Looking for some quick and easy ways to stretch the money in your life? Check out these ideas.
Try These 9 Ideas to Keep More Money in Your Wallet
Use Junk Mail As Scratch Paper
Ever need a piece of paper just to jot something down on quickly? Don’t use expensive paper from your printer.
Instead, take your junk mail and open some of the envelopes all the way each day. That way you’ll always have scratch paper around when you need it.
Never Throw Out a Half-Full Garbage Bag
Make sure your garbage bags are full before you toss them out. If they’re not, go around the house and empty all the wastebaskets into your main garbage bag.
You’ll cut down on the amount of bags you use and save money by not having to buy them so often.
Cut Everything in Half — Literally
You can cut many common household items in half to get twice the life out of them — just like this sponge:
Try it with napkins, paper towels, dryer sheets and anything else that you think may work!
Reuse Paper Bags
If you have children in school or camp and you have to pack them lunch, write this reminder: Bring bag back home.
When one member of Team Clark tried this with his two children, both actually brought the bags home. But only one was clean enough for reuse the next day. The other was too crumpled and food-stained to salvage.
Oh well, that’s kids for you!
Turn Off the Lights and Use Natural Sunlight
It may sound old fashioned, but it’s true. When not in use, turn off the juice!
Collect Your Pocket Change and Cash It in Once or Twice a Month
If you don’t take coins out of your pockets, they can pose a laundry hazard. They can puncture a hole in the drum of the washer or dryer, and that’ll cost you.
Instead, get a simple container and collect those coins.
Then take them to a free coin-counting machine and get some paper money back in your life. It’s like found money!
If You Have to Eat Out, Buy a Partially Used Gift Card
A lot of personal finance articles focus on how you should skip the expensive latte, brown-bag your lunch and so on. All great ideas, right? But sometimes, you just want to eat out.
Turns out you can have your cake — or coffee, or sandwich, or burrito — and eat it too.
CardCash.com and Cardpool.com are just a couple of the many sites that let you buy secondhand gift cards for less than face value. For example, here are a few deals we found on CardCash in October 2020:
- Applebee’s: save up to 14.5%
- The Cheesecake Factory: save up to 13.1%
- Michaels: save up to 7.6%
- Red Lobster: save up to 10.2%
Check with the website seller for their protection policy before you buy it. Most will guarantee the card will work for 45-90 days or your money back.
Freeze Your Credit Cards and Go Cash Only for a Week
Freezing your plastic will help you stretch a buck because you’ll be more mindful of the way you spend. Research shows there’s something tangible about cash in hand that makes us spend it more sparingly than we do with plastic.
If you do this for a couple of weeks and like the results, why not consider making it permanent and going to a cash-only envelope system?
Dry Your Razor
Shaving is an equal opportunity kind of thing: Almost all adults can blow a lot of money on expensive razors.
But if you dry your razor like money expert Clark Howard does, you’ll extend the life of the blade and get much more use out of it. That’s because razor blades degrade much faster when they’re left wet.
So be sure to blot your razor dry on a towel after use or maybe use a hairdryer to dry it for a minute.
Clark himself is famous for taking a 17-cent disposable razor that he uses every day and making it last for 12 months by using the blotting method!