Credit Sesame with 9 money-saving hacks for 2023 that you may not have used before.
Events over 2022 have made it trickier than ever for Americans to pay their bills and salt away extra savings. Inflation remains a major problem and wages often don’t keep pace with the higher costs of goods and services. It’s also true that many people lack the discipline and know-how to spend less and budget properly.
You can pad your savings by following proven cash-saving methods and avoiding going into the red. While there are common strategies for saving dollars, several lesser-known/used tactics can help you better control your finances.
Why it’s a good idea to use money-saving hacks in 2023
If you’ve visited a grocery store, gas pump, restaurant, or virtually any place that charges for goods or services lately, you already know that it requires more cash today to pay for these things than it did last year. This is the impact of inflation, which has escalated since the 2020 pandemic began. As a result, Americans have had to stretch their dollars and be more cautious about discretionary spending.
But the truth is that it’s smart to strive for greater savings regardless of prevailing economic conditions. By following surefire methods for money conservation, you can weather most economic storms and setbacks – including times of high inflation and rising interest rates as well as periods that are more prosperous. Says Jake Hill, CEO of DebtHammer,
“It’s a good idea for consumers to work hard to save money because this is how you develop good habits and eventually end up with a comfortable blanket of savings for emergencies as well as more financial stability in the present. By working hard to save money, you are investing in yourself and creating more opportunities for happiness in your life,.
Andrew Lokenauth, a personal finance expert in business executive, agrees.
“Saving money is always a good idea, but it can be especially important for those on a tight budget. It can allow you to build up a financial cushion that can help you endure unexpected expenses or financial challenges. It can also help you achieve your financial goals like paying off debt and saving for retirement.”
How saving more money can pay off
Let’s say you can set aside an extra $100 monthly by cutting back on unnecessary expenses – perhaps by eating out less or canceling subscription services. Lokenauth adds,
“If you invest these extra savings in a high-yield savings account with an interest rate of 2%, for example, after five years you will have saved $6,000,.
Or, if you remain disciplined and salt away an additional $50 per week,“ Mike Yon, general manager of Kids’ Money, explains,
“That can add up to over $2,600 by the end of the year. That’s enough money to cover an unexpected medical bill or a much-needed vacation.”
9 money-saving hacks to consider
Whatever way you can effectively save money can be a worthy strategy to pursue. But here are a few overlooked and underrated hacks to consider implementing:
- Use a cash-back credit that matches your spending style. Per a study by Gigapoints, the average credit card user misses out on around $1,000 worth of cashback each year by using the wrong type of rewards card. “Paying attention to where you spend the most could help you find a card that will give you more cash back in that area to ultimately maximize reward earnings and help give you extra money back in your bank account,” says Andrea Woroch, a money and budgeting expert. “Look at your year-end credit card statement and learn where you spent the most money. Then, find a card that gives you more money back for that category. Otherwise, opt for a flat-rate cash-back card if you anticipate spending more in different categories in the year ahead.”
- Automate your savings. “You can set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to a savings account each month or more often if you are able. This makes it easier to save without having to think about it,” says Yon. For example, set up an automatic transfer of an extra $50 per month, which would equate to an extra $600 in savings over a year.
- Negotiate your bills. “Many people don’t realize they can negotiate their bills, such as their cable or Internet service, to get a lower price. You can often do this by threatening to switch to a different provider or by negotiating during a promotion or sale,” suggests Lokenauth.
- Meal plan better to reduce food waste. Americans spend roughly $4,942 on groceries every year but waste around 40% of all food purchases, according to Woroch. That comes to nearly $2,000 worth of grocery transactions that end up in the trash every year. “Look over your weekly schedule to determine which meals you need to prep and find recipes for them that use the same ingredients so that you can use everything in its entirety. I also suggest cooking in bulk so that you have leftovers, which you can even freeze in single-serve portions that are easy to reheat on nights when you are too busy or tired to cook,” adds Woroch.
- Utilize a money-saving app. “Doing so can help hold yourself accountable. The right app can help you track your spending and set goals for your saving at the same time,” notes Hill, who personally uses the Spendee app for this purpose.
- Create a personal money challenge for yourself. “Set a goal for yourself in terms of how much you want to save every month and then challenge yourself to stay under budget,” Yon advises. “Give yourself incentives, such as putting all the money saved into an emergency fund or toward something you’ve been wanting to buy.”
- Recalculate your actual mobile data usage. “If you signed up for unlimited data with your wireless carrier, when was the last time you checked how much data you actually use? Although these unlimited plans seem like they offer the best value, many consumers don’t need it,” Woroch points out. In fact, a recent study found that 90% of wireless customers waste money on unnecessary unlimited data plans and could save a lot by switching to a lower-tiered plan. “Even better, consider switching to an online-only wireless carrier like Mint Mobile, which sells plans in bulk and also doesn’t have the high overhead costs of maintaining brick-and-mortar stores.”
- Use price-comparison websites. “When shopping online, compare prices across different retailers to make sure you are getting the best deal,” continues Lokenauth. “Price comparison websites can help you do this quickly and easily, allowing you to save money on a wide range of products.”
- Think beyond regular retail. “You can save up to 60% off electronics, appliances, and power tools by purchasing certified refurbished models from reputable retailers like Amazon, eBay, and Best Buy. You can snag up to 80% off clothing, accessories, and shoes using fashion resale sites like Poshmark and ThredUp. You can score free kid’s clothing by swapping through Swoondle Society. And you can join groups like the Buy Nothing Project on Facebook to trade other goods with people in your community,” recommends Woroch.
The more you strive to conserve dollars, the better you’ll become and the more you’ll accumulate in savings. Yon says,
“The secret sauce of these money-saving tips is that they make saving easier and more automatic.”
Don’t forget to focus on building income, too. Explore new sources of revenue like a side hustle, smart investing, or requesting a raise or promotion at work.
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Disclaimer: The article and information provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice.