Maybe you’ve tried every budgeting trick in the book and you still feel like you’re living paycheck to paycheck.
Hannah, a stay-at-home mother of two, shared six minimal-effort ways she put an extra $9,713.76 into her family’s savings account in just one year.
She tells us how she did it:
1. I earn $400/year for switching banks twice.
Banks are constantly offering new customer cash incentives, so I can make a few hundred dollars with minimal effort.
For example, Chase Bank is offering $200 to set up a new checking account.
Expect to leave your initial deposit alone for six months to meet the minimum time required before you can collect your bonus and move on.
2. I stash away at least $231.40/year using Acorns.
I made the following purchases this week:
- Gas: $34.05
- Costco: $129.17
- Target: $13.21
- Costa Vida: $18.11
- Old Navy: $29.01
Acorns automatically (and painlessly) rounds my purchase amounts up to the nearest dollar and automatically transfers the difference into an investment account.
In this case, $4.45 was automatically invested into ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds like stocks or bonds). Acorns automatically diversifies my investments using over 7,000 stocks and bonds. Best part? It only costs $1 a month for accounts less than $5,000.
An average of $4.45/week over the course of one year means at least $231.40 more in savings for my future — without me doing (or feeling) a thing.
3. I let Digit decide how much I can afford to save.
The Digit app connects to your bank accounts and uses a smart algorithm to decide how much you can afford to save, given your spending habits.
The app shifts money from your checking account to your savings account every day, or every few days.
If Digit doesn’t think you can afford to move anything to savings, it won’t — and there’s a no-overdraft guarantee
The savings amounts tend to be right on (whether it’s $0.20 or $20). And when you save for three consecutive months, you’ll get a 1% cash bonus!
My first year using Digit, I had an extra $367 in savings without feeling the pinch.
4. I used BillSlasher and Trim to save $35/month on bills.
After squeezing every last penny out of my monthly budget, I enlisted the help of some professionals to cut back even more.
Here are two of my favorites:
- BillSlasher negotiates lower bills on your behalf for a 30% commission fee (while BillCutterz takes 50%). I saved $25/month after BillSlasher secured promotional pricing with my internet provider.
- Trim finds ongoing subscriptions you might not even know you still have and cancels them for you (with your permission!) For example, Trim helped me cancel the free Spotify trial I’d forgot about that auto-renewed itself for $10 every month.
5. I earn $525/month in (mostly) passive income.
For a small (and dare I say enjoyable?) effort, I bring in an extra $525/month on average — $6,300/year. Here’s how:
- Earn $500/month providing 20 days of doggie daycare in my home for one dog using Rover. I charge $25/day per dog.
- I downloaded SlideJoy to rent out ad space on my phone’s “locked” screen for $6-$10/month.
- I clean out my closet and sell whatever I don’t wear on ThredUp. I earn around $3-$15/month depending on how minimalist I’m feeling.
6. I cut my grocery bill by $166.28/month and stuck it in savings.
I’ll be honest — this one takes some effort. But socking away an extra $166/month? #WorthIt.
Basically, I stack sale prices with coupons and rebate apps.
Then pay using a discounted gift card from Raise.
I broke down my exact process here.