By Maddy Osman
It is not easy to save money when there are so many things that tempt people to open their wallets as soon as payday strikes. The good news is, some of the easiest ways to save money without thinking are centered around setting up rules and forgetting about them as they work in the background. Here are our top 4 tips:
1. Save & Invest Spare Change
Acorns is an app that helps to automatically put spare change from daily buys into a personal investment account. Think about all the things you buy on a daily basis – coffee, gum, lunch – the spare change will add up fast! Watch your wealth grow as the account automatically invests your money.
Digit is another app that does the same thing by taking spare change from purchases but it focuses more on saving than investing. Regardless, a penny saved is a penny earned.
2. Save Money While Online Shopping
Honey is a handy online browser extension available for Google Chrome that literally embodies the idea of easy ways to save money without thinking. Honey automatically scans the web for promotional codes and applies the best discount to your online purchases at checkout.
Instead of searching for coupon codes or sales, they come directly to you while you shop online. Ebates offers a more unique benefit for online shoppers. Use Ebates Google Chrome browser extension to be notified of websites offering cashback on purchases. Cashback usually averages about 4-6% but can go to as high as 40% or more. Savings can certainly add up with big purchases. Cash rebates are mailed to users twice a year in the form of a “Big Fat Check.” Learn more about how Ebates works on their website.
3. Get a Credit Card that Gives You Cash Back
You were going to spend the money anyway, so you might as well get rewarded for it. Cash back credit cards typically offer 1-5% cashback for purchases. They normally charge higher interest rates than regular credit cards so be sure to only use this for purchases you know you will pay in full at the end of every month. If you know how to work the system, you can make money off the credit cards instead of them making money off of you.
Consumer Reports has launched a Cash Back Credit Card Advisor Comparison Tool that determines the most valuable card for you based on your spending across: gas, groceries, restaurants, travel, and everything else.
4. Set up an Automatic Deposit at Your Bank
One of the most easy ways to save money without thinking is brilliant in its simplicity. Most savings accounts are free (without maintenance fees) as long as you set up an automatic transfer to it every month. This amount can be as low as $25 (which becomes $100 after four months), or hundreds of dollars if your budget can handle it.
On that note, take a look at your spending habits. There may be a consistent amount of money in your checking account that goes unspent each month. Instead of letting it sit there, tempting you, automatically transfer it!
With so many ways to add some cash to your piggy bank, there’s no excuse not to try one (or all!) of these tips.
Maddy Osman is a freelance SEO copywriter with a penchant for the thrifty. If you’re looking for a good deal and need some help finding the best price, get in touch on Twitter: @MaddyOsman