We all love saving money – it’s a sense of achievement for us in unique ways. A company might save a million dollars on a deal or I may save $10 at my next grocery store purchase – both are savings at the grass-root level.
Minimize The Effort
Initially, you may try to juggle around various ways to “potentially” save money but in that you waste a lot of time and don’t really get that far. Once you understand where savings make a significant enough impact, you start realizing tricks to minimize your time spent but maximize your savings.
Time and money are both fungible. What that means more time spent towards one activity leaves you with lesser for another. Hence prioritization is key.
If watch Netflix excessively, you have that much less time to go running or any other activity. It’s the same with money. So if you discover a way to save $10 off a $100 purchase at no additional expense or effort required, it makes sense to implement that. $10 off every $100 (required) purchase you make can quickly add up and that’s when you really start saving – all with minimal effort.
Maximize Your Cashback
While I am a proponent of Reward Points and getting more out of them towards travel, I also understand the value of cold hard cash – instant gratification. Despite me using mostly point earning cards, I used to use cashback cards which when used correctly gave me a lot of value (same works with point earning cards too).
That being said, the thought process with cashback is to achieve the following:
- Leave no money on the table
- Do not put in more effort than what you normally would
- Not buying more than what is required
- Not get locked into systems (airline gift cards or in-store credits)
Initial sign-up bonuses are what make it worth joining something as their is value to be had. However your continued usage is what will determine how much you actually end up saving.
Keeping those in mind, here are some common ways I try to save money whenever possible – and it’s nothing to be ashamed off.
Many of us don’t own cars and sometimes may need a taxi to take us somewhere if all other options have been exhausted. While a taxi ride may seem expensive (and trust me, sometimes they are), why not save $2 everytime on the first three bookings you make!
Just like Uber, you can get $10 off in your first two rides with Lyft. I have personally found Lyft better because based on your rating (as a passenger), you get more discounts. I constantly got 10% off ride bookings whenever I (seldom) use Lyft.
This app allows you to link your Uber and Lyft account for free rides. Their goal is to limit/end drunk driving so they offer bonus rewards for riding to/from bars/restaurants (or nearby area) – but that doesn’t mean you have to drink to get a cheaper ride!
You get 250 points ($0.50) per cab ride. Plus every 5000 points earned can be redeemed for $10 by transferring out to your bank account. The sign-up and promo bonuses are worth $10.
If you shop regularly at Walmart or Target, pay using a gift card. You can get up to 2% discount on gift cards on Raise. Referral bonus of $5 on your first gift card purchase.
Register on Ebates and add the extension to your browser (chrome). This is a one-time action. Every time you visit a website (like Macy’s) on which Ebates has an offer, you will see a notification to activate cashback (6% on Macy’s). Simply click on it and you’re good to go. Signing up will earn you $10 and at the end of each quarter, you will receive a check in the mail with all your collected cashback.
Once you have everything set up, the process would be:
- Go to Raise.com
- Click on the Ebates “activate cashback” notification
- Buy a gift card
- Shop as you normally would
- Redeem the gift card while checking out
Additionally, what I also recommend is to check if you have a credit card that earns additional cashback on grocery store/gas station purchases. You can buy gift cards from there too if you’d like. Recommended credit cards: Discover IT and Chase Freedom.
Link your card which you use for paying at restaurants and let it accumulate cashback. Pei has thousands of merchant partners that offer a variety of cashback amounts on purchases. Eg. CVS and Starbucks have 1%, Dominos 1.5%. If there’s a national chain of restaurants, it’s probably on Pei. (If you have a Chase credit card such as the Freedom Unlimited, be sure to check out Offers on the App to see if you get more cashback there).
Use LINK and use code: p7u67n to receive $15 back on your first purchase.
Cash App Debit Card
If you are a frequent coffee drinker, purchase groceries at Wholefoods or eat out often at Chipotle/Chick-fil-A you may want to save more everytime you buy something. To learn more, continue reading here.
If you wish to get the App, you may use this LINK and receive $5 for signing up.
There are many ways to maximize the cashback on every purchase you make – learning them early on will help you save a lot of time and money long term.
Many cashback credit cards offer ways to redeem the earned cashback with higher returns as offered by Discover. I cover more on that here.
Cost-benefit analysis is an integral part of good money management and when you can realize your returns in either cash you save or receive (back), you know you’re on the right track.
If you have additional ways you save money, feel free to comment down below and I’ll cover them in future articles.
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Article contains content provided by Shashank Chandra and Dwarkanath Prabhu
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