Did you know that you can save money if you carry cash with you instead of a credit card? If you carry larger bills like $50’s and $100’s, you’re likely to spend even less. Making your own household cleaner, obtaining the cheapest car insurance, and insulating your outlets to avoid heat from escaping through them are all life hacks designed to save you money so you can have more and work less in 2023. But our tips go above and beyond those core tactics, so read on and prepare to save.
- Set a Savings Goal. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, it is difficult to plan for and save for a goal. However, it’s also a great start to changing your financial habits and ultimately getting what you want. Once you’ve got the larger goal in place, set smaller ones that serve as stepping stones to your way there.
- Use a High-Interest Savings Account. Now is the time to compare interest rates for savings accounts online and in your local area. They can be vastly different from one another and you could be missing out on accumulated wealth. Be aware of the various stipulations (like access and minimum balances).
- Limit Credit Card Purchasing. Ever wonder why paying with a credit card feels so easy? Because it’s meant to feel like you’re not paying with real money. This can land you in a world of financial hurt if you aren’t careful. Strictly limit credit card purchases and pay cash for everything when possible.
- Stock Up. There are some items that make sense to buy in bulk. This saves extra trips to the store, spending more money than necessary (bulk discount) and always having what you need on hand. Some bulk opportunities include: diapers and baby wipes, baking staples, canned goods, paper products, snacks, and toiletries.
- Plan Your Meals. Imagine going to the grocery store with no list, around dinner time, and you haven’t eaten since breakfast. You’re probably going to bring home at least $100 worth of goods you don’t need. Sit down, plan your meals, and make a list before hitting the store. And fill your belly beforehand.
- Find the Best Cell Phone Plan. Take a look at exactly how much data you use per month and how much texting and calling you do. There are plenty of cell companies out there who can provide you with the service you need – at more than 50% of the price you’re paying for the big guys.
- Winterize Your Home. Houses are not impenetrable. When the temperature drops, when it gets windy, your home is going to take on those changes and you’ll hear your furnace running more often. Find the places where the cold is getting in (outlets, windows, doors, crawl spaces) and insulate them.
- Cancel Those Free Trials. Streaming channels, gym memberships, apps – there are a number of ways to try services out without having to buy. But of course, they are no longer free if you forget to cancel them. Put an alert in your phone or on your computer as a reminder so you don’t get hit with a big bill.
- Be Aware of Banking Fees. Are you in the habit of withdrawing money from an ATM that charges you money each time you do it? Do you rely on overdraft protection on a regular basis? It’s time to tighten the ship and kick those fees to the curb. Start withdrawing money only from your bank’s ATM or going to the teller. Stop using the overdraft by making smarter budgeting choices.
- Pay Off High-Interest Debts. Write down all of your debts and see which credit cards are charging you the highest interest. Even though it will be painful, take a look at the amount of interest you’ve paid to credit card companies over the past year. Work toward paying off the high interest debts sooner than small-interest debts.
- Track Your Spending. Keeping track of every dollar you spend isn’t really fun, but it is productive if you’re looking to save money in 2023. Grabbing a slice of pizza for lunch at the nearby pizzeria doesn’t really register as ‘spending’ until you put it down on paper and realize you do it 3x a week. All of the little things add up – and many are likely avoidable.
- Choose the Store Brand. When you opt for the store brand instead of a name brand, you are likely to save about 25%. While you might be used to the name brand, keep in mind that store brands are often the same thing.
- Refrigerator Maintenance. Your refrigerator is one of the highest suckers of energy in the home. Regularly replacing worn seals around the edges and vacuuming dust from underneath it will allow the fridge to run more cost-efficiently.
- Opt Out of Extended Service Plans. While it’s true that some people end up using these warranties, the vast majority of people do not. Most problems are covered under the original manufacturer’s warranty, and you are likely to forget you even bought the extended plan in the first place.
Hacking your way to better financial health in 2023 will help you set your goals, feel more in control of your wealth, and grow your earning confidence.