I recently turned forty. When I hit this milestone, I was fairly confident that I had mastered the digital age, at least a little. I have a good handle on Facebook, I'm fairly confident I've figured out Twitter, and Instagram....well, its not really my "thing."
I often see the hash tag #lifehacks or #lifehack on social media, though, and I got to thinking there are plenty of things I do in my every day life that save money that could be considered life hacks. I thought I'd share my most favorite and more importantly, simplest, money saving life hacks.
Water is the beverage of choice at my house. Not only is water good for your health, it costs practically nothing. I don't purchase bottled water, either. I have a couple of really nice water bottles and I fill them up all day long. My husband and I are avid golfers, and we always have our water bottles on the course. You can fill them up at any water fountain or tap, and it costs you nothing to do so. When taking a road trip, we fill up our water bottles and go, there's no need to purchase a beverage at a store.
Turn Off the Lights
If you aren't in a room, shut the light off. This may be one of my biggest pet peeves. There is no reason to keep the lights on in a room if you're not in there. This saves money in the long run for sure. Using LED bulbs increases the cost savings even more!
Shop Second Hand First
There is most certainly enough "stuff" in the world. I'm a huge fan of thrift stores, Good Will, auctions and estate sales. In fact, I furnished almost my entire house with secondhand items. For items I feel must be brand new, like mattresses and couches, I do a lot of research and shop for the best sales. I will also wait for the best deal.
These places are also great for items like clothing, accessories, utensils and so much more. For instance, why pay $5.99 for a potato masher at a retailer, when you can get a perfectly good one at goodwill for .25 cents? The potatoes get mashed exactly the same way.
I personally enjoy the hunt for an item that I may need. It can take me anywhere from an hour to two weeks to find what I'm looking for, but it truly is satisfying when you find that one item you've been hunting for.
Buy Your Groceries Online and Pick them Up
I recently started buying my groceries online, and I can't believe how much money I'm saving, not to mention time. I'm saving money because I make my grocery list, just like I would if I were going to the store, and purchase only what's on the list. Unlike being in a store, there are no eye catching displays of stuff I don't need, and it totally eliminates impulse purchases. It's also great because these sites often save your most purchased items and I can simply click to add items like bread, milk and cheese to my cart. Often, you can also take advantage of online coupons and ads as well to save even more. I saved $21.00 off my last grocery bill.
Make Coffee at Home
I honestly cannot remember the last time I purchased a cup of coffee. Don't get me wrong, I love Dunkin' Donuts as much as anyone. However, for me, Dunkin' Donuts is now a treat, and not a habit.
The average cup of coffee costs between $1.95 and $2.15. There are two people in my household. If we each purchased a $1.95 coffee everyday that would be $3.90 a day times 31 days in a month, a total of $120.90 a month or $1,450.80 per year!
I usually spend $5.99 or so on a can of coffee for my coffee maker. I figure I buy a can a month. My total cost is $5.99 per month times 12 months, I'm spending a total of $71.88 a year on coffee, a savings of $1,378.92! I can think of a ton of things to do with that kind of money.
To really experience the savings, transfer the money that you would pay everyday for a cup of coffee to your savings account and watch the money pile up. You will be so happy you made the investment in a coffee pot.
Get the Most Out of Life Hacks
To get the most out of these life hacks and others you may see or hear from your friends or online, make a list of them, and implement one or two that you think may work for you and continue to incorporate more into your life. You'll be on the road to savings in no time.