7 Money Saving Hacks (That ACTUALLY WORK)

I have saved hundreds of dollars with these little known tips and now you can too! Don’t play yourself, a little bit goes a long way. Start saving here and there and it will pay off in the long run. Do you have any other tricks that work for you?

Write a buy list

Physically write down the items you wish to buy (description, price, reason for purchase) on a piece of paper or in a notebook. It’s easy to add things to the Amazon wishlist without thinking, but something about writing it down makes it more real (similar to the argument that cash slows spending because you can feel and see it leaving your hands – it’s more real).

Wait 24 Hours

Put the shoes down and back away…! Take at LEAST a day to think before you buy. Most of the time, I will forget about the item or realize my space is fine without that one of a kind lamp. It’s especially difficult to sleep on a purchase if it’s on sale or the last item on the shelf – I’ve lost out on a few items because I hesitated, but ultimately? It’s more important to have money in the bank.

Want < Need

I’ve stopped many impulse buys by asking myself this simple question: Is this a want or a need? Don’t lie to yourself or justify the purchase by saving it for an unknown purpose (the “I might need it” mentality will destroy your wallet). A good way to identify the purchase as a want or need is figuring out if it contributes to your big picture financial goals.

Drink Water

This is super basic, but don’t roll your eyes at this one! Substituting water when you eat out saves a couple of dollars (and your health will thank you). I’ve noticed the more water I consume, the less I want sugary drinks. Still want carbonation? Try sparkling water with natural flavoring (Lacroix, Perrier, etc. – usually stores carry a cheaper generic).

Spend more on quality items

Wait, I thought we were SAVING money? Listen, I’ve learned to ditch cheaply made items in favor of high quality pieces that I know will be used for YEARS. Instead of paying a few dollars for “fast fashion” (trendy but often lower quality clothing), I am now willing to spend a little extra for items that will not need replacement (maintenance, on the other hand, is a different story). BTW, a brand name doesn’t always indicate quality. I’ve found less than stellar quality in surprising places.

Thrift for your life!

Don’t have the extra coins to spend on those high quality wardrobe staples? That’s okay! Just hit up your local thrift stores and browse. One of my favorite things to do is pop in a podcast and raid the racks for an hour. I found my favorite pair of high waisted Levi’s at Goodwill, slacks from J. Crew, a thick hot pink rain coat from New York and Company – the list goes ON. Another perk of thrifting? One of a kind finds! All of my most complimented items are secondhand.

Related: 8 Tricks for New Thrift Shoppers (Even Macklemore Would be Impressed)

Student Discounts

This advice goes out to everyone. Yes, even non-students. Typical advice: use your student discount and get that 10% off at Topshop or 1/2 off on Apple Music or Spotify.

Super special top secret advice? Just ask.

Whether you’re a student or not – ASK.

Even if you know there is no discount – ASK.


If you ask about a student discount and get denied, the person helping will likely offer an alternative discount or savings tip. By asking, I’ve learned tricks for getting items for PENNIES at Bed Bath and Beyond & CVS. I’ve had underage driver fees waived or lowered when renting a car. Employees have used their discounts to help me out with groceries (it’s against the rules, but thank you a million times over). All you gotta do is ASK.


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