If you’ve ever spent your entire paycheck just hours after the direct deposit hit your account, we have some tips and tricks to help you get back on track this weekend.
17 ways to save more & spend less right away
While these strategies can be applied any day of the week, sometimes it’s just easier on your days off. After reading through this list, see if you can find one or two ways to save more and spend less before another busy week gets underway!
1. Challenge yourself
Could you go the entire weekend without spending a dollar? Maybe not, but you might be able to make it at least one day without swiping your credit card. A lot of people have ‘no spend’ days on a weekly or monthly basis. It’s a great strategy to avoid late-night shopping on Amazon.
2. Try a cheaper brand
If you’re a coffee addict, Monday morning is definitely not the day to try a mystery brand of coffee. But Saturday could work. A recent TV taste test found that most people can’t tell the difference between an expensive cup of coffee and a cheap one. So brew one of these 7 cheap brands of coffee that people really love – and let us know what you think!
3. Redeem rewards
When’s the last time you checked the rewards balance on your credit cards? Don’t let that money just sit there. Cash it in! Going forward, take a peek at your rewards balance every month when you pay your credit card bills.
4. Take advantage of a bonus offer
Speaking of credit cards, you can usually earn a couple hundred bucks by opening a new account. Credit.com says you should consider the sign-up bonus and the rewards for spending when applying for a new card. For example, don’t settle for 1% cash back. That used to be standard for rewards cards, but Credit.com says you can do much better.
Having the right credit card that’s aligned with your spending habits is the best way to take advantage of the rewards!
We should mention that you don’t want to open too many credit cards, and be sure to pay them off monthly to avoid interest charges.
5. Get your budget in order
Don’t have a budget? This moves to the top of your list! Tracking your spending is the number one way to take control of your finances and stop living paycheck to paycheck. You can do a budget by hand, but free digital products from companies like Mint and Personal Capital make it so much easier to see where all of your money is going. You can also set up bill payment reminders so you never get hit with a late fee ever again!
6. Organize your fridge
Does your fridge look neat and tidy? If not, move everything to its proper place to reduce food waste and foodborne illness. For instance, be careful about what you put on the shelves in the door because they tend to get warmer.
Your fridge will never look the same after you read this step-by-step guide to maximize freshness.
7. Spruce up your house
Not everyone can afford to swap out appliances, change the kitchen cabinets and install a new granite countertop. But there’s something a lot cheaper that you can do to get your home ready for sale: paint it! Consumer Reports says selectively painting the areas that need it the most can boost your home’s value by up to 3% — and it only costs a few hundred dollars if you do the job yourself.
8. Work the phones
When you get home from work during the week, the last thing you want to do is haggle with someone over the phone for a lower price. But Saturday morning isn’t a bad time to cross this task off your to-do list. If you’re trying to negotiate lower bills over the phone, or even if you’re calling to cancel a subscription, get it done first thing in the morning when there isn’t a long hold time.
Read more: 7 easy ways to cut your monthly bills
9. Go to a garage sale
If you want to buy high-quality items for less, Clark.com contributor Katy Wolk-Stanley suggests going on a tour of neighborhood garage sales. Furniture, kitchen items, clothing, baby products and tools are often the best buys. And if you’re the one holding a garage sale, Katy has 20 tips to help you make the most money.
It’s so easy to ignore the emails that pile up during the week, especially when it’s just one spammy sale email after another. Fortunately, you can stop these emails from coming to you in the first place. Set a timer for 15 minutes and see how many email lists you can unsubscribe from. Getting off these lists can save you money if you’re prone to impulse buys.
11. Plan ahead
There are some big expenses, like medical emergencies, that we just can’t predict. But there are so many others that we can plan for. Make a list of the upcoming big expenses in your life – things like trips, weddings and birthday parties. By creating this forecast, you can see if you need to tweak your spending in other areas to avoid breaking your budget.
12. Clean out your closet
If you’ve been staring at the same old clothes that you don’t wear anymore, it’s time to let them go. Collect things around the house and donate them to Salvation Army or Goodwill. Make sure to keep a detailed record of the donation because you’ll need it come tax time.
You can also sell your old stuff for cash! Here are 40 easy ways to do it.
13. Check your credit score
You probably already know that you can check your credit reports for free at AnnualCreditReport.com, but there are also free ways to check your credit score. In fact, Discover now offers free FICO scores to anyone, even if you’re not one of their customers. A high score can help you secure better interest rates on various types of loans.
Read more: 5 sneaky ways to increase your credit score
14. Plan your weekly menu
Use your grocery store’s weekly circular and coupon apps to build a menu that will last through the week. It might help to have a few frozen options on hand for the nights when you’re just too busy or too tired to cook. Otherwise, you may find yourself eating out more often than you can afford.
15. Make money shopping
It sounds unlikely, but there are people who really make money by reselling items that they buy at discount stores. We recently interviewed a guy who paid off $50,000 of debt by finding hidden gems at stores like Ross and then flipping them for a profit on eBay.
16. Throw things out
Are mounds of paper taking over your house? Let’s get rid of that clutter. Start with the junk mail, but then make your way to old credit card statements and utility bills. We have a great list of all the paperwork that you can toss, plus what you should keep!
17. Download a money-making app
If you need extra cash but don’t want to pick up a part-time job, what do you do? There are apps for that! You can make money by helping people move, cleaning and running errands. And if manual labor isn’t your thing, there are small tasks you can do on your computer.
We have a list of 15 apps to help you earn extra cash, so there has to be at least one you can try!