So, you’ve heard all the most basic ways as to how to save money. They’re repeated over and over, and often the same money-saving tips given to us the past five years. But this is 2019, and we need some new insights. Here’s 8 “no-B.S.” ways to notice a difference in your bank account.
- Are you paying for an unused gym membership? Many times, we like to keep this one around and always giving ourselves the “option” to go when we want. But if you haven’t used it in the past two months, why are you paying for this? If you truly feel like you need to keep this one (and you’re not an active gym member), prove it to yourself. Make yourself go a few times this week. If you don’t, save yourself the money and cancel it. If you later decide you want it back, prove to yourself you’ll use it by taking more walks around the neighborhood or doing squats in your living room every so often. If you “work for it”, you’ll be more motivated to actually use it this time. Also, check to see if your apartment, work, or neighborhood has a local gym that you already have access to. There’s no sense in paying for two gyms.
- Check your credit card interest rates. If you have two credit cards, one with zero interest (often a freebie for first year credit card members), and the other with 25% interest, see if you can pay off your higher interest rate card with your newer card. Although this one doesn’t reflect your actual checking account, you’ll start to notice your credit card debt is actually going down instead of practically always staying the same.
- Digit App– This is an app I downloaded to help myself save money last year. I ended up saving $2,000 after about 8 months and not even noticing. If you’re not good at watching where every penny in your account goes, try this app out. It essentially analyzes your spending habits and slowly takes money out into a separate account. You can customize it to save more or less, and can transfer it back to your account at any point you need.
- Shopping– Always be checking for discounts. Whenever you’re in line to buy something, check their websites for discounts. Typically, if you subscribe, they’ll send you a coupon. I can typically get anywhere between 10%-25% off what I’d otherwise be paying.
- Amazon– We all love Amazon, don’t we? It’s very convenient- no doubt about it! But is it the lowest prices? Probably not. If you’re truly looking for the lowest prices, your local Walmart or Lowe’s will most likely be cheaper depending on the product. If you’re trying to be more money conscious, take a minute to look online and compare prices between Walmart and Amazon. Walmart now offers free two day shipping to compete with Amazon, so it’s worth it to check both places.
- Concession Stands and Vending Machines– Whether you’re going to the local baseball game, picking up some candy at the movies, or grabbing a drink from the gas station, think twice. At the concession stand, you’ll typically pay anywhere between $2-$5 for a bottle of water. At the grocery store, you can get a pack of 32 waters for less than $3. Though this seems like only a few dollars difference, think about buying those 32 waters for $2-$5. It’s actually a huge rip off. Same situation with candy- you’ll pay $4 for a skittles at the movies, and that same pack of skittles will cost you 50 cents at the grocery store. If you’re going to a place where you imagine they’ll be offering snacks and drinks as such, plan ahead and bring your own.
- Apps– Do you have any recurring payments through your apps on your phone that you’re unaware of? If you have an iPhone, here’s the steps for how to check (as of June 2019):
- Go to your settings
- Click your name at the Top
- Click iTunes & App Store
- Click Apple ID
- Click View
- Sign in using your Apple ID password
- Click subscriptions
- View under “YOUR SUBSCRIPTION” what you’re paying for. The “OPTIONS” are options to re-subscribe. Since we’re trying to save, I’m going to suggest you don’t click any of these.
Going through these steps on your phone will allow you take control and be knowledgeable of what apps you’re paying for. You’ll be able to unsubscribe on this page as well.
8. Name Brands vs. Off-Brands: Are you one of those people who truly trusts name brands? For example, Neutrogena: a name we hear on commercials, or in magazines, or maybe with an ad in the makeup section. When you look at the psychology of buying, the more you hear or see the name, the more you “trust” it. Next time you go to the store, I encourage you to check the ingredients. For example, Neutrogena’s make up remover pads have the exact same ingredients as the off-brand make up remover pads. So what’s the difference? The price. You’re going to pay almost double for the name brand. Now, I mean nothing against Neutrogena- I actually use a few Neutrogena products. In some cases, the name brand is worth it. With clothes, for example, you’ll typically get what you pay for. But beauty products, canned goods, etc., I really haven’t been able to tell much of a difference if any.
In conclusion, it’s up to you to analyze your daily habits and figure out where you’re spending your money. Putting your basics aside (your rent, your utilities, aka. the MUST pays), where is your money going to? Are you eating out too much? Do you have a bad shopping habit? Or can you not even figure out where your wasting money? If you’ve checked your statement, and can’t figure it out, try these tricks out and see if they make a difference for you.