When it comes to saving extra money, there are methods proven to work and shared by everybody over the internet and then there are some more uncommon methods to save money – a little bit here, a little bit there, usually things that most of us don’t even think about.
How often do people need to be told that by cutting out a certain activity (such as buying $5 cups of coffee) they can then use that money for other purposes or add it to their savings? Sometimes we just need to be reminded that our spending habits might be a little hazardous to our financial health and below you have 20 not so common methods to save some extra money quickly. Or, better said, stuff you might do that is preventing you for saving money.
So you might want to consider the 20 things below if you’re looking to get out of debt or for financial independence:
1. Paying for Antivirus for Windows 7 (and above)
You can download Microsoft Security Essentials for free. It provides real time protection against viruses, spyware and malicious software and won’t cost you a thing. If for some reason you don’t want that, there are quite a few very solid free antivirus options out there like Avira Antivirus, AVG and so on.
2. Drinking imported beer
You can save money by buying a cheaper domestic version of your favorite imported beer and you might even find one of the same quality. It’s true that American beer tastes like non-beer in most cases, but you can still find something that’s great. If you simply love your imported beer and can’t live without it (which is not true), try cutting it to half and for the other half, drink local beer!
3. Paying more than $5 for a bottle of wine
You can find many great American wines for under $10. It’s definitely not for the wine snobs, but for someone who’s not too picky and on a budget, it’s a decent buy. Or you can move to a cheap European country, live there on a fraction of your monthly income in the US and enjoy great cheap wine for as low as $1 per bottle! I drank something like that in Romania and it was excellent.
4. Driving miles out of the way to save a few cents on gas
Have you ever driven miles out of your way to save a couple of pennies per gallon on gas? Just buy it at the closest gas station next to you and save the money spent on gas!
5. Buying all of your clothing new
You are just wasting your money by spending $50 any time you’re in need of a pair of jeans. Every so often go to Goodwill and get a new-to-you pair for under $10.
6. Buying a new car
Buying a vehicle brand new is almost never a good idea because it loses some value almost instantly. Check out websites of reputable dealers like Carmax and do price comparisons on the same vehicle that you want – but buy it used instead of new.
7. Not paying for Gap Insurance when you buy a vehicle
Your vehicle is going to lose some of its value as time goes on, it’s a guarantee. If you total your vehicle, the insurance company will only pay you what they say the vehicle is worth, not what you owe on it. If you owe more than your car is worth after totaling it, you pay the difference. That is where Gap Insurance comes in. It pays for the gap in the amount of money you owe on the vehicle compared to what the insurance company is willing to pay out. It would be best to get the insurance from your credit union, bank or car dealership but you can call to compare rates.
8. Book your hotel well in advance
Even if you have a favorite hotel you must stay at, you still should book in advance. But if you don’t have a preferred hotel, booking in advance usually gives you more options and discounts. Or use AirBnb to cut the price even more. There are also apps and websites that offer discounts or last minute deals – depending on your situation, make sure to always take advantage of these opportunities!
9. Paying more than $0.99 for an app
There are tons of very high quality apps out there for free or $0.99. If you are about to pay more than $0.99 for an app, you should do some comparison shopping of other similar apps and see if there is one for $0.99 or free. There usually is at least one the does the same things but doesn’t have the money for marketing and media presence.
10. Paying retail price for almost anything online
You can combine three types of savings on your purchases and get most things at deep discounts. It is just a matter of waiting for the three discounts to align in your favor:
a) The first part of the discount triple play is searching for a discount code that can be used towards an online purchase. It might be a percentage off of your entire purchase, free shipping with a minimum purchase or a partial discount if you spend over a certain amount. You might be shocked to learn just how many online retailers out there offer discount codes!
b) The second part is to purchase gift cards for less than face value from a reputable site like Cardpool. I am using a JCPenney gift card as an example of what you can purchase from them. You can purchase the gift card for 20% less than its face value and have it shipped to you for free. This will give you a 20% discount on everything purchased at the JCPenney website and in stores. It also has the added bonus of being able to be used at Sephora stores if they are located inside of a JCPenney store.
c) The third part of the triple play is wait for the deep discounts on the stuff you are looking for. If you wait for best yearly sales, the items you are looking for will be much cheaper to purchase than normal.
So, there you have it. The discount triple play can be utilized by using a combination of discount codes, discounted gift cards and in store and/or online sales. If utilized correctly, you should never have to pay retail price for most of what you need again. Even using just one or two of these strategies will save you a lot of money!
11. Not using coupons for anything
While it is true that clipping coupons will sometimes steer you into buying name brand products instead of store brands, they do have their place. The best values on coupons are usually in the personal hygiene area. Companies want you to switch to their brand of deodorant, body spray, body wash, shampoo, makeup and/or hair color and are willing to deeply discount their products to hook you. Keep an eye out for the best bargains such as “buy one get one free” on coupon websites that allow you to print them out. You can sometimes print more than one coupon and use them together or on different trips.
12. Buying gum or breath mints at the convenience store or grocery store impulse item area
You can usually get these items cheaper if you go to the candy aisle and buy them in bulk.
13. Buying a 20oz drink instead of a 2-liter one
If you compare prices, you will find that you typically get a better bargain for a 2-liter bottle as opposed to the 20oz size.
14. Not having a good rewards credit card
If you are paying for the right to use your credit card in terms of an annual fee, you should look for a better card. You should be able to find a good card that rewards you for purchases while not charging you for using it.
15. Buying an extended warranty for inexpensive electronics
Have you ever been at Walmart or Best Buy and had them offer you an extended warranty on an item that was less than $20? The warranties they offer often duplicate the manufacturer’s warranty which makes them unnecessary to purchase… that is unless you like wasting your money.
16. Buying name brand over-the-counter (OTC) medications
If you do a comparison of store brand and name brand OTC medications you will usually see the exact same active ingredients. This means that you are simply wasting your money on the name brand medications instead of buying the store brands.
17. Not upgrading your thermostat
If your thermostat is an older model you might be able to save some money on your electric bills by upgrading it. You can find one that should fit your needs in the $75.00 to $100.00 range and it will last you for many years to come.
18. Not having a bike for your short trips
There are many trips that everyone takes that are less than a few miles and would be perfect for a bike ride. If you do several of these short trip bike rides instead of using a car, the savings could end up being substantial over time. Hopefully, you can ride a bike as that’s a skill I unfortunately don’t posses.
19. Deciding that spending money on your health is too expensive
Any money you save today by not getting regular checkups will only cost you in the future. You are actually saving yourself money by staying as healthy as possible!
20. Paying full price for kids meals at restaurants
You should frequent the restaurants that that offer free kids meals on certain days of the week, look for online coupons or at least to those restaurants that have kids meals and not serve them a regular portion.
There you have them! 20 not so common methods that will save you an extra buck or two or a lot more. Just make sure you stick to the plan and make it happen!