The United States of America, the world’s most powerful economy, is home to both the largest income disparity and the largest amount of millionaires and billionaires in the world. Yet even if you’re not one of them, you can still live well on less than $50,000 per year if you make smart choices about where to live, what to drive, what types of food to buy and how much you pay in taxes. The following 10 tips will help you do just that.
1) Pay less at the supermarket
- One way to save money at the supermarket is to buy in bulk. This can help you save money on items that you use frequently.
- Another way to save money is to buy generic brands instead of name brands. Generic brands are often just as good as name brands, but they cost less.
- Compare prices between different stores before you buy anything. You might be surprised at how much you can save by doing this.
- Use coupons!
2) Don’t impulse buy anything
It can be really easy to get caught up in the moment and spend money on things that you don’t really need. But if you can resist the urge to impulse buy, you’ll save a lot of money in the long run. Here are a few tips to help you resist those urges:
- Make a list of what you need before you go shopping. This will help you stay focused on what you need and avoid buying things that you don’t need.
3) Rent a car from websites like Zipcar and RelayRides
Zipcar is an affordable car rental alternative for when you need a car for running errands or getting around town. RelayRides is a peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace where you can rent cars from local owners. Both services offer hourly and daily rates, so you can find a plan that fits your budget.
4) Get free stuff with credit card reward points
One way to save money is to take advantage of credit card rewards points. Many cards offer points that can be redeemed for cash back, gift cards, or merchandise. For example, the Chase Freedom card offers 5% cash back on select categories each quarter. If you spend $1,500 per month in those categories, you’ll earn $90 cash back per year. That’s an easy way to save money without changing your spending habits.
5) Watch for deals on new cell phones
A new cell phone can be a big purchase, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. There are always deals to be found if you know where to look. Check online retailers, trade-in sites, and brick-and-mortar stores for the best prices. You can usually find a great deal if you’re willing to wait a few months for a new model to come out.
6) Avoid using your credit card at all if possible
One of the best ways to save money is to avoid using your credit card. If you can pay for something with cash or a debit card, do that instead. Credit cards often have high interest rates and fees, which can add up quickly. If you must use a credit card, try to pay it off as soon as possible so you don’t accrue any interest or fees.
7) Know your store return policies
Many stores in the USA have very strict return policies, and if you’re not familiar with them, you could end up wasting a lot of money. To avoid this, take some time to familiarize yourself with the return policy of any store you plan on shopping at. This way, you’ll know exactly what you can and can’t return, and won’t end up accidentally buying something that’s non-returnable.
8) Carpool or take public transit
When gas prices are high, carpooling or taking public transit can save you a lot of money. Try to find a group of friends or co-workers who live near you and take turns driving. If you live in a city, take advantage of public transportation options like buses or trains. You may have to pay a monthly fee, but it will be worth it in the long run.
9) Make sure your insurance is up to date
One way to save money is by regularly checking your insurance policies. Your rates may have changed and you could be paying too much for coverage you no longer need. You can also raise your deductibles to lower your premiums. Another tip is to shop around and compare rates from different companies before renewing your policy.
10) Reduce your takeout orders.
According to a study done by the Harvard Business Review, the average American spends about $32 per week on take-out food. That adds up to over $1,600 per year! If you’re looking to save some money, start by cooking at home more often. You’ll not only save money, but you’ll also be eating healthier.
Invest in a slow cooker. A slow cooker is a great way to make hearty meals without spending a lot of time in the kitchen.