Who doesn’t need a little extra cash in their pockets? Savvy savers took to social media to share their best frugal hacks to save you some serious dough.
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
1: Split Up Your Payments
Several people recommend breaking down your monthly payments into weekly chunks. “If you owe $300 a month on a credit card, then pay $75 weekly because it reduces the amount of interest you pay. If you have a six-year car loan and pay weekly, the term drops to about five years and four months.” Now that’s some serious savings.
2: Get a Library Card
One of the most underutilized free resources is your local library. Parents will find lots of great programming, too. “It’s more than just the free books and DVDs,” says one parent. “My 18-month-old loves the library and goes at least once a week. Our county library system has an online calendar of events that are all free.”
3: Make the Most of What You’ve Got
Before throwing everything away, get creative with your fridge and see how to give ingredients life in a new dish. A thrifty person says, “Go through your fridge every night and identify the oldest inhabitants. Decide how to make that yummy. Do your thing.”
4: You Are What You Eat
Quell those cravings for eating out by enjoying what you make at home. “I find that, at the grocery store, we can get into ‘budget’ mode. I get things I’m excited about,” says one commenter. What do exciting foods entail? “I get frozen meals and easy snacks for rough days so that the temptation to get something while I’m out is greatly lessened.”
5: Pay Off Your Car
One commenter got creative by paying for their Corolla in cash so they didn’t have to take out a loan. “The deal I made with myself was that every month I would make a payment to the Bank of Me,” they said. “I would set aside $250 into a savings account, and I would hold off buying a new car as long as my Corolla was running well.”
They bought their car in 2001 and eventually moved their savings to a mutual fund when they realized their car was staying strong. By the end of it all, they saved almost $200,000.
6: Reevaluate Your Spending
You can’t always get what you want, and that’s especially true with your spending. “Examine all your habits for spending money on things because you’re used to it, not because it actually makes you happy. Examine all your spending for places where you spend at a premium when the cheaper version will make you just as happy.”
7: Beware of the Bargain
It can be easy to fall into the trap of a good sale, but they’re probably not saving you as much as you think. “I used to think that heading out to anywhere there were stores meant I should look around for a bargain, but you know what? A lot of times, that bargain would sit and barely get used.”
8: Keep Up With Your Car
Ignoring essential updates on your car can cost you even more in the long run. “Keep up with your car maintenance. Do as much as you can yourself, but don’t neglect it even if it’s expensive.”
9: Connect With Others
Use social media to snag a few freebies near you and help you clear out your clutter. “If you’re on Facebook, I would strongly encourage you to join your local buy-nothing group. It’s a great way to get things for free and also to pass on things when you are done with them, creating more physical, mental, and emotional space.”
10: Seek a Solid Career
One commenter says they’ve almost doubled their starting pay in five years by going corporate. “The best financial move I ever made was taking my career seriously, getting a good job at a good company with benefits like health care and 401K matching, and working hard to grow and move my way up in the company.”
11: Come Together
Find fellow parents and pay it forward. You never know who can help you cut costs with daycare and babysitting. “I go out of my way to host playdates and offer to do pickups/drop-offs when it is easy for me. In response, I have had parents offer to watch my kids when I am in a pickle or do drop-offs for me.”
12: Breakfast for Dinner
If you love a classic breakfast meal, get ready for this. “French toast, eggs, pancakes, and waffles are some of the cheapest and quickest foods to cook. We frequently have these for dinner.”
13: Get Chopping
One frugal person advises, “Learn how to cut hair.” Cutting hair at home can save you a lot, as you can do so for your whole family and perhaps make a few bucks cutting hair for extended family and friends.
14: Let It Go
The key to frugality? Stop caring so much. One commenter says, “You’d be surprised how little you actually need in life. We enjoy experiences over things. Some camping gear can give you countless joys without costing a penny more. Once you have the basics, don’t try to get every little new fad.”
15: Do It Yourself
One of the best ways to save money is to put down the phone and break out the toolbox. “DIY home maintenance/repairs/improvements are my biggest savings,” says one handy frugal person. “Those really add up if you hire out. Chances are the contractors will do no better job, if not worse.”
Most Expensive American Cities
Want to save money? One of the best ways to do so is by choosing an affordable place to live. You’ll be hard-pressed to find them in these cities.
Most to Least Expensive States to Retire
Are you looking to move state borders during retirement? From Medicare contributions to taxes and housing costs, these are the best (and worst) states to retire from a financial perspective.
The Price of Priorities
For some, it’s easy to get carried away with filling a credit card with vacations and shiny things. Financially irresponsible souls took to the internet to share their stories, revealing whether or not they regretted their actions.
17 Things That Are Getting More Expensive and Losing Quality
Money doesn’t grow on trees, and sadly for millions of Americans, quality doesn’t either. These are the products and services where people are suffering from the worst price increases and quality decreases.
50 Best Cities for Retirement
Your Golden Years should be your best years. But according to research by U.S. News & World Report, that may not be the case depending on where you choose to retire.