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*We are happy to present this guest post by Jon at Compounding Pennies.*
I love saving money, and if you are reading this, then my guess is you enjoy saving money too. There are all sorts of things you can do to slash your spending. You can refinance your house, shop for insurance, or even brown bag your lunch.
But if you do an online search, these tips and tricks to cut your spending are everywhere. I want to offer you something a little bit different on how to slash your spending and save more money.
So today I am going to skip these types of tips and focus on three other tricks that have helped me the most with saving money. The good news is that they don’t take a lot of effort and once you have a system in place, saving money is like second-nature.
And before you know it, you have a nice nest egg of savings that you can choose
3 Tricks You Can Use To Slash Your Spending
#1. Question Your Purchases
By far the best trick I use to save money is to question my purchases. To make this trick most effectively, I first took some time to figure out what my goals in life were and what I valued. Once I did this, I applied my answer to the questioning of purchases.
Here is how it works. One of my main goals is to become financially independent, so I can retire early. Keeping my goal in mind, when I go shopping I ask myself if buying the item is going to help me get to early retirement.
Let’s say I see a pair of jeans. The first question I ask myself is do I even need jeans. If the answer is no, I walk away. But if the answer is yes, then I
On the surface, you might think the answer is buying the lowest priced pair of jeans.
If you want to use this trick and don’t have your goals set yet, just stop buying things. Instead of buying something, wait a few days and see if you still want the item. If you do, then you can assess whether you should buy it or not.
In many cases, you will find you no longer want the item which means it would have been an emotional purchase that you would have regretted.
#2. Use Apps To Save Money
Another trick I use to save money is to use various apps and even social media. There are all sorts of apps out there, from Ibotta to ShopKick to RetailMeNot. The most time-consuming part is figuring out which ones work the best for you.
While most are good at helping you to save money, not all will fit in with your lifestyle. For example, since I shop at Target a lot, I tend to favor the Cartwheel app. It’s simple to use, and I can usually find good deals when using it.
But if you are not a shopper at Target, this app isn’t of much use to you.
Luckily you can easily find detailed reviews and comparisons of the best money saving apps out there to make your research less time-consuming.
In addition to the apps, I also “like” a lot of brands I use on Facebook and other social media platforms. Many times they share special coupon codes with their followers to help you save money.
But don’t think you have to “like” every brand out there. Here is another trick I found with social media. One day I was looking for a gift for my wife at a specific retailer. I was hoping they offered a coupon code on their website, but they didn’t. A quick search didn’t yield any results either.
So for the time being, I skipped on buying the item. Then I went to check my Facebook page, and as I was scrolling through my news feed, up popped an ad for the retailer I was just visiting with a 20% off coupon code!
I have found this worked a few other times too. But it doesn’t always work as not all retailers are buying ads on social media platforms. However, it never hurts to be a little patient and see.
#3. Use Your Friends
Yes, I use my friends. But they use me too, so it’s all good. What I mean by this is that we share things. For example, I might need to trim my bushes, so I borrow my friend’s electric trimmer.
When he needs to do some work around his house, he borrows some of my tools. This saves us money by not buying something that we only use a couple of times.
But it doesn’t end there. We share in other ways. We will shop at warehouse clubs and split the food. I’ll buy a giant bag of apples and give him half. Or I’ll buy the two pack of large peanut butter jars and provide him with one. Once we figure out what food we split, we then split the bill accordingly.
We are considering canceling our trash service as well and sharing this too. Since neither one of us rarely fills a trash container each week, it makes sense to use one and split the cost.
By thinking outside the box like this, I save hundreds of dollars a year.
Overall, these are the simplest tricks that allow me to slash my spending and save the most money.
Of course, I still use other tricks too, like shopping my insurance every year just to make sure I’m not paying too much for coverage and shopping sales, etc.
But I like these saving tips the most as they are simple to use and I have seen great results with my growing savings.
In the few short years, I’ve been using these tricks, I’ve seen a dramatic increase in my saving rate. I easily save close to 35% of my income a year without having the feeling like I am shortchanging myself.
I encourage you to take some time and incorporate these tricks into your daily routine. I am certain you too will be surprised at how easy they are to
Guest Author Bio: Jon helps people improve their finances one day at a time at his blog Compounding Pennies. By making small changes every day, you will see a massive change over time.