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5 hacks I learned from Reddit that helped me save $2,500 with very little effort

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  • I’m trying to save more money in 2021, so a friend recommended I check out Reddit for tips.
  • I learned a new way to budget, how to get discounts on my bills, and how to get free stuff online.
  • These and other tips have helped me save $2,500 this year already.
  • Compare savings account rates & offers in your area »

Fixing up my personal finances is one of my main goals for this year. Because of that, I spend a lot of quality time every week consuming strategies, tips, and advice that can help me pay off credit card debt, save more cash, fund my retirement accounts, and invest. While some of that content comes from traditional experts, like financial advisors, accountants, and my bookkeeper, I’ve also found myself exploring alternative resources.

I started scrolling through financial advice on TikTok and found great tips on how to save more, invest smarter, and carefully vet cryptocurrency opportunities. I’ve listened to podcasts from people who aren’t experts but have made financial mistakes over the years. I also decided to stay open to suggestions from friends and family, which is how I started reading financial advice on Reddit.

A friend of mine suggested I scroll through some different personal finance subreddits, and after spending hours doing that, I walked away with interesting and unique advice that’s helped me save an extra $2,500 this year already. This is what I learned. 

1. Buying in bulk

I live in a tiny apartment in New York City and it does not have a lot of cabinet or closet space. I never thought about buying things in bulk, mostly because of storage issues. After reading a tip from a Reddit user on how buying in bulk saved them cash, though, I decided to do the same. I’d figure out the space issue if I could save some money. 

I went to a store where I could buy some groceries and household items in bulk. I spent a total of $200 on 20 items, ranging from toiletries to paper towels, frozen foods, and cleaning supplies, and have been able to use those items over the course of the year so far. When I went back to add up how much I would have spent not buying in bulk and buying things every week instead, I realized that in just six months, I had saved over $850. 

2. Use websites that give away things for free

There are many websites out there where you can buy other people’s used stuff, but thanks to a user on Reddit, I learned an interesting way to really save money: get other people’s stuff for free.

The user mentioned websites like Freecycle or Buy Nothing, where people are giving things away. Using those websites, I was able to score two kitchen chairs (those exact ones are sold for $125 each), a desk and chair (the exact set is sold for $325), a nightstand (this sells for $175), and a few other decorative items (that in total would have cost me $400). 

3. Pull from your checking account only 

I’ve found a great way to save money is to hide your credit cards and pay for things with cash only. I’ve noticed that some stores don’t accept cash, though, or there will be some moments when I forget to bring cash with me and there’s something I need to buy.

One Reddit user mentioned that to save money, they use their checking account as their “cash” for the month. They put a certain amount in every month (or week) and that’s what they allow themselves to spend. Every other dollar from their paycheck goes to savings.

I’ve been using this trick for two months and it has not only helped me stay on budget, but it’s helped me save $250 extra a month. 

4. Use your freezer 

Most of the money I wish I could save every month tends to go toward food, whether dining at restaurants or paying for groceries. A few people mentioned on Reddit that to save money, they stock up on sale items at the grocery store that can stay in the freezer for quite a long time (bread, meat, frozen meals). 

A few months ago, I researched when certain items go on sale at my local grocery store and stocked up. That allowed me to not have to spend money on those items every week and it helped me save cash (since I was able to take advantage of the sale price). Overall, doing this helped me save $100 total. 

5. Ask for discounts 

While I had heard the advice before that you can (and should) call your service providers (phone, cable, internet) and ask for discounts or better plans at a lower cost, it was this Reddit comment that really pushed me to do that in February.

I was able to save $15 a month on my internet and cable bundle and $25 a month on my phone bill by making these calls. So far this year, that’s saved me $200.

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