If you’re like most people, you’re probably always looking for ways to cut costs and save money. Whether you’re trying to pay off bills, save a little extra, or invest more, there’s always a good reason to want more money.
But finding ways to save money can be hard – and there’s lots of confusing information out there telling you to do difficult, disruptive things. That’s why we came up with three simple ideas you can use to pay less and keep more.
Sometimes the name brand feels better, tastes better, or looks better than any generic equivalent. Chances are that you have your favorite brand of BBQ sauce and wouldn’t want to switch it up for whatever generic version would save you $0.50.
But some items are worth going generic for. Here are the two categories where you should try the generic version:
Over-the-counter Medications – While it may seem odd, over-the-counter medications are often the safest products to use the generic equivalents of. Medicines are tightly regulated by the FDA, so any active ingredients in them are guaranteed to work just as well as their brand name version. They often write on the box what they are the equivalent of, and most stores stock brand name and generic versions beside each other. Going generic here could save you a decent amount of money each month.
Paper Products – We get it, you love your extra-absorbent paper towels, or your super-soft toilet paper. But generic versions of these items often perform just as well, for sometimes half the price. Brand name products cost quite a bit to package and advertise, and that cost is passed down to you. Going generic here may not be too noticeable, and would save you money each week.
Change Your Coffee
Most people love a good cup of coffee, whether in the morning or during the afternoon to carry you over that hump. But paying for coffee from a coffee shop will drain your wallet faster than you realize. A $4 cup of coffee once per weekday adds up to $80 per month – ouch!
But who wants boring coffee? The best way to cut costs and still enjoy your coffee is to buy your own bottle of creamer. Located in the refrigerated dairy section of most grocery stores, you can buy creamers with dozens of flavors – from Nutella to Reese’s. Try buying your own creamer, brewing your own coffee, and see how it tastes for a month. Chances are you’ll enjoy it more knowing you’ve saved so much money.
Stop Paying Fees
Companies always find ways to nickel-and-dime you out of money. Whether through hidden fees, convenience fees, or late fees, it seems every transaction has a couple extra dollars tacked on at the end.
Avoiding fees can save you money and frustration, but doing that can be the hard part. Here are some common areas where you can dodge fees and save money:
Pay Bills On Time – Whenever you pay a bill late, you usually get charged a small late fee. For some bills, like credit card bills, these late fees can have a hefty penalty and hurt your credit too. The best way to avoid late fees is to set up automatic payments as much as possible. Most companies offer auto-pay on your account; if you can’t figure out how to do it, give their customer service a call. If there really isn’t a way to do auto-pay, take the initiative to set reminders on your phone a few days before the bill is due.
Watch Out For Convenience Fees – Some vendors charge a “convenience fee” when you buy products online. A holdover from an older era where processing online payments was complicated, these fees are outdated and unnecessary the majority of the time. The next time you’re checking out online and notice a “convenience fee” being added to your total, pause what you’re doing and see if you can find the same product from a different vendor who doesn’t charge that fee. Who knows? You may just find a better deal, too.
Stop Paying To Send Money – If you’ve ever let a friend buy your lunch, or needed to chip in for pizza, you know how complicated just giving a friend some money can be. Most ATMs charge fees, PayPal charges you a fee, and other payment apps tack on hidden fees at the end, too. That’s why the best way to send money to a friend is through Metal Pay – there’s never a fee, and most times you get a little extra back as a thank you.
We know that money is tight for some people, and we want to see you succeed. That’s why we shared these three ideas that we’ve found make life easier and more profitable. Let us know on social media what you think, and feel free to share your ideas with us, too!