Saving a buck

Trying to stretch a buck today can be tricky for us folks with no disposable income. The 20-something generation is in a forever battle with finances, social lives, and beginning our journey through life. The last thing we want to do is have to miss out on things because we didn’t know some great money tricks to have that dollar last a lot longer. Too bad their isn’t a value menu for life, huh?

While we can’t make our money magically reproduce (unless it is in one of our great rates Savings accounts or CD’s), there are a few ways we can train the brain to stay financially savvy. On top of that, there are many ways to use discount tricks to thrift our way to the top!

SHOPPING
1. Always search for coupon codes when shopping online. ALWAYS. I don’t think there is one time I have shopped online that I didn’t get a discount by doing this. There is always one available! www.retailmenot.com is a great website for this sort of thing.
2. When you find an item, put the exact product name on Google and click the shopping tab. This usually searches a few different places with the product and compares prices for you. A couple bucks difference adds up!
3. If you find an item at a store, check out the online version of the store. Because there is less overhead, usually you can get a discount for ordering the same product from the same store online!
4. Say NO to the Extended Warranty: Stores play on the fact that electronics are a big investment, scaring you into buying an Extended Warranty. Don’t do it.The Extended Warranty is basically just a trick to get you to pay way more for the item than you need to. It’s very, very, very profitable for the retailer. If you’re worried about not having an extended warranty, purchase your electronics with a credit card that offers extended warranty protection. Lots of them do. Just paying for your stuff with a credit card can double your warranty.
5.Buy “Accessories” on Ebay OR Amazon Rather Than Paying Huge Markups: Retailers will often discount a big ticket item only to charge ridiculous prices for “accessories” that they will harass you to the point of madness to try to get you to buy. Expensive connectors, cables, controllers, leather lotion for your coat you just bought, blank media, storage, etc. Buy this on eBay or at least research what it really costs at a retailer that is not trying to screw you. Case in point: Cables. Best Buy sells the Monster Ultra Series 8′ HDMI Video Cable for $119.99. On Ebay the most expensive “Buy it Now” price for this cable is $74.95 with $9.95 shipping. For the exact same thing. And that’s for a crazy brand name cable. There are 8′ HDMI cables on eBay for $8.

PESKY THINGS THAT ADD UP
1. Java Fix: Yeah, I’m calling you out on these little things. As a former barista, I know how much you people are spending on your fixes. I am not much better with my diet coke addiction, but I am trying. Listen, I’m not going to be unreasonable and tell you to forgo that fix to save upwards of $30 a week. I am simply going to recommend taking the one drink you love and maybe having it just once a week. The other days, opt for a flavored creamer and ice your homemade coffee! A little whipped cream and you can’t tell the difference! (Another blog to follow that will address this topic more)
2. Gas: Fill up in the morning when it is colder. When it warms up throughout the day, your gas will expand and last longer!
3. Fees: Make sure you are always balancing and checking your bank accounts. You don’t want to overdraft because you just forgot about a purchase or didn’t transfer money in time! Also- making sure you are using the correct ATM will keep your fees at a minimum.
4. Student Discounts: Ummmm HELLO! If you have a student ID- whether it be in high school or college- whip it out! So many places offer discounted rates for students… TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR STATUS!

So many other ways to be thrifty, you just have to really use that noggin to really find those loopholes. Once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty fun! Feel free to post any tips of your own!

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