When you think of resolutions, do you only think about those that we implement as we usher in another year? I’m not one for the usual hype around New Year’s resolutions since more often than not, they’re dropped off the list of priorities by the time the calendar rolls around to January 4th. Because, you know, life.
Since I don’t make resolutions that stick, I have found myself over the years, taking an inventory of my life and habits. For instance, when the seasons change or when I have another birthday, I will take a long hard look at my lifestyle and myself and balance it against my goals, or what I deem important priorities for the next few months.
Live simpler and live slower.
It’s simple. Spend less money while spending more time together. These elements are all top of mind when I think about subtle shifts I can make to my life to make it that much easier.
Over the last year, my family and I have been testing a few little money-saving hacks that I want to share with you. They are simple and pain-free and do help you keep a few extra bucks in the bank at the end of each month.
1. Rakuten [formerly EBates]:
I’ve been seeing the EBates commercial on TV for years now, and perhaps you have too. It features testimonials from real-life users claiming that you can “get money back on stuff you’re buying anyway”. I’ve seen and heard the commercial so many times in fact, I cannot recall exactly where I heard of it that first time. My interest in exploring this option was piqued when it came time to do Christmas shopping. I dislike crowds immensely and since I can get super anxious about going out of the house some days, using E-Bates from the comfort of my home allows me to find good deals, use promo codes and have everything delivered right to my door. It sounds too good to be true, but it honestly works. Quarterly, you are sent a cheque in the mail for amounts based on the cash back promotion at the time of purchase. More and more stores are being added to their platform and you can access it on your mobile, so it’s really easy.
The one downside of the app is that it sometimes takes a while for Ebates to be notified that you made a purchase, but their “where’s my cash back?” help option lets you fill in any gaps and get your earned money into your account.
Here’s my my referral link if you’d like to learn more!
2. Checkout 51:
A coworker at mine told me about this couponing app that allows you to earn money back on groceries. Every time you hit $20, the app lets you ‘cash out’ and you can put that money right back in the bank. I found that for the most part, it works well, though we do grocery shop for a family of four. Every Thursday, new discounts are added to the app, so you can go in and look for deals for things you are in need of. Shop at your usual grocery store that week, scan your receipt which shows the qualifying item and voilà! Money is added to your account. Checkout 51 works well for items like Finish, Gain, Tide, etcetera. It also provides coupons for very specific products that you might want to try that are being introduced to the market. The main thing is, if it’s on the offer list that week and you bought it, then you’re in luck.
3. Cancelling your mobile data plan:
I will start right off and say that absolutely, this may not be for everyone. I am not sure about your cell phone bill each month, but I’d wager I would be hard pressed to find anyone who spends less than $100 a month. That is, unless you cancel your data plan. Though somewhat of an adjustment at first, most places you go now have free Wifi for their patrons, so so it’s become a simple way to reduce my bill, by at least $60 a month. For me, that is.
4. A 0% annual fee credit card with bonus:
My family and I have an American Express credit card and it is used for pretty much everything – gas, groceries, even for daycare costs. I put everything on that card on purpose, to earn Air Miles. If I shop at stores that take Air Miles and show them my Air Miles card and pay for it with my Air Miles AMEX, I get extra points! These points add up to cash, that will in turn buy things at the grocery store or the pharmacy. So why not? With no annual fee, it costs nothing to use it – unless of course you miss your bill deadline. The point is, figure out what’s important to you and find the card that fits the end goal.
5. Auction sites:
For those of you who use Facebook regularly, you will recognize this hack. Facebook is a great space to join groups or communities for the sole purpose of purging items you no longer use, for a small profit. Marketplace is Facebook’s very own selling portal that includes regionally-relevant things for sale, at no cost to either the buyer or seller. Kijiji, local classified and just a plain ‘ole garage sales are a great way to get rid of things you no longer use and ’Konmari’ your way to clutter-free happiness.
So, what about you? Do you know of any other money saving strategies out there? Things that are making your life a little easier? I would love to hear all about them – what you love and what you dislike about them. Please feel free to share in the comments (even with your referral link!).
Saving money this fall is easy. Click here for some tips and tricks to get you started & you’re your money in the bank https://bit.ly/2lS5W2T #fallintosavings #lifehacks #yourewelcome
#ICYMI: Sure, everyone likes to save money. We’ve come up with 5 easy things you can start today to keep more of your money in the bank this fall. Let us know what you think in the comments and if you have any other tips and tricks up your sleeve! https://bit.ly/2lS5W2T #fallintosavings #hacks #yourewelcome