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It’s all getting a bit real on the money front this year, isn’t it?! So take a look at this extensive list of simple money hacks if you want to improve how you manage your family finances and feel more financially secure.
There are hundreds of money hack posts out there, so I have carefully researched and put this list together based on my own experience or the experience of people I know and trust.
If you act on the simple ideas I’m giving in these hacks, they will help make a massive difference to your family finances each month.
Cherry-pick from the money-saving hacks, budgeting hacks, and money-making hacks on the list to start improving your family finances immediately.
These hacks could save you thousands of dollars/pounds each year.
MINDSET: AIM TO SAVE MONEY EVERY DAY
Managing your money well is about having the right mindset toward money. I think the following quote sums it up nicely:
“Look after the pennies, and the pounds will look after themselves”
Never has a truer word been spoken.
However, there is a big difference between scrimping and being as efficient as possible with your money.
Feeling like you are in control of your finances because you are spending and using every penny wisely is much better than feeling out of control and frantically trying to cut back or to find you are flat broke without a plan.
If you are money savvy, you will understand how to save money and avoid overspending. You will also understand how to make your money work for you.
So, if you are ready to take control of your finances from today and make sure you are using your money as efficiently as possible, get ready to start reading through the list of money hacks I’ve put together.
40 AMAZING MONEY HACKS THAT COULD SAVE YOU THOUSANDS IN A RECESSION (2023)
I will start this list with a bunch of personal finance-focused hacks.
You can save hundreds of dollars/pounds if you employ some of these hacks wisely.
PERSONAL FINANCE MONEY HACKS
Have you ever thought about becoming a personal finance expert? No?! Well, if you are in a muddle with your money, that could be where you went wrong!
Everyone should seek to become a personal finance expert because every one of us needs to be able to manage our finances well.
Personal finance isn’t just about investing money. Instead, personal finance involves saving money and managing the money you have.
It includes budgeting, banking, your mortgage or rent, any investments, planning for your retirement (it WILL happen!) and estate planning.
This list of personal finance hacks will help you become financially savvy and make intelligent financial decisions that will give you and your family financial security.
1. MAKE PAYING OFF DEBT A PRIORITY
Always seek to pay off debt ahead of anything else to do with your family finances.
It is crucial to pay off high-interest loans (car loans, store cards, payday loans) and high-interest credit cards ahead of anything else. Even ahead of building up an emergency fund.
In general, it will always cost you more interest to make debt payments on money you have borrowed than you can make in interest from the money you have saved.
Of course, you will likely wonder if it is insanity not to have an emergency fund. But how about this?
How about you pay down all your loans and credit card debt? Then keep a credit card to use in case of financial emergency. You will also have less high-interest debt hanging over you.
Do you see how that makes so much more sense than having money sitting in a savings account when it could save you money by paying off debt?
This is particularly true in times of high inflation, where money in the average bank savings account loses value each month.
There are only two good reasons to avoid paying off debt as soon as possible.
- If the interest rate is so cheap (or free), it is less than the amount you earn in savings interest after tax. So, for example, if you have an interest-free credit card or have bought something big, like a sofa, on interest-free credit. Until recently, this caveat could have included mortgages, but the days of incredibly low mortgage interest rates are a fading memory.
- If the penalty for early repayment outweighs the money, you will save by paying the debt early. This can often be the case with mortgage deals. So check the terms and conditions carefully, then set aside that money until you are free to make the repayment without penalty – or use it to pay off another outstanding debt first.
Top debt-paying hack: Pay off debt at the start of each month rather than leaving it in your bank account until a random date further into the month.
2. BE SMART ABOUT SETTING MONEY GOALS
One of the best ways to get on track and stay on track with managing your family finances is to set yourself goals.
Go one step further than writing out a bunch of goals by setting yourself SMART money goals.
SMART goals done correctly can help you stay on track with actions and progress. For example, one study showed that 76% of participants who wrote SMART goals achieved their goals as opposed to 43% of participants who didn’t use SMART goals.
WHAT ARE SMART GOALS?
SMART goals encompass the following:
- S: Specific
- M: Measurable
- A: Attainable
- R: Relevant
- T: Time-based
So, an example of a SMART goal would be something along the lines of:
I want to save $6,000 in twelve months, so I will need to save $500 monthly.
Once you have set your goals, create a way to track your progress each month and make a calendar entry to update your tracker regularly.
Top goal-setting hack: Don’t overload yourself with financial goals. Simplicity wins every time.
Related: Everything you need to know about setting SMART goals for personal finance
3. CREATE A FAMILY BUDGET
If you want to be in total control of your family finances, you need to know where your money is going each month. The best way to do this is to create a budget.
Once you have a budget, you can track what is coming in and going out each month.
I have our family budget set up on a google sheet (pretty much the same as using an Excel spreadsheet). My family budget has the following sections:
- Monthly income
- Money going out regularly each month – council tax, utility bills, pet insurance etc
- Money going out regularly annually – car insurance, household insurance, road tax etc
- Money for essentials each month – grocery budget, essential kids’ clothing and school stuff, car fuel etc
The difference between our monthly income and money going out is the amount we have left over as a family each month to spend on non-essentials, to overpay on our mortgage, or to save.
Related: The beginners guide to creating a family budget
DO A WEEKLY BUDGET CHECK-IN
Of course, creating a budget isn’t a set-and-go job. You need to manage your budget actively. This is the only way you will make sure you stay on track with your family finances.
It is amazing how many husbands/wives/partners don’t speak to one another about family finances.
But if you have some serious money goals to achieve as a family, it is essential to include everyone responsible in a regular update meeting.
Even if you don’t, it is still vital to communicate effectively about your family finances.
So make sure to plan in time, either weekly or monthly, to look at the family budget.
The more everyone involved is aware of where the family is financially, the more you can work together to meet your financial goals and feel in control of your finances.
Start to understand your family’s spending habits, where you tend to overspend, and where you could make savings.
Top budgeting hack: Use a budgeting app if you don’t like spreadsheets. The most popular budgeting apps include Money Dashboard, Snoop and Emma in the UK | Mint and YNAB in the US.
4. USE A MINI-BUDGET FOR SHORT-TERM ISSUES
No matter how organised you are with your money, there will be times when something unexpected crops up.
This can easily make you panic and cause you to tear up your existing budget. However, there is a much better way of dealing with unexpected money issues.
Create a mini-budget.
Put together a budget that will see you through the issue until you can get back on track with your central budget.
Top mini-budget money hack: Once you have paid off all your debt (except for your mortgage), you can build an emergency savings fund. Scroll to point 6 for more detail.
5. SET EACH FAMILY MEMBER A MONTHLY ALLOWANCE
Setting a monthly allowance is a great way to get overspending under control.
Base a monthly allowance on what is left of your budget after you have accounted for the regular outgoings.
Set a monthly allowance for each family member who spends money each month.
It is a great way to make everyone get into a money management mindset. It will make them more mindful of spending and stop impulse spending and overspending.
6. BUILD AN EMERGENCY FUND
If there is one thing guaranteed in life, it is that nothing is ever guaranteed!
Your boiler might break down and need replacing. Your car needs a major overhaul, as may the roof of your house. Your freelance work dries up for a month. Myriad different things can and do go awry.
This is what an emergency fund is for. It’s a sinking fund for use in emergencies.
Money experts usually suggest that it is worth having money to cover three to six months of regular outgoings (mortgages, loans, utilities and subsistence costs) set aside in case of an emergency.
The one big caveat to starting an emergency fund is that it isn’t the greatest money hack unless you are free of all high-interest debt.
HOW TO CALCULATE AND BUILD AN EMERGENCY FUND
Use your budget to determine all your monthly family living costs.
Now multiply the figure you get to by either three or six. (Three for a conservative three-month emergency fund and six for a larger six-month emergency fund).
Now factor into your budget setting aside money each month to build the fund.
BEST PLACE TO KEEP YOUR EMERGENCY FUND
A high-yield/high-interest savings account is the best place to keep your emergency fund. This is the best way to inflation-proof money that is just sitting around.
As interest rates start to improve, it could be an excellent way to reach your total emergency fund goal sooner.
Opening a savings account specifically for your emergency fund is also the best way to separate the money. This way, you won’t be tempted to dip into it or dip into it accidentally.
7. AUTOMATE SAVING MONEY
Automating saving money is a nifty little money hack that doesn’t take much explaining.
Automating the process is the best way to ensure you set aside monthly savings.
Set up a regular payment from your checking account/current account into your savings account. Set it for the day after you’ve been paid.
MONEY SAVING HACKS
Now that we’ve looked at some of the best personal finance hacks let’s take a look at some awesome money-saving hacks.
Use these hacks to shave hundreds and even thousands off your annual outgoings.
I’ve got hacks for saving on shopping and groceries, utility bills and things around the house, and other general ways to save money.
8. STOP UPGRADING YOUR PHONE
Ditch the idea of keeping up with the Jones (or the Kardashians) by always having the latest mobile phone.
Phone companies will seduce you repeatedly with the lure of a phone upgrade. It may look like a great deal, but you are ultimately paying for that phone through your monthly contract.
Buy a phone instead and then aim to keep it for several years. Then, you can sign up for a SIM-only phone contract, which is much cheaper than a phone plan contract.
Worried you don’t have the money to buy a new phone? Try buying from a reputable second-hand phone website. Envirofone and MusicMagpie (Decluttr US) are two reputable places to start.
Or you could try Mozillion, which is a phone trading platform. So, you deal directly with the seller via the platform.
Use a price comparison website like MoneySupermarket (UK) to find the best SIM-only deals.
9. DO A SUBSCRIPTION AUDIT
Cutting back on subscriptions is one of the best money hacks there is. It can save you so much money.
It is easy to have an ever-growing list of subscriptions as more and more service providers switch to subscription-based business models.
They make it so easy to sign up that you can do it almost without thinking. However, there is a good chance you need to make yourself aware of how many subscriptions your family actually has.
Plus, it is very easy to set and forget about subscriptions, to the point where you don’t even realise that the monthly cost has increased.
This is why it is a great idea to do a subscription audit at least once yearly. It’s particularly good to do one in the current economic climate, where the cost of everything is increasing.
Kinds of services you might have a subscription for include:
- Streaming TV and cable
- Online shopping
- Small business digital tools and services
- Gym memberships
- Entertainment memberships
- Phone (mobile/cell)
HOW TO DO A SUBSCRIPTION AUDIT
Here are a few simple steps you can take to carry out a subscription audit.
- Identify all the subscriptions that you and your family have.
- Establish if there are any subscriptions that you rarely or never use and cancel them straight away
- Look at which subscriptions have increased in cost. If they have increased, consider finding a cheaper alternative by either downgrading or switching suppliers.
- Review your family budget and then take a call on which of the remaining subscriptions you can afford to keep and which to cancel
Top subscription audit hack: Most top budgeting apps have functionality that allows you to keep track of and audit your subscriptions. Money Dashboard, Snoop and Emma in the UK | Mint and YNAB in the US.
10. SAY GOODBYE TO CABLE
The days of Cable TV are numbered. There are so many digital streaming services around that there is no reason to pay a considerable chunk of money each month for cable TV.
If you want to be really radical, you could ditch TV services altogether.
If you grew up in the UK in the 80s and 90s, you would likely remember a kids’ TV show called Why Don’t You. The theme tune of this show included the lyric…
“Why don’t you just switch off the TV set and go out and do something less boring instead? Sitting at home watching TV, turn it off; it’s no good for me!”
I always found this rather bemusing as a kid. Why was a TV show telling me to switch off the TV?!
However, the fact remains that we are all capable of wasting a LOT of time sitting in front of the TV. And also a lot of money.
11. NEGOTIATE YOUR UTILITY SUBSCRIPTIONS EVERY YEAR
It is easy to let utilities, broadband, and insurance subscriptions roll on from year to year, even if you are sent an email telling you there will be a price increase.
And on that note, it’s almost guaranteed that there WILL be a price increase every year.
Save money by taking the time to either negotiate or find an alternative supplier to switch to.
Finding an alternative supplier offering a better rate is a great negotiating tool to use with your existing supplier.
It is better for suppliers to retain customers rather than having to find new ones, so many will cut you a deal or a better rate rather than lose you.
12. ACTIVELY RESIST IMPULSE BUYING ONLINE
Online shopping is so easy and so accessible that it is possible to do it without even thinking.
I went through a phase of this a few years back with Amazon, which led to a steady increase in spending that I wasn’t comfortable with every time our family credit card bill came in.
These days I give myself a mental pause before I make a purchase, even if it is just a small one. Because sometimes, those small purchases add up to create a big chunk of debt on your credit card.
For higher-value items, I often give myself a cooling-off period before making a purchase. This helps me make the wisest choice about whether I make the purchase.
I did this most recently with a pair of snow boots. I suddenly had a notion that I had to have. Well, here I am three weeks later, and I’ve realised that the snow boots I have are perfectly fine. Money saved!
13. DON’T STORE YOUR CREDIT CARD INFORMATION IN ONLINE STORE ACCOUNTS
Except for Amazon, I don’t ever store my credit card details in the accounts of any online stores I have.
Firstly, I’m not too fond of the idea that, at some point, I may stop using the store and forget to close down my account.
Secondly, I don’t want online shopping to be made any easier for me than it already is.
Taking time to put in my credit card details is a good pause to work out if I want to make a purchase.
14. BEWARE OF DYNAMIC PRICING WHEN SHOPPING ONLINE
Dynamic pricing sets the price of a product or service in relation to the demand for it. It works on both a macro level and a micro level. Let’s look at booking flights as an example:
Macro example: The price of flights to Spain goes up for travel during school holidays, particularly the summer holidays
Micro example: The price of flights to Spain goes up every time you revisit an airline’s website to research prices and flight times
We all realise that there isn’t much we can do about macro dynamic pricing other than change travel dates.
But it all starts to feel very underhand when the dynamic pricing gets personal. No one wants to feel panicked into buying something because the price is constantly rising.
I first noticed dynamic pricing at work when trying to book budget airline flights a few years ago. I’ve also experienced it with trying to book hotel rooms and tickets for major events like concerts.
Fortunately, there is a way to beat dynamic pricing.
HOW TO BEAT DYNAMIC PRICING
There are a few things you can do to beat dynamic pricing:
- Clear your browser cookies before you search and then again once you finish searching
- Don’t click ‘accept’ on the cookie message that pops up when you first visit a site.
- Use Incognito Mode (Google Chrome) or Private Mode (Safari) for researching and searching because the browser will reset every time you come out of it.
USE DYNAMIC PRICING TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
Prices on Amazon change All. The. Time.
Get around this by adding items you want to your Amazon watchlist and keep an eye on how the prices change.
Wait until you see a good price, and then grab it!
15. SHOP AROUND FOR DEALS
Do you find yourself returning to the same major retailers time after time? Unfortunately, this is not always the best way to find the best price for stuff.
It almost always pays to shop around to get the best deals, especially on higher-ticket items.
Take time to compare prices between retailers and discover if any retailers or brands have a promo code or coupon code you can use.
HOME MONEY HACKS AROUND THE HOME
Now for some money hacks you can use around your home to save money. Things you can do to avoid energy wastage and ensure that you are running your household as efficiently as possible.
We can all get very set in our ways, ignore bad habits or never find the time to deal with simple chores that could save us money or make sure we’re spending it wisely to heat and maintain our homes.
Here are some quick hacks that you can do straight away.
16. INSULATE YOUR HOME
Now more than ever, it is essential to do everything you can to insulate your home.
Whether you live in a climate where you need to cool your home or, like me, you live in a climate where you need to heat your home, there are always savings that you can make.
Draughts (drafts) are one of the leading insulation problems when trying to keep a home warm. So make sure you insulate against them.
The main areas that are likely to be causing draughts in your home include:
- Electrical outlets – sockets, switchplates, cable and phone sockets
- Doors – especially external doors
- Chimneys and fireplaces
- Attic and loft hatches
- Skirting boards/baseboards
- Wall or window-mounted air conditioning units
- Extractor fans and vents
- Cavity walls
The reality is that tackling all the draughts in your home could be incredibly expensive. So you need to weigh the cost of insulating your home versus the extra cost of energy if you don’t.
It is also worth researching to see if there are any grants or schemes to help with the insulation cost in your area.
17. CLOSE YOUR CURTAINS AND BLINDS
Use curtains and blinds to help control the temperature in your home.
Close curtains and blinds at dusk in colder months to retain the heat in your home. It is worth using thermal lining if you are planning curtain or blind updates.
Close curtains and blinds during the daytime on hot days to keep the heat out of your home.
18. MAKE USE OF HEAT FROM THE OVEN AFTER COOKING
You know how cooking in the oven heats the kitchen? How about making extra good use of that heat once you’ve finished cooking?
Leave the oven door open when you’ve got the food out instead of closing it.
This way, all that lovely heat will transfer into your kitchen and help to keep it warm whilst you eat. Just ensure it isn’t a hazard that someone will walk into – especially kids.
19. GET A SMART THERMOSTAT
I wholeheartedly recommend installing a smart thermostat to manage your central heating or cooling system.
We had a Nest thermostat installed when we had a new boiler put into our house five years ago. It makes such a difference to the way we control our central heating.
The thermostat works to make our energy usage as economical as possible, and we can also control the settings ourselves.
It also enables us to control the heating in our house remotely, so there’s no need to worry about freezing pipes or arriving home to an icy cold house.
Nest claims that households save, on average, 10-12% on heating bills and 15% on cooling.
We are particularly happy to have a smart thermostat whilst energy prices are so extortionately high.
Take a look at our Nest monthly energy usage report for October to see how well we can manage our energy usage.
20. ONLY USE YOUR TUMBLE DRYER AS A FALLBACK
There is nothing better than the scent of clean laundry from a washing line in the garden. With energy costs so expensive, there is also the extra joy of knowing that you’ve just dried your laundry for free.
You might think this is all well and good in the warmer months but useless in the winter. Well, that isn’t strictly true.
There isn’t a minimum temperature that you need to dry washing outside. However, you need to be aware of how much moisture there is in the air.
So even if there is snow on the ground, you can put your washing out on the line if the sun is shining.
But what if there is lots of moisture in the air? Well, there is another alternative to using the tumble drier, and that is using a dehumidifier.
We have had a dehumidifier for the last few years, mainly because we live in a big old Edwardian house with sash windows. Beautiful, but oh boy, is there a lot of condensation.
Anyway, I discovered that it is much cheaper to use a dehumidifier to dry clothes than to tumble dry them. It is a slower process, but as long as you have the space, it is a great money-saving hack.
The added benefit to using a dehumidifier is that you won’t have issues creating dampness and mould in a room, unlike if you stick wet clothes on radiators or unheated clothes racks.
Top money-saving hack: There will be times when you have to use your tumble drier. Make sure it is as energy efficient as possible by keeping the dryer vent clean and free from lint buildup.
21. CLEAN YOUR FRIDGE COILS
Keeping fridge and freezer condenser coils clean can increase their energy efficiency. However, the coils are usually out of sight on the back or underneath the appliance, so they can quickly become dusty and dirty.
This means they can’t do their job properly, which will cause the appliance’s internal temperature to rise. This, in turn, means it will have to work harder to get the temperature back down.
So it always pays to keep your fridge and freezer coils clean.
22. SWITCH TO LED LIGHT BULBS
The best way to save energy on lighting is to turn it off!! I lost count of how many times my parents told me to switch the lights off when I left a room as a child.
Years later, I find myself repeating the same chant to my family.
However, we all need electric light in our homes at some point! Which is where LED light bulbs come in.
LED light bulbs are so much more energy efficient than halogen bulbs. Up to 90% more efficient.
Halogen bulbs are so inefficient that the UK government banned their sale of them from October 2021, and they are no longer being produced and will be phased out in the USA.
If you still have a bunch of halogen bulbs in your home, it is well worth you ditching them and switching to LED bulbs instead.
It’s not often I advocate chucking stuff out that still has life in it, but this is one instance where it does pay to do so both as a money-saving hack and for the good of the environment.
FOOD AND GROCERY SHOPPING MONEY HACKS
Food is becoming increasingly expensive. It is scary how much the prices of things like butter and meat have increased in a year.
However, none of us wants cutting back on our grocery budgets to mean cutting back on eating well. So here are some simple hacks you can start using to ensure you’re spending well on food and groceries.
23. START COOKING FROM SCRATCH MORE
When I looked at our family credit card bill at the start of the autumn, I realised that we were spending almost as much money on eating out and takeaway as we were on our weekly grocery shopping.
In today’s economic climate, that didn’t even equate to extravagant meals at upscale restaurants. On the contrary, even a family meal at our local pub costs us a small fortune.
I genuinely understand how tempting it is to eat out at the weekends and get takeaway on nights when you don’t feel like cooking.
But I can also testify to how much money you can save by cutting back or cutting out takeaways and eating out.
Plus, there is the added benefit that you will likely be eating more healthily if you abide by my next money-saving hack.
24. START MEAL PLANNING
I am a massive believer in meal planning. It saves time, it keeps stress levels down, and it saves money. It also makes it much easier to avoid picking up your phone to order takeaway food.
I sit down to meal plan and put together our family grocery list once per week. I’ve been meal planning for several years now; read my tips on how to successfully meal plan for your family. Meal planning isn’t rocket science, but there are clever ways to do it that keep it simple but effective.
Once you have mastered meal planning, the payoff is well worth it.
We base our family meal plan on what we currently have ‘in stock’, what our schedules are for the week ahead and what would make a healthy, well-balanced set of meals for the week ahead.
I also make sure that weeknight meals are super quick and easy to prepare recipes. That way, I know we will always have the will to cook them, even if we are super tired.
I also ensure I include recipes I can cook in our slow cooker or air fryer. Both these time-saving kitchen gadgets are also super energy efficient.
I also go as far as to meal prep when I have the time. I batch-cook dishes that are easy to freeze, such as Shepherd’s Pie, stews and pasta sauces, so that it’s like having a ready meal when it’s time to cook.
Alongside ensuring that we always have all the ingredients and always know what we will cook, meal planning dramatically reduces food waste. It is one of the best ways to save money that I know.
25. WRITE A GROCERY LIST AND STICK TO IT
Writing a grocery list and religiously sticking to it is an excellent way of saving money each week.
Base your grocery list on the ingredients you need for the meals you plan to cook – see the ‘start meal planning’ hack above!
Then make sure to do a quick pantry and cupboard check for anything else you may need.
26. ALWAYS COMPARE UNIT PRICES
This is a powerful money-saving tip. Always compare the unit price of goods as opposed to the product price. This is the best way of establishing which product is the best value for money.
It’s not unusual to find that the cheapest product isn’t always the best value for money.
Most supermarkets include the unit price under the product description on the shelf label.
I go into more detail about comparing unit prices in How To Slash Your Grocery Bill.
27. SWITCH TO OWN-LABEL BRANDS
Have you ever thought about where own-brand supermarket products are manufactured? Well, many of them are manufactured by leading household-name brands.
So the question is, how much value do you put on having big brand labels in your kitchen over saving as much money as you can by buying own-brand items at the supermarket?! Or how much do you care about which toilet roll you have in your bathroom?
Own-label brands are generally cheaper than big brands because they don’t have to factor specific marketing costs into their pricing.
Plus, supermarkets can factor in economies of scale – lower transport costs and exclusive deals with manufacturers. So, in turn, they can pass the savings onto you, the consumer, and keep their profit margins high.
Top own-brand tip: Many supermarkets now have more than one own-brand. They have a premium range and a value range. Some have even more. So do compare unit prices and go for the best value.
28. TAKE A PACKED LUNCH AND USE A REUSABLE COFFEE CUP
I know, I know. Buying a delicious lunch can be a real highlight of the working day. And who doesn’t love that first coffee of the morning?
But the reality is that these are two of the costliest habits you are likely to have. Therefore they are two of the best to tweak if you want to save money fast.
If you need an incentive, work out what a year’s worth of bought workday lunches is costing you. Then, do the same for your morning coffee.
Buy yourself a reusable coffee cup if you think you need help to ditch your morning coffee. Many coffee shops and cafés will offer you a discount if you take your cup. It’s better for the environment too!
29. BE FLEXIBLE WITH WHAT YOU EAT AND WHEN
Don’t worry; I’m not suggesting going down the route of eating bugs – well, not yet! However, there are things you can do to adjust the way you eat as a family that will help bring costs down.
- Eat less meat – how about doing a meat-free Monday?
- Switch to cheaper cuts of meat
- Buy seasonal fruit and vegetables – this is also good for the environment.
- Buy frozen food rather than fresh – it’s usually frozen at the source, which means it can retain more nutrients than ‘fresh’ food that has travelled miles.
I’ve got way more tips on saving money on groceries in How To Slash Your Grocery Bill. But these ideas are a great start.
WELLBEING MONEY HACKS
30. SAVE ON GYM MEMBERSHIP THROUGH HEALTHCARE
Did you know that some healthcare providers offer discounts on gym memberships?
It varies from provider to provider, but it is well worth checking your policy, whether it’s a personal policy or a company scheme.
31. BUILD EXERCISE INTO DAILY LIFE
Daily exercising has so many benefits beyond simply getting fit. Although getting fit and staying healthy is a big one.
Building exercise into your daily life that doesn’t cost you any money brings an even more significant benefit to your money-saving efforts.
Here is a list of the ways that daily exercise could save you money:
- Save money on transport costs if you walk, run or cycle.
- Save on healthcare – researchers from the American Heart Association found that exercisers saved money on everything from prescription drugs to ER/A&E visits and hospitalisations.
- Save on prescription charges.
- Save on health insurance and life assurance.
- Fewer days off sick – critical if you are freelance, self-employed or a contract worker.
- Spend less on clothes instead of yoyoing up and down in clothes sizes!
Add to these savings benefits the fact that exercise is good for your mental health, and there is no excuse not to make daily exercise a thing! Read 5 Brilliant Ways To Build Exercise Into Daily Life for more tips.
32. MAKE MONEY FROM DECLUTTERING
Making money from clutter is something I am an expert at (if I do say so myself!!).
This is why it’s well worth reading Declutter and Make money to snag all my best tips for making extra cash from clutter. It’s one of the most popular posts on Mums Make Lists, and I update it regularly.
There are two main ways that you having a big declutter can help you financially.
Firstly, selling your unwanted stuff is a fast way to bring in extra money when you need it fast.
Secondly, ridding your home of clutter means you’re less likely to spend money filling it up with more stuff, and you will save time and money on cleaning. Think of it as embracing a minimalist lifestyle.
The other thing that could come from selling off your household clutter is that you discover you are great at sales, in which case you could start thrifting to make some extra money. I’ve written a guide on how to make money thrifting.
33. STAY AT HOME
Stay at home if you are up against it financially or want to make significant financial savings quickly.
Remove the temptation to buy stuff at the shopping mall or high street, swerve buying snacks and coffees, and watch a movie at home rather than paying a fortune for tickets and popcorn at the movie theatre. Likewise, spend less on travel costs.
You get the picture.
This tactic works particularly well in the colder winter months.
I will add the caveat that this doesn’t work well if you switch to buying stuff online instead! And as of 2022, you will also need to weigh this against the cost of heating or cooling your home!
34. UNSUBSCRIBE FROM STORE NEWSLETTERS
The primary purpose of store newsletters is to get you to spend money. They want your money!
There are two ways to deal with this. The first is to spend an hour or so unsubscribing from every newsletter.
The second is to set up the Promotions tab in Gmail. I have done this, and I swear I rarely look at a single promotional newsletter.
The benefit of using the Promotions tab is that if you do need to buy something, you can quickly go in and check if there are any special discount codes or offers.
35. USE THE ENVELOPE SYSTEM TO STOP OVERSPENDING
The Envelope System, created by famed money-guru Dave Ramsey, involves splitting your non-bills money into categories. It’s like making a mini-budget for each category.
The aim is to stop you from overspending by only spending what you’ve allocated into each envelope.
So you might have the following categories:
- Food and groceries
- School and kids’ stuff
- Family activities and entertainment
If you are old school, you can do this system using actual cash and actual envelopes.
Or you can set up your own system within your family budget spreadsheet.
Or you will find that some of the most popular budgeting apps have their own version of the envelope system that you can use. Money Dashboard, Snoop and Emma in the UK | Mint and YNAB in the US.
36. LEND, BORROW, HAND DOWN AND SHARE
Create a virtuous circle of sharing with family, friends and neighbours.
Get into the habit of asking to borrow expensive DIY or gardening tools ahead of buying them. Then, encourage others to invite you in return.
Give old toys and books to kids on your street and always accept hand-me-downs from generous neighbours.
37. ALWAYS GET THREE QUOTES
Always get three quotes if you are planning on hiring someone to provide you with a service. This is the best way of comparing prices.
If you get more than three quotes, you could end up with a lot of extra legwork and find yourself with a complex set of figures to compare.
If you give the job to the first person you speak to, you will likely not get the best price.
You can also use competitor quotes to negotiate with your preferred supplier.
38. DO SECRET SANTA GIFTING AT CHRISTMAS
Christmas can be a costly time of the year, especially if you are part of a big family or group of friends.
There is a lot of pressure to buy everyone the perfect gift.
One way of counteracting this and saving everyone some money is to organise a Secret Santa for the adults in the family. Then, leave the pile of gifts under the tree for the kids.
With a Secret Santa, everyone draws the name of the person they need to buy a gift for. It’s best to set a maximum budget for the gifts.
39. GET A SIDE HUSTLE
I can’t believe I just typed ‘side hustle’!
This very site. Mums Make Lists started as a side hustle. But over time, it has become an actual business that I love running.
I also absolutely love being my boss. I am the best boss I have ever had. I might be biased.
Not all side hustles are created equally. Some are jobs that you can go out and get and start earning extra cash right away.
Some are projects that will take time to set up.
Some will require you to have an actual skill, like crafting, cooking, or writing.
Some will need you to use your time.
Here are a few ideas for side hustles that could work for you:
- Crafter who sells on Etsy
- Blogger or social media influencer
- Dog walker or pet sitter
- Childminder or babysitter
- Mystery shopper
- Rent out your home through Airbnb
- Deliver food or courier
- Personal trainer
- Yoga teacher
- Social media manager
40. INVEST IN YOUR EDUCATION
Taking the time to invest in yourself, upskilling or learning a new skill is a great way to increase your earning potential.
Further education that can lead to a new diploma or certification that means you can charge higher rates is also a great way to increase your earning potential.
Increasing your earning potential is one of the best money hacks.
NOW IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO START IMPLEMENTING!
40 Simple money hacks you can start implementing today.
I hope I’ve shared hacks that you have found useful and that will inspire you to start taking control of your money.
Luci is the founder of Mums Make Lists (Est. 2011). Over the last decade or so, she has used her experience as a mum to create useful guides to organising family life. During that time, she has found the most joy in creating lists of ideas and inspiration to make it easier for busy parents to plan and host kids’ parties and find great gifts. Read more.