There are all kinds of different ways to save money, but if you’re looking for quick results, here are some ideas to save money with only a minimal investment of time and effort.
Read through this list and I’m sure you’ll find at least a few things you can do right now to start saving some money. Several of these methods can even help you to save money on your recurring bills, which will free up money in your budget each and every month.
1. Let Trim Lower Your Monthly Bills
Trim is a free app that can help you to save money in a few different ways. The most significant is its bill negotiation service. If you give Trim permission, they will work on your behalf to reduce your bills for cable TV, internet access, and cell phone service.
It takes just a couple of minutes to sign up and then Trim does the work for you. There is no upfront fee and if they aren’t able to lower your bills you will owe nothing. If they are able to lower your bills, Trim will charge 33% of your total savings over the next year.
I’m a fan of Trim because their negotiation reduced my Comcast bill for internet access (even after I unsuccessfully tried to negotiate a lower price on my own).
In addition to the bill negotiation, Trim will also analyze your spending and help you to find subscription payments that you can cancel to save money.
2. Set Up Paribus to Get Refunds for You
Paribus is a free app that helps you to get refunds that are owed to you. You’ll link it to the email address that you use for online shopping and whenever it sees a receipt email it will go to work. Paribus will look for lower prices whenever you have a purchase from a store/website with a low price guarantee.
If Paribus finds a lower price, it will automatically request a refund for the difference on your behalf. I’ve received several emails about partial refunds from purchases as a result of taking just a couple of minutes to sign up for Paribus.
Another nice feature of Paribus is shipment tracking. The app will track shipments from websites like Amazon that offer a delivery guarantee. If the delivery is late, Paribus will attempt to get compensation for you. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, this could mean a free month of Prime or a small gift card.
Possibly the best thing about Paribus is that it is hands off. You sign up, give it access, and you’re done. It will work without any further effort from you.
3. Transfer High-Interest Credit Card Debt
If you have high-interest credit card debt, an easy way to save some money is to sign up for a new credit card that offers 0% interest for a limited time on balance transfers. There are plenty of cards with balance transfer offers, so it’s not hard to find a good option. Dropping from 15-20% interest down to 0% interest can make it a lot easier to get that debt paid off!
Of course, doing a balance transfer is only a good solution if you are committed to paying off that balance and not accumulating more credit card debt. Don’t apply for a new credit card unless you’re confident that you can avoid racking up more debt.
4. Open an Account with a Good Cashback Credit Card
If you’re like me and you use a credit card for the majority of your purchases, you can accumulate a lot of rewards and cash back over the course of a year. Earning 2% – 5% cash back may not sound like a lot, but it really adds up.
If you’re using a rewards credit card that pays 1% cash back, you can do better! There are a few cards that pay 2% for every purchase.
There are also other cards that allow you to earn a higher percentage on certain types of purchases. I love the Chase Freedom and card because I can earn 5% cash back on purchases in categories that rotate each quarter. Right now, I’m getting 5% cash back on groceries, which is an easy way to accumulate rewards from something I need to buy.
The same disclosure is applicable here. Don’t use a credit card unless it is for purchases that you would make anyway. If using a cashback credit card encourages you to spend more money, don’t carry one.
5. Buy Discounted Gift Cards (for Things You Would Buy Anyway)
One of my favorite easy ways to save money is to buy gift cards at prices below face value. If you buy a gift card to a store or website that you need to shop at anyway, it’s a great way to save some money.
There are a few different ways you can buy discounted gift cards, including:
- Use a website like Raise to buy discounted gift cards that other people aren’t going to use.
- Buy discounted gift cards at wholesale clubs (when they have promos).
- Buy gift cards at places that will earn extra cash back (if you get 5% cash back from grocery store purchases, you may be able to buy a gift card at the grocery store for other stores and restaurants).
- Take advantage of special offers with buy-one-get-one-free (usually around the holidays).
I have a more detailed article about ways to buy discounted gift cards if you’re interested in learning more.
Raise is my favorite way to do it. The amount that you’ll save will depend on the store or website that you’re buying a gift card for, but the savings can be pretty good in some cases (especially with restaurants). If I know I am going to be making a purchase at a store or eating at a restaurant, I’ll check Raise and see if I can get a gift card at a discount.
6. Let Personal Capital Check Your Investment Fees
Personal Capital is a free finance app that has several different benefits. My favorite use of Personal Capital is for tracking net worth, but it also has some nice reporting tools. One of the reports will allow you to see how much you are spending on fees for your investments.
High investment fees can kill your long-term growth, so it’s best to minimize the fees as much as possible.
You can create a free Personal Capital account, link your investment accounts, and check the fee report. If you don’t like what you see, you can move to investments with lower fees.