With the holiday season looming upon us, many of you are scraping for any spare change you can find. There are numerous tricks to save money and allocate that cash towards the inevitable festivities, travel and shopping expenditures that will ensue. Here are some painless ways to save here and there that’ll optimize your spending:
- Shop Smart
If you’re doing your shopping online, which most of us are these days, why not capitalize on the coupons, promo-codes and rebates that come plenty on the internet? Check out Ebates for your ecommerce needs. There are over 2,000 partnering stores on the platform that give you cash back deals and discounts. All you have to do is click on a participating retailer and it’ll take you directly to their site to shop. Once you’ve made a purchase, you get a specified percentage back.
- Save the Data
An iPhone 7 has recently dropped into the universe. You have fallen victim to using it even more than your old version, watching video after video, taking Snapchat after Snapchat and listening to music non-stop like there’s no tomorrow. This is one very easy and typical way to drain your data plan and up your phone bill. But there’s also an easy alternative that’ll save you money in this department. Try out T-Mobile’s Binge-On program if you’re the data-friendly type. It lets you stream as much as you want without even touching the data plan.
- Ditch the Cable
Cable is so yesterday. Video streaming applications—Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, Amazon Prime Instant Video—these are today’s media entertainment top dogs. You can save an exceptional amount of money by canceling your cable services and investing in a media streaming device like AppleTV, Roku or Google Chromecast. It’ll serve you with all the video streaming apps you need to get your TV fix. Plus, most large television networks have their own apps (think – HBO GO, Showtime Anytime, ESPN and CNNgo) that’ll let you view your favorite shows on demand or live stream directly from a video streaming device.
- Make Your Food
Eating out for lunch and going out for dinner is highly overrated when you look at it from a financial perspective. Make a conscious effort to pack your own lunch or cook at home for the majority of your meals. It’s a simple habit that’s beneficial to both your wallet and often times your health (and especially great for countering dreaded holiday weight).
- Cut the Bad Habits
Although curbing your smoking addiction may be painful and hard at first, it’s a guaranteed way to save an enormous amount of money. To add to that, consuming less alcohol, particularly at the bars, positively affects your wallet. And if you prefer to drink at home, try going wholesale or bulk. Heading to Costco to get beer for the holiday party or getting a fancy boxed wine (there are four bottles in one box!) will stretch your dime farther.
- Get a Credit Card that Caters to You
There are so many different types of credit cards out there. Pick one that suits your lifestyle habits and provide ways for you to save without even thinking about it. For example, if you travel often, eat out or like to shop (who doesn’t?), the Chase Sapphire Preferred gives your extra points for all these activities. You get extra points when using your card towards travel and dining out. As for shopping, the card lets you “Shop through Chase”—just click through to their participating retailers via the Chase Ultimate Rewards site for extra points.
There are so many ways to save that are quick, painless and effective. The aforementioned should get you started and on your way to spending money more efficiently and happily.