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Money Hacks to save more while banking and buying

Money Hacks to save more while banking and buying
By Karan Kapoor

How much money do leave on the table?

But if you have tight financial discipline and find yourself a frugal individual who is fighting the impulse to splurge, you will still spend more than you could – or should – easily get away with

It's not always easy to cut (or slash) the costs (though the Cut app aims to improve this). Any costs require a great deal of work to reduce, or potentially harmful lifestyle improvements. For eg, whether you're renting or purchasing, lowering your living expenses usually involves minimising your life and moving to a smaller home (not necessarily feasible, depending on the life situation), refinancing the mortgage (which may cost thousands up front), or shifting to a lower rental apartment (which is expensive and time consuming).

For frugal buyers the situation is not entirely grim. A great deal of low-hanging fruit awaits those freshly committed to slashing their current expenses and investing more smartly. These banking and purchasing hacks, whether directly or indirectly, both have the ability to slash expenses , increase cash flow and enhance financial wellbeing without requiring personal sacrifices or big lifestyle overhauls.

Banking Hacks

1. Use Mobile Check Deposits

This is a big one for working professionals and freelancers who put several jobs together to build a full-time salary.

Mobile check deposit does not raise the amount of your pay checks, but it does make it more efficient to deposit such checks by avoiding the need to rush to the ATM or closest bank branch if you get a check in the mail. That saves precious time. However, if you need to travel to your deposit spot, mobile test deposit saves money by avoiding an unwanted ride however reducing fuel consumption in your household. All you need to do is take a few pictures of your approved check and wait for the funds to turn up on your account.

Most mainstream banks (as well as certain electronic banks, such as Capital One 360) offer depositing smartphone checks. Most Community banks and credit unions, however, do have to invest in this technology. When you are on the lookout for a new bank or credit union, make sure to inquire up front for smartphone check deposit to prevent confusion on the backend.

2. Automate Bill Payments

So many annual fees will your financial budget cover?

Between home services like power and gas, entertainment bundles like Netflix, your phone and internet access, credit cards of your family, vehicle and mortgage payments, and other regular expenditures, you are likely to send out 5 to 10 payments like clockwork per month. If you are already mailing checks in sealed envelopes, you are wasting so much now. Cut out 10 checks a month will reduce the cost of the monthly bill payments from $4 or $5, based on the current postage rate. And this does not mention the expense of the checks themselves, which sometimes approaches $20 per transaction, nor the risk of late payments in case you mistakenly skip a deposit.

Electronic bill paying will reduce the expense of shipping and verification, but the missed payment issue isn't a foolproof solution. Automated electronic bill transfers, whether set up directly with service providers or through the online banking program in your country, significantly reduce the chance of late fees. Many major banks require you to simplify the paying of electronic bills and it may be worth upgrading if your current bank is behind the times.

3. Using Voice Banking when you're out of balance

For years you have been able to bank by phone, but voice-based banking recently took a major, easy leap forward. You no longer have to mess with the keypad of your computer, or wait through torturously slow audio menus

Voice banking saves precious money, removes other Bank or ATM visits, and puts you on top of your expenses and billing commitments.

4. Use Emails and Text alerts

You often forget about the odd small (and not so small) transaction when you regularly use the envelope approach for budgeting. Such unnoticed transactions will really add up over time.

Notifications of text and email accounts, including low account balance warnings and daily expense summaries, politely notify you whether you have expended too much or run the risk of going into negative balance regions. That is to say, they keep you on top of the cash flow, avoiding excessive fees and costs.

5. Do deep and detailed analysis

Text and email alerts are super useful, but for hawk-eyed budgeters they don't always provide adequate information. Many online banks offer feature-rich tools that help you to track your spending patterns, categorise them and make sense. For example, Capital One Enhanced Transactions provides a detailed look at the specifics of each transaction, including withdrawals from ATMs and transactions of debit cards. Those specifics include the names and trademarks of retailers, and you can avoid asking what those cryptic purchase codes actually mean.

Of course you don't need to focus on an in-house program to monitor and evaluate your spending. Many popular online budgeting tools, such as Personal Capital or Mint, allow you to slice and dice your expenses and save in countless ways, while setting up personalised reminders that keep you under your budget rails and reduce the possibility of late payments, overdraft fees or even expenses above your means.

6. Do not settle for low-interest rate accounts

Interest rates have remained for years now at record lows, but that doesn't mean you have to settle for a savings account that costs little to keep your hard-earned dollars. Search for high-yield bonds, deposits, or money market accounts promising decent returns on invested assets – preferably, at or equal to the average rate of inflation.

Buying Hacks

7. Use Digital Coupons

The electronic coupons can't trouble many new shoppers. Clipping coupons is time-consuming, noisy and often tempts us to purchase things we would usually take a pass on.

Online coupons are different–they are more accessible, more tailored and theoretically worthwhile.

To be sure, it takes valuable time to check for digital coupons and discount codes, something on-the-go shoppers and travellers can't really afford to squander. Especially then they can be used to lower the buying costs that you should have made otherwise, and then they are worth the extra move.

However, wireless big-ticket coupons give much greater headline savings. Not everyone gets riled up at the thought of spending $0.25 on a soup can, but spending $25 on a $100 hotel room is an entirely different matter.

8. Get a credit card that is eligible for cash back

Some personal finance gurus suggest that it is better to avoid credit cards entirely, particularly when you're afraid you 're going to spend above your means. Carrying a monthly credit card balance without 0 per cent APR bonus bonuses, even though their normal APRs are small, may have a huge effect on your household budget's stability.

Nevertheless, as long as you stick to living under your means and paying off your balance in full per month, certain credit cards will potentially pay you back for the kind of regular living you would do with cash or debit card, anyway.

9. Reading habits of 21st century

Looking for a simpler, longer enduring way of reading? Digital magazines are eliminating paper and raising clutter in the house. It is two major changes to old-fashioned reading content. Generally they are cheaper too.

10. Stop