saving money hacks

Saving Money Hacks for Better Finances in 2021

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Little things can add up to big things. So when you’re cutting expenses and automating your savings, you have a significant amount of money before you know it. Improving our financial lives makes it easier to reach goals like retire and travel across the world or save up for a down payment on a house.

We all know that saving money is important, so it would be best if you found your saving money motivation to keep your financial habits. After hitting your financial goals, it will make you feel more motivated and accomplished. Use life hacks to save money like those listed here to fill up your saving money motivation with ideas.

Cutting Down on Your Food Cuts

Food is one of those areas that many people tend to overspend. Use several of these saving money hacks to throw away less food, plan out your meals, and reduce those grocery bills.

Lower Your Meat Consumption

Out of all the food categories, meat is the most expensive. Even a chicken that’s from a factory farm costs a few dollars a pound. By the pound, vegetables are cheaper than most meat. A substitute protein that you could try is tofu. It isn’t that expensive, and it’s very versatile, taking on the flavor of the spices used to cook it with.

Making a drastic change of cutting expenses with meat is probably not going to stick. Try making smaller changes that won’t leave you unsatisfied with your meals. You’re going to have to learn and try out a few vegetable dishes to figure out what you like. Start by going meatless on Mondays. Once you’ve mastered that, add another day or try forgoing meat during at least one meal per day.

Another thing you can try is to make meat a side dish. Your meat will last longer when it is not the main entrée of your meal. And you’ll get to enjoy some of that flavor that you like when it’s served as a side dish. 

Cook More Often

Eating out is fun because someone else is cooking your food and it’s a social activity we can do with our friends and family. But it’s something we should limit ourselves to each week. Going out to eat is almost always going to be more expensive than a home-cooked meal. 

In most cases, meals eaten at fast foods and restaurants aren’t the healthiest. The big portions, sugar, fat, and salt will add to your waistline. So if you don’t cook, there’s no better time than now to learn how. With all the resources out on the internet, you should find a few simple dishes that you enjoy. 

If you’ve been buying your lunch almost every day during the workweek, going cold turkey is hard. Instead, bring your lunch once a week and work up every day to start your saving money hacks. And you can still treat yourself to a meal out with your coworkers on Fridays.

Eating out for dinner is more expensive than during lunch. So if you want to enjoy a meal out, opt for takeout lunches. 

The last of our money savings hacks here is don’t just habitually eat out because that’s what you are used to. Wait until you have an itch for something specific. You shouldn’t eat out simply because you don’t have any other ideas (you can cook a meal at home).

Meal Planning to Save Money

Cooking your meals is one of the easy ways to save money fast. But if you don’t have a plan or the ingredients handy, you’re more likely to turn to eat out. That’s why it is so crucial to plan your meals in advance. 

Meal planning to save money also allows you to build a grocery list that’s focused on the items you need for that week. Be sure that when you’re planning these meals to include snacks. This is especially important if you have a habit of raiding the vending machine in the afternoon at work. 

When planning your meals, try to check out your grocery store’s flyers to see what items are on sale. Revolve your meals around ingredients that are on sale for maximum savings. 

How to Save on Entertainment

Finding cheap things to do is not hard when you’re specifically looking for them. Just because it’s inexpensive doesn’t mean that they’re not going to be fun. Take a look at these life hacks to save money on entertainment to try in your life. You’ll be surprised and delighted by how enjoyable they really are. 

Make a Trip to Your Local Library

You can find a slew of cheap things to do for entertainment at the library. Are you an avid reader? Do you like watching movies on weekends? Or do you enjoy listening to audiobooks on your commute or while you’re lounging around the house? Books, movies, and audiobooks are all forms of entertainment you can find for free at the library. 

Most libraries also hold various activities, including book clubs, exhibitions, and speakers that talk about different subjects. There are even ones that hold special events like tabletop games! If you’re interested in brushing up or learning a new skill, some libraries offer free e-learning modules that you can take for free when you’re a member. 

Look For Cheaper Options on All Your Subscriptions

Your cable, internet, cell phone plan, gym membership, and almost anything else you have a subscription to are things you can save money on. Shop around and look for the best deal when you’re out of contact with these providers. 

The available plan options will change periodically. So you should review your cell phone provider’s plan and other services to see if they have an alternative that cuts costs while keeping the features you want. 

One of the easy ways to save money fast is by looking at the subscriptions that you don’t use anymore. 

So if you’re rarely tuning to cable television, watching shows on Netflix, or rarely making trips to the gym, these are all things you can cut. You’ll probably not even miss them, but if you, there’s always the opportunity to sign back up. 

If you’re not ready to go without cable or have an option for getting your workouts, look for cheaper alternatives. Cable alternatives like SlingTV will give you several cable channels for less than half the cost of traditional cable. Most subscription services offer a free trial period, too, so you can see if it’s right for you. 

Look at inexpensive gym options like the local YMCA, community gym, or Planet Fitness. Or you could purchase some second-hand gym equipment and workout at home. During months where the weather allows for it, you could pause your gym membership and run/exercise outside. 

Host Potlucks and Movie Nights at Home

As social creatures, we humans crave spending time with other humans. Instead of going out to restaurants or movie theaters, host pot lucks and movies at home. Organizing a potluck is a nice way to spend time with your friends and neighbors, where you ease the financial burden by having everyone chip in. 

Many of us have decent-sized televisions in our homes. You can purchase a movie rental at Redbox or a streaming service like Amazon Prime for less than $10. Even if you buy enough soda, popcorn, and snacks for the whole family, that’s going to be a fraction of the price of going out to the movie theater. 

Hacks to Save on Your Home and Car

Our homes and vehicles are probably the most expensive things that we own. There are plenty of ways to reduce the costs associated with them.

Keep up on Maintenance

Trying to save money by delaying an oil change or tune-up on your air conditioner will cost you in the long run. Regular maintenance on your car is essential to its engine life and efficiency. The chances of something breaking are increased when you skip these important checkups. 

Keep your tires properly inflated at the recommended PSI. Otherwise, they’ll wear down faster, and tires aren’t cheap to replace. Tires that aren’t appropriately inflated are also not as fuel-efficient and can affect the handling. 

Your furnace should be turned regularly so that it runs at maximum efficiency. There are all sorts of parts in a furnace that need to be in good working order. An easy thing that you can do yourself is replacing your HVAC’s air filter. It gets clogged up with dust and dirt so it’s ideal to keep changing them out at least every three months. 

Improve Your Energy Efficiency

You have more control over your utility bills than you realize. Here are a couple of tips on ways to save money on energy:

  • When not using them, unplug your electronics
  • Opt for energy-saving appliances when replacing them
  • Purchase a smart thermostat
  • Set your home’s temperature a few degrees higher in the summer and lower in the winter
  • Install low-flow faucets and showerheads
  • Seal cracks found around your doors and windows

Don’t Lease or Buy New Cars

You can use this tip for other things like furniture, clothes, shoes, etc. Buying a brand new car is thousands of dollars more than choosing one that’s even just a year or two older. When you drive off that car lot, you’re literally throwing money out the window.

Leasing a car is always more expensive than buying a car. The fact is that you can get a reliable car with all the features you want at a discount by opting for a used model. 

When looking at cars, don’t get hung up on those luxury models. These cars typically have more maintenance issues that are more expensive to fix. The base model of a luxury car never has all the features you’re looking for. You can typically get these features on the base or mid-tier model of a non-luxury car at a reasonable price tag. 

How to Start Saving Money

Reducing your spending will increase how much cash can be socked away. But you need a plan for that money to make it put to good use. Learn how to start saving money and make that money work for you.

Automate Your Savings

You can put your bills, subscriptions, and just about everything else on auto-pilot. Doing this takes it off your mind and gives you more time to focus on other areas of your life. Automating your savings is easy to do. 

Simply log in to your online banking account or app and set up an automatic transfer to your savings account each month. If you’re worried about over drafting the account, set up these transfers according to when you get paid. 

What’s nice about doing this is that your money is “Out of sight, out of mind.” Since you never even see it in your account, you won’t miss that it is not there. 

Pay off Debt

Loans and credit cards charge interest that is basically costing you more money than whatever you borrowed money for. Getting out of debt faster is a great way to save money and free up your income for other things. Plus, being in debt usually causes anxiety and worry.

To get out of debt, you need to make a plan. The debt avalanche and debt snowball are two of the most popular strategies to get out of debt. To use either method, you’ll need to list out each debt item that you have. 

If you use the debt avalanche method, you’ll order this list by the interest rate (highest to lowest). You’ll put all your extra money towards paying off the debt with the highest interest rate. Then you’ll move on to second highest, and so forth until you’re debt-free. This method will save you more money on interest. However, it usually takes longer to start seeing results (i.e., paying off a balance). 

The debt snowball method allows you to have these wins faster. That’s because this method focuses on sorting your debt items by their balance and paying the smallest one first. Since both ways will work, choose the one that works best for you.

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