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To trick yourself into saving money, you need techniques that are so inconspicuous that your day-to-day routine remains unaffected by money-saving aberrations.
You need to feel as if all of the sudden, you’re saving money while doing nothing to make it happen.
Anything less and it wouldn’t be a money-saving trick—it’d just be saving money.
So without further ado, here are 11 *tricks* to save money and achieve ultimate frugal living.
How To Trick Yourself Into Saving Money & Living Frugal
1. Ibotta – Easy Cash Back at the Grocery Store
The Ibotta app is the easiest and fastest tool for grabbing cash back on groceries.
Simply take a picture of your grocery receipt, and your done! The app will scan your purchases for no more than five seconds, and you will immediately be rewarded with free cash in your Ibotta wallet, ready and waiting to be redeemed for PayPal cash or gift cards (like a free Amazon gift card).
Seriously, you will not find an app as simple or one that pays you as fast as Ibotta.
Want more info before testing Ibotta as your next free money tool? Check out our Ibotta explainer video.
You can find out ALL the deets on the Ibotta app in our review here.
2. Dosh –Automatic Cash Back
Double up on your credit-card points or turn your debit card into a cash-back rewards card. The Dosh App is a smartphone app that piggybacks on your credit and debit cards.
Swipe your card at Dosh’s select locations and you will collect cash-back automatically. No taking pictures of receipts, no nothing.
The app literally sits on your phone—untouched and unopened—while earning cash back at places like these:
- Walmart – 3% Cash Back
- Target – 1.5% Cash Back
- Walgreens – 6% Cash Back
- Exxon Mobile – 2% Cash Back
- Guess – 5% Cash Back
- Patagonia – 6% Cash Back
- Bed Bath & Beyond – 7% Cash Back
- Jiffy Lube – 10% Cash Back
Related Post: Is The Dosh App Safe? Every detail about their military grade security (and our full review).
3. The Rakuten Button –Automatic Cash Back For Shopping Online
Rakuten (formerly Ebates) is the most user-friendly and highest paying Cash-Back service currently available to online shoppers. Which means you’ve probably heard of it. Or heck, you might already have an Ebates account.
But are you remembering to Use Rakuten?—are you remembering to claim your cash-back every time you shop online?
If not, try setting up your Rakuten account to work *automatically*: download the Rakuten Button (it’s free).
When you’re checking out (let’s say from Amazon), the Rakuten button will automatically examine your cart and apply coupon codes to make your order as inexpensive as possible. Then, the moment you click ‘Place Order’ Rakuten will automatically deposit cash-back into your Rakuten wallet.
With the Rakuten button, you will trick yourself into saving money every time you shop online, and that money will be showing up to your doorstep every three months as a ‘Big Fat Check’ signed by Rakuten.
Don’t have Rakuten? Create your free account here. You’ll receive a $10 welcome bonus after your first cash-back shopping experience.
Already have Ebates, but never remember to use it? Download the Rakuten Button here to earn free cash-back automatically, every time you shop online.
4. Paribus – Refunds on Your Recent Online Purchases
If the shoes you buy online decrease in price, you are actually entitled to a refund for the difference. Paribus will get you that refund.
Paribus is your online-shopping watchdog.
- When an online purchase decreases in price, Paribus will contact the retailer and refund you the difference
- When an online purchase is not delivered on time, Paribus will contact the distributer to compensate you for the late delivery
- When you book a hotel for vacation and the rates drop, Paribus will contact the hotel to rebook your room at the new lowered rate
You worry about buying great stuff online. Paribus will make sure you don’t spend a cent more than you should.
Also See: In-Depth Paribus Review 2019
*Paribus compensates us when you sign up for Paribus using the links provided.
5. One-in-one-out –Update Your Wardrobe For Free
Declutter your closet and drawers. Remove all the clothes you no longer wear, and sell them.
You can take them to a local thrift shop to get rid of them fast, but if you want top dollar for your used clothes, we recommend selling them on Depop—an online thrift shop lets you set the prices of your clothes.
When a patron buys, Depop will create you a printable shipping label that you can tape to a box and send off your clothes. It’s surprisingly easy which is why we highly recommend it.
Back to the tip: Now that your closet it cleaned out and organized, start practicing the one-in, one-out rule. When you get a new pair of jeans, sell your oldest pair of jeans. Your closet will stay organized, and you will be continually earning easy money that you have every right to spend on more clothes.
It’s like having a wardrobe that constantly updates for free.
Also See: How to Live On Less Money Effortlessly
6. Coinout –From Shark Tank
Coinout is the most comprehensive cash-back service on the market. It works similar to Ibotta—take a picture of your receipt and get cash back—except Coinout works at more places than just the grocery store. They explicitly state that “all retailers are accepted.”
That means every receipt, from every retailer, will earn you cash back. There is no app that comes close to the inclusivity of Coinout which makes it a necessary addition to your cash-back app arsenal.
Related Post: How To Get Free Money Now (and more *passively* later)
7. Wait Out Big Purchases
Have you ever bought an item only to realize that it didn’t provide you with the excitement and fulfilment you had hoped it would?
That’s the typical effect of an impulse buy, and they’re costing you thousands ever year. If you see something at the store you want, do not buy it. Instead, sit on the idea for the next couple days. You may completely forget about the item 30 seconds later, and save $20.
Or if after a few days you have convinced yourself that your life will absolutely be better in some small way when you buy that item, then go back to the store and buy it. And enjoy it!
8. Swagbucks –Get Paid To Search The Internet
Want to get paid free money to search the internet?
Switch your search engine from Google to SwagSearch. When you type in a lucky key-word, you’ll get paid a little cash.
It’s effortless money. Take advantage.
P.S. Swagbucks is an all-encompassing free money website in itself. If you want to learn about all the ways to make *easy* money with Swagbucks (surveys, watching videos, trivia, eating)
9. SweatCoin – Get Paid to Exercise
Need motivation to get outside and finally start taking walks through the neighborhood? (Your dog will love you for it.)
Try SweatCoin: the app pays you for every step you take outside.
You need to exercise anyways. Why not get paid for it?
Let free money be your incentive to get healthy.
10. Subscribe & Save –Why aren’t you using this?
Odds are you already have an Amazon Prime account. But are you availing yourself of the Subscribe & Save benefit?
Subscribe to items you need restocked on a regular basis (we get dog food every 4 months, toilet paper every 3 months, and hand soap every 6 months), and you’ll save 15% on each item you’ve subscribed to. What’s more, these items show up to your door automatically at the end of every month.
If you have Amazon Prime account, then start saving 15% on every item you find in Amazon’s Subscribe & Save Store
Don’t have Amazon Prime? Get a 30-day free trial here.
Related Amazon Posts:
- 5 Amazon Hacks Every Prime Member Should Know
- Top Money-Saving Products on Amazon
- Best Energy-Efficient Products on Amazon
- 20+ Ways to Get Free Amazon Gift Cards
11. Budget –It’s Effortless When You Know How
Why did the HBO series A Game of Thrones use a budget? It wasn’t because they were an under-funded production—the final season cost over $90 million to film. And they weren’t using a budget in an attempt to cut costs and spend the bare minimum.
GOT used a budget to spend their $90 million as strategically as possible. They asked themselves, what is the best, most efficient way to spend our money so that we end up with the best show possible.
That is the purpose of a budget—to spend your money in the best, most efficient way possible. What is the best way to spend your income so that you can pay your bills, build a savings, pay down your debt, and still have a little money left over to enjoy. You cannot do it effectively or enjoyably without a financial plan.
Stop guessing with your money, and start spending it the right way with a budget.
Want someone to budget for you? (for free)
Message Charlie, the money saving penguin.
Charlie is an AI based messanging service that helps you track your spending so YOU don’t have to.
What’s your job? Simply to ask Charlie to “Help you budget“. Charlie will take care of the rest. In short, Charlie will categorize your spending activity and alert you when you may be overspending in certain areas.
With the hardest part of budgeting out of the way, saving money with a budget becomes something that happens on autopilot! Charlie helps his “friends” save an average $80/week. Want to see if you’re above average?!
Related Post: How to Budget Step-by-Step
Alright, those the easiest ways to trick yourself into saving money!
Do you have money saving tips you use regularly (that don’t make it feel like your “living cheap“)? Let us know in the comments below!
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A budgeting fanatic and a frugal living lover! We want to share our budgeting techniques because of how much they have improved every aspect of our life! We teach the ultimate way to budget so you can save tons of money, eliminate debt fast, and achieve guilt-free spending!