Saving money is a mind game. You just have to understand how to play it, and saving won’t be as impossible as you might think.
Rule of thumb is 20% of your after-tax income should be going to your savings and/or debt repayment. But having a chunk of money moved out of your checking account can be intimidating. After all, you have bills to pay.
So we found other ways to play the savings mind game. Follow these 9 clever ways and you could save up to $6,000 a year. Now that’s a nice savings cushion.
1. You Gotta Eat! Get Up to $240 Cash Back in Grocery Savings
If you’re following nutrition gurus or meal planners on Instagram, you know that your shopping list gets a little longer with each inspiration. I know mine does.
But I don’t feel too guilty though because my shiny things syndrome and basically everything I buy normally, give me a chance of getting cash back.
It’s simple. All you have to do is take a picture of your grocery receipt and Ibotta will pay you cash.
Here’s how it works:
Before you go to the store, search for your shopping list items in the Ibotta app. After your store visit, take a photo of your receipt to get cash back.
Ibotta is free to download and you’ll also get up to $20 in Welcome Bonuses when you sign up!
Some offers we found:
- 25 cents back on any item
- $3 – $5 back on various wine
- $2 back on KIND Protein Bars
- 25 cents – $4 back on ice cream
- $2 back on Herbal Essence Haircare
Popular stores are Walmart and Target, but Ibotta also works at restaurants, online shopping sites, and at the bar! On average, active Ibotta users save up to $240 a year or more. What would you do with that extra money?
Welcome Bonus: Up to $20
Average savings a month: $20
What it could add up to in a year: $240
Additional Referral Earnings: $5 per referral
2. Binge on Food, Entertainment, Health & Tech News TV for Money (Up to $200 a Month)
I can barely cook but I love watching food videos. The new season of Chef’s Table? I’m there.
If you’re a video junkie too, become an Inbox Dollars member where you can watch their TV and Videos section that ranges from Trending News, Entertainment, Food, Health, Tech, and even the latest World News to earn some cash. You’ll also get $5 as a sign-up bonus too!
They set it up in playlists though and they’ll tell you how long it takes as it can range from a few minutes to half an hour. Tip: You can set it to Play, open up another browser tab and let the videos run while you continue doing something else if you’re multi-tasking!
Playlists and earning potential can change, but it’s possible to earn up to $200 a month, watching videos!
Welcome Bonus: $5
Potential earnings a month: Up to $200
What it could add up to in a year: $2,400
Additional Referral Earnings: 10% of your referral’s earnings
3. Just Saving $50 Per Paycheck + Quarterly Bonus = $1,325.67
The secret is to trick your brain that you’re not saving. I’ll explain.
When you’re actively trying to save, your brain goes into full defense mode and makes all sorts of excuses not to. Also, it’s painful to see large chunks of money leave your checking account.
So don’t think about saving, but let Digit do the actual work for you in the background.
When you simply connect your bank account, Digit does the rest in analyzing every day what you can afford to save based off your income, spending, and bills.
It’ll save small amounts for you that adds up in your credit card pay off goal. Then, once a month, Digit will automatically make an extra payment to your credit card company with what’s been saved in your goal so you don’t have to worry about it!
Go ahead and continue on with life while Digit helps you take care of the debt.
Is there a catch? Digit is free for the first 100 days (plenty of time for you to try it out) and if you dig it, it’s only $2.99 a month after.
Bonus: You’ll get a 1% savings bonus every 3 months you’re successfully saving.
Average savings in a month (varies): $144 or more
What it could add up to in a year: $1,728 or more
Quarterly bonus: 1% on your total savings amount
Additional Referral Earnings: $5 per referral
4. Make More of Your Money with This Fee-Free Banking App
Everyone needs a bank account, just not one of those banks your parents bank at. When is the last time you walked into a bank? Have you ever looked closely at your bank statement and wonder what and why all of those crazy high fees? ATM fees, savings account fees, all kinds of fees that suck away your hard earned cash. Well they have to pay for those buildings right? It’s time join Empower, they are a FREE mobile bank, with no fees! Imagine that, and they offer unmatched rewards.
- Free ATM’s, access to over 25,000 ATM’s with no frees and 1 out of network reimbersement a month, anywhere in the world.
- Free, no minimums. How cool is that?
- Some of the best interest rates from 2% – 4% on your savings account
- Get cash back, up to 2% on the first $1,000 of purchases each month
- AI assistance built into the app.
- Pay anywhere Visa is accepted, and with Apple Pay and Venmo
When you compare these benefits along with all of the traditional bank fees it’s a no brainer to download the app and give Empower at try.
Key Savings vs traditional bank fees
Checking Fee: $0
Account Minimum Fee: $0
Overdraft Fee: $0
Insufficient Fund Fee: $0
International transaction fee: $0