Would you be interested in learning some painless savings tips for everyday items? Well, this article has you covered.
Why we trim
There are many ways to save money. Some advocate for spending less by buying fewer lattes and avocado toasts, while others advocate for various financial diets such as a cash diet. These methods, while proven useful for some, are not the best for me personally. I love my occasional latte and avocado toasts, and, let’s be honest, credit cards are so much more convenient!
However, over the years, I have used some pretty neat strategies that helped me save money by trimming unnecessary spendings. Trimming these spendings are painless because I barely even notice them. Below are some of the most useful tips and tricks that I hope you can use in your life, too.
My tips for painless everyday savings
1. Update your mortgage payment schedule
- The tried-and-true wisdom is to get bi-weekly payments instead of monthly. By doing so, you are effectively tricking yourself into making two extra payments a year. This approach can save you thousands of dollars on interest in the long run.
- Many banks and mortgage brokers also allow lump sum payments that are applied directly against your principal. Please take advantage of them if you can. Also, don’t wait till end of the year to make one lump sum payment, as interest is calculated on a daily basis.
2. Check your Internet usage
- Many people erroneously believe that unlimited internet is the way to go, but if you check your usage reports, which are readily available via your service provider, you may find that your regular usage routinely falls within the upper limit of a standard package.
- This happened to my parents. Upon some casual checking of their Internet usage, I found that they didn’t even spend half of the bandwidth of the smallest package every single month, but they were on an unlimited package! I switched the Internet package right away for them with just a phone call to the service provider.
- Yes, you do have to put up with the wait on the phone (I know, it is painful), but in exchange for saving a few hundred dollars a year? Totally worth it.
3. Use credit cards to your advantage
- There are thousands of credit cards in the market with different rewards enticing you to spend. Use the credit cards that best suit your needs.
- For a beginner user or a single user purchasing only for him or herself, I recommend getting a cash-back credit card with no annual fees. These cash-back credit cards sometimes offer different rates of rewards depending on spend categories (e.g., recurring bills, restaurants, pharmacies, etc). For example, if you are someone who loves to eat, make sure you sign up for one that offers a high rate of return on restaurants.
- There are also some credit cards with annual fees in exchange for higher cash back/rewards/perks. These credit cards may be worthwhile if you are a big spender (e.g., purchasing for your entire family of four). However, before you commit to it, please make sure that you do the calculation first. You want to make sure that the reward value will for sure outweigh the annual fee. You may use my spreadsheet to find out if the annual fee is worth it.
- Note that you should refrain from using credit cards if you believe they will lead you into consumer debt. The small 1% or 2% cash back is nowhere near the 20% interest you will have to pay if you can’t pay off the balance.
I hope you find the above painless everyday savings tips and tricks helpful. Please share in the comments below if you have any other tips to share with the community at large.