably wasting a ton of cash.
The key is to plan your shopping list and go to the shops once, or at most, twice a week.
That way you’ll be able to buy in bulk for the week and plan your meals more efficiently.
If you’re going to the store every five minutes you’ll be tempted to buy more individual items for just one meal instead of buying in bulk and using food items for several meals.
So, be more organized with you grocery shopping by making a meal plan for the week and buying the ingredients in one store visit. Do this and watch the savings mount up!
Plus you’ll same on fuel!
Don’t Waste Food
This is my girlfriend’s pet hate and our aim as a family this year is to cut this in half!
It seems that every time we’re putting away newly purchased food we’ve bought in the weekly shop, we’re throwing out food that’s gone bad!
So keep an eye on expiry dates. If the expiry date is near, move whatever it is into the freezer.
If you’ve got spare food you don’t want to freeze, then make a quick soup, curry or incorporate it into whatever dish you’re cooking, even if it’s not part of the recipe!
Look for the Special Offers
Yes, you might be brand loyal but that’s the wrong mindset if you’re looking for mega savings and want a sound financial strategy!
Aim to buy whatever is on special offer instead of your usual brand and you’ll make massive shopping list savings.
Whether that’s discounted items or items that are buy one get one free etc… it’s always worth looking at the specials before you buy your usual brand.
If you’re lucky, periodically, your preferred brand will be on special offer. That’s a perfect time to stock up!
Another tip is to look at the bargain or discounted area! If you see food with a short expiry date but at a discounted price, purchase it and freeze it when you get home!
Stop Buying New Cars
Probably quite an obvious one but you might not realise what a dumb idea it is to buy a brand new car.
The average depreciation rate of new cars is around 50% in the first five years, with around half of that coming after the first year of purchase!
That is crazy given how reliable cars are these days. Most new cars will be fault free for at least 6 years so go for second hand motor every time!
Stop Buying Designer Clothes
Invariably whatever is trending in the fashion world will have a cheaper non-branded copy that you can buy.
Fashion trends change so quickly that it’s not really worth buying branded clothes!
Whilst this probably doesn’t apply to outdoor gear and sports gear, which I think you do need to spend good money on to ensure quality, it definitely applies to general fashion!
Most people don’t get anywhere near as much use out of clothes as they could!
So, go cheap when appropriate and save bucket loads of cash.
Move Your Mortgage
If you’re paying interest on a mortgage then you should always check your mortgage deal to see when the fixed term (if you have one) expires!
Don’t just let you mortgage provider put you onto a new deal without looking elsewhere.
Annoyingly, loyalty is not always rewarded and therefore sometimes you end up spending more than you need to. Don’t do it!
It’s simple to get into the habit of keeping an eye on when the contracts you have for certain bills expire and there’s generally always a saving to be made when this happens if you’re prepared to shop around.
Start Using Coupons
Whenever I want to buy anything online, I always look for a coupon first.
I would say at least 10% of the time I tend to find some form of discount on what I want to purchase. This is especially so if I am buying digital products.
For example, I just changed my web hosting for this website and managed to find 10% off in like 5 minutes. That saved me around $35 for the year.
There are tons of good websites to find coupons such as:-
So get couponing and save a bucket load of dosh!
Embrace the Sharing Economy
Whether it’s your clothes, transport to work or even your friend’s Netflix account, one of the best ways to save money is to share!
I saved over $100 last year by signing up to a VPN service with my friend. We get 5 devices so why the hell not? We each only ever use one or two devices max, so we’re very unlikely to be using more than 5 at the same time!
Without doubt, one of the best ways to save money is by car sharing if you travel to work in your car! You’ll save fuel, have some company and help the environment to boot! What’s not to love?
Stop Going Out for Work Lunches
It shocked me recently when I read a statistic that the average American spends over $3000 a year on lunch.
You can cut that cost in half, if not more, by taking a packed lunch.
Even better, if you cook your lunch in advance at the start of the week, you’re sure to save a ton of cash.
Better still, packed lunches are often healthier than if you have your lunch out at a restaurant, where it’s more difficult to count the calories.
Restaurant food tastes good for a reason – a lot of the time because it’s laced with naughty things that do your waistline no favours!
Ditch the Gym Membership
Unless you’re focusing on building muscle mass and you need specialist equipment, you don’t need a gym to get fit!
There are tons of alternatives that will keep you just as fit, such as watching fitness videos on YouTube, running, swimming, playing sports and yoga – all of which can generally be done much cheaper than through paying a gym membership!
If you’re not using the gym as much as you should but you don’t want to give it up, then look for a pay as you go alternative which is likely to be much more cost effective.
Recycle Old Cell Phones
People change cell phones these days like they’re changing their socks!
If you’re one of those people then don’t let your old phone sit rotting in your cupboard. There is a huge market out there for second hand phones – so get rid!
are all good places to get rid of your old cell!
I hope these money saving hacks do not sound too scary! Believe me, they’re not too arduous, and even if you just implement a few of them, you’re almost guaranteed to rack up considerable savings over the course of the year!