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OK, let’s talk about being smart with our money, shall we? We are living in a magical time where 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 thereof, I’ve found a few sites I use to protect myself money every single month. And today, I am going to share those sites with you! Here are five areas guaranteed to save you money every month.
I’ve said this before, and I will repeat it; The biggest mistake I made with Rakuten is not using it sooner. But let me tell you how Ebates will save you money.
Rakuten is a cashback app that makes sure you get your money’s worth. Every site I go to on Rakuten has a cashback 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 Rakuten and start getting money back.
One part that I did not like about Rakuten is having to remember to go to their site when I want to shop. It has to be a habit of seeing the benefit. But, I learned that they have a Google Chrome extension, which made a huge difference. I just added the extension to my browser, and now I do my regular thing. If I end up on a Rakuten approved site, I get a pop up with the percentage I get back.
If you are looking for a tool to invest, check out Ellevest. Ellevest is a digital investment advisor whose algorithms factor in gender differences in pay, career breaks, and lifespan. Another factor that set’s them apart is that they are a goal-based investing platform.
So you set your goals, and the system tells you how much you should invest to meet it on time. Their plans allow you to start saving money. You can have an emergency fund, save for retirement, and even do some investing.
The best part is that they offer a free goal-based investment plan with no obligations to invest with them.
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 on Amazon Prime that costs $27.97. My friend bought the same french press, and she paid $39.97 for it. The shipping was a whopping $12!
A Prime membership is only $100 for the year. So if you buy something off of Amazon at least once a month, you are already saving money.
An 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 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 use. This website links up with your bank account, 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 of 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 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 cashback 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.