At the start of 2019, I was introduced to the Penny Hoarder by a friend while we were discussing our money problems. After being a silent reader for a few months, I decided to join the community and share some of my experiences. I’ve learned quite a lot about financial management on this forum and this article is a summation of everything that has worked for me.

I’ve set a minimum limit of $1000 to save within a period of one year. With a stricter discipline, one can, however, save more.

Let’s dig in.

1.Cash Back:

Credit cards offer cash backs in the range of 1-6%. So if you make a transaction of $100 with a card that offers 2% cashback you save $2.There are many stores also that offer cashback facility. If your grocery bill is $300 per month and you are using a card that gives you 3% cashback. You will get a monthly cashback refund of #27 and your annual savings will be #324.

2.Deposit Saving in your Bank Account:

Savings

If you want to save $1000 with only saving in your bank account, put $40 in your savings account at your payday( here I suppose that you are paid fortnightly).This way you can save $1040 in the entire year by using only this method.

3. Do a lot of couponing:

Couponing

Coupons are wonderful that let you save on a wide variety of items. And to make things even better, they’re now easily available online. Yes.  You can redeem coupons even with your mobile phone while sitting at home.

4. Pay off your credit card debt:

Credit cards

If you don’t focus on paying your credit card debt you will end up paying more interest charges. Don’t get in habit of paying the minimum balance and try to pay the full debt and avoid paying that nasty interest on account of those high APR rates. If you have a debt of $5000 and carry it over a period of one year you will pay #750 at the APR of 15%. That’s like throwing money in a dustbin.

5.Staycation instead of vacation:

Family vacation

If you need a break up try staycation and explore your local area for fun and entertainment. A vacation (especially with children) will cost you much more than time off at your own home town with your family. Think about it. Even a trip to Disney can cost up to $3500 if it’s not near your town. A better option is to dine in instead.

6.Latte Factor:

Coffee

Don’t let your affair with latte ruin your wallet’s health. According to yahoo finance, a cup of your store-bought caffeinated beverage of choice at $5 per day will make you spend $1825 annually. There are ways to save money on your coffee habits.

  • Drink homemade tea.
  • Get your jolt of energy by being out in the sun, exercising or staying hydrated.
  • Buy a good coffeemaker and help yourself.

7. Cancel the subscriptions you don’t need:

Subscription

It is also time to cancel the subscription of the Gym you hardly attend. You can instead buy a good pair of running shoes and start going to your local park for jogging and exercise. If your Gym subscription costs you $75 per month you will save #900 on yearly bases.

8. Reduce Housing costs:

House cost

You have to revisit the costs related to housing for all possible reductions in expenses. Consider the following points that may help save lots of bucks:

  • Refinance your mortgage at the lower interest rate and you can save several hundred dollars.
  • Take advantage of Airbnb and Rent out additional space to get an extra income.
  • Install a programmable thermostat to get a 15% reduction in your energy bill. Taking the Average monthly American energy bill of $117.65 into account ( Source: EIA), you can save $17.65 per month and that will result in an annual saving of $212.

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing."

Original Post

All great tips for sure. And also great lessons for those looking to better their finances in 2020!

I would also like to add, when it comes to cashback, when making purchases online, there are websites such as BeFrugal and Rakuten which will give you an additional cashback on your purchase.

Credit card interest will definitely get you if you let it get out of control, that is why it is more important than ever to keep your balances paid off.

Coffee is another major expense that I really need to watch this year. It can be so easy to just get in the habit of getting a coffee every day, and then throw in all the extra times you buy a friend a drink as well and you are looking at a significant expense!

I love coffee! My friend and I enjoy a good cup of coffee and a pastry of bagel once a week, we do not plan on giving this up. But, as a way of saving and enjoying later, we visit places where you can get free to go cups of coffee to savor later. This is Panera and a local bagel store. Panera also gives you a free birthday treat, as well as visits/purchases adding up. Occasionally they have promotions on their gift cards, think it is $10 back on $50-usually this occurs around graduation and Christmas.

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Madiha Jamal
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