Raise your hand if you think basic financial advice isn’t only important to know, but also incredibly fascinating. (I may not be able to see you through this screen, but I know you’re not raising your hand.)
And it’s true, unfortunately. We all have access to some easy, effective financial hacks- but we aren’t willing to listen. Because it’s boring? …Maybe. Talking finance can be repetitive, and at times- dull. Money market accounts? Sure. Low interest lines of credit? Whatever. Calculating monthly dividends on a certificate? Wake me up when it’s over.
With that in mind, I’ve researched high and low to produce a list of 6 unconventional hacks that can help to fatten your wallet up. Will you become a millionaire overnight? Probably not (If you do, I demand half!). But these minor adjustments can certainly save you some money.
When you’re at the bank or store, always ask for new bills. And the bigger, the better.
It has been reported that the physical appearance of money can actually change one’s spending behavior. With numerous tests conducted, it has been concluded that consumers tend to spend more with worn, old bills than with crisp, new bills. In addition, they were more likely to break a larger, worn out bill than pay the exact amount in crisper bills that were in lower denominations.
Call your car insurance agent.
This only requires a few minutes of your time, but can save you a pretty penny. When you call your auto insurance company, you can ask them about any sales or deals that are going on. Many of these companies have discounts that are not heavily advertised- you won’t know until you ask!
Avoid vampire charges.
No, this doesn’t meant that Dracula or Edward Cullen will be sending you monthly invoices. Vampire charges, also referred to as trickle charges, are what you pay to keep all of your appliances and electronics plugged in while you’re not using them. Yes- even though you’re not toasting a bagel at the moment, your plugged-in toaster is still costing you!
You should do a sweep throughout your house and check all of your appliances, chargers, computers etc. Make sure that these, when not in use, are all unplugged. Then check your next electric bill.
I purchased a power strip to plug a portion of my appliances into, which is fast and easy to turn on/off. I then noticed that my utility bill had decreased by $10-$15/month. ($120-$180/year) It adds up, right?
Delete your credit card number from your favorite shopping websites
Often, mainstream websites make purchasing far easier if you keep your credit card number stored on their website. Yes, it’s convenient, but it also makes it much easier to feed that online shopping habit of yours.
The solution? Simple. Just delete your credit card number from all of the sites that you frequently peruse, so that it becomes much less convenient to order. Are you still going to shop online? Sure- why not. But you’ll do it a lot less.
Stop grocery shopping without a grocery list
Buying groceries without a list is like entering a battle without a weapon. You WILL buy things you don’t need, and you WILL regret it.
When you visit your local grocery store prepared, with a list, you will stay on track. A list can help you to avoid those temptation items, staying clear of the candy aisle and (hopefully) avoiding those treats they shove in your face right at the checkout line. Buying from your list and only from your list will be a lifesaver for you and your wallet.
I saved the best for last: Dump Kool-Aid in your toilet.
You read that correctly. Empty a package of grape flavored Kool-Aid in the tank of your toilet and don’t flush it for at least an hour. Then, if you see purple water in the toilet bowl, you know that you have a slow leak, one that you can’t even hear. It’s wasting water and money, but can usually be fixed easily and cheaply- if you don’t wait.
Fun fact: The citric acid in the Kool-Aid also helps to clean the toilet!