Happy New Year! Yes, this is the second post for me of 2017, but itâ€™s still the beginning of a new year! Since many of us have resolutions, I thought some might share mine of getting better with finances this year. So because of that, I thought Iâ€™d share some of what Iâ€™ve learned so far about How to Save More Money with Little Effort!
I think all of us have seen the “52-Week Money Saving Challenges” like this one I found on Pinterest.
This is a cute idea, but there are some flaws… One, it requires attention and discipline to make these deposits. Two, it also requires either having cash and popping it in an envelope (and leaving it there), or making a really small bank account (and possibly paying fees for it).
The business (and even lifestyle) experts who are my mentors from afar all talk about automating things, and I totally agree! I wrote a blog post a while ago about how to save money and feel like youâ€™re playing a game. The principles still apply… So check it out!
But now I have a couple new things to add!
How to Save More Money #1:
One of my favorite apps is one I almost never consciously use - Acorns! Iâ€™d even maybe say Iâ€™m NUTS about it. (Get it? Bad jokes continue into 2017).
I donâ€™t know all of the details of how exactly it works, because I am working on being better with money, but hereâ€™s my elementary explanation. You tie your bank accounts to Acorns, and they round up your purchases into an account they invest. When you sign up, you decide how aggressive or conservative you want the investments to be, and over time, you earn more and more money - like you see in my account above! I can definitely tell you I havenâ€™t noticed a few cents here and there… Think like the software they used in Office Space, but with your control and stealing from yourself! ðŸ˜œ Start investing with Acorns today! Get $10 when you use my invite link*!
How to Save More Money #2:
Honey! This is starting to sound like a recipe! I saved a lot of money on my Save The Dates (side note: Did you know that people in wedding forums call them “STDs?” That is an abbreviation that confuses me and then makes me giggle like a 6th grader every time!). Honey is a browser extension that works whenever you are shopping online. When it comes time to check out, thatâ€™s where the magic happens! Honey scans the internet for coupons and then applies the discount code to your purchase, and it makes the cost go down! I magically got over 60% off my save the dates just by having the safari extension installed!
On top of that awesomeness, apparently Honey also keeps track of your savings and awards you with “HoneyGold,” which you can redeem in Amazon Giftcards. Yes, please and thankyouverymuch - all for shopping youâ€™re already doing! Click here to join Honey*!
Sorry, by the way, if you now have this in your head, but I have to be honest and say Iâ€™m not really sorry!
How to Save More Money #3:
Ebates. Yes, it is in that last post I mentioned a while back, but now Ebates has a browser extension, too, so you donâ€™t have to remember to search through their website/store list! The last flight I bought through Orbitz had a cash back via Ebates, and I wouldnâ€™t have even thought that I could use one discount site to buy something through another! Click here for Ebates if you ever shop online* - youâ€™d be surprised what youâ€™d find!
How To Save More Money #4:
Since we already took one stroll down memory lane for #3 and Ebates, I thought Iâ€™d bring Ibotta back to your attention, just because I think it is FUN! It makes saving feel like a scavenger hunt, and if we learned anything from last yearâ€™s Pokemon Go! craze, itâ€™s that game-ifying healthy things WORKS! Ibotta, however, is much less likely to have people wind up walking into traffic.
Basically, you do your normal shopping, then before you put all of your groceries (or whatever) away, open your Ibotta app and look at the store where you just shopped. You can check out the list of items with current rebates, and then compare it to what youâ€™ve bought. Whenever you see something you bought, you scan your receipt and scan the item, and you start accumulating money. Once you have a certain amount, they send it to you!
Well, thatâ€™s all I have for now! Have you tried any of these? Do you have any tips or links to anything similar that youâ€™ve tried and loved?
This absurd image is from my modeling portfolio from an 80s shoot in a sweet mansion in Milwaukee. I did my own hair and makeup, and the wardrobe was by Heidi Callaway (Style Storyteller), and the photography was done by James Conway.
ANYWAY, I am turning over a new method to my blogging madness this year… Instead of beginning each post with a narrative of why I am writing it, I am going to get to the good stuff… Let the cream rise to the top. And if you want to know WHY I am writing a certain post at a certain time, you can scroll past the meat (or healthy veggies, if youâ€™re a vegetarian) and get to the potatoes!
I saw a friend on Facebook post that it should be illegal to post a bunch of personal stuff with recipes - that the person who did a google search for the recipes doesnâ€™t care about the authorâ€™s life circumstances, and just wants to know how to cook the food she wanted. Since I have DEFINITELY felt that way in the past, I figured I should do the same… At the same time, though, I know that some people who are coming to read my posts are here because they are my friends, family, or have been reading my blog for a while, so they might actually be interested in my life. This new way of writing the posts works for all of us! ðŸ˜œ
So, hereâ€™s the potatoes!
I was considering doing an end of the year wrap-up, or some sort of declaration of goals for 2017, and I still might do that at some point, but I am not ready yet - mostly because I am still doing some soul-searching, but also because I want to do more DOING and less ANNOUNCING.
I will say, however, two things about why this post is coming at the time it is.
1. I have recently changed my attitude about money. When I was a kid, I had a really entrepreneurial spirit - my mom and several of her friends joke about back when I used to paint rocks and sell them. I also sold friendship bracelets, tons of Girl Scout Cookies, and the list goes on. I raised $80 (which was a lot for a 6th grader) to send to a Save the Whales Foundation (thanks for the inspiration, Free Willy)! Somewhere along the line, I got turned off by money. I felt guilty charging people for my makeup services, and never wanted to describe anything I do as selling, even to the point of not wanting to learn about how to best handle money and do what I can with what I have!
Since my interview with Danika Brysha, where she told me that making money is not selfish, but it is self care, I have been really trying to feel better about it… And then I did a coaching call with a branding coach who asked me to do a couple self-assessment quizzes that reminded me about the importance I place on excellence… And how having money is part of that!
2. As I mentioned, I want to do more doing and less announcing. I think one way that I can do more doing is to focus at one thing at a time instead of trying to do everything, so thatâ€™s why for right now, I am going to focus on MONEY! Two years ago, I enrolled in Dave Ramseyâ€™s Financial Peace University. I have yet to watch a video, and thatâ€™s going to change. Thatâ€™s where I am starting!
So, if youâ€™ve stuck around for the potatoes, what are you focusing on for 2017? What are your goals?
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*Disclaimer: All of the app/extension recommendations are affiliate links! It means if you decide to get the free app or extension by clicking that link, I will get a referral reward, which will help me with the costs of my blog, and now my podcast, too! I had no idea that there were so many costs associated with podcasts until I decided to have one, but it is a labor of love that has proven totally worth it! Thank you in advance for your support! <3