Wallet-Fattening, Money-Saving Life Hacks

Everyone could afford to save a little money. You know the old adage, “a penny saved is a penny earned?” Cost of living adjustments appear to be a thing of the past, and everyone could afford to “earn” a couple more simoleons.

Ultimately, saving money isn’t about a single action but adding up the savings of a wide variety of habits, whether it’s home-cooked meals or trips to the junkyard.

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Junk It

Everyone knows doing work on the car yourself saves a fortune, but the next step beyond that is cutting costs on the parts. The junkyard is great for two primary reasons. First, it’s easy to get common parts in a variety of conditions and prices to suit your needs. Second, they’re a great place to find that component that no one makes anymore. Click here to check out junk yards in your area.

Make your own coffee

On my recent trip to the grocery store a can of 34 ounces of coffee cost me under ten dollars. Contrast this with a $2 cup of joe or the unreasonably priced $6 cup of coffee that can easily happen at some coffee shops. Even assuming one ounce per cup of homemade coffee, which would be a bit of a strong brew, you’re paying 34 cents per cup of homemade java; that amounts to a 600% savings on a reasonable cup or an 1800% savings on an unreasonable one. Even if you want to get higher quality beans, there’s still a savings.

Ride a Bike

Not only a healthy habit, riding a bike will save you money on gas and insurance, if you’re in an area where this is feasible. Even if you’re not commuting to work every morning, it’s a great way to get to a local bar or restaurant while allowing you to work off a little bit of whatever you consume that night, travel safely, and save a buck or two at the pump.

Sleep on It

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Many people wait thirty days before making a big purchase, but I suggest a 24 hour policy for all purchases under $20. Sure, you should wait to make sure you really want to spend $600 on a futon or you’re just experiencing a moment of insanity, but buying clothes on sales you love so much can be just as detrimental to your bank account, it’s just less noticeable because it’s incremental. If you still want it a day later, spend away.

Exercise

The leading cause of bankruptcy in the U.S. is illness and affiliated medical bills. Medical bills are responsible for a full 42 percent of all personal bankruptcies.

The best response is to take better care of yourself. The best part, exercise is free. No one charges a premium for a walk or run around the block, push-ups, pull-ups, sit ups or picking up heavy things over and over again, unless you’re using their equipment or paying for their expertise. There are a wide variety of exercise guides on the internet to teach you a little bit about it and get you started so you can save another buck by skipping the gym.

Brush Your Teeth

Like exercise, this one will save a bundle through its preventative benefits. By brushing and flossing as prescribed you’ll avoid shelling out your greenbacks in order to save your teeth. It’s a losing proposition in several ways to disregard this one.

Sack Lunch

Although all the cool kids in the office are not bringing bologna and cheese to work every day, they’ll be envious knowing you’re eating both healthier and cheaper. Like exercise there are many guides online that will help you come up with ideas for a daily or weekly menu that will please both your palate and soon to be investment broker.

Convert to $/hr.

According to the Huffington Post, 59.1 percent of Americans earn an hourly wage, and the remaining 40 percent can likely estimate their hourly worth. The next time you think about hiring someone to do something for you, think of what it would cost in terms of an hourly wage. For example, let’s say your neighbor pays someone $60 a week to mow his yard. If he mowed his own lawn and it took him two hours, he would be making $30 an hour in savings. If your savings are equivalent to or more than your hourly rate, it’s worth the time to do the task yourself.

Use a List

When you go to the grocery store, make sure to make a list ahead of time, but more importantly stick to it. Many people shop for their food without a list and find themselves buying more items on impulse because they succumb to the store’s marketing strategies. If you stick to your list, you won’t get a shock when you get to the checkout and go over budget.

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