In today’s economy, more people are finding themselves in financial hardship. It’s a tough cycle to break. One person took to the internet to gather the best financial tips everyone should know, from cheap meals and unbeatable deals to lowering one’s electricity bill.
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
1: Medical Bill Mayhem
American medical bills are unforgiving and can drive a person further into debt. One person recommends combing through your medical bills to ensure they’re correct. “I can’t even count how often insurance/billing messed up a bill,” they say. “Don’t pay until you ensure you’re only charged for what you truly owe.”
2: Cash for the Holidays
A wise commenter said if a person in debt has contestable charges on their credit file, the best time to contest it is in mid-December. “If they have a legitimate claim to your debit, they must prove it in writing in 30 days. That gets hard with holidays and year-end stuff.”
3: Cost of Living
Since living paycheck to paycheck, one person learned a thing or two about saving cash. One major tip? “Don’t be afraid to negotiate rent,” they said. “If you don’t ask, you’ll never know. The worst they can say is no.”
4: Deals in Rotation
When running errands, shop around at different places if your transportation allows. “Each place has different deals weekly,” one person said.
5: Shop Online
“I stopped shopping in store, especially at large companies,” a savvy saver commented. “Usually, if you order online, there are coupons/deals/etc. That makes it cheaper than buying something in person at the store.”
6: Save It for Later
Now that you’re opting for online shopping, someone shared another tip: “If you want to buy something, add it to your cart and leave it there. Sometimes, companies will send a coupon for x% off if you ‘buy it now’ through the email they send.
7: Plan Ahead
“My number one takeaway for folks going through a rough time is to recognize when you are heading into an emergency and plan accordingly,” one person advised. They said people often realize they need a loan after it’s too late. “The second you lose your income, it might be time to leverage whatever credit you have to take an unsecured loan.” Of course, having a cash emergency fund for such situations is the ideal scenario.
8: Bank on It
While one person hasn’t tried food banks personally, they said they’ve biked past and seen some delicious options, including fresh fruit and vegetables. “If I need one eventually, I will go,” they say. “It seems a smart option to save money.”
9: Knowledge Is Power
Don’t forget to utilize your local library, one person says. “Many have multiple apps that offer free audiobooks/ebook borrowing as well as movies/tv/music.” They’re also an excellent place for parents with young children looking for something free and fun to do with their kids.
10: Make a Friend
A social butterfly says they befriended people in the meat department at their local grocers. Now, they get the inside scoop on when meat is going on clearance. “This saves me several hundred dollars,” they said.
11: Shop ‘Till You Drop
Are you in the market for new threads? One shopper recommends taking advantage of the discount days at local thrift stores. “You can build a wardrobe for ~$35, and it’s a great form of recycling. I don’t go cheap on footwear because I’m always on my feet,” they say. “But on eBay, I’ve snagged deals 50% off.”
12: Budget Things Out
According to one finance buff, creating a budget and sticking to it is the key to success. “If you need to adjust the budget to reflect changes in your life, that’s still sticking to it.”
13: Glamorous Savings
“Use every receipt scanning app you can find,” one person recommends. “Those pennies add up.” They said their daughter bought eye makeup, and using the apps, they paid her $11.05 to buy $75 worth of stuff.
14: Cookin’ Good
“Black beans, rice, and shredded cheese is my go-to struggle meal, and it’s satisfying every time,” one seasoned saver said. “All of these ingredients are cheap, and I always keep them on hand since (other than the cheese) they have a long shelf life.” Pro tip: add salsa for a kick of spice.
15: Buying in Bulk
If you have the money for it, one shopper recommends buying things that keep, buying them in bulk, and shopping for them way in advance or off-season. “The overall advice is PLAN, PLAN, PLAN, and always keep your eyes open.”
16: Cheap Cuts
Just because you’re broke doesn’t mean you need to try to become a hair stylist to save some dough. One person recommends stopping by beauty schools for haircuts. “I just got mine done for $8!”
17: Build Community
Although it isn’t possible for everyone, one person said having good relationships with family, partners, friends, and neighbors can make all the difference in getting out of poverty. “Many people would not be in a tough spot [financially] if they just had someone.”
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