Saving money can be a challenge, especially with inflation driving up the cost of everyday essentials. You know, it’s like trying to fill a leaky bucket with water – just when you think you’re making progress, money can feel like it’s slipping right through your fingers.
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Challenging doesn’t mean impossible, and there are apps, websites, and other services that can help guarantee that you save a few extra bucks. Here are my top easy and foolproof ways to save you money.
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1. Cancel subscriptions you don’t use: Trim
Oftentimes we subscribe to a service that we think we’re going to use all the time. Then we end up using it once and forgetting about it. You shouldn’t be paying for a service that you don’t even use, yet it can be easy to lose track of all the things we subscribe to and pay for monthly. There are helpful subscription tracking programs that can analyze your spending and figure out where you’re spending your money each month. One I like is called Trim.
Trim has helped people save an average of $213 per year by assisting in canceling unwanted subscriptions. More savings often come from its ability to also negotiate cable and internet bills and lower the price in many cases.
It’s free to sign up and most of the features, like canceling subscriptions, are available at no additional cost to you. Trim only charges based on a portion of the savings it’s able to achieve for you. If you register for one of their most popular features, bill negotiation, they’ll charge you 15% of the total first year of savings. They won’t charge you if they don’t save you money.
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2. Spend less on gas: Upside
iPhone: 4.8 stars (at time of publishing)
Android: 4.6 stars (at time of publishing)
Gas prices are on the rise again. Filling up the tank eats up a lot of your monthly expenses. I would recommend using an app that helps you save money at the pump like Upside because it is free, simple to use, and saves every time you get gas.
All you have to do is download the app for free, and it will give you a map of gas stations showing where you can get gas for the lowest price possible.
Once you fill up at one of the gas stations suggested by the app, you’ll get cash back within a few days. You can cash out quickly and easily whenever you want via your bank account, digital gift card, or PayPal.
MORE: ASK KURT: BEST WAYS TO SAVE MONEY ON GAS
3. Take advantage of Google Maps
iPhone: 4.7 stars (at time of publishing)
Android: 4.1 stars (at time of publishing)
Google Maps can be a great asset when you are looking for the cheapest places to eat, park, and more. One thing you can use it for is finding the best deals on ride shares like Uber and Lyft. If you’re in a city that offers ride-sharing, Google Maps will compare prices and wait times without having to open several different apps. You can see your options by following these steps:
- Open your Google Maps app
- Use the search bar to type in your final destination
- You’ll see options for driving, public transportation, walking, rideshare/taxi, biking, and flying
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4. Use a price comparison app: Flipp
iPhones: 4.8 stars (at time of publishing)
Android: 4.7 stars (at time of publishing)
There are numerous price comparison apps available that can help you save money and get the best deals on the things you need. One of the many advantages of using price comparison apps is that they can save you considerable time and effort. You’ll get access to different deals being offered at stores as well as reviews from customers who have shopped there before.
One of my top recommendations for price-comparing apps is Flipp. You can find savings on essentials like groceries, furniture, and more with the thousands of weekly ads. Flipp highlights savings from over 2,000 stores, including Walmart, Dollar General, and Walgreens. It also gives away deals at your local stores and has a powerful search feature.
Plus, you can add any loyalty points and rewards that you have at a store to the app so that you can quickly access them at checkout.
MORE: SAVE MORE MONEY WITH THESE TOP PRICE COMPARISON APPS
5. Shop and get cash back: ibotta
iPhone: 4.8 stars (at time of publishing)
Android: 4.5 stars (at time of publishing)
Not only are there cash-back apps for gas prices, but you can also get cash back, gift cards and save a ton of money while shopping at some of your favorite stores. There are tons of apps out there that you can use while shopping online, and one of my top picks is Ibotta.
Ibotta is an app that you use for couponing and gives you cash back on items you’re already purchasing at your favorite stores, including grocery stores, food delivery, movie and concert tickets, and more.
Some of the most popular retailers you can find deals with through Ibotta are CVS, Walgreens, Target, Lowe’s, Petco, Domino’s Pizza, REI, and over 1500 brands and retailers. You can also use the Ibotta app for in-person shopping by taking pictures of your paper receipts.
They have a browser extension as well for your desktop and laptop that will give you money back while you’re shopping and alert you when prices drop on certain products. See how it saved our team over $600 since we started.
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6. Use a VPN
I’ve spoken numerous times before about how important it is to have a VPN; however, the fact that using one can also save you money is not talked about enough. When you don’t have a VPN, your device’s IP address can be tracked and shared with retailers and data collectors. If your IP address happens to be located in a higher socioeconomic area, retailers can use that data to charge you more when you’re shopping online.
When you have a VPN, however, you will be able to choose your IP address and then see if you can get lower prices for the same products. It’s not a guarantee that the price will be lower; however, it is worth it to double-check.
You can also get access to blocked or censored e-commerce sites while you’re traveling, get better deals on things such as hotels and flights for your vacations, and even subscribe to services that are not available in your country for a great price.
You can choose different IP addresses from different zip codes to not only access different content, but completely different pricing structures. Some countries or service providers have limitations on payment types or countries of origin, but you can usually purchase debit gift cards or gift cards from the vendor directly.
See my expert review of the best VPNs for browsing the web privately on your Windows, Mac, Android & iOS devices by visiting CyberGuy.com/VPN.
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7. Use your Library card
You may think a visit to your local library isn’t worth your time now with devices like Kindles to read all your favorite books. The truth is that if you are strolling through life without a library card, you may be missing out on some incredible free digital perks.
It costs you absolutely nothing to get a library card in most cases, and having one could actually save you lots of money in the long run.
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Kurt’s key takeaways
With a little proven know-how, you can easily shave off a few bucks every month on your spending, which can add up to several hundred dollars saved in a year. I hope these tips are successful for you and I’d love to hear if any of you benefit from my suggestions.
What more would you like to see retailers doing to help customers save money? Let us know by writing us at CyberGuy.com/Contact.
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