Okay let's talk about being smart with our money, shall we? We are living in a magical time where our some of our most common problems are being solved with a little technology. My thoughts are, why not use this technology in our favor?
One problem that I have is being able to save money and keep it in my savings. Due to my saving problem, or lack there of, I've found a few sites I personally use to save myself money every single month. And today, I am going to share those sites with you! Here are five sites guaranteed to save you money every month.
I've said this before, and I will repeat it; The biggest mistake I made with Ebates is not using it sooner. But let me tell you how Ebates will save you money. Ebatesis a cash back app that makes sure you get your money's worth. Every site I go to on Ebates has a cash back percentage. For example, I bought flowers from FTD on mother's day. I ended up spending $60 after their sale price. But the next week, I was paid $15 back from what I spent. Pretty cool huh? They have hundreds of websites they work with. All you have to do is sign up for a free account with Ebates and start getting money back.
One part that I did not like about Ebates is having to remember to go to their site when I want to shop. It definitely has to be a habit in order to see the benefit. But, I learned that they have a chrome extension which made a huge difference. I just added the extension to my browser, and now I just do my regular thing. If I end up on an Ebates approved site, I get a pop up with the percentage I get back. I love Ebates and am so glad I've found this site that helps me save on my purchases every single month. You can sign up for Ebates for free here.
I know that nobody likes the B-word (budget) when it comes to saving money. But being able to keep track of your money is the first step in being able to save you money. I like Learnvest because not only is their tool free, but they focus on the 50/20/30 guideline. If you've never heard this term before, no worries. I had never heard of it either until my older sister told me about it. So I thought it was pretty amazing that this is their core strategy when helping you create a healthy budget.
The 50/20/30 guideline means that no more than 50% of your income goes to fixed costs such as your mortgage, utilities and phone bills. This means any costs that stay the same every month for the most part. The 20 percent goes to your financial goals which can include saving and paying down debts. The last 30% goes to flexible spending. These are for having fun, getting gas, and getting your hair done. These are expenses that could vary from month to month.
Now if that seems like a lot, Learnvest makes this EASY. You just sync up your accounts and spend a little time the first couple of months categorizing your purchases. After you do that, you will have a clear picture of where your money is going and how close you are to staying on budget. I know this website is a little different than the others on this list, but using Learnvest has absolutely helped me out regarding saving more money. You can sign up for a free account here.
I LOVE AMAZON PRIME!!! OK, now that I' ve got that out of my system let me share why. I shop on Amazon a lot as do many people. But Amazon Prime makes it so easy to do so! I get free shipping always, and I know that anything I order will be at my door within two days. Now to the part where it saves you money, the shipping. I bought a french press online that costs $27.97. I have prime, so this was my costs. My friend bought the same french press, and she paid $39.97 for it. The shipping was a whopping $12! A prime member ship is $100 for the year. So if you buy something off of Amazon at least once a month, you are already saving money.
A prime member ship is $100 for the year. So if you buy something off of Amazon at least once a month, you are already saving money. But the added benefit is that you also get access to Prime music and Prime TV which are the equivalents of Spotify and Netflix/Hulu. If you are paying $12 per month for Netflix and $12 per month for Spotify premium, you could ditch those and get an Amazon Prime account and only pay $100 for the year for it. That's $288 you could save per year just from cutting Spotify premium and Netflix. That may not seem like a lot, but could you use an extra $288 in your savings? I know I could.
As if that were not reasons enough to get a Prime account you could also benefit from their other features such as:
Amazon Prime Now which is FREE two-hour delivery or scheduled delivery on over 10,000 items, from groceries to electronics and more. Plus, get free delivery from your favorite local stores. Available in eligible zip codes only.
Amazon Restaurants: One-hour delivery from popular restaurants for Prime members in eligible ZIP codes. Learn more at amazon.com/restaurants.
Prime Photos: Secure unlimited photo storage and enhanced search and organization features in Amazon Drive for you and the members of your Family Vault. For more information, go to About Prime Photos.
Prime Pantry: Access to Prime Pantry, where members can purchase and ship to addresses in the contiguous U.S. low priced grocery, household, and pet care items for a flat delivery fee of $5.99 for each Prime Pantry box.
Digit is another tool I personally use. This website links up with your bank account, and it monitors your transactions and puts a small amount into a savings account for you when you show. It just takes a dollar here and a few cents there. It pays attention to how much you spend and how often you do it as well as how often you are paid, so you never have to worry about it taking out a significant amount or over-drafting your bank account.
I've only been using this tool for a couple of months, and it has already saved me over $100. $100 I did not even notice was missing. It's pretty cool! One feature I love the most about this tool is that it sends me a daily text message letting me know what my bank balance is today and what it was yesterday. If the number is different, I can simply reply to the text with the word “recent, ” and it sends me over my last three transactions.
What I like about digit outside of the fact that it makes saving money super easy, is that it makes me feel like I am in complete control of my finances. Just having a convenient way to check my balance every day without having to log in somewhere is enough to make me feel like I know what's going on. You can set up a free account with digit here.
Last, but certainly, not least is a tool called Paribus. Paribus is a tool you sync up with your email account, and it tracks your receipts from purchases you made online. If the item you purchased let's say on Amazon, goes on sale a few days later, Paribus will contact them asking for the difference. They do not contact you until they have money for you.
I'll be honest, I've had this too; installed in my email since 2015 and have only had 1 case where they sent me cash back for a purchase I made. However, since this tool is as simple as creating a free account and that's it, I'd be crazy to not just sign up and let it do its thing. I still have it installed and am hoping for the day when I get cash back for something from both this tool and Ebates. Fingers crossed. You can sign up for Paribus here.
There you have it, the tools I use that save me money every month. And aside from the annual fee for Amazon Prime, they are all free! SO you have no excuse not to save a little extra cash each month. What are some of your hacks for saving money each month? Let us know in the comments below.