Save Thousands A Year
Money

Best Money Saving Tips To Start Now

Save THOUSANDS in a year! Working all the time is hard enough as it is, let alone having your money fly right out of your hands as soon as you get paid. There’s tons of ways to keep more of your hard earned money in your pockets. With more money at hand, you get more freedom to do what you want like save up for that nice vacation you always wanted, pay down debt, or even invest for you and your families future. I’m going to share 95 best money saving tips you can start now. 

Saving money can actually be really easy. All it can take is making a small decision, taking a small action, getting the right apps to save money, getting more organized, learning about new ways to save money, finding ways to get cash back, and so much more. Also keep in mind that even saving $5 is still $5 more than what you would’ve had. Don’t dismiss the small savings because it all adds up over time. Without holding you up, let’s find out 95 ways to start saving today!

Food Savings

1 | Make Your Own Breakfast & Lunch

Spending money on food can be one of the biggest expenses. It’s VERY EASY to spend at least $15 a day just by buying breakfast and lunch.

All these meals can add up very quickly, let’s take a look.

Breakfast$5
Lunch$10
Total$15 a day
$15 X Two People$30 a Day
$30 X 5 Days a Week$150 a Day
$150 X 4 Weeks$600 a Month
$150 X 52 Weeks$7,800 a Year

Tip: Wake up 10 minutes earlier for work to make yourself something to eat for breakfast. Also, pack your lunches the night before work so you don’t have to scramble the morning of.

Ideas for Lunch Meals:

2 | It’s Okay to Buy Generic Brands

Buying generic brands can save you more money. You don’t always have to buy the brand named foods. You can actually save up to 30% off your supermarket spending when buying generic over name brand.

3 | Get Cash Back When You Shop

Finding savings when you shop is awesome especially when you can find some great coupons. But what if you just don’t have the time to look for coupons?

That’s where cash back apps come into play. The best part about using these apps is that you get REAL money back.

For instance, if you find a $2 off coupon for an ice cream, you’ll hand it to the cashier and they knock off $2 off your bill which is great but it’s not tangible money you can use. On the other hand, if you get $2 cash back from the apps, you get money back in actual gift cards, PayPal, or checks.

A lot of the cash back apps also allow you to use manufacturer’s coupons as well which multiplies your savings both ways.

Ibotta

Ibotta has over 300 stores that participate in their program. Ibotta gives you cash back for shopping at your favorite grocery stores and big retailers. They have all your main grocery stores like Kroger, H-E-B, C-Town, Aldi, Foodtown, Randalls, SHOP ‘n SAVE, ShopRite, Stop & Shop, Sprouts Farmers Market, Target, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and so much more. It’s a very simple app to use and you get real money back which you can cash out once you earn $20.

Not only can you get cash back for grocery shopping with Ibotta, you can also earn money back with other categories like grocery pickup and delivery, online shopping, beer, wine & spirits, clothing, health & beauty, specialty, restaurants & bars, convenience, travel, home & auto, kids & baby, pet supply, sports & outdoors, and subscription & delivery. There’s over 300 stores to choose from.

Ibotta also allows combining manufacturer’s coupons to get you more savings.

Sign up for free at Ibotta and use the code YDIGCFJ to get your $20 welcome bonus

I got $8.75 cash back from my last shopping trip. Ibotta is awesome for people who hate spending time looking for coupons. It comes in handy for me since I just don’t have the patience to clip coupons.

Checkout 51 Cash Back App

Checkout 51 is very similar to Ibotta. You can get cash back from groceries and hygiene products. Just upload your receipt and redeem for cash once you hit $20. What’s great about Checkout 51 is that you can also get cash back at the gas pump and they offer a digital Prescription Savings Card which can save you up to 80% on medications.

Checkout 51 has multiple items that also allow manufacturer’s coupons as well.

Sign up for free and get your $5 bonus at Checkout 51 to start earning cash back the easy way.
Tip: Earn $2 when you upload your first receipt and $1 for each receipt three times after that which gives you a total of $5 bonus cash.

GetUpside Cash Back App

GetUpside is another easy cash back app to use. You can get money back on restaurants, groceries (Washington D.C. area), and Gas.

You can see savings as much as 35% at restaurants, 15% at grocery stores, and 25c/gal of gas.

It’s very easy to use, all you have to do is claim the offer presented, simply upload your receipt, and get cash back. Once you hit $15, you can get cash back via PayPal or reach $50 to get a cash payout.

Download GetUpside and use the promo code U5NBX to get $7 cash back on your first purchase

Fetch Rewards App

Fetch-Rewards My Financial Hill

Fetch Rewards is another easy app you can use to earn cash back to redeem for gift cards or magazine subscriptions. This can come in handy when you want to give out gift cards for birthdays or holidays.

All you need to do is scan your receipts from most grocery stores, pharmacy, convenience store, and big retailers. You will then earn points which you can redeem for gift cards or magazine subscriptions.

Use the code 7JKFH when you sign up to Fetch Rewards and you’ll get 2,000 Fetch Points ($2.00 in points)
You can also refer others and earn 2,000 points ($2) yourself and your friend/family will earn 2,000 points ($2) as well.

4 | Shop When You’re Full

Have you ever gone grocery shopping when you’re hungry. Chances are you’ll start putting all sorts of stuff into your cart. Studies also show that people tend to buy more high calorie or junk food when they’re hungry. So, if you want to save a little more on your grocery bill, try to shop when your tummy is full and happy.

5 | Eat Breakfast at Home

People skipping breakfast is pretty common. After all, time is scarce in the mornings before work.

Eating breakfast is super important. There’s so many benefits to it. If you eat breakfast at home, it’ll save you money by cutting costs on outside food. Think about how much a loaf of bread and a carton of eggs cost, maybe no more than $5. That $5 can last a whole week for two people.

Besides saving money, it can help regulate your blood sugar. Which means that it may curb your appetite for lunch.

Skipping breakfast can make you want to eat a high calorie or heavy lunch which may cause you to go out and spend money.

Try to always eat breakfast, set your alarm for 10 minutes earlier to cook up a quick toast and egg sandwich.

6 | Create a Shopping List

This is a huge money saver for me. I’ve noticed that when I shop for groceries without a list, I’ll end up almost doubling my grocery bill.

Creating a shopping list will help you stay on track, organized, and keep you from spending money on unnecessary stuff. The meal planner/shopping list below will help you do just that.

Meal-Planning-Shopping-List-Magnet-Refrigerator

7 | Plan Meals Around Grocery Store Flyer

Do you ever get circulars for grocery stores mailed to your home? If you do, then go through them and create a weekly meal plan based on the sales going on. This can definitely help cut your overall food costs.

If you don’t get too many mailer circulars, then check out the ones online at Flipp. Flipp will have pretty much all your local circulars. Another bonus of using Flipp is that you can click on the certain items you want and it’ll save it to your shopping list which you can print for your next shopping trip.

8 | Use a Calculator When Shopping

If you’re budgeting, you should have an idea of how much you aim to spend on groceries. One way to make sure you’re staying on track is by shopping with a calculator.

It’s really easy to do. Start adding up all the items you add into your cart. If you’re going over your budget, you can make adjustments as you shop.

Another thing you can try doing is open up a notepad on your phone and write the price down for each item so that you won’t lose track while you calculate.

This method helps cut my grocery bill in half each month.

9 | Start Cooking at Home More Often

Buying less convenience food and cooking at home more often will definitely save you money. For us, eating more at home has definitely slashed our food costs by 50%. We used to spend nearly $1,000 or more just by eating out all the time and groceries. It’s ridiculous, I know. You’d be surprised how much you can spend on food alone.

To make your life easier when you start to cook at home more often, try to create a meal plan for the week and use gadgets that’ll help you speed up cooking times and just make the whole process of cooking easier.

$5 Meal Plan

If you ever need some ideas for meal planning, try out $5 Meal Plan. It helps save you time and frustration with ready to go meal recipes for the week plus they provide you with all the ingredients you need to get. It’s great for people who don’t want to spend the extra time to meal plan every single week.

$5 Meal Plan

Offering a free 14-day trial
Weekly recipes sent straight to your e-mail
Option to choose the pre-made weekly meal plan and shopping list OR
Use the Meal Plan Builder to customize what meals you want
You’ll get 5 dinner with sides recipes, 1 lunch, 1 breakfast, and 1 dessert/snack/or beverage option.
It also comes with a full ingredients list so it requires less work on your part.

Instant Pot

So there are a lot of people who have been raving about the Instant Pot. It’s able to be a pressure cooker/slow cooker/rice cooker/steamer/saute/yogurt maker/ and warmer all in one.

It helps to cut cooking time significantly. Beans for instance can take anywhere from 5-24 hours which includes soak time to prepare. With the Instant Pot, it can take an hour without even soaking them.

What about baby back ribs? When baking ribs, it can take 2 hours or longer but with the Instant Pot, it can take 23-30 minutes only.

The Instant Pot can definitely save you a lot of time and money by cooking more at home.

Air Fryer

For those who are not familiar with an Air Fryer, it’s pretty much a convection oven. It circulates hot air throughout food which cooks it evenly and fast, plus it’s a healthier option to deep frying food.

An Air Fryer actually makes cooking so much easier because you don’t have to hassle with huge ovens. It can cook chicken nuggets, fries, hash browns, and all sorts in minutes. It’s definitely a must-have to make more delicious crispy and healthier food at home while saving stress and time.

10 | Make Large Portions of Food

Make your meals last. It’s hard work to try to come up with something new to make for dinner every single day. Often times, people just get fed up and resort to outside food.

Instead of trying to cook something every single day, make 1-2 large batches for the week. Anything left over can be eaten the next day or it can easily be frozen to eat another time.

By doing this, you’ll save so much time, energy, money, and stress. Who wouldn’t want that.

11 | Grow Herbs at Home

Green-Herbs-Grow-Indoors

Buying herbs at the grocery store can tack on more money on your grocery bill. Usually, you may even use it once and the rest goes in the garbage, what a waste of money.

I know, this happens to me all the time!

Herbs is actually one of the easiest things to grow indoors. All you need is a pot, good soil, and seeds or cuttings. It’ll be a nice little project that’ll give you fresh herbs whenever you need while saving you money at the same time.

Herbs to Grow Indoors:

  • Chives
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Kaffir Lime
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Lemongrass
  • Bay Laurel

12 | Reduce Meat

Not saying you should cut all meat. But meat is usually one of the more expensive items on your shopping list. Instead of eating meat every single day, try to have a Meatless Monday night or try to reduce eating meat a few times a week. This can definitely help you save more in the long run.

Also, if you ever see meat items on sale, stock up! It might be good to invest in one of those storage freezers to store bulk meat items or other things that take up room in your freezer.

13 | Buy in Bulk When Necessary

This one can be a little tricky. Have you ever gone to the wholesale clubs like Costco or Sam’s club and walked out with a over $200-300 bill? It’s happened to me countless of times.

That’s why I actually don’t go to wholesale clubs anymore, it’s just too much temptation there. For those who have a large family and need to go, make sure to have a list on hand and only get what you need.

Also, buying only necessary items like hygiene products can result in big savings over time.

For those who don’t have memberships and want big savings on certain products, you can order through Instacart without a membership card. Plus, Instacart people will deliver the items to your house. That’s pretty awesome if you ask me.

Try Instacart out to get your bulk items delivered to your house. The signup is free and you can use this code MINFO1CE14E to get $10 off your first order.

14 | Cut Down on Paper Towels

Do you and your family go through packs of paper towels. We all know that a large pack of paper towels are expensive! To cut back on going through so many paper towels, get a few packs of small hand towels for cheap.

Small towels are perfect especially for the kitchen area. Once they get dirty you can throw them in the laundry and it’ll be good as new. It’ll save you a lot of money in the long run.

15 | Save Money on Drinking Water

It’s pretty silly that we have to pay for water. Well, not really. We have the option of drinking tap but seriously, who in the world knows what chemicals are in tap.

My tap water has chlorine and I know for a fact I don’t want to be drinking pool water. So I resorted to buying water, many people do.

Buying water in gallons or personal water bottles definitely add up significantly over time. A family of 4 can be spending upwards of $1,000 to $1,400 per year just on drinking water. That’s enough for a nice little vacation.

To cut costs give water filtration systems a shot, especially reverse osmosis filtration. It’s the same tech that water treatment companies use for your bottled purified water.

I switched to a home RO system and I’m so glad I did. It will save money in the long run, we don’t have to lug around heavy bottles of water, less contamination from plastic water bottles, plus it helps reduce our pollution output.

Keep in mind that the start up of a home reverse osmosis filtration system may run a couple hundred but after that all you need to buy are filters once a year which are less than $100. That’s huge savings right there!

If you’re interested in home water filtration, check out the Home Master Filtration on Amazon.

16 | Limit How Often to Grocery Shop

Do you go grocery shopping a couple times a week? Having a meal plan and grocery list can definitely help prevent the frequent trips to the grocery store. You can also save money by trying to reduce your trips to the store.

We used to go grocery shopping weekly but also tried to stretch it to going 2 weeks. We found that we spend less by doing that, it’s been working for us. If you can, limiting your trips to the store can really shave down your grocery bill.

17 | Look Through the Pantry and Freezer

I bet you can find so many meals to make just by going through your freezer or pantry. Sometimes, it’s easy to overlook items in the freezer and pantry. Go through your freezer and I bet there can be some delicious meats or seafood you can start defrosting ahead of time.

Before any meal planning, run through both places to see if you can find things to make a decent meal out of, it’ll save you a lot of money.

Finances

18 | Create a Budget

Having a budget for your household and finances is so important as I’ve come to realize.

A budget will help you see exactly where your money is going every month. That’s how we realized that our food costs were nearly $1,000 each month or more.

If you don’t have a household budget, give it a shot. It’ll help you take charge over your finances.

Related: How to Budget Your Money For Beginners

19 | Give Yourself an Allowance

Trying to save as much money as you can doesn’t have to suck. It’s all about finding balance.

It’s not about counting your pennies and trying to be cheap with life. You can still get the things you want but giving yourself a limit will help overspending on things you don’t need.

Give yourself a monthly allowance to get little things here and there without worrying about your finances. It’ll also help if you get a budget going so that way you can add “Allowance” as a line item.

20 | Track Your Spending

In order to find different ways you’re going to save money, first you need to see where all your money’s going.

There are different apps and programs out there you can use to track your spending. Personal Capital is a financial planning tool that helps you budget, track your cash flow, figure out your net worth, and it comes with a savings planner. It’s free to sign up unless you decide to sign up for the investment and wealth management advice. The free version is more than enough to start out.

Using apps to track your spending is so helpful to see exactly where you could cut costs and save some money.

21 | Save Money by Moving Checking Accounts

Did you know that you could save money, heck, you could even make money by switching checking accounts?

It’s true. There are a lot of banks out there that offer enticing deals for new customers. Some will even pay you hundreds just to join them.

Banks That Offer Money For New Customers

  • Associated Bank: $500 Bonus
  • Wells Fargo Bank: $400 Bonus
  • HSBC Bank: $200 or $450 Bonus
  • TD Bank: $150 or $300 Bonus
  • Chase Bank: $200 or $300 Bonus
  • PNC Bank: $50, $200 or $300 Bonus
  • Huntington National Bank: $150 or $200 Bonus
  • SunTrust (Truist) Bank: $200 or $400 Bonus
  • Bank of America: $100 Bonus

22 | Aim For a Higher Interest Savings Account

Do you have some money put away in a savings account? Double check your rate. Depending on the interest rate, it can make a huge difference!

For example, let’s say you have $5,000 with a .01% interest rate. After 5 years, you’ll have a whopping $2.50.

If the interest rate gets bumped up to 1.15% on $5,000, after 5 years you’ll collect $295.78 on interest. That’s a big difference isn’t it?

Right now, Axos Bank is offering a 1.15% interest rate for saving accounts which is significantly higher than most banks out there. Check them out.

23 | Avoid Interest Fees With Credit Cards

Interest fees on credit cards can be the absolute worst!

Did I ever tell you my husband and I had 8 credit cards 2 years ago? I remember paying sometimes over 28% just on interest alone, highway robbery!

After we got serious about paying off debt, we knocked out all those cards and now use only 1-2 credit cards each month while paying off the balance each month.

By paying off your cards in full, you can save hundreds of dollars just on interest alone.

Related: How to Get Out of Debt With These 5 Tips

Did you know you could be saving hundreds or thousands a month by just knocking out debt. Join us in this free 5-Day Debt Free Bootcamp to get started with your own debt journey plus here’s a free Debt Thermometer to get you started.

24 | Automate Bill Payments

Were there ever times when you didn’t receive a bill which led you to pay your bill late and you get hit with a late fee the next month.

I’ve been there too!

To save money on those pointless late fees, set up automatic bill payments out of your checking or savings account so that you won’t ever pay late again.

Hot Tip: Did you know that signing up for automatic payments with most school loan service providers can save you money? You can typically expect a savings of .25%, find out what your student loan service provider offers.

25 | Balance Transfer or Consolidate Credit Cards

As most of you know, credit card interest rates can be brutal. It could save you money by transferring your balance to a 0% interest rate card or one that offers a much lower interest rate. Also, keep in mind there may be a balance transfer fee. Overall, if you think you’ll save more money by switching to a lower interest card while considering the balance transfer fee then it may be a better move in the long run.

Another alternative to get huge savings on interest is by consolidating credit cards. If the interest rate on most of your credit cards are sky high, then it may help to take out a personal loan at a much lower interest rate. I’ve seen rates for personal loans as low as 5.95%. Be careful as some personal loan interest rates can be ridiculous too. Another thing to keep in mind is the loan fee when the loan gets processed. Before you agree to take out a personal loan to pay off high interest debt, take the interest rate and loan fee into consideration.

26 | Negotiate Credit Card Interest Rates

Sometimes, your interest rates aren’t locked in stone. There are times when you can call up your creditor and have them lower your interest rate. Maybe you’ve been making all your payments on time or you’ve checked your credit and it’s improved. It doesn’t hurt to make one phone call to see if you can get a lower rate. If it works, it’ll save you a lot of money down the line.

Related: Tips on How to Get a Good Credit Score to 800’s

27 | Fee Reversals

Have you ever missed your credit card bills and skipped payments? I know I have. Usually you’ll see a $20-$40 charge get smacked on your bill. It sucks to have to pay for something so silly.

Don’t just sit there and let the banks take your money!

You always have the chance of getting that late fee reversed. Call them up and explain your situation. Most of the time, they will reverse that fee for you. Give it a shot if you ever get stuck with a late fee on your statement. It’s worked for me numerous times.

28 | Save Your Change

Save your spare change when using cash. Put it aside and after some time you can bring it in to your bank and cash it all in. You’d be surprised how much you’ll have just from saving your spare change.

Now, a lot of people are moving away from using cash and use their debit or credit cards for everything. Acorns is an app that actually saves your digital spare change by rounding up to the nearest $1 when you purchase something and invest the difference in an investment account. For instance, if you buy a coffee for $4.60, Acorns will automatically save .40 for you in an investment account.

Acorns is great for those who wants to get started investing with spare change.

Sign up with Acorns today and get your free $5 just by signing up with this link.

29 | Improve Your Credit Score to Get Savings

There are awesome benefits to getting yourself a better credit score. The higher your credit score, the better the interest rates you’re likely to get which will save you a lot of money over time.

Let’s take for instance the interest paid between a person with a credit score in the low 800’s compared to someone with a credit score in the 600’s.

781-8504.69%$25,000 Loan Amount60 Months$28,094$3,094 Interest Paid Over Time
601-66010.91%$25,000 Loan Amount60 Months$32,546$7,543 Interest Paid Over Time

In the example above, the person with a lower credit score ends up paying thousands more over time. Why give the banks more of your hard earned money? Simply, getting your credit score in order can help save you thousands in the long run.

Related: Tips on How to Get a Good Credit Score to 800

30 | Make Bi-Weekly Mortgage Payments

Did you know that making mortgage payments every two weeks instead of once a month can have you contribute 1 extra mortgage payment a year.

For example if you were to have a 30-year fixed loan of $200,000 at a 4% interest rate, making bi-weekly payments can shave off up to 5 years off your mortgage term and save you over $20,000 over 30 years.

Check out how much you can save with this biweekly mortgage payment calculator.

Also, before you go ahead and sign up for the biweekly mortgage payment plan, make sure that your mortgage company actually applies your payments towards the loan every 2 weeks. Some companies simply hold onto your second payment for 2 weeks and make the monthly payment on your behalf which defeats the whole purpose of making that extra mortgage payment a year. Some companies may even charge a setup fee to implement this process. Be careful and get all your facts before signing up.

Another option is to make extra payments each month towards your mortgage which can also help you pay off the mortgage earlier.

31 | Avoid Those Little ATM Fees

Were you ever strapped for cash and needed to swing by an ATM? You go to withdraw money and the ATM wants to charge you $5 as a withdrawal fee?

All those little ATM fees definitely add up.

What you can try doing is withdrawing enough cash each month from your bank to get you through.

Also, try to choose a bank that has plenty of it’s own ATM machines around so you don’t have to pay for unnecessary withdrawal fees.

Shopping

32 | Get Cash Back When You Shop Online

Sign-Up-Rakuten-Save-Money-10-Dollars-Welcome-Bonus

I’m sure that you’ve probably purchased something from online. Whether it’s from Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Macy’s, and all the rest of the big named stores.

Well, you can get up to 40% cash back for doing what you normally do.

Rakuten, used to be known as Ebates, is a major hub with over 2,000 stores listed online. To get cash back with Rakuten, you sign up and get to browse cash back offers from over 2,000 retailers.

They literally have ALL the big named retailers from Amazon, Ebay, Sephora, Macy’s, Best Buy, you name it they probably have them listed. They even have travel sites like like Orbitz, Travelocity, Travelzoo, hotels, and so much more.

For example, if I wanted to shop on Macy’s.com I would go straight to Rakuten first to see if there’s any cash back offers. If there’s any cash back offers, all I would need to do is click on “Shop Now” where it brings me straight to Macy’s site. From there, you’ll shop as usual and automatically get cash back on your Rakuten account.

Over time, your cash back keeps building and building. Once you reach at least $5 in cash back, you’ll get a check mailed to you or they can pay you via PayPal.

Sign up today with Rakuten to get $10 in a welcome bonus and be on your way to start earning cash back for online purchases. Don’t miss out on FREE MONEY!

33 | Finding the Best Deals Online

If you haven’t heard about Groupon, you need to sign up like today!

Groupon hosts many local businesses near you and they offer major deals and coupons to promote their stores. Groupon has all sorts of local businesses listed on their site from auto, beauty & spas, restaurants, gyms, fitness, home services, meal prep, online learning, personal services, retail shops, salons, activities to do, travel and more.

These businesses offer huge discounts. I’ve seen discounts anywhere from 10%-92% off. I’ve seen deals for Microdermabrasion Treatments which would go for $150 but with a 78% discount it goes for only $32. Or even a $1,650 laser hair treatment going for $120 with 92% off.

What’s great about Groupon is that many people purchase these coupons so they leave reviews for you to go through. You can always check out the ratings of a business before you purchase the coupon. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Sign up for free here at Groupon to start getting your MEGA savings.

34 | Get Free Gift Cards

Has birthdays or holidays crept right up and you’re like “Oh crap, what the heck do I get this person”. You then run out to a store to buy a gift card. I know I’ve done that plenty of times.

Well, you don’t have to buy gift cards anymore!

You can actually get FREE gift cards now!

All the cash back apps I recommended in #3 such as Ibotta, Checkout 51, GetUpside, and Fetch all offer either cash back or gift card payments.

Another way to earn free gift cards during your free time is by filling out surveys/polls, watch videos, shop online, download and try apps, or play games on your phone.

InboxDollars

If you ever have some free time during the day, why not spend that time to earn a little extra cash on the side. With InboxDollars, you can take surveys/polls, watch videos, play games, search the web, get cash back by shopping online, and even get paid to clip coupons through InboxDollars. They have paid out over $50,000,000 so far to millions of members.

Swagbucks

Take surveys and get your $10 sign up bonus on Swagbucks. Some people make anywhere from $10-$350 a month. With Swagbucks, you earn points for taking surveys or polls, watch videos, play games on your phone, shop online through Swagbucks’ site to get points, complete daily goals, enter competitions, try out apps, sign up for free trial services, and refer others. Swagbucks uses a point system where you get awarded with SB points, you can then redeem those points for cash back via PayPal or gift cards through popular companies like Amazon, PayPal, Walmart, Visa, iTunes, Starbucks, eBay, and so much more.

Sign up for free here at Swagbucks and earn a $10 welcome bonus

Survey Junkie

Get paid to take surveys online with Survey Junkie. For every 1000 points you’ll get a $10 gift card or cash via PayPal. During your spare time you can complete these surveys to make some money here and there. On top of simple surveys, they even offer phone surveys which can pay $5-$100, Test some products to make $5-$50, and join focus groups that pay anywhere from $25-$150. Realistically, you can expect to make anywhere from $3-$10 a day. If you make $10 a day for 30 days straight, that’s $300 a month. Not too shabby.

Sign up for free here at Survey Junkie and start earning

Joining these survey sites are a great way to fight boredom while making a little bit of side cash to get free gift cards.

35 | Sell Things Around the Home

If you want more money in your hands, sell things you don’t need anymore around the home. You can sell almost anything from unused electronics, gently used clothes, accessories, jewelry, furniture, kitchen ware, video games, toys, bicycles, gym equipment, and more.

You can always set up a garage/yard sale or if you don’t want to do all that, use apps or websites to sell your things.

Apps and Sites to Sell Items

  • Ebay Sell video games and consoles, tech, clothes, handbags, shoes, auto parts, baseball cards, bicycles, cameras, electronics, golf equipment, jewelry, books, records, watches, pretty much anything you can think of
  • decluttr Sell CDs, DVDs, Games, Books, Cell Phone, Tech, Tablets, Lego
  • Letgo Sell electronics, sporting equipment, cars, motorcycles, furniture, appliances, clothes, shoes, and more
  • Poshmark Sell clothing, shoes, accessories, makeup products, and some home goods
  • Mercari Sell clothing, accessories, shoes, toys, electronics, kitchen ware, pretty much anything you can ship
  • Offerup Sell almost anything from appliances, furniture, cars, clothes, electronics, shoes, jewelry (Shipping and meet up available)
  • Facebook Marketplace Sell pretty much anything from furniture, cars, appliances, electronics, kitchen ware, office supplies, books, clothes, toys, shoes and more
  • Nextdoor Sell cars, furniture, clothing, appliances, kitchen ware, shoes, toys, home decor, and more (Neighborhood app)
  • 5 Miles Sell cars, accessories, furniture, toys, jewelry, clothes, bicycles, home decor, and more
  • Craigslist Sell cars, bikes, electronics, appliances, kitchen ware, tools, furniture, clothes, jewelry, exercise equipment, and more

36 | Buying Used Can Save You Money

You can get huge savings from buying used things like handbags, video games, shoes, electronics, furniture, clothing, and more.

Some thrift stores have items for so ridiculously cheap. Some of those items probably were never even worn with tags on them. You definitely can find great deals.

You can even find gently used or pre-owned things online or on apps.

Check the list above to find great deals.

37 | Don’t Skip Customer Rewards Programs

Always check to see if your favorite coffee shop, restaurant, fast food place, or other stores offer rewards programs. Every time you go there and purchase something, use your rewards card. After you accumulate certain amount of points, you’ll often get some great perks like free meals, drinks, coupons, and more. You can even earn free things when your birthday rolls around, which is a nice little treat.

My husband and I love Chick-Fil-A, when we use our reward card, many times we get surprised with free chicken sandwich offers. Nothing beats FREE!

38 | Master the 30-Day Rule

Are you an impulsive buyer?

Impulsive buying can lead you to spend lots of money. Did your kid’s ask you for that brand new video game system or you want the newest $1,000 iphone?

Before taking the leap and making the purchase, let it marinate for 30 days. After 30 days you can really see if you needed the item or not. If it’s something you can’t absolutely be without then go for it.

Second guessing purchases has really helped us to save money.

39 | Buy Used Cars

Buying used cars over brand new can save you thousands!

Did you know that a new car can lose up to 60% of it’s value by the 5th year of owning that car? It’s like buying a brand new car for $50,000 and by the time to sell, it may be worth only $20,000. You’ll lose $30,000 over 5 years. How crazy is that! Buying new cars can really be a huge waste of money. Used cars can be just as reliable as new cars.

On top of all that, if you were to finance a new car, you’ll get hit with a loan fee, interest, major depreciation, and needing full coverage. If you buy a used car with cash, you can definitely avoid all those unnecessary fees.

Buy a reliable used car when you can!

Read More: Buying A Used Car Can Save You Thousands

40 | Skip Shopping at the Mall

Try skipping shopping at the mall if you can. A lot of those stores have clothing and shoes marked way up! You can end up walking out the mall spending hundreds of dollars.

Instead, try discount stores like Ross, Marshalls, Kohls, or TJ Maxx. They’ll have name brand clothing/shoes/accessories with HUGE mark downs. You can definitely save more money by shopping at these stores instead.

41 | Buy Clothes That Never Goes Out of Style

Have you ever bought a nice top or shirt because you thought it was so stylish at the moment. After a short while, you realize “what the heck was I thinking”?

Before buying clothing, shoes, or accessories try not to go for stylish or trendy items. Look for things that won’t go out of style easily. That way, you won’t waste so much money on items that go out of style quick.

42 | Buy Clothes That Mix and Match

When you’re buying clothes, try to find something that you can mix and match well instead of buying 1 outfit you’ll only wear a handful of times and can’t match with your other clothing.

This will help you spend way less on clothes while stretching your wardrobe a lot further.

43 | Second Guess Your Purchases

Before you buy ANYTHING, always ask yourself “Do I really need this in my life”.

It’s time to look out for your money. It doesn’t do any good to buy things impulsively just to use it a few times and have it sit there collecting dust. This was a mind-set that I had to change myself.

You’d be surprise that half the things you get on a whim you won’t use again in a month or two. So really think about what you want to spend money on. If it adds no value to your life, let it go.

44 | Fill Out Those Rebates

Have you ever bought something and it comes with a money back rebate? Did you ever throw those rebate offers out? Think again before tossing them in the trash!

Most of the time, those rebate offers are legit and you’ll get real money back either in the form of a gift card or store credit. It’s real simple to do, most rebate offers have websites where you can go and simply fill out your information and that’s it. It’ll take no more than 5 minutes.

Just recently I had to purchase my dog’s heartworm and flea medicine and ended up receiving $120 bucks back just for filling out the rebate form.

Don’t forget to fill out those rebates!

45 | Buy Used Video Games

Do you or your family play video games? If you do, I’m sure you know that new games cost at least $60. Those video game costs really add up over time.

Instead, buy them used on sites like Ebay, eStarland, or Swappa. The good part about buying physical used games is that you can sell them once you’re done playing them.

DIY

46 | Save on Furniture

If you need some new furniture around the home, it doesn’t hurt to skim through your local Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or Nextdoor. You can get furniture for a fraction of the price.

You can also start a little side project and build your own furniture, there’s plenty of YouTube videos out there that can show exactly how to do that.

Before you hit the furniture store, check out sites like WayFair and Overstock. You’ll be able to find some great bargain deals on those sites. The only downside is that usually when the furniture ships to you, it’ll be in pieces so assembly will be required. Overall, putting the furniture together is so easy plus you get huge savings instead of heading to the furniture store.

47 | Repair Appliances

Did you ever have a run-in with an appliance that broke on you? You’ll call out a repair person and they charge you few hundred or even thousands just to repair something small?

Before you call someone out, do your research online! I’m sure whatever problem you’re facing, someone else had the same issue. There’s tons of YouTube videos or forums you can check to see how people were able to fix their appliances.

Fixing your own appliances (the ones that you can do) will save you hundreds and thousands of dollars! Cha-Ching $$

If you’re ever looking for appliance parts check out Appliance Parts Pros, they have tons of parts that will help you fix your own things.

I had a overflowing laundry machine once and after doing research, all I needed was a part under $20. I saved hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars because my husband actually wanted to throw out the machine and buy a new one! Ugh, can you believe him? I saved us hundreds of dollars! Yay!

48 | Repair Your Home

Having a home can come with it’s own share of responsibilities. If you don’t want to go broke maintaining your home, try to do some repairs yourself. It’ll save you hundreds to thousands of dollars!

DIY Home Repair/Maintenance

  • Lawn Care
  • Landscaping
  • Caulking
  • Sealing
  • Power Washing
  • Fixing Toilets
  • Painting

49 | Repair Car

Having a car is awesome and all but there are times when stuff starts to go wrong with it. Before heading straight to the mechanic, do some online research. You’d be surprised at how many small fixes you can easily do yourself which will save you $100’s!

50 | Change Car Air Filter

Did you know that changing your car’s air filter can save you up to 10% more gas mileage? As we all know, gas = money. Less gas used, the more money you’ll have in your pockets.

It’s recommended to change your car’s air filter every 12,000 to 15,000 miles.

If it’s been forever since you’ve changed your air filter, get started today! Read this tutorial from Auto Zone how to do it properly.

51 | Repair Clothing

Have you ever broken a button on a shirt or jacket and decided to throw it out? Or need clothing hemmed and altered?

Learning how to sew on a button is super easy to learn with YouTube.

Hemming or altering clothes doesn’t have to cost money at the tailor. There’s hem tape you can get on Amazon which doesn’t require any sewing at all.

52 | DIY Gifts

Buying presents for people can really add up over time. There are nice things you can actually make which would save you a lot of money while making your gift a very thoughtful one.

DIY Gift Ideas

Get 55+ more DIY gift ideas on Shutterfly.

53 | Start Your Own Garden

You can save money on produce and pick up a nice little side hobby by starting your own garden. It can be super cheap to start growing your own food. Even if you live in an apartment, you can still grow produce.

Produce Grown Living in an Apartment

  • Tomatoes
  • Microgreens
  • Salad Greens
  • Garlic greens
  • Bell Peppers
  • Lemons
  • Mandarin Oranges

54 | Groom Your Pets at Home

Groom-Dog-At-Home-Best Money Saving Tips To Start Now - Myfinancialhill

If you ever bring your pets for grooming then you know how expensive it can get. Over time, all those grooming costs add up to hundreds or thousands a year.

If you have an easy going pet, try grooming them at home to cut costs. You’d be surprised how well your pets can do. First get a good affordable grooming kit and watch some tutorials on YouTube to get an idea of how to groom your pets. This will save you tons of money down the line.

I bought this grooming kit on Amazon for $25 and my goodness, it works better than my clippers that costed $160. Plus it doesn’t get hot like my expensive ones do. Overall, I’m able to save $720 a year just by grooming my dog at home.

Health

55 | Smoking and Drinking

Cutting certain habits like smoking or drinking can save you hoards of money.

Let’s look at smoking for example. Cigarettes are getting more expensive not to mention they’re horrible for your body health/teeth/gums.

A pack of cigarettes can average $6. So smoking a pack a day can cost $2,190 for a whole year and $21,900 for 10 years. What about NY? A smoker living in NY could be spending $12 for a pack and in a year they’ll spend $4,380 and $43,800 in 10 years. Cutting down or quitting smoking can save you tons of money!

Alcohol can also get expensive over time. An average household spends $12 a week, they can spend $624 for one year and $6,240 after 10 years. Now this is only if they’re spending $12 a week. Some households can be spending way more money than that.

Cutting smoking and alcohol can definitely keep more of your hard earned money in your pockets.

56 | Get Healthy

Did you know that 6 in 10 adults in the US have a chronic disease and 4 in 10 have two or more chronic diseases? Some of those conditions can include heart disease, stroke, cancer, lung disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and kidney disease.

It’s true some conditions occur due to genetics but a lot of the diseases can be prevented with limiting harmful habits like smoking, excessive drinking, eating healthy, and getting active. Avoiding a disease can ultimately save you a lot of money down the road with costly medical visits, medication, and inability to work.

57 | Buy Generic Medications

If you need to buy medication, always check the price of the generic brand. Chances are, the generic brand will be a whole lot cheaper and it’ll work the same. Even FDA states that generic medicines is the same as a brand-name.

Save some money and don’t always go for brand-named goods.

58 | Use Coupons on Medications

You can always go through your pharmacies coupon books or find them on their digital app for discounts on medications.

There’s also another option of finding a coupon online on GoodRX.com. They have coupons for almost all medications. I saved 90% off one medication for my dog. I had to pay over $100 but ended up paying only $13 with a coupon I found on GoodRX. My pharmacist was the one that actually told me about it. It’s truly a money saver.

59 | Cancel Gym Memberships

Getting fit is super important but do you happen to have a membership to a gym that you haven’t gone to since January? If that’s the case then cancel it because it’ll save you money.

A lot of times, you can still get fit and in shape with simple exercises at home.

Bills

60 | Use Trim to Cut Bills

Sometimes going through bills and trying to cancel services or even negotiate lower terms can get stressful and overwhelming. For those of you who hate doing that can sign up for Trim.

What Trim Does:

  • Sign up is free
  • Acts as your own personal finance assistant bot
  • It negotiates your internet, cable, or phone bill and can lower your bill up to 30%.
  • Analyzes all your transactions quickly and easily to help you understand how you’re spending money
  • Finds recurring charges and helps you get rid of old and unused subscriptions
  • If Trim is able to negotiate your bills, they’ll charge 33% of your yearly savings upfront. You can always skip this part if you want, you just have to negotiate bills on your own.

61 | Term Life Insurance

There are two major types of life insurance policies out there, whole life and term life insurance. There are lots of articles out there stating that term life is the way you want to go and whole life policies are a huge rip off.

Basically, term life insurance is much more affordable than whole life. Term life insurance policies can cover someone for 10, 20, and 30 years at a low rate. Once someone passes, their beneficiaries can receive the coverage amount.

Whole life insurance covers someone during their entire lifetime but it comes with heftier premiums. Whole life policies also builds cash value by putting a part of the premium in a savings account. The negatives about this kind of policy is that if someone passes away, their beneficiaries only get the face value of the policy and not the savings portion. In order to use the money set aside for savings, it has to be used when the policy holder is still alive.

Overall, if you’re thinking about getting a policy to protect your family financially in case something ever happens, then term life insurance would be the better way to go. It’s more affordable each month and it could offer better policy coverage in case anything happens. Before making a decision, definitely speak to a financial advisor to get all the ins and outs first.

62 | Get Free Magazine Subscriptions

If you’re on the checkout line when grocery shopping, fight the urge to buy those magazines. Each magazine can run close to $4 and if you buy one every week, it can cost you $208 for the year.

You’re better off buying a magazine subscription for significantly less. Better yet, get FREE magazine subscriptions!

Fetch Rewards gives you points for each time you submit your receipts. It can be receipts for grocery stores, convenience stores, fast food chains, drug store, sporting goods stores, clothing stores, pretty much anything. Once you hit 3,000 points, you can redeem it for gift cards and you’ll need 5000 points for 1 year magazine subscriptions.

Magazines Fetch Rewards Offering Now:

  • Better Homes & Garden
  • Eating Well
  • People
  • Entertainment Weekly
  • InStyle
  • Parents
  • Real Simple
  • Shape

Use the code 7JKFH when you sign up to Fetch Rewards and you’ll get 2,000 Fetch Points ($2.00 in points)
You can also refer others and earn 2,000 points ($2) yourself and your friend/family will earn 2,000 points ($2) as well.

Reaching 5,000 points to get your free 1 year magazine subscription or redeeming for gift cards should be super easy. If you use my referral code above, you’ll get 2,000 points and if you refer someone it’ll add 2,000 more points. Already you can get 4,000 points. All you need to get is 1,000 points which is real easy.

63 | Raise Your Car Insurance Deductible

For those who aren’t sure what a deductible is, it’s the amount that the policy holder pays before the insurance company starts to pay up in the case of a car repair.

Get a lower car insurance premium by raising your deductible. You can reduce your collision or comprehensive coverage cost by 15% to 30% by increasing your deductible from $200-$500. Increasing your deductible to $1,000 can save you 40% or more.

To be on the safe side, make sure to have the higher deductible amount safely saved away in case an accident does happen.

64 | Home/Renters/Car Insurance

Shop around for your home/renters/car insurance. This can give a significant amount of savings. 

Don’t always go for the big named companies for your insurances. They tend to be WAY more expensive! It’s worth reaching out to lesser known companies and getting quotes, it won’t hurt. 

Also, ask your friends, neighbors, or co-workers on who they use. They may have some great recommendations and can help you save hundreds to thousands a year!

Tip: I just recently saved $400 off my home owners insurance! I went through my mail and reached out to one of those promotional offers from a home insurance company. They asked for a copy of my previous home owner’s declaration policy, so I provided that with the premium amounts all blocked out! That way, I received a fair new quote which saved me $400. 

Utilities

65 | Save on Electricity

Always try to be aware of unnecessary electricity use. Do you leave lights on all the time? Or leave the A/C running when you leave the house? This can all have a direct impact on your electricity usage.

Saving on Electricity from BC Hydro:

  • Unplug unused electronics Save $50 a year
  • Turn off unnecessary lights Save $15 a year
  • Use natural light Save $9 a year
  • Controlling your electric A/C or heat can Save you $120 a year
  • Skip the heat-dry setting of dishwasher (leave the door open slightly and it will air dry) Save $27 a year
  • Use cold water to wash clothes Save $22 a year
  • Hang dry instead of using the dryer Save $65 a year

66 | Use Energy Efficient Lightbulbs

Using energy efficient lightbulbs like LED’s make a huge difference, it can save you hundreds a year.

So, let’s say that an average rate for electricity is 13 cents per kW/HR. If you had 40 incandescent 75 watt lightbulbs running for 5 hours a day and switched to 11 watt LEDs, you could save $600 a year. That’s a lot of money!

Always go for LEDs!

67 | Automate Your Thermostat

Sometimes it can be difficult to try to keep up with your A/C or heat settings, especially on the days you’re late for work and run out the house.

Installing a programmable thermostat could be your answer to saving a lot of money on energy costs. With technology getting better, you don’t even have to physically touch your thermostat. You can adjust it straight from your phone in case you’re at work and need to change the temp for your home.

Saving energy by cutting back the time your A/C or heat is on, or even adjusting temperatures can significantly save you a lot of money each month.

68 | Maintain Your Appliances

Doing regular maintenance on appliance can help save energy which reduces your overall bill and prolongs the life of the appliance.

  • Clean refrigerator coils to make it be more energy efficient
  • Avoid overloading your washer and dryer which can damage parts
  • Keep the dishwasher filter clean
  • Change home A/C filter periodically
  • Clean window air conditioning unit filters
  • Clean out dryer lint traps which can cause house fires if it accumulates too much
  • Descale coffee makers
  • Descale dishwashers

69 | Use a Surge Protector

If you have valuable electronics or appliances, please use a surge protector.

A few years back, I had an Apple TV device which costed $180 plugged into an outlet. A storm came through and knocked out the power to my home. When the power came back on, I noticed the Apple TV wouldn’t work anymore. Because I didn’t use a surge protector, $180 went right down the drain.

Always use a surge protector to prevent your electronics and appliances from getting fried.

70 | Use a Smart Strip

Have you ever heard of vampire energy? It’s when you have an electric device or appliance that puts out some electricity even though it’s powered off. It can be TVs, chargers, coffeemaker, A/C unit, electric toothbrushes, and laptops/desktops.

Vampire energy can cost a household anywhere from $165-$440 per year. Instead of giving electric companies more of your money, invest in a Smart Strip which can completely power down your devices.

71 | Cancel Cable or Channels

As we all know, having cable can be pricey each month. If you find yourself not watching too much cable TV then it may be better to just get rid of it completely.

Or what if you have those premium channels like HBO, SHOWTIME, STARZ, Sports, and others? If you barely make the most use out of the premium channels, you may be better off canceling it.

Cutting cable and premium channels can save you over $1,000 each year. This doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on your favorite shows, find out more below.

72 | Sign Up For Streaming Channels

As long as you have internet, you can cut the cable bill and switch to streaming services like Locast, Philo, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video.

If you want to stream through your TV then you’ll need internet and a streaming device like a Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, or Apple TV.

Locast

What is a main concern for cutting cable? It may be not having access to your favorite local channels like ABC, Fox, CW, and more. Well, you can actually get FREE local channels on your TV with Locast.org. It’s a not-for-profit service that provides you with free local channels which you can watch on your TV, phone, or computer.

They provide service in 21 major cities, so check here to see if they cover your area.

Philo

On Philo, you can stream some of your favorite cable channels live for only $20 a month.

Channels they cover are: A&E, AMC, BET, Comedy Central, Discovery, Food Network, Hallmark, HGTV, History, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, TLC, Travel Channel, VH1, and WE tv.

Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video

You can’t leave out Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Video as part of your streaming needs. Stream shows and movies with these services.

73 | Skip Store Bought Extended Warranties

Have you ever purchased electronics and appliances where the store clerk asks you if you want the extended warranty? At that moment, you’re afraid you’ll be screwed if something were to break and you didn’t have any coverage, so you end up buying it?

A few things to keep in mind before buying that extended warranty.

  1. Most electronics or appliances already come with some form of warranty, double check to see what the original coverage period is
  2. Don’t buy something impulsively
  3. Plan ahead of what you’re considering to buy
  4. A lot of credit cards offer 1-2 years additional extended warranties or even doubles the manufacturer’s warranty if you buy the item with that card.
  5. Check to see if your credit card provides that benefit for the item you plan to get

Best Extended Warranty Cards

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited Card
  • Chase Freedom Card
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Card
  • Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
  • Citi Premier Card
  • Citi Prestige Card
  • Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard
  • American Express Green Card
  • The Platinum Card from American Express Card
  • American Express Gold Card
  • American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card
  • Bank of America Premium Rewards Card
  • Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express Card
  • US Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card Card
  • Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card
  • United Explorer Card
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card

74 | Cut Your Cell Phone Bill

Did you know that if you switched cell phone carriers, you can save a lot of money.

I saved $804 a year or $67 per month just by switching carriers. I went from Verizon to Cricket wireless and was able to save $67 per month. The best part is that my service is now much better than when I was with Verizon. This goes to show that just because it’s a huge company, doesn’t mean you’ll get the best.

Affordable Cell Phone Carriers to Look Into:

  • Cricket Wireless
    • Unlimited talk, text, internet – 1 line $55 and 2 lines $80
  • Boost Mobile
    • Unlimited talk, text, internet – 1 line $45 drops to $35 a month after 6 months and 2 lines $80
  • Metro by T-Mobile
    • Unlimited talk, text, internet – 1 line $55 and 2 lines $80

Now, if you’re paying more than $80 for two lines then you need to go straight to the sites above to sign up, like now!

My husband and I have tried Cricket Wireless and Metro by T-Mobile and they’re both very similar. I love the no BS approach to these phone carriers, $80 flat fee for two lines. The best part is if you sign up with them, you could probably get one of their free smart phones. Gotta check them out, you’ll be happy you did!

75 | Cut Home Phone

It’s more common now-a-days to have people call your cellphone rather than your land line. If you rarely use it, just cut the land line phone.

You could be paying anywhere from $20-$50 a month for a land line which is about $240 to $600 a year. That’s a lot of money to be paying for a service you’re rarely using.

If you feel like you really do need a land line, try a VOIP service instead. VOIP is an internet based phone service. Your phone will be connected to the internet instead. It’s actually what my household uses and it costs just a fraction of what a land line bill would be.

All we pay is $5 and change each month just for taxes and fees. We use a service called Ooma, and it’s been saving us a lot of money. My husband actually needs a home line for work so we decided to get Ooma over a traditional land line. It’s works wonderfully!

Fees to keep in mind is the actual Ooma device which you will connect your phone and internet. Once you get the device, you just pay taxes and fees every month (which is super cheap). Check to see how much your taxes would be here.

Tip: Shop around for cheap Ooma devices, you can always use Ebay to find some great prices for them.

Related: Tips to Save Money on Your Phone Bill

76 | Switch Electric Providers

Save-On-Electricity-Best Money Saving Tips To Start Now

You could be saving hundreds a month just by switching your electric provider. It’s true!

As we all know, summer months can get brutal and hit our electric bill hard. One month last year our bill rose to over $300, some of you may have higher bills. That’s when I realized that we didn’t switch our electric provider. We immediately found a different electricity provider and our bill dropped down to the $100’s in the summer.

It’s very important to shop around for different electric providers. Once your contract is up, find a good deal right away. A lot of times, once your electric contract expires, the electric companies will take away the good rate promised to you in the beginning and hike up the rate, leaving you with a hefty bill each month.

So, how do you shop for better electric plans? Ask around to your friends, family, or neighbors, or do a simple google search to find companies in your area. This will definitely help save you hoards of money each month!

77 | Lower Hot Water Temperature

Lower your water heating temperature to 120°F. According to Energy.Gov, this can save your water heating costs by 4%-22% annually. Lowering the hot water temperature can also slow the buildup of minerals and corrosion in your water heater and pipes. If yours is set at 140ºF, you can be wasting anywhere from $36 to $61 annually.

78 | Save on Your Water Bill

There’s ways to reduce your water bill by making small changes.

Fix Running Toilets

Do you have a constant toilet leak? Well, that leak can be costing you $70 per month or $1,000 per year in waste. Don’t let your money literally go down the drain, fix toilet leaks yourself. It’s actually easy to do. With the world of YouTube now, there’s tons of videos out there showing you how to do DIY repairs. That’s how my husband and I fixed leaks and repaired our own toilets when it had problems. You can save money by fixing the leaks and by not needing to call the plumber out to your home for every little issue.

Turn Water Off When Brushing Teeth

Another way to save on your water bill is to turn the water off when you’re brushing your teeth. Sometimes you may not even realize you’re doing that.

Run The Dishwasher

Did you know that running the dishwasher actually can save you more money than hand washing dishes?

Washing dishes by hand can use up to 27 gallons of water where an Energy Star dishwasher can use as little as 3 gallons. That’s a huge difference isn’t it?

If you still prefer to washes dishes by hand, follow these tips:

  • Don’t fill the entire sink to let your dishes soak
  • Use a smaller bucket if you need to soak dishes
  • Even a small spritz of water on the dish and letting it soak is enough to break up the food bits
  • Avoid letting the water run when you’re scrubbing the dishes
  • After scrubbing all dishes, then use water to rinse

Lifestyle

79 | Enjoy The Outdoors

You can save a lot of money by simply enjoying the outdoors. Go on a nice picnic, spend an afternoon at the park, go on a hike, explore your town or city. You can still have fun and spend some great time with your friends and family without having to spend any money.

80 | Host a Game Night

Partying with friends can get expensive fast. Instead of spending money at the bars and clubs, host a game night instead. You’d be surprised how much fun it can be plus you’d be saving a lot of money too. Also, don’t think you have to provide all the food and drinks. BYOB and order a pizza, how inexpensive is that!

81 | Save Money on Kid’s Activities

Bringing your kid’s to theme parks or other expensive activities can really put a huge dent in your finances. Instead, bring them to the beach, park, or find free community activities. You may be able to find lots of low cost or free activities to enjoy with the kid’s. I’m sure as long as they get to spend fun time with you, it doesn’t matter where they are.

82 | Check Out Your Library

Do you read a lot of books or love to watch movies? Instead of buying books or renting movies, head to your local library. You can borrow books, DVDs, and Blu-rays for FREE.

83 | Find a Less Expensive Place to Live

Housing costs can really take up a lot of an income. After budgeting, if you realize that your housing/apartment cost is taking up a huge chunk of your money, then it may be time to consider finding a more affordable place to live.

84 | Look For Free Events and Activities

Your town or city could be hosting tons of free events that you may not even know about. Doing a simple google search, checking out Eventbrite, or looking through your community paper will give you lots of ideas for free events and activities

85 | Take Public Transportation

Check to see if your place of work is fairly easy to get to with public transportation. If it is, why not save gas and tolls? Public transportation can save you a lot of money and it’ll give you some time on the commute to read a nice book or watch your favorite videos.

86 | Carpool

According to Rideshare, if you drove more than 12 miles and carpooled 250 days a year, a two person carpool could save more than $1,500 per year. This savings doesn’t even include parking or toll costs. So, yeah carpooling can save a lot. If you don’t mind sharing a ride with your co-worker, why not try it out?

87 | Cut Your Own Hair

A haircut or salon treatment can take up a lot of money on your budget.

Let’s say a man spends $25 every 3 weeks for a haircut, that’ll be $433 a year. If a woman spends on average $45 a month for only a haircut, that’ll be $540 a year.

If you can get away with skipping a week or two for haircuts, it can increase your savings.

Also, cutting your own hair at home can help you maintain a longer length between hair cut visits or even eliminate them for good. It all depends, how good you can get with cutting your own hair.

88 | Cut Down on Vacation Spending

We all need and deserve vacations, but they can definitely get expensive quick. There are ways to still have a nice getaway without breaking the bank to do it.

Using travel rewards cards is the way to go. Do you know that I scored a free cruise, free flights, and hotel stays without paying a cent? You can definitely get free trips too! There’s a lot of great travel rewards cards out there that gives you tons of points for joining them.

Popular Rewards Cards:

  • Venture Rewards from Capital One – 50,000 Intro Offer
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred – 60,000 Intro Offer
  • United Explorer Card – 40,000 Intro Offer
  • Hilton Honors American Express Card – 75,000 Intro Offer
  • Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard – 50,000 Intro Offer
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card – 40,000 Intro Offer
  • United Explorer Card – 40,000 Intro Offer
  • Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card – 35,000 Intro Offer

There are things to keep in mind when applying and using these travel cards.

  1. You may need good to excellent credit to get approved
  2. Spending requirement need to be met before you get the bonus points
  3. Always consider the annual fee

Now, before you go ahead and start applying for these cards. Focusing on one credit card at a time can help immensely. Find out more helpful tips on how we were able to successfully get approved for 6 travel cards and got over 500,000 in travel points.

Related: How We Got Our First Cruise For Free

89 | Find the Best Travel Rates

Besides finding ways to use credit card points for travel why not get even more savings by finding the best travel deals?

Best Site for Cheap Travel Rates

  • Skyscanner – Skyscanner is one of the best travel search engines. They provide some of the cheapest flights I’ve seen around. They also have a nice ‘Everywhere’ feature in case you’re not sure where to go, it can pull all different destinations both domestically and internationally and include the best flight prices.
  • Orbitz – Orbitz is a reliable site where you can search flights, hotels, vacation packages, car rentals, and cruises. They have really great prices, very competitive rates compared to other travel sites. Plus they also have their own rewards program, where you can earn points to apply towards your next trip.
  • Hotwire – Hotwire is another very popular travel booking site that’s been around for nearly 20 years. They have great rates for flights, hotels, car rentals, and bundles.
  • Travelocity – Travelocity has also been around for a while. They also offer low rates for flights, hotels, vacation packages, car rentals, and cruises.

Before booking any trip, make sure to get the most out of your money. Stop by Rakuten first because they will have cash back offers for a lot of travel sites like Orbitz, Hotwire, and Travelocity.

Sign up today with Rakuten to get $10 in a welcome bonus and be on your way to start earning cash back for online purchases. Don’t miss out on FREE MONEY!

Related:

Las Vegas Trip an a Budget Free Flight Included

How We Got Our First Time Cruise Trip For Free

15 Fun and Cheap Places to Visit in The US

90 | Tax Refund

Save-Your-Tax-Refund-Best Money Saving Tips To Start Now - myfinancialhill

For those who receive tax refunds, it’s time to go on a shopping spree. Give yourself a head start with your refund by paying down debt, saving for an emergency fund, or investing it in a retirement account.

91 | Increase Your Income

Another way to definitely be able to save more is by having more money coming in. You can always ask for a raise or work some overtime to bring some extra cash each month, that way it gives you more money you can save.

Related: 16 Ways to Make Extra Money Each Month

92 | Go Through Your Mail

Do you get mail and just toss out the ones you think are junk mail? Don’t do it! Go through all your mail because you’ll be surprised that some offers are legit and can save you hundreds.

I always get mail offering me new home insurance rates, instead of throwing them out, I go through each one. Many times they will have a price quote right on the mail. If it’s low enough, I’ll reach out to the company to get an actual quote.

I saved $400 off my home insurance plan just by doing this, so don’t dismiss “junk mail”.

93 | Save on Property Tax 

There are many responsibilities that comes with property ownership and one of them is the dreaded yearly property tax bill. Filing a Homestead Exemption and Protest or Tax Appeal can lower your property taxes every year. Always look for tax exemptions if you can provided by your state.

  • Homestead Exemption

We had $25,000 knocked off our home value for the property tax assessment. It was easy and all we did was fill out a simple form. Not all states offer this. If you live in your residence you can apply for a Homestead Exemption where a certain amount will be deducted off your home value when it comes time for property tax assessment. This can save you some money when it comes time to pay your yearly property tax. 

  • Protest / Tax Appeal

Every year in my county, an assessment of home value is done for property tax calculations. Basically, the county will say they think your home is worth a certain amount and tax you on it. That can easily increase your property tax bill! There is something called a protest where you prove that your home is less than their assessed amount in order to decrease your property tax. 

Both the homestead exemption and filing for a protest can significantly save you $$$ off your property tax each year!

94 | Medical Insurance 

Please get medical insurance for you and your family! Make a budget for it because it is essential. No one knows what may happen and accidents sure do happen. This actually happened to us where my husband ended up going to the hospital but luckily we had medical insurance through his employer. We only paid 10% of the visit. If we didn’t have medical insurance we would’ve paid over $40,000! 

Our furry pet members of our family also can get hurt too! I have tried many different pet insurances for my dog Bella and found one really good one called Healthy Paws Insurance. They are hassle free and it is very easy to process claims with them. They cover 90% of Bella’s medical costs.

95 | Student Loan Forgiveness

Do you have student loans? If you do, there are ways to get rid of them for good. Wouldn’t that be such a relief.

  • Perkins Loan – If you ever took out a Perkins Loan, it can be forgivable if you worked full time as a:
    • Early childhood education provider
    • Employee at a child or family services angency
    • Faculty member at a tribal college or university
    • Firefighter
    • Law enforcement officer
    • Librarian
    • Military service
    • Nurse or medical technician
    • Professional provider of early intervention services
    • Public defender
    • Speech pathologist
    • Volunteer service (AmeriCorps VISTA or Peace Corps)
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness – Be eligible for loan forgiveness if:
    • You’ve worked full time for a Government organization, 501(c)(3) nonprofits, AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps
    • Made 120 monthly loan payments
    • Have direct loans

A few months ago, I processed a loan cancellation form for the Perkins loan and I received 30% off my $7,000 loan. I had $2,100 knocked off my loan for working 2 years full time.

If you can get your loans forgiven, why not try? Call up your loan service providers and they can advise you if there are any eligible programs you can enroll in. It can save you thousands of dollars!


So there you have it, 95 money saving tips for you to try. I hope you can save hundreds or thousands of dollars! A lot of these tips I’ve done myself and can really attest to it saving our household thousands. If I missed out on some good tips, please feel free to share them with us below. Thanks and happy savings!

If you want to free up some money starting today take these actionable steps in our free 5-Day Debt Free Bootcamp and grab your free Debt Thermometer to get yourself out of debt ASAP. This can ultimately save you hundreds or even thousands each month.

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Money

Easy Ways To Save Money On Food And Groceries

Save thousands a year by cutting food costs. Groceries and food costs was draining our monthly finances. Don’t judge but we were spending nearly $1,000 on food alone for two people. You may be wondering how in the world is that possible? It consisted a lot of Starbucks, going out to eat, and never meal prepping. You’d be surprised how much you can spend just on food alone.

The most important part was that we fixed this horrible habit of spending so much on food and drinks. So, how were we able to figure out how much we spent? Well, we started budgeting our money and were taken by surprise at all the unnecessary costs.

Along the way, we found some of 15 easy ways to save money on food and groceries that nearly everyone can also apply to their lives. Freeing up extra money means more cash in your pockets.

Have you ever heard of the saying “money saved is money earned”?

It’s actually pretty awesome to have more money in your pockets at the end of the month. For us, we were able to save $300-$500 a month just by doing a few things. We used this extra cash to throw at our debt. $127,229 worth of it. I know I know, it’s ridiculous. We were able to knock out more than $50,000 within 10 months and cutting food costs definitely helped with that.

Do you have debt and want to start knocking it out ASAP? Start by grabbing this free Debt Thermometer and join us in the free 5-Day Debt Free Bootcamp.

Now you may be wondering how you can save money with food and groceries. Don’t worry there are plenty of ways you can do that. Most importantly, budgeting will help you uncover where you may be spending money where you don’t need to. It’s definitely helped us save $6,000 a year just on food and drinks alone.

Related: How To Budget Your Money For Beginners

Food and drinks can quickly add up, you wouldn’t believe it.

Breakfast$5
Lunch$10
Total$15 a day
$15 X Two People$30 a Day
$30 X 5 Days a Week$150 a Week
$150 X 4 Weeks$600 a Month
$150 X 52 Weeks$7,800 a Year

The example above doesn’t even include groceries. Adding grocery costs can tack on a few more hundred to that total, easily bringing the monthly food costs up to $1,000 or more.

$5 Starbucks drinks, take out, restaurants, they all add up over time.

Budgeting will help reveal how much you actually spend every month on food. Results may be shocking!

Not saying you should cut all those things out. Cause we haven’t! It’s just about being mindful of certain things and budgeting your money can certainly help with that.

There’s also few tips and tricks I learned along the way that can help you save hundreds a month on food & drinks.

1. Coffee and Drinks

Cup of coffee and latte Easy ways to save money on food and groceries - MyFinancialHill

There’s just something about Starbucks isn’t there? It keeps us all coming back for more. I’m sure it’s the caffeine.

I must’ve spent a good $60-$100 a month on Starbucks alone. Think about it, most of those drinks cost at least $5. If you get one every single day, that’s $35 a week or $1,820 a year. Sure, it may be some pricey coffee but for some people it’s hard to give up.

There’s always a balance when trying to save money. Some people go all out and never eat out again. I’m definitely not one of them. I still indulge but I find ways to minimize the expenses.

You don’t have to give up your favorite drinks and coffees to save money. There’s ways to earn cash or gift cards for Starbucks to still enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

Are there times when you just sit around and watch TV for hours? Or waiting around when you’re picking up your kid’s from school, doing laundry, or just relaxing around the house?

You could be earning some cash or gift cards on your free time to afford your favorite cup of coffee or drinks.

Swagbucks – Earn cash or gift cards from Starbucks, Amazon, PayPal, Walmart, Visa, iTunes, eBay, and more by taking surveys and polls. Sign up here to get your $10 sign up bonus.
There are tons of ways to earn points with Swagbucks like watch videos, play games on your phone, download and try out apps on your phone, shop online through Swagbucks’ site, complete daily goals, enter competitions, sign up for free trial services, and referrals.

Survey Junkie – For every 1000 points you’ll earn a $10 gift card or cash via PayPal. They offer online surveys and polls, phone surveys which pay anywhere from $5-$100, test products $5-$50, join focus groups $25-$150. Sign up for free here and get started on earning side money.

When you’re trying to save money on drinks, food, or groceries, you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice the things you love. Just find some ways to make some side money on your free time to buy the things you love.

Another thing you can try doing is buying Starbucks at the grocery store. They sell big bottles of Starbucks coffee and it’s usually located in the refrigerated section. The big bottles usually go for under $5 and it can last a lot longer than just buying one drink.

Let’s not forget specialty drinks at restaurants. Some of them can be sodas, smoothies, margaritas, and alcoholic drinks. These can cost an additional $4-$12 per person on the tab! So you can always choose water instead to save a lot more money on your next dining bill.

2. Pack Lunches for Work

Prior to this process, my husband and I would always buy breakfast at local restaurants prior to work, and order from fast food restaurants for lunch. That can easily add up to $20-$30 a day for the both of us just on food and in a month, it can quickly accumulate to $400-$600 in food costs

Sure, it’s mighty convenient to step out for lunch and order that $15 quinoa salad but it can definitely add up over time.

$15 Lunch Everyday For 5 Days a Week$75 a Week
$75 a Week X 4 Weeks in a Month$300 a Month
$300 a Month X 12 Months in a Year$3,600 a Year

Instead of grabbing lunch everyday for work, try packing your lunches. You can keep your lunch nice and cool or warm with a nice looking lunch bag and cooling packs.

Ideas for lunch meals:

3. Eat At Home More Often

Try to reduce your visits to fast food chains and restaurants. Instead of going out for lunch everyday 5 times a week, we may only reserve the weekends for our cheat day. Doing this has saved us over $500 each month.

Sure, if you want to save tons of money you can cut going out to eat for good. Everyone has different preferences and lifestyles. Try to make slight adjustments so that changing up your routine is doable.

For instance, if you go out to eat everyday, try to cut back a couple times a week to start. See what ways will work with your life but ultimately, the more you can cook at home and meal prep the better it is financially.

4. Meal planning

Meal planning is so important in saving money on grocery and restaurant costs. This actually helped me cut our nearly $1,000 a month food costs down to $500. Prior to meal planning, my husband and I would always buy lunch ranging from $6-$10. Then, we didn’t really plan what we would eat for the week so we often ended up bring home food after work or ordering out. After adding up all the costs, it was close to $1,000 and sometimes we went over. 

It was shocking to see that we spent $1,000 on food alone. It felt like a huge waste of money. We were able to bring our food costs down to $500.

So, how did we cut our food/grocery bill by 50%?

We started planning our meals for the week.

For breakfast, we made sure to wake up 10 minutes earlier to eat at home. For lunch, we packed ourselves something to eat or brought healthy microwaveable foods. For dinner, we planned ahead and cooked a large batch that gave us left overs for the next day.

Make a List to Meal Plan

Another way to help save money and stay organized is by making a meal/ingredient list and sticking to it. I came across this really cute meal planner on Amazon, it sticks to your fridge so that way you can jot down anything that comes to mind when you’re in the kitchen. Also, the shopping list is perforated so you can tear it right off when you’re ready to head to the grocery store.

Writing down your meal plans and ingredients can really help save a lot of money. It helps you stay organized and prevents you from buying unnecessary items at the grocery store.

I find that writing down what to make for the week and buying the ingredients needed prevents overspending. It can also prevent stress.

I can’t tell you how many times I used to go to the grocery store stressed out because I was trying to come up with things to make for the week on a whim. It’s so much better to have a plan and it helps to reduce a lot of stress that way.

Meal Plan Ideas

There are lots of meal planning ideas online. You can find them on Google, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and more.

If you don’t want to spend time trying to research what to make every single week, then you can try $5 Meal Plan.

$5 Meal Plan

Offering a free 14-day trial
Weekly recipes sent straight to your e-mail
Option to choose the pre-made weekly meal plan and shopping list OR
Use the Meal Plan Builder to customize what meals you want
You’ll get 5 dinner with sides recipes, 1 lunch, 1 breakfast, and 1 dessert/snack/or beverage option.
It also comes with a full ingredients list so it requires less work on your part.

$5 Meal Plan is offering a free 14-day trial and charges just $5 a month. It’s great for those who want to save some time by leaving the guess work out of preparing meals for the week. The best part is that they also provide an ingredients list so it makes shopping very easy.

If you want to check out an example of what a weekly e-mail print out will look like, check it out here.

Meal planning can certainly save you time and money.

Whether it’s meal planning on your own, or using services to help you, it’s worth trying it out. It can save you hundreds and thousands of dollars!

5. Easily Save Money By Using Coupons and Cash Back App

Have you ever heard of the saying “Money saved is money earned”. It’s absolutely true!

I know coupons can also help save lots of money on food and groceries. I’ll admit that I just can’t find the time to sit there and clip coupons. I’ve tried it once but it takes a lot of time and it’s hard to keep track of.

If you can clip coupons and look for online sales then definitely go for it. Anything that helps put money back in your pockets, the better!

A great place to find all circulars online is on Flipp. It’s so easy to use, you plug in your zip code and it’ll pull in all the circulars for the stores in your area. Go through the digital circular and if you like an item click on it. It will then add the item to your shopping list. It makes clipping coupons super easy.

One method that I actually find doable for me is using cash back apps.

Ibotta Cash Back App

One of my favorite ones is Ibotta. Super simple to use.

Ibotta

Sign up for free and use the code YDIGCFJ get your $20 welcome bonus.

Before my weekly shopping trip, I’ll go to my Ibotta app and check to see if any of the items on my shopping list is in the app.

Ibotta has all the brand name grocery stores from Walmart, Kroger, Target, Costco, Aldi, Dollar Tree, and so much more.

All you do is click on the store you plan to shop at. Then you look for the items you plan to buy. They’ll have coupons available for you to choose from and some of them can be used 5 times.

You then redeem those coupons for cash back! Once you hit $20 in cash back, you can withdraw your earnings straight to your bank account, via PayPal, or digital gift cards.

My last shopping trip, I earned over $8 back.

Checkout 51 Cash Back App

Checkout 51 is very similar to Ibotta. You can get cash back from groceries and hygiene products. Just upload your receipt and redeem for cash once you hit $20. What’s great about Checkout 51 is that you can also get cash back at the gas pump and they offer a digital Prescription Savings Card which can save you up to 80% on medications.

Sign up for free and get your $5 bonus at Checkout 51 to start earning cash back the easy way.
Tip: Earn $2 when you upload your first receipt and $1 for each receipt three times after that which gives you a total of $5 bonus cash.

GetUpside Cash Back App

GetUpside is another easy cash back app to use. You can get money back on restaurants, groceries (Washington D.C. area), and Gas.

You can see savings as much as 35% at restaurants, 15% at grocery stores, and 25c/gal of gas.

It’s very easy to use, all you have to do is claim the offer presented, simply upload your receipt, and get cash back. Once you hit $15, you can get cash back via PayPal or reach $50 to get a cash payout.

Download GetUpside and use the promo code U5NBX to get $7 cash back on your first purchase

Fetch Rewards App

Fetch Rewards is another easy app you can use to earn cash back to redeem for gift cards or magazine subscriptions. This can come in handy when you want to give out gift cards for birthdays or holidays.

All you need to do is scan your receipts from most grocery stores, pharmacy, convenience store, and big retailers. You will then earn points which convert to cash.

Sign up for Fetch Rewards with this referral code 7JKFH and you’ll get 2,000 Fetch Points ($2.00 in points)
You can also refer others and earn 2,000 points ($2) yourself and your friend/family will earn 2,000 points ($2) as well.

6. Look For Cash Back When Ordering Food

Do you order food occasionally? I don’t always make food at home, I get too tired. On the weekends we like to indulge and order out.

If you ever order food then you need to check out Rakuten.

Rakuten is a major hub that has ALL sorts of major businesses on there, from food companies, major department stores, Amazon, Ebay, travel, entertainment, books, and more!

I always go through Rakuten before I do any online shopping because I usually end up getting cash back. Once you earn at least $5, you can request Rakuten to send you a check.

Have you ever used GRUBHUB or Postmates to get your food delivered? Today I saw that Rakuten is offering 11% cash back for GRUBHUB and up to $7 back for using Postmates.

7. Eat up food in the freezer and pantry!

Every once in a while look through your pantry and freezer.

Maybe you could have whole bunch of pasta boxes just sitting there. Why not make some cooked pasta over the weekend? or salad pasta to make it a bit healthier.

Sometimes there could be some great cuts of meat left in your freezer that you could have overlooked. Start going through them to find which ones to begin defrosting for meals.

Also, remember that meal planning will help save money this way too. You can go through your pantry or freezer to start planning what to make for the week. That way, you won’t have to buy extra things which you may already have.

8. Shop with a Calculator

I noticed that when I used a shopping list and shopped with a calculator, my grocery bill would be nearly 30%-40% less.

First, set your grocery budget and try sticking to that number. Using a calculator will help you stay on track. Keep tabs on everything you add to your cart with a calculator, it’ll give you an idea how you’re doing throughout your shopping trip.

What I like to do is write down the price of the grocery item just in case I end up miscalculating.

This method really worked for me, try it out and see if it saves you any money on your shopping trip.

8. Buy in Bulk Online

Buying in bulk is a great way to save money in the long run. Don’t worry if you don’t have a wholesale club membership. You don’t actually need to pay for one.

You can do your bulk shopping online through Instacart. They include wholesale clubs like Sam’s club or Costco and you can order through Instacart without a membership card. What’s even better is that you can get those bulk items delivered straight to your house.

Try Instacart out to get your bulk items delivered to your house. The signup is free and you can use this code MINFO1CE14E to get $10 off your first order.

9. Vacuum Seal Meat and Vegetables/Fruit

Also, when buying in bulk storage is important. If you buy a lot of meat or veggies, using food saver bags can prolong the life of the food so much longer than regular Ziplocks.

According to Foodsaver, they say that coffee, meats, vegetables, and fish can last up to two years in the freezer. In the fridge, fresh fruit, vegetables, and cheeses can last 4-8 months.

To save money on groceries, buy in bulk or when items are on sale and store them in vacuum sealed bags. That way, you won’t be wasting food and money.

Tip: If you have bananas laying around that are about to go bad, slice them up and store them in vacuum sealed bags for the freezer. They come in handy when making delicious smoothies.

10. Shop Along The Outer Aisles

Usually, grocery stores have whole foods along the outer aisles. Next time you go to the store, check out the layout. I bet the produce, dairy, and meats will be along the outer aisles.

Try to buy whole foods instead of too much processed food which tend to be around the inner most aisles and are more expensive compared to the other.

10. Buy Frozen Fruits and Vegetables

When you can, try to buy frozen fruits and vegetables. You may end up getting more for your money.

For instance, frozen organic spinach can cost 50 cents less than the fresh kind for up to twice the volume. Also, a 10 ounce bag of frozen organic raspberries could be the same price as 6 ounces of fresh raspberries.

11. Months to Buy Produce In-Season

Buying produce when they’re in-season will save you more money. They’ll be more plentiful which results in more sales. Below are fruits and vegetables that would be in-season according to The Spruce Eats.

JanuaryFebruaryMarchApril
Broccoli Broccoli BroccoliAsparagus
Cabbage Cabbage ArtichokesSpring Peas
Kale Kale LettuceArtichokes
Grapefruit Grapefruit MushroomsBroccoli/Cauliflower
Lemons/Oranges/Tangerines Lemons/Oranges/Tangerines ParsnipsPineapple
RadishesRadishes
PineapplesRhubarb
MayJuneJulyAugust
ApricotsBlueberriesBlackberriesAcorn Squash
CherriesCantaloupePlumsApples
MangoesKiwiCucumberEggplant
OkraPeachesGreen BeansFigs
StrawberriesWatermelonPeppersSwiss Chard
Swiss ChardStrawberries Corn Tomatoes
ZucchiniZucchiniTomatoesZucchini
SeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember
SquashApplesBroccoliBroccoli
BeetsBeetsCranberriesGrapefruit
GrapesCabbagePearsKale
PomegranatesGrapesPumpkinsLeeks
PumpkinsMushroomsSpinachPapayas
Sweet PotatoesSpinachTangerinesPears
TomatoesWinter SquashTurnipsTangerines

12. Avoid Buying Pre-packaged Lettuce and Kale

Buying lettuce/kale/salad in the pre-packaged bags can be so much more expensive than prepping it yourself. You could be better off buying the greens as a whole, wash it, and store it your self to save more money.

For kale, any remaining leftovers go straight into the freezer. It comes in handy when I make smoothies.

13. Save Yourself Time by Shopping Online

You can save so much time and stress by shopping for groceries on your couch. Grocery shopping can be very time consuming.Use services like Instacart or Freshdirect to have your groceries delivered straight to your door.

Try Instacart out to get your grocery items delivered to your house. The signup is free and you can use this code MINFO1CE14E to get $10 off your first order.

Sign up for Freshdirect and get your $10 off first shopping order over $99.

14. Make Large Batches

If you don’t have too much time to cook then make it easy on yourself by getting the Instant Pot. It’s a pressure cooker that let’s you set it and forget it. You can make savory soups, stews, have tenderized meat almost instantly. It allows you to cook up something delicious at a fraction of the time. It’s also a great way to use up whatever you have in the freezer and cook it up in minutes. It will also allow you to cook up the food in large batches and have it last throughout the week or freeze leftovers. It will definitely save you money in the long run by allowing you to conveniently cook more at home and eat less take out food.

15. Use Rewards

Did you know that many restaurants/coffee shops have rewards programs? You can sign up with them and they will create a free account where you can accumulate points just by eating or drinking at your favorite restaurants or beverage shops.

Many times they will offer freebies or big discounts for birthdays/special occasions or even frequenting the establishment many times. Take advantage of them!

Just recently, my husband and I went to a restaurant to celebrate my birthday and yes we did use a 25% off coupon. No shame in the game folks!


Takeaway

We may not realize it but spending money on food and drinks can really add up over time. Heck, I was spending $1,000 more or less every month on food. It’s ridiculous now that I think about it.

Over this course of our debt payoff journey, I realized that making small changes to a routine can give you big results. Little things like eating breakfast at home, making lunch for work instead of ordering out, using a shopping list and meal plan for the week, making the most out of cash back apps, and buying in bulk often all adds up to major savings.

There are tons of ways to save money on food and drinks, I hope some of the things I mentioned can also help keep more money in your pockets this month.

Did you know that knocking out some debt can free up hundreds or thousands of dollars for you? If you have debt, today’s the day to start eliminating it. Here’s a free Debt Thermometer for you + join us in the free 5-Day Debt Free Bootcamp to get you on your journey to be debt free.


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Easy Ways To Make Extra Money Every Month
Money

Easy Ways To Make Extra Money Every Month

Make Hundreds to Thousands each month! There can be so many different ways to make extra money and it doesn’t have to be so hard. You can even make side money on top of a part time or full time job. 

Having extra cash on hand can do so much! You can use it to pay down debt, pursue your dreams, go on a vacation, put some money away towards savings or investments, and so much more. 

For us, we made extra cash on the side to help put that towards our debt. Making side money helped us quickly pay down more than $50,000 within 10 months.

There’s a lot of options out there to make some side cash. I’ll share 16 of the best ways to make some good side money. 

1. Online Survey Companies

Did you know you can actually make money online for taking surveys, answering polls, trying out apps, playing games, and so much more?

The earnings you make probably won’t help you retire but you definitely can earn some side cash doing the simplest things online through these survey companies. Here’s 3 of the ones that’s most popular now.

Swagbucks

With Swagbucks, you earn points for taking surveys or polls, watch videos, play games on your phone, shop online through Swagbucks’ site to get points, complete daily goals, enter competitions, try out apps, sign up for free trial services, and refer others.

Swagbucks uses a point system where you get awarded with SB points, you can then redeem those points for cash back via PayPal or gift cards through popular companies like Amazon, PayPal, Walmart, Visa, iTunes, Starbucks, eBay, and so much more.

Swagbucks offers so many different ways to get points but I use it mostly to try out games. Swagbucks will reward me with points which converts into cash or gift cards. So far I’ve earned over 14,010 SB points which turns to $140 for playing games and taking surveys here and there.

Swagbucks My Financial Hill

Sign up for free here at Swagbucks and earn a $10 welcome bonus

InboxDollars

InboxDollar - My Financial Hill

InboxDollars is similar to Swagbucks where you can earn money taking surveys, playing games, and watching videos. If you want additional sources to make more side money then signing up with InboxDollars would be great. So far they have paid out over $50,000,000 so far to millions of members.

Survey Junkie

If you’d rather just stick with taking surveys then Survey Junkie is more for you. When you complete a survey you’ll get points and for every 1000 points you’ll get a $10 gift card or cash via PayPal. On top of simple surveys, they even offer phone surveys which can pay $5-$100, Test some products to make $5-$50, and join focus groups that pay anywhere from $25-$150. Realistically, you can expect to make anywhere from $3-$10 a day. If you make $10 a day for 30 days straight, that’s $300 a month. Not too shabby.

Sign up for free here at Survey Junkie and start earning

Don’t expect this to replace your full time job or get rich quick. It’s just a great way to make some extra side money while you have some spare time.

  • If you earn gift cards from these sites, save them to give out during birthdays and holidays.

2. Work Online

Whether you want to create a side hustle or simply try working online, there’s a few ways you can do that.

Teach English Online

Have you ever thought of teaching? How about teaching kids from other countries how to speak and read English? You can set your own hours and you don’t even have to know the foreign language to teach. The best part is, you can teach from your own home via online, and make up to $22 an hour. How awesome is that?

Requirements Needed:

  • 2 years of teaching, tutoring, mentoring, or coaching experience
  • Bachelor’s degree in any major
  • Be legally eligible to work in US or Canada
  • Have reliable technology

Learn more about how you can get started at VIPKid

Proofread Online

If you consider yourself a fairly detail oriented person and always pick up on errors when you’re reading something then you many consider taking up proofreading people’s work and get paid for it. According to Ziprecruiter, a professional proofreader can make up to an average of $25. Proofreaders with more experience can make around $30-$35 an hour.

You can actually turn this side gig into a career. However, if you’re just starting out, you’ll need to build up your references and work first.

Be a proofreader on sites such as Gramlee, Flexjobs, Proofreadingservices, and others.

Be an Online Transcriber

Are you a good listener and can type fast? Maybe you can earn some money with those skills by being a Transcriber.

As a Transcriber, you’ll convert audio files into text for companies and businesses. These audio files can range from lectures to podcasts.

The best part is that you don’t need experience to start and can make anywhere from $240 per month to $1,500 on Rev.

Be a transcriber on Rev with no experience required

Data Entry Jobs

Have you ever wanted to work from home doing data entry? You can be in charge of your own schedule and not have to answer to any boss, just work independently.

Doing data entry or digital task work may be right for you.

Some of the tasks may include creating or correcting text, participating in surveys, search or categorize data, analyze data, and more depending on the projects offered.

You can expect to make anywhere from $6-$40 an hour with $12-$15 an hour being the average rate.

From doing a bit of research on Quora, you can make the most by getting jobs with UHRS, which is a client of Clickworker.

This is what’s offered on Clickworker

Find online jobs with Clickworker

Be a Freelancer

Do you have a certain skill that can help other people out? You can certainly create your own business out of it and work independently.

That’s where Fiverr comes in. Fiverr is a global hub for all things freelance!

They have so many freelancers on there that offer skills as service like

  • Graphic design
  • Excel / Google
  • Be a virtual assistant
  • Photo editing
  • Write, edit, or proofread
  • Marketing
  • Programming
  • SEO optimization
  • Voice Over
  • Transcription
  • Offer social media services

If you’re interested, you can easily create an account and start selling your services. Fiverr is a trusted site which I even turn to when I need help with my website or I’m trying to figure something out with Excel. It’s worth checking out, you may be able to launch your freelance journey with Fiverr.

Become a freelancer on Fiverr

3. Get Cash Back When You Shop

Do you hate going through circulars or searching all over the internet to find the best deals? I know I do, it can be so time consuming. That’s why I LOVE cash back apps and sites. They’re super easy to use! You get instant savings and cash back with just a click.

Ibotta

Ibotta has over 300 stores that participate in their program. Ibotta gives you cash back for shopping at your favorite grocery stores and big retailers. They have all your main grocery stores like Kroger, H-E-B, C-Town, Aldi, Foodtown, Randalls, SHOP ‘n SAVE, ShopRite, Stop & Shop, Sprouts Farmers Market, Target, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and so much more. It’s a very simple app to use and you get real money back which you can cash out once you earn $20.

Not only can you get cash back for grocery shopping with Ibotta, you can also earn money back with other categories like grocery pickup and delivery, online shopping, beer, wine & spirits, clothing, health & beauty, specialty, restaurants & bars, convenience, travel, home & auto, kids & baby, pet supply, sports & outdoors, and subscription & delivery. There’s over 300 stores to choose from.

Sign up for free at Ibotta and use the code YDIGCFJ to get your $20 welcome bonus

All you do is add items you plan to buy to your list.

I received $8.75 cash back from a recent shopping trip.

Checkout 51 Cash Back App

Checkout 51 is very similar to Ibotta. You can get cash back from groceries and hygiene products. Just upload your receipt and redeem for cash once you hit $20. What’s great about Checkout 51 is that you can also get cash back at the gas pump and they offer a digital Prescription Savings Card which can save you up to 80% on medications.

Sign up for free and get your $5 bonus at Checkout 51 to start earning cash back the easy way.
Tip: Earn $2 when you upload your first receipt and $1 for each receipt three times after that which gives you a total of $5 bonus cash.

GetUpside Cash Back App

GetUpside is another easy cash back app to use. You can get money back on restaurants, groceries (Washington D.C. area), and Gas.

You can see savings as much as 35% at restaurants, 15% at grocery stores, and 25c/gal of gas.

It’s very easy to use, all you have to do is claim the offer presented, simply upload your receipt, and get cash back. Once you hit $15, you can get cash back via PayPal or reach $50 to get a cash payout.

Download GetUpside and use the promo code U5NBX to get $7 cash back on your first purchase

Fetch Rewards App

Fetch Rewards is another easy app you can use to earn cash back to redeem for gift cards or magazine subscriptions. This can come in handy when you want to give out gift cards for birthdays or holidays.

All you need to do is scan your receipts from most grocery stores, pharmacy, convenience store, and big retailers. You will then earn points which convert to cash.

Use the code 7JKFH when you sign up to Fetch Rewards and you’ll get 2,000 Fetch Points ($2.00 in points)
You can also refer others and earn 2,000 points ($2) yourself and your friend/family will earn 2,000 points ($2) as well.

Rakuten

Rakuten Screen Shot - My Financial Hill

Rakuten is awesome when you’re doing any online shopping. You can get as much as 40% cash back when you go through Rakuten to shop. They have over 2,500 stores that participate with them in all sorts of categories from clothing & accessories, travel, health & beauty, shoes & handbags, electronics & office, home, auto, pets, baby/kids & toys, sports & outdoors, food & entertainment, books & media, and gifts & flowers.

Once you reach at least $5 in cash back, you’ll get a check mailed to you or they can pay you via PayPal.

It’s very easy to start getting cash back with Rakuten. All you do is sign up and you’re brought to their home page where they have a list of all their cash back deals. If I ever want to buy something online, I always go through Rakuten first to see if there are any deals.

For instance, if I wanted to get something from Petco, I’ll go to Rakuten first. Once I’m there, I see that today there’s a 4.0% cash back being offered. So all I do is click “Shop Now” and it’ll bring me to Petco’s website where I’ll resume my normal online shopping. It’s so simple to use and it keeps me saving money over time.

I also like going through Rakuten when I shop for travel tickets. They often have cash back for sites like Orbitz, Travelocity, Travelzoo, hotels, and so much more.

So far I’ve earned $51.46 + $50 (other account) which brings me a total of $101.46 cash back just by using Rakuten.

Sign up today with Rakuten to get $10 in a welcome bonus and be on your way to start earning cash back for online purchases.

4. Find Missing Money

Did you know there could be a check for hundreds to thousands of dollars with your name on it that’s waiting for you.

Maybe you moved or money just never made it your way. It’s easy to check if you have money waiting for you. Go to Missingmoney and fill out your information. If you have unclaimed funds, it should notify you of how much you’re owed and from where.

According to Missingmoney, the money could be from old bank accounts, uncashed checks, insurance policies, trust funds, CDs, utility deposits, stocks and bonds, wages, and escrow accounts.

A few months ago, my husband got back over $100 from an old insurance policy he never received money back from.

5. Drive for UBER/Lyft

Easy Ways To Make Extra Money Every Month By Driving Uber - My Financial Hill

Driving for UBER or Lyft can be a great way to make some side money. You get paid to drive passengers around. Just keep in mind that maintenance and gas will come out of your own pockets. In order to enroll as a driver, you’ll need a car in good condition, fair driving record, agree to a background check, and be a licensed driver for at least one year. 

Find out more information about requirements here

It’s a pretty easy job and definitely something you can do whenever you feel like it. What’s great about being a driver is that you work when you want and get to work for yourself. There’s no boss breathing down your neck. 

My husband actually drove for UBER and made about $1,500 in less than 2 months. This was while he had a 8-5 job. He usually worked his side gig in the evenings or on the weekends. 

Overall, he had a good experience driving for UBER. If you like driving and meeting different people then driving for UBER or Lyft is for you. 

6. Find a Babysitting Job

Easy Ways To Make Extra Money Every Month By Babysitting - My Financial Hill

Do you love taking care of kids? You can get paid to do what you love! There are lots of people out there that need someone to look after their kids when they go to work. You can ask around to find babysitting jobs through friends, family, or neighbors. You can also find babysitting jobs on Care.com where you can sign up for free. Make yourself a profile and look for jobs near you. You can also set your own rate. Some people charge anywhere from $15-$20. It all depends. But hey, that’s pretty good money to do something you love!

7. Be a Dog Walker or Sitter

Easy Ways To Make Extra Money Every Month By Being a Dog Walker - My Financial Hill

Do you love animals? Being a animal walker or sitter may provide a great opportunity to do what you love while make extra money on the side. There are pet owners out there that work all day and may have long shifts so they need people to take their pets for a walk. There are also times when people go on trips/vacations and they feel more comfortable leaving their pets in a home rather than a dog boarding facility. I have seen people charge on average $25  and upwards to $45 per dog and night. If you think this side gig can bring you some nice side money while doing what you like then check out Rover

8. Mow Lawns

Easy Ways To Make Extra Money Every Month By Mowing Lawns - My Financial Hill

Would you happen to have a good lawn mower? You can definitely mow lawns for people in your neighborhood and charge anywhere from $25-$65 per home (going rate in my area). It can be easy to advertise, just leave some flyers for your neighbors or place a post on a neighborhood app called Nextdoor. Nextdoor is a private social app where only your close neighborhoods can see listings for everything including jobs, selling items, services, recommendations for businesses, and so much more. Nextdoor is how I found my lawn crew through recommendations from other people using the app. If you have some free time in the evenings or weekends, mowing a few lawns a week can bring you hundreds each month!

9. Deliver Food

Easy Ways To Make Extra Money Every Month By Delivering Food - My Financial Hill

Do you like driving but don’t want to drive passengers around? Well, there are plenty of restaurants that may need part time drivers. The pay can range from $10-$30 an hour depending on tips, location, and peak delivery times. 

If you want to be your own boss and work on your own time, you can make a side hustle out of delivering food to people by using third party companies.

How it works is, say for instance a person wants some Taco Bell but doesn’t feel like going to get it. They place an order through one of the sites below. You will get a notification of the order and can decide whether or not you want to take it. Once you accept, you drive to Taco Bell, pick up the order, deliver it to the customer, and get paid for it. Easy peasy!

Some of the most well known are:

10. Deliver Groceries

There’s all sorts of delivery services out there. There’s a demand for grocery delivery these days. Sometimes people get busy with life and the last thing they want to do is go out to shop and bring home groceries. Or some people may have a hard time going shopping so they may need others to do it for them. That’s where you can come in.

Instacart is a grocery delivery service where you can either be a customer ordering groceries to your home or get paid to be an in-store shopper or a full service shopper. An in-store shopper is an employee of Instacart where they put grocery orders together for deliveries. A full service shopper are those who shops for groceries and delivers them to customers. In-store shoppers can typically make $9-$15 an hour and if you’re a full service shopper you can “make up to $25 an hour” according to Instacart.

11. Overtime or Extra Shifts Will Provide Extra Money Easily

If you already have a permanent job, do they offer overtime or extra shifts? This can be a great way to make extra money each month. It can be a very fast and effective way to bring in extra cash. But remember, there must be a balance between your sanity and work. Making more money is great but not at the expense of your health or personal life. This way may be the easiest to make extra money but finding the right balance is essential!

12. Sell Products For Avon 

Easy Ways To Make Extra Money Every Month By Selling Avon - My Financial Hill

Do you love cosmetics and skin care products? You can actually sell them yourself and make a great side hustle out of it by becoming a representative for Avon. You don’t have to go door to door to sell the products. 

It’s really easy to do actually. I was a Avon Rep. at one point many years ago. I sold to a few of my co-workers at my full time job because they absolutely loved Avon products. It was a good experience overall. I could definitely see the potential to make great side money or even good income from it.

As an Avon Rep, you can make 25% commission on beauty products plus $20 for every $200 and 10% bonus on $1,000 worth of cumulative sales. It can definitely bring you some nice side hustle money without really needing to put in much work. You can even make a full time living with Avon, the average salary is $42,968 a year. 

If you like beauty products then maybe selling Avon products is something you can get into. 

In case you’re interested, the sign up is free with this link

13. Sell Items For An Easy Way To Make Extra Money

It’s possible to make hundreds or even thousands just by selling items around the house. Do you have fancy handbags, shoes, clothes, furniture, and electronics that you don’t even use anymore? Instead of it collecting dust, sell it!

So far, I sold a few items of furniture that was laying around the house and ended up making a few hundred from the sales.

Selling items you may have laying around could be one of the fastest ways to make extra money!

Apps and Sites to Sell Items

  • Ebay Sell video games and consoles, tech, clothes, handbags, shoes, auto parts, baseball cards, bicycles, cameras, electronics, golf equipment, jewelry, books, records, watches, pretty much anything you can think of
  • decluttr Sell CDs, DVDs, Games, Books, Cell Phone, Tech, Tablets, Lego
  • Letgo Sell electronics, sporting equipment, cars, motorcycles, furniture, appliances, clothes, shoes, and more
  • Poshmark Sell clothing, shoes, accessories, makeup products, and some home goods
  • Mercari Sell clothing, accessories, shoes, toys, electronics, kitchen ware, pretty much anything you can ship
  • Offerup Sell almost anything from appliances, furniture, cars, clothes, electronics, shoes, jewelry (Shipping and meet up available)
  • Facebook Marketplace Sell pretty much anything from furniture, cars, appliances, electronics, kitchen ware, office supplies, books, clothes, toys, shoes and more
  • Nextdoor Sell cars, furniture, clothing, appliances, kitchen ware, shoes, toys, home decor, and more (Neighborhood app)
  • 5 Miles Sell cars, accessories, furniture, toys, jewelry, clothes, bicycles, home decor, and more
  • Craigslist Sell cars, bikes, electronics, appliances, kitchen ware, tools, furniture, clothes, jewelry, exercise equipment, and more

14. Make Money With Car Advertisements

Have you ever seen cars with an ad placed on their car? Guess what? They’re making money from that. You can make anywhere from $84 to $452 a month with Wrapify.

Depending Factors

  • How much time you drive
  • When you drive
  • Where you drive
  • How much of the ad covers your car. You make more by covering the full car with an ad.

If you do a lot of driving then making side money with Wrapify may be good for you. Another bonus is you can be an UBER or Lyft driver. This may bring in even more money as a rideshare driver, since you’ll be on the road A LOT.

15. Sell Your Skills

Do you possess skills and you are good at what you do? Why not make a side gig out of it? You can make some great side money from skills you possess. 

I have a co-worker who is so creative and crafty. She makes wreaths during the holidays and sells them on Ebay or through Nextdoor. However, what if you’re not crafty? There are plenty of other things you can do to make extra money like sewing, handyman work, fixing computers, among so much more. 

If you have a skill set, why not help other people, plus you can set your own rate. 

16. Donate Plasma

You may be wondering what the heck is plasma? Sounds kinda scary I know. Plasma is actually part of your blood. When blood goes through a machine to separate components, it’s the clear liquid that remains. Plasma contains mostly water, enzymes, antibodies, and proteins. It pretty much contains all the good stuff for our bodies. Well, plasma is high in demand. It’s often used to help other sick people or goes to companies that use it for research and create products out of it to help those with blood disorders and other chronic ailments.

When you donate plasma you can often make $25 to $50 per donation. Also, some donation centers offer first timer donor bonuses which can easily increase your earnings.

The process of donating plasma is similar to donating blood but it takes longer, it could take 1-2 hours. First your blood gets drawn, it goes through a machine to separate the plasma and the blood gets returned back to your body. It’s recommended to wait at least 48 hours before donating again. To find out more info, check out this FAQ page from DonatingPlasma.org.

I found this coupon from Bio Life Plasma where they say new donors can earn $600 in 8 donations. $600 sounds like some pretty good side cash I’d say.

Plasma Donation Centers

Takeaway

There are so many ways to make extra money without severely putting a strain on your regular life. If you choose to take on side gigs, pick something that you enjoy and doesn’t cause too much stress in your life. Otherwise, you may not stick with it in the long run. If you have a bit of extra time, why not use it to be productive and bring in extra money. It’ll only help you in the long run. 

Did you also know that freeing up money by paying down debt will give your financial situation an enormous boost. Think about it, you could be saving hundreds and thousands of dollars in interest if you don’t have debt payments. We’ve managed to knock out over $100,000 worth of debt in just 24 months.

If you want to start knocking out some debt right away, get started by grabbing your free Debt Thermometer and joining our free 5-Day Debt Free Bootcamp.


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How To Get A Free 5 Night Cruise Vacation With Credit Card Points
Lifestyle, Money

How We Got Our First Time Cruise Trip For Free

We were able to land a 5 night cruise to Mexico for free. This was actually my first time going on a cruise  and the best part was that we got a $963 cruise trip for free! How did we do this? We had the banks pay us to use their cards!

We were never great with credit cards.

As a matter of fact, 10 months ago we were paying minimums on 8 credit cards and owed $31,511 worth of credit debt. Not to mention we started off with $127,229 worth of debt but you can read more about that later.

Related: How To Get Out of Debt With These 5 Tips

Do you have debt and would like to get rid of it. Grab your free Debt Thermometer and join us in the free 5-Day Debt Free Bootcamp.

How To Get Credit Cards To Pay For Your Next Cruise

Credit cards. You can either love them or hate em.

At one point, I hated having so many credit cards because of all the overwhelming debt I was in.

Over the course of our debt paying process we learned how to get credit cards to be on your side. It’s all about the credit card points!

Some credit card companies offer 50,000 to 70,000 of bonus points for using their cards. In dollar equivalency, it usually amounts to $500-$700 more or less.

Instead of swimming in credit card debt, we turned it around and used credit cards the smart way, reaping all the benefits and perks. I’ll share with you exactly how.

Clear Credit Card Debt

How We Got Our First Time Cruise Trip For Free - Myfinancialhill

So remember when I mentioned we had $31,511 of credit card debt? I never thought we’d get out of it.

We kept digging ourselves into a hole and didn’t know what to do.

I was just one in many millions of Americans swimming in credit card debt. It turns out 70% of Americans carry at least one card and as a whole we are in 830 billion dollars of credit card debt alone.

It was hard to imagine a life without the use of credit. It’s just so convenient isn’t it?

Get whatever you want and need NOW and don’t worry, just pay a minimum each month.

Over time, the debt keeps piling up and the hole keeps getting larger and larger.

Next thing you know, you’ll be up to your head swimming in mounting debt which you can’t seem to get out of.

Yup, I’ve been there.

The worst thing that can happen is to fall victim of debt and to stay a victim.

Credit card debt is truly a dangerous thing. The interest on these credit cards are crazy!

I had some cards with interest rates as high as 28%.

For example, as mentioned above I had 8 credit cards totaling $31,511.

If I paid the minimum payments on all cards and only paid $1,200 a month at a 28% interest rate, it would take 42 months to pay with an additional interest of $17,752.

So it went from what I owed of $31,511 to $49,263 over 42 months. That’s a ridiculous amount of money to be paying to banks.

That’s how banks make money, they feed off the interest from consumers like you and me.

One day, my husband Chris and I said enough’s enough…

We were tired of paying only minimums and felt like we were getting nowhere with our debt. That’s when we decided to take control of our money and in turn we were able to get control of our lives.

Once we started knocking out card after card, debt after debt, I started to realize that credit cards can actually be beneficial. As our credit cards were disappearing, our credit scores kept rising, and we applied for great travel cards which have amazing bonus point offers.

The first thing we did before considering to even apply for travel rewards cards was to pay off all our credit cards. We were able to knock out all $31,511 of it within months.

The easiest way we got rid of all 8 credit cards within months was by using the Snowball Method. It’s a method where you list all your debts from smallest to largest, targeting the smallest balances and going down the list. Here’s a more in depth post about the Snowball Method you can check out to learn more about it.

Related: Snowball Method Including a Free Printable

By getting rid of all credit cards, our credit scores shot way up to the 800’s. After clearing the credit card debt, we use only 1 card at a time. We use the 1 card to pay for all our expenses and pay it off in full each month now.

We never carry over a balance anymore. This also helps to boost credit score like crazy.

Learn more about the steps we took to get our credit scores to the 800’s.

Related: How to Get a 800 Credit Score

With higher credit scores, we naturally qualified for the best travel rewards cards. So far, we accumulated over 500,000 of credit card points which we use for free travel and excursions. We actually got our cruise with Carnival totally paid for using points. We also went to Vegas and had our flights and excursions paid for with points too!

Related: Las Vegas Trip On A Budget Free Flight Included

Credit Card Points

How We Got Our First Time Cruise Trip For Free - Myfinancialhill

If you qualify for some of the best travel cards then you can get hefty bonus points which allows you to use them either for travel or cash back.

There are tons of credit cards out there that offer significant amount of bonus points when you sign up with them. Some credit card companies offer 50,000-70,000 bonus miles. That is an equivalent to $500-$700 of bonus money when you use their card.

We’ve gotten great offers with some of the most well known credit cards out there.

Credit Card Points Received 

  • Baryclays Arrival 129,966
  • Capital One Venture (His) 102,009
  • Capital One Venture (Mine) 57,534
  • Chase Sapphire (Mine) 87,836
  • Chase Sapphire (His) 68,909
  • Delta Skymiles 62,167
  • Total 508,421

For our first 5 night cruise trip to Mexico with Carnival, we used the points from the Barclaycard Arrival Plus. It is an awesome credit card that offers tons of free bonus miles.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus

  • Offers a whopping 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 in 90 days
  • 2 points/miles for every $1 spent
  • $0 annual fee for the first year then $95 annual fee after
  • Unfortunately, it looks like Barclays discontinued the credit card offer. Don’t worry, there are plenty of other travel rewards cards out there
  • Total points accumulated 129,966 = $1,299

With the extra bonus miles on hand, we booked our first time cruise trip with Carnival Cruise Line (5 night cruise for two going to Mexico). The total for the trip came out to be $963.04. We had 129,966 points so in dollar amount that is about $1,299. We fully covered the full cruise price with the rewards points.

Capital One Venture

  • Offered 50,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • 2X miles per $1
  • $0 annual fee for first year then $95 after
  • $100 credit for a Global Pass (makes traveling via air a lot smoother process for verified persons)
  • Total points accumulated 159,543 = $1,595

With this card we flew to Vegas for free, got two separate hotel bookings for 1 night each, flew my husband’s parents in from New York, and received the $100 for the global pass application. Overall, we used 102,009 points =  $1,020 worth of points from this card within 1 year and we have 57,534 = $575 left.

Chase Sapphire

  • Offered 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • 2X miles per $1
  • $95 annual fee in the first year
  • 25% additional discount when booking through Chase site
  • Total points accumulated 156,745 = $1,567

With this card, we booked 2 separate two night stays at hotels, a Las Vegas show, and day trip for two to the Grand Canyon all within one year. We used about 87,836 = $878 so far and have 68,909 = $689 worth of bonus points left to use.

Delta Skymiles Gold

  • Offered 35,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • 2X miles per $1
  • $0 annual fee first year then $99
  • Total points accumulated 62,167 = $621

We haven’t booked any trips so far with the Delta Skymiles Gold card so we are free to use 62,167 = $621.

Checking Accounts That Offer Cash

There are numerous banks out there now that want your business. Therefore, they are offering cash incentives for opening up checking’s account. Why not take advantage of that? It is free money!!

Currently we have opened up a Wells Fargo checking account, they are offering $400!

Wells Fargo Checking Offer 

  • $400 bonus offer
  • $3,000 in direct deposit for each month for 3 months

TD Bank

  • $300 bonus offer
  • $2,500 in direct deposit within 60 days

Chase Bank

  • $200-$300 bonus offer
  • Direct deposit within 90 days of opening account

Things To Keep In Mind When Using Credit Cards for Points 

So, of course nothing comes free. Especially when you’re dealing with banks.

Sure, some credit cards are offering 50,000-70,000 bonus points, but at what cost?

Well, they implement spending requirements to get approved for those points. They can range anywhere from spending $1,000-$4,000 within 3 months.

You don’t want to get into the trap of applying for a card and not being able to fulfill the requirement. This can leave you with even more credit card debt and no reward.

Tip 1 – Use Only 1 Travel Rewards Card For All Your Expenses

Expenses you can put on credit cards:

  • Food/Groceries
  • Home/Lawn Maintenance
  • Car Gas
  • Electric Bill
  • Cable/Netflix/Hulu
  • Home Security

You can practically put almost anything on credit cards now a days. Just be careful not to over spend on things that are not necessary in your life just to meet the requirements.

Tip 2 – Pay The Card Off In Full

This is the most important part of being in control of your money.

We had to learn the hard way. We never used to pay off our cards in full, that’s how we ended up with over $30,000 worth of credit card debt.

Don’t let this happen to you.

Use only one card for all your expenses and pay it off in full each month.

This will also help boost your credit score too!

Tip 3 – Boost Your Credit Score

Most of these good travel card offers gear towards those with good to excellent credit.

There’s a lot of ways to boost your credit score. For us, paying off all our credit card debt naturally helped bring our scores up to the 800’s.

Tip 4 – Get Rid Of All Your Credit Card Debt

Credit reward points are great and all but it’s not worth spreading yourself thin over.

The worst thing you want to do is put yourself in even more debt. This can happen if you have too many credit cards all over the place.

It would be a great idea to get rid of all credit card debt before signing up for travel cards.

That way, it can get you to focus just on one card at a time. This has helped us get over 500,000 in bonus points with 6 different travel cards.

We knocked out all our existing credit card debt and used one travel card only for all our expenses. Then after we accrued the bonus points, we moved on to the next travel card.

Focusing on just one thing is better than trying to handle multiple things at once.

You can find out how to knock out your debt fast with these 5 tips.

Tip 5 – Take Turns Signing Up For Travel Cards

This can work if you’re a couple. One of you can sign up for the first travel card. After you receive the bonus points, the other person signs up for a different card.

For example, Chris and I signed up for the Capital One Venture and Chase Sapphire cards at different times. That way, we were both able to get the bonus points.

This can work if both people have good-excellent credit scores.

By knocking out all our debt our credit scores rose from the upper 600’s to mid 800’s.


Key Takeaways

Instead of paying credit cards hundreds to thousands to use their cards, having them pay you instead can be awesome.

Who doesn’t like free money?

The bonus points can be used for free travel from cruises, hotel stays, vacations, trips, and even cash back.

However, it’s important to not fall into the trap of chasing bonus points when you’re up to your neck in credit card debt.

Reap the benefits that these credit companies are offering by doing it safely.

Focus on one travel card at a time, pay off the balance in full each month, and use those points for travel.

Using travel cards to use towards trips can be awesome. We chose to do this while we’re paying down our debt. Having to sacrifice fun just to be debt free doesn’t need to happen. You can have your cake and eat it too! That’s what we’ve learned.

Getting travel points can help to free up your money to do other things in life like pay down debt, invest, or save.

I hope these tips can be helpful for you to pursue your own travels without needing to break the bank to do it.

​Read More
Debt, Featured, Money

How To Get Out Of Debt With These 5 Tips

We paid off over $50,000 worth of debt in 10 months in 5 easy steps and you can do it too!

Have you ever felt like a hamster running in a wheel?

You work, work, work, but by the end of the month, you have no idea where all your money went? Or you feel overwhelmed by credit card bills, medical bills, student loan bills, and more?

Feeling stressed because you have to work at the job you hate to put food on the table, not having freedom to do what you truly want, constrained by finances and never ending bills, not being able to go on nice vacations because you don’t have money or credit.

That is exactly how my husband and I felt & were living life up until September 2018.

We consistently worked and earned money, yet the bills just kept on coming and it felt like there was no end in sight.

We started with $127,229 worth of debt

When we first started this change in our life, we had a total of $127,229 debt with a combined income of $120,000-$130,000 a year! We pretty much had an equivalent of almost a whole year’s combined salary worth of debt.

Yes, I know it’s insane!

This is life.

And no, we didn’t have a super fancy car or anything to show for it really.

Over time, small purchases here and there build up until one day you realize you’re really deep in the hole and don’t know how the heck to get out.

In case you’re wondering our debt looked like this:

  • 8 credit cards = $31,511
  • 1 Car Loan = $2,439
  • 2 Medical Loans = $236
  • Student Loans = $72,216
  • 1 Personal Loan = $10,827
  • 1 Personal Loan from Family = $10,000

Total = $127,229

See guys, nothing special.

A huge chunk of it was our student loans and a lot of it made up our 8 credit cards.

Despite us having over $127,000 worth of debt, in 10 months we knocked out $50,000 and in 24 months we got rid of over $100,000!

On top of all that, we still traveled and went on fun trips and vacations.

I want to show you that paying off debt doesn’t have to be a scary or miserable process.

I’m sure you’ve heard of people having to eat rice and beans, never stepping foot inside a restaurant, or never going on vacation. Well, that’s not what we did and I’m here to show you that you can achieve the debt free life without having to sacrifice the things you love.

If you’re ready to start your own debt free journey, grab this free debt thermometer to use and enroll in this free 5-day Debt Free Bootcamp to finally be debt free!

Finding Your Motivation

Before hunkering down and getting serious about paying debt, you’ll need some motivation. 

What is driving you to want to be debt free

Find some reasons that’ll help to motivate you along your own debt free journey. 

When we first got started on this journey, I wanted to be debt free because I wanted to achieve financial independence and ultimately retire early. I was tired of feeling stressed about finances, having to use credit cards for everything, spending money like nothing but still feel like I had nothing to show for it. 

How about yourself?

Are you exhausted from working so much but after payday there’s nothing left for you to enjoy? Wouldn’t you like some financial freedom? Actually see money in your bank account start stacking up instead of over drafting all the time? 

Reasons To Be Debt Free:

  • Go on Vacations Without Worrying About Money
  • Gaining Freedom
  • Gaining Confidence in Yourself
  • Having Control Over Your Life
  • Not Having to Live Paycheck to Paycheck
  • Not Paying Hundreds or Thousands in Interest to Banks
  • Keep Your Hard Earned Money in Your Pockets
  • Taking Control of Your Life and Finances
  • Setting a Great Example For Your Family
  • Enjoy Life by Spending More Time With Loved Ones
  • More Options to Do What You Want With Your Life
  • Retire Early
  • Go on Vacations Without Worrying About Money
  • Start Your Own Business

The list can go on and on. 

Most importantly, in order to begin the debt paying process, you have to commit to the process and not give up.

Motivation is key, that’s why it helps to first identify why you truly want to be debt free. This will help you focus more on achieving your goals.

Reasons to Get Out of Debt

We have to break the mentality that having debt is okay. 

When we have debt with creditors, it comes at a price. 

Sure, lenders may sell you on the idea that you can get what you want now and all you have to do is pay a small minimum payment on it every month but it’s all deception. 

Interest. It can work for you or against you. 

If you borrowed money from banks then it’s working against you! If you invested the money then usually interest is working in your favor. 

So let’s see why it’s so important to get rid of debt, especially the ones with high interest rates.

For example, as mentioned above I had 8 credit cards totaling $31,511. 

If I paid the minimum payments on all cards and only paid $1,200 a month at a 28% interest rate, it would take 42 months to pay with an additional interest of $17,752. 

So it went from what I owed of $31,511 to $49,263 over 42 months. That’s a ridiculous amount of money to be paying to banks. 

The scary part about having debt is the more you have of it, the larger the interest grows against you. Resulting in longer pay off times and more money spent paying interest on these loans. 

Having lots of consumer debt can be overwhelming as the monthly payments keep growing and growing. At some point it’ll feel suffocating. 

That’s why it’s so important to tackle debt as soon as you can, before it gets a hold of you and your life. 

We’re Taught That Having Debt is Normal

We live in a society where we’re bombarded with ads, movies, shows, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook where there’s a lot to be envied about.

People having the time of their life on vacations, driving the best cars, having the nicest clothes, pampering themselves at salons, having the best tech or equipment. 

Society tempts us to go and buy the things we want like NOW and don’t worry about paying it back right away. 

This is why Americans have $13.86 trillion dollars of consumer debt

Americans in Debt

According to Nitro College,

  • Baby Boomers: 80.9%
  • Generation X: 79.9%
  • Millenials: 81.5%

Crazy isn’t it? How did this society get to that point where more than 3/4 of the population has some form of debt? 

Unfortunately, I’m part of the Millenial statistic. But you know what, I’ve decided to finally do something about it. What about you? 

It’s never too late to start your own debt journey to reach financial success. With the right mindset and persistence, you can achieve any goal you set your mind to. 

Don’t you think it’s finally time to take control over your life and money? 

If you’re ready, let’s check out how to get started on your way to financial freedom!

Step 1 – Creating Your Plan

Have you ever gone to a new destination without a map or directions? No right? You need a plan, directions, or a map to get you where you’re going. To reach and attain your goal of paying off debt, you need a plan and guidance to get you there.

First you need to get an idea of what you’re working with by listing all your debt and use budgeting as your road map to help you achieve the debt free life.

List Your Debt

This is the first step in this process and very important baseline. It was the first thing we did to get this ball rolling.

My husband and I sat down and listed ALL our debts. We had:

  • 8 credit cards = $31,511
  • 1 Car Loan = $2,439
  • 2 Medical Loans = $236
  • Student Loans = $72,216
  • 1 Personal Loan = $10,827
  • 1 Personal Loan from Family = $10,000
  • Total = $127,229

My mouth dropped to the floor and I almost gave up right then and there. 

Words can’t describe what I felt, the feeling of hopelessness, overwhelming, anxiety, and stress all bunched up into one when I saw that $127,229 number. 

So one key factor that helped us move forward was to not fixate on that number. Just look at what’s ahead and focus on one thing at a time. 

It’s like when someone is walking a tight rope or in a high place, people always say “DON’T LOOK DOWN…”. Why? Because if you look down, you’ll freak yourself out! If you look down, the fear or terror will petrify you!

So..if you’re planning on going forward with your own journey, get an idea of everything you owe excluding the mortgage and don’t stress about the total. 

Remember, it’s just a number. It doesn’t define who you are. All that matters is what you decide to do from that point forward. 

The first step is very simple. It shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes to do. 

List all your debt from the smallest balance to the biggest balance, excluding your home mortgage. Debt will consist of credit cards, store cards, car loans, medical loans, personal loans, student loans, pretty much anything you owe. 

The sample above is how all the debts should be listed. It should include all debt balances listed from the smallest to largest amount.

This list is so important because it serves as your map and guide. It will show you exactly what debt you need to tackle. When you see the total amount of debt don’t panic. You’ll get through it. 

Next is the backbone of the entire process and will help ensure you stay on track and take control of your finances!

Create a Budget

Budgeting is the most vital step of the debt paying process and will give you the directions to get you to your goal.

Creating a budget will allow you to take control of your money. Directing the money you earn to go exactly where you want it to go. 

The budgeting method I use is called the Zero Based Budgeting System where you plan your expenses based on your monthly income. The ideal zero based budget will have a zero balance because you gave each dollar an assignment for the month. See example below.

Essentially, a budget allows you to keep track of your money every month.

The amount of assigned money should equal the amount of income.

In the example above, the income of $4,000 is equivalent to all the expenses of $4,000.

A budget is a plan set by you to assign each and every cent to where you want it to go.

Technically, savings is not an expense but you are planning the income to go to that category so for simplicity purposes, it falls under your expenses.

Tip: Budget’s may not be perfect every month, unexpected expenses occur. So adjust accordingly!

Budgeting will allow you to see exactly where all your money is going and it will also help you save for future expenditures such as trips, weddings, emergencies, etc.

Most importantly, budgeting will help give you an idea of how much extra money you will have (after all necessary expenses) left over to throw at your debt!

Budgeting needs to be done on a monthly basis so it helps keep you on track of your financial goals and help pay off debt. We started budgeting back in September 2018 and still continue till this day. If it weren’t for budgeting, we wouldn’t have been able to pay off over $100,000 in 24 months.

RELATED:

How to Budget Your Money for Beginners

Alright, now that you have all the right tools to start, you need to build a nice little cushion before throwing all your money at the debt. 

Step 2 – Build Your Emergency Fund

Emergency Fund- My Financial Hill

Having a nice emergency fund will ensure you have a cushion in case something unexpected comes along like becoming jobless or getting injured. You can never predict the future so it will be necessary to have something in place to be prepared for emergencies. 

After a proper budget, you’ll be able to see if there is extra money left over. 

Before throwing 100% of that extra money you found in your budget at debt, save 50% of it towards an emergency fund if you don’t have one already. 

Why, you ask? 

No one can predict what tomorrow will bring. 

Anything can happen

You may feel like your job is the most secure but in all actuality, do you know 100% something won’t happen that can cause you to lose your job or get injured tomorrow? 

What will happen to you and your family if you lost your job or got hurt?

I remember when I was a little girl, my grandfather worked in construction. One day he didn’t come home after work. The next time I saw him, he came home with crutches. 

Turns out he fell off a scaffolding and caused him to injure his hip preventing him from working that job ever again. 

It’s a pretty severe situation but things can happen and you can never be too sure of what tomorrow brings. 

So please, put money towards a savings account until you have enough where you feel comfortable in case anything were to happen. Aim to get your 1 month of expenses saved as soon as you can, then shoot for the ideal 3-6 months worth of an emergency fund. 

Have your emergency fund grow interest

For emergencies, it’s always a good idea to have cash either in your checking or most preferably a high interest savings account. That way, if anything goes south, you can pull money out immediately.

With the economy the way it is now, savings rates are going down. Looking around, the highest interest rate savings account I found was for Axos Bank a part of Nationwide. They’re offering 1.05%.

It’s an equivalent of gaining $105 a year with a savings of $10,000 or $536 after 5 years.

Put your money in a High Yield APR Savings Account from Nationwide / Axos Bank. They’re offering 1.05% of interest which is the highest around. Sign up here at Nationwide / Axos Bank to lock in that rate.

Also, keep in mind that you generally don’t want to keep anything above a 6 month worth of savings in your savings. You may be able to accrue better interest else where like mutual funds or other fairly safe investment choices.

How You Should Save For an Emergency Fund

When we first started our journey, we already had 3-6 months of expenses saved. Thanks to a Personal Loan we took out years prior. 

If you’re just starting out and don’t have anything saved, don’t worry. It’s all about taking one step at a time.

You can still pay off debt while saving for your emergency fund, why not? Just because you should save your money for emergencies doesn’t mean you should hold off on any debt payoff progress. 

Dedicate 50% of extra money you can scrounge up from your budget to your savings and throw the rest of the 50% towards debt. 

Let’s say after budgeting you found an extra $500. You would take $250 and put it into savings and take the rest of $250 to target your debt. 

Keep in mind that the sooner you can set up an Emergency Fund, the faster you can throw 100% of your money at debt. 

Having an Emergency Fund in place definitely helped speed up our debt paying process. We were able to throw 100% extra money we had and targeted towards the debt. 

How to Figure Out How Much To Save For an Emergency Fund

You may be wondering how much you may need to save up.

First we need to figure out the essentials of your lifestyle. Essential categories are what you need to get by without going homeless, hungry, or delinquent with bill payments.

Essentials include:

  • Rent/Mortgage
  • Utilities
  • Food
  • Car Payments
  • Insurances
  • Payments to Lenders (minimums)

Add all those payments up and multiply that by X3-X6. There you’ll have an idea of how much to save for the Emergency Fund. 

After having enough in savings to make you feel comfortable, you can now put 100% focus on paying off debt. That’s what we did and it’s worked for us. 

Read More: 5 Tips to Build Your Emergency Fund Fast

Now, here comes the fun part of this whole process. You ready?

It’s time to start crushing debt, here’s the method that we used and was so effective for us. 

Step 3 – Crush Debt With The Snowball Method

The one method we used to help pay off over $50,000 in 10 months was the Snowball Method. Basically, you start paying debt with the smallest balances first and work your way towards the larger balances later. This method was really effective for us, plus it provided a motivating element because you actually saw progress month after month. 

There is another method called the Avalanche Method. In this method, you would attack debt with the highest interest rates first. We had 8 credit cards when we started off and as you may know credit cards have awfully high interest rates of over 20% APR. Plus our credit cards had high balances so we didn’t really want to tackle something so large to start with. 

For us, the Snowball Method was our choice and it was awesome in helping us knock out our debt so quickly. Your situation may be different, maybe the Avalanche Method may work for you. Pick a method that you feel comfortable with and can stick with it for the long haul. 

After 10 Months of Using The Snowball Method We Knocked Out:

  • 8 Credit Cards = $31,511
  • 1 Car Loan = $2,439
  • 2 Medical Loans = $236
  • Chris' Student Loan = $4,987
  • 1 Personal Loan = $10,827
  • Credit score in the 800's 
  • Total = $50,000

So, this is how the Snowball Method works…

Snowball Method to Pay Debt - How To Get Out Of Debt With These 5 Tips - MyFinancialHill

You are essentially rolling your minimum payments over every month once you have paid off each debt. 

Let’s look at the example above.

The first month you budgeted and had an extra $300 left over. You paid off Credit Card 1. 

Next month, you will take the minimum ($40) you were paying for Credit Card 1 and apply it to the next item down the list which is Credit Card 2. Now you will have $40 more to throw at Credit Card 2. Let’s say you were able to pay off Credit Card 2. 

The next month, you will roll over the $40 from Credit Card 1 and $50 from Credit Card 2 to the next item which is Medical Loan. Now you will have an extra $90 to apply towards the Medical Loan. 

That’s why this method is called Snowball Method. Once you pay off each debt item, you take the minimum payments and it keeps rolling over to the next debt item essentially growing in size. The further you get along this process, the larger the amount of payment you will have to apply to the next debt.

By the end of the 10 months of applying the Snowball Method, we had a rollover amount of $1,600! Now we apply that amount each and every month towards our 2 remaining debts consisting of 1 student loan and 1 personal loan from family. 

For us, the Snowball Method worked extremely well in helping us crush our debt. Make your own Snowball debt list with the free printable HERE

Step 4 – Make Extra Cash $

This is also an important way to speed up the debt paying process. How fast you want to pay off your debt is totally up to you! Our method is “slow and steady wins the race!”

When we first started the debt payoff, I worked extra jobs and my husband picked up driving for UBER during evenings and weekends but we actually ended up burning ourselves out. We realized that busting out butts trying to make more money was making us even more stressed out.

It’s important to realize that your debt payoff journey is going to be a marathon. It’s going to be difficult to make it to the finish line if you burn yourself out.

That’s why, patience is key.

However, the rate at which you’d like to pay off all your debt depends on what you’re willing to endure. Some people take up side jobs to earn extra cash to use towards debt. That’s fine and all but make sure you’re not stressing yourself out in between.

To discover some new and easy ways to pick up a side gig, check out the article below.

RELATED: 16 Easy Ways To Make Extra Money Every Month

Besides picking up extra side jobs, there are quick and super easy ways to get a bit of extra cash in your pockets. I’ll be going over a couple of sites I use to earn some free cash on my free time without having to work extra jobs.

Make money with survey sites

Survey sites are a great way to earn some extra side cash. Some of these survey sites also offer tons of ways to earn points which can be redeemed for cash and gift cards.

Swagbucks

Swagbucks is a fun site that allows you to take surveys and polls, answer questionnaires, play games on your phone, shop online through Swagbucks’ site to get points, redeem points for buying certain food products, complete daily goals, enter competitions, try out apps, watch videos, sign up for free trial services, scan your receipts, and refer others.

I use Swagbucks to try out different games and earn points. So far, I’ve earned over $100 just by playing games and taking surveys.

For the points system, think of every 1,000 SB as $10. So in my case, I have 21,130 points which is $211.30.

Swagbucks- My Financial Hill

Sign up for free here at Swagbucks and earn a $10 welcome bonus to get started in earning some side cash.

Survey Junkie

Survey Junkie - My Financial Hill

Get paid to take surveys online with Survey Junkie. For every 1000 points you’ll get a $10 gift card or cash via PayPal. During your spare time you can complete these surveys to make some money here and there.

On top of simple surveys, they even offer phone surveys which can pay $5-$100, Test some products to make $5-$50, and join focus groups that pay anywhere from $25-$150.

Realistically, you can expect to make anywhere from $3-$10 a day. If you make $10 a day for 30 days straight, that’s $300 a month. Not too shabby.

Sign up for free here at Survey Junkie and start earning

Inbox Dollars

InboxDollar - My Financial Hill

InboxDollars is another survey site where you can take surveys/polls, watch videos, play games, search the web, get cash back by shopping online, and even get paid to clip coupons through InboxDollars. They have paid out over $50,000,000 so far to millions of members.

Ultimately, making money on the side will definitely help you along your debt free journey. If you make $100 more this month, that’s $100 more you can throw at debt. Most importantly, be patient and find the right work & life balance when you’re trying to get out of debt.

Besides earning a bit of side cash, there’s another super easy way to get more money each month. You can simply find savings which can leave you with hundreds of extra dollars per month.

Step 5 – Find Savings

In 10 months, we found over $10,000 in savings!

So what does that really mean?

$10,000 saved is $10,000 more in our pockets. That’s a lot of money isn’t it?

I’m going to show you how you’re able to find thousands of savings too.

Make adjustments in your budget

Have you started a budget yet?

If you track your spending for the month, you’ll see how much you spent for each category like food, utilities, and other expenses.

Depending on how much you spent, you can make adjustments.

For instance, in our budget we were spending nearly $1,000 on food. Just food alone!

You may be thinking woah, they must be a big family. Actually it’s just me and my hubby.

It turns out, getting lunch from restaurants or even those $5 Starbucks drinks all add up plus groceries.

Try tracking how much you spend on food, you may be shocked.

So, what we did to fix this spending was to eat at home more and pack our lunches instead. Now our food budget for the month is $500 (including restaurants and groceries).

To save even more money I use cash back apps to scan my receipts. So, I’m not a big couponer at all. I just don’t have the patience to sit there clipping coupons or scroll through circulars. That’s why I just stick with cash back apps to earn money back.

I use apps like Ibotta, Fetch Rewards, and Receiptpal to get cash back.

Ibotta

I love Ibotta, it’s so easy to use. Prior to a grocery trip, I’ll pick the items I plan to buy on the app then upload the receipt once I’m done shopping and get money back into my account. The money can then be redeemed via cash through Paypal or gift cards from Amazon and others

Sign up for free at Ibotta and use the code YDIGCFJ to get your $20 welcome bonus

Ibotta has all your main grocery stores like Kroger, H-E-B, C-Town, Aldi, Foodtown, Randalls, SHOP ‘n SAVE, ShopRite, Stop & Shop, Sprouts Farmers Market, Target, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and so much more.

ReceiptPal

Did you also know that you can turn receipts into points which turn e-giftcards? I save all my receipts now and scan it into ReceiptPal. It gives me points which I can later redeem for e-giftcards. Who doesn’t like free money?

Types of receipts to scan:

  • Gas receipts
  • Restaurant / fast food receipts
  • Shopping receipts from any store
  • Service receipts
  • Nearly any type of receipt

For every receipt you submit, you’ll get a punch for your card. If you scan 4 receipts, you’ll get 100 points. Once you fill up 5 cards, you will get multiple entries into their sweepstakes for $250. Also, Receiptpal will give you random chances to get entries for their sweeps.

Points System:

Level 1 – 2,200 points = $5 Amazon gift card

Level 2 – 4,000 points = $10 Amazon gift card or 9,250 for a $25 Amazon gift card

Level 3 – 17,250 points = $50 Amazon gift card or 32,250 for a $100 Amazon gift card

Try ReceiptPal, it’s free to sign up plus you’ll start earning towards your Amazon gift cards.

Fetch Rewards App

Fetch-Rewards My Financial Hill

Fetch Rewards is another easy app you can use to earn cash back to redeem for gift cards or magazine subscriptions. Fetch Rewards has over 256 brands that they work with. For instance, if you went grocery shopping and bought anything from brands like Tropicana, Cheerios, Hellman’s brand, and over 250 others, you’ll get points when you scan your receipt.

Once you get enough points, you’ll redeem them for gift cards at Amazon, Target, and others or get free yearly magazine subscriptions.

Another great feature about this app is they accept non-grocery item receipts too. However, you’ll get most of your points with your grocery receipts.

Get free gift cards to give out for birthdays or holidays and you don't have to spend a dime. 

Use the code 7JKFH when you sign up to Fetch Rewards and you’ll get 2,000 Fetch Points ($2.00 in points)
You can also refer others and earn 2,000 points ($2) yourself and your friend/family will earn 2,000 points ($2) as well.

Negotiate, switch, or cancel

Another way to get some major savings is to take a look at how much you’re paying for certain services.

For instance, did you know that you can find a different electric provider that will slash your bill in half?

That’s what we did. With a little bit of googling, you can shop around for different electric companies.

Some companies will also negotiate with you depending if they have promotions going on, it’s always worth a try.

Bills you need to evaluate:

  • Negotiate or change energy providers

  • Shop around for cheaper car, home, flood, and life insurance

  • Shop for cheaper home and cell phone plans

  • We saved $1,764 a year just by switching our cell phone carriers from Verizon to Cricket Wireless. The strangest part was that my service worked a whole lot better when I switched. We pay $80 a month for two lines, unlimited data, unlimited text, unlimited calls, plus my hubby got a free smart phone when he came on to Cricket. I was also able to switch my iPhone over from Verizon to Cricket.

Cricket Wireless

Use this special link to get $25 off your first month

  • There are also other cellphone companies like Metro PCS and Boost Mobile stores which all offer great rates at very affordable prices, check them out.

  • Cut cable without really cutting it out

  • Cable TV was something I didn’t want to part with. I love my reality TV shows, don’t judge! Guess what? We were able to cut the cable with our internet/cable provider but still stream our favorite channels with something called Philo. Our internet cable bill went from $152 down to $55 ($97 a month or $1,164 a year in savings) and we don’t miss any of our favorite shows.

  • To use Philo, all you need is internet and a streaming device like a RokuAmazon Firestick, or Apple TV.

  • Overall, there really is not much to dislike about Philo, it’s basically the same as having cable but at more than half the cost. Going with Philo has been one of the best decisions. There’s no reason to give more hard earned money away to companies for no reason. Check them out, you won’t regret it.

Philo

Cable TV alternative

Pros

  • Has 61 popular channels including A&E, AMC, Animal Planet, BET, CMT, Comedy Central, Cooking channel, Discovery, Food Network, Hallmark, HGTV, Lifetime, MTV, Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, TLC, Travel, VH1, and much more.  

  • If you follow a particular show, Philo is going to have all the previous seasons on demand.

  • Live stream your channels just like cable.

  • Ability to fast forward through commercials just like cable.

  • Unlimited DVR space.

Cons

  • No local channels (need to use a free streaming service called  Locast.org for local channels.

Streaming service that lets you watch your favorite channels live, all seasons, plus unlimited DVR just for $20 a month.

Sign up for free here at Philo and try it free for 7 days. (That’s what I did before cancelling the cable)

  • Cancel unused subscriptions

  • Are you paying monthly for subscriptions or services you haven’t used in months? Maybe you’re better off saving some money and get it canceled. This can save you hundreds in the long run. Some subscriptions and memberships to look into are:

  • Gym memberships

  • Unread magazine subscriptions

  • Monthly Makeup boxes

  • Monthly goody boxes

Stop being impulsive

This is one huge factor that can keep you from saving a lot or makes you spend tons of money.

Have you ever felt a little down and decided to go on a shopping spree to lift your spirits? It makes you feel better for the time being but you don’t realize how it’s impacting your wallet.

Or how about when you’re shopping at Costco and you see a deal for that large screen TV so you decide to buy one even though you don’t truly need it at the moment.

Yes, we’ve all been there.

This is really an important part to keep more of your hard earned money in your pockets.

Next time you go shopping, try to put those blinders on and stick to what you were planning to buy.

It’s funny, my husband used to always say I needed those horse blinders because I would always wander off to buy other things we didn’t need.

Tips to stop being impulsive:

  • Shop with a list

  • Always second guess your purchases

  • Buy what you truly need

  • Create savings funds for things you want to buy later

To get out of debt, you don’t have to never buy the things you want. It’s actually all about timing.

Our motto is to get out of debt and have more money in your pockets without having to sacrifice.

So that means, if you want that $1,000 TV, $500 bag, or $200 shoes then go for it! But, save up for it instead of buying it on the spot when you feel like having it.

You can still have what you want but you’ll have a plan for it instead of being impulsive.

Read More: 95 BEST MONEY SAVING TIPS TO START NOW

Have Fun Along The Way…

It’s been 10 months now and it feels as though paying off over $50,000 so far has not been as bad as I thought it was going to be.

It’s all about implementing the right strategies. 

Acknowledge your debt, create a budget, set up an Emergency Fund, use the Snowball Method or Avalanche Method to pay debt, make extra money, and find savings where you can. All these tips can also help you get on your way to knocking out debt too as it’s worked for us. 

Most importantly, don’t let paying off debt consume your life. Sure, the more intense you want to be with it the faster you’ll get out of debt. It’s totally up to you how to handle that task. 

It’s important to know that becoming debt free may not happen overnight but that’s okay. It may have taken years upon years for all that debt to stack up so it’s probably going take a bit of time to get rid of it. 

The key to keep pushing through the process is to find your own balance. It doesn’t mean you have to give up all your favorite things in the world just to reach this goal. 

It’s about being mindful of how you’re handling your money now. If you still want to go on vacation, go for it! But with budgeting, you’ll see how it’ll affect your progress. 

We still make it a point to go on vacations. Now, we use travel cards to score free flights, hotels, and a cruise. We’re not getting ourselves into debt anymore, now we use only 1 credit card for all our expenses and pay it off in full. This is possible because now we’re being responsible with credit. 

You can find out how we’re able to score free trips now. Have credit work for you instead of against you. 

Related:

Las Vegas Trip on a Budget with Free Flights

How We Got a Free Cruise

How to Spend Only $200 for an Entire Cruise Trip

Remember, to come out successful on this journey, don’t deprive yourself of having fun and treat yourself once in a while, it will help you reach the finish line!

Check out my latest debt progress…

Related:

November 2020 $102,085 Paid in 26 Months

October 2020 $101,059 Paid in 25 Months

September 2020 $100,479 Paid in 24 Months

August 2020 $90,479 Paid in 23 Months

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