t would be great to have an extra day in the week. It would be equally great to have an extra day with extra money to spend on that day. Sadly, we can’t change the space/time continuum. However, there are ways to save time and money. Being proactive with both of those goals can help you get a day back and have money in your wallet. Here are 15 DIY life hacks to save you time and money that you can put into action today:
- Skip Driving
It costs around $9,000 a year to own a car. That covers gas, insurance, and repairs. If you’re still paying off that car, then you will be spending even more. If you can skip driving, then you can lower your costs. This means investigating all the public transportation options available in your city. If you ditch your car altogether, then you can still take advantage of ride-sharing to run errands and you still could be ahead at the end of each month.
- Ditch the Gym
The average gym membership is $60 a month. That is around $720 a year just for the privilege of working up a sweat. And how many times have you skipped the gym? When you get right down to it, the workouts that you accomplish in the gym can be done at home. You might not have all the fancy equipment but there are a lot of workouts online that are free to help you get into shape. If you want to invest in a piece of equipment or some weights, then they could end up being more affordable than that monthly membership.
- Cut the Cable
How much are you paying for cable TV? Most folks hover around $100 a month. Now ask yourself, what are you watching? It could be that all the shows you watch are available on streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon Prime. You could subscribe to all three of those services and still save money. It is worth investigating.
- Plan Out Meals
A lot of time and money is spent on feeding yourself and your family. You still have to eat but planning can help you save both time and money. Every meal that you make should be thought of as “batch meals.” That means you will have leftovers that can simply be reheated. Having meals at the ready will cut back on your need for take-out or dining out. That will be a big money and time saver.
- Avoid Buying Dry-Clean Only Clothes
Dry-clean only clothes mean just that: They can only be dry-cleaned. That means making trips to the dry-cleaner for drops offs and pick-ups. Plus, all the extra expenses. You are sure to find plenty of laundry safe clothes that are perfect for work.
- DIY Minor Repairs
What happens when something breaks around your home? There are three options: Replace it, hire someone to fix it, or DIY repair. The first two take up time and money. The third option can save you both. There might be some repairs that you’ll need tutorial help with. That can be found online. Of course, there are some major repairs that you shouldn’t tackle on your own. But when you save on the minor repairs, you’ll have the funds for the big fixes.
- Use Automated Bill Paying
Paying your bills doesn’t take up a lot of time. It would take even less time if you set up automatic payments. Anyone you pay on a regular basis will have options for automatic payments. This will also save you money because you’ll avoid those late fees and interest charges that come with accidentally forgetting a payment.
- Volunteer More
Why do you go out on the weekends? If it is to have something to do that is fulfilling, then you should consider volunteering. That can be extremely rewarding and lets you get out and socialize. You might also find opportunities to volunteer at events and festivals that would allow you free admission to those gatherings.
- Activate Money Saving Plugins
There are plugins and apps that you can load onto your phones like Honey, Ebates, and Invisible Hand that help you save money. They do this by searching for coupons, deals, and savings while you’re actively shopping online. There are a lot of discount codes to take advantage of and these plugins can help find them automatically.
- Resist Impulse Purchases
Shopping online is fun, fast, and easy. It can also be a big temptation for impulse buys. That is especially true when many sites offer you “recommendations” based on past purchases. Instead of browsing, go online for what you need and resist the temptation to buy on impulse. You can always drop the item into your shopping cart and wait a few days to decide if you really need it and can afford it.
- Skip Sales
Yes, you should buy items at a discount whenever possible but that doesn’t mean buying something just because it is one sale. Not everything on sale is worth having.
- Make a Shopping Plan
If you are going shopping in a store, then you need a plan. For grocery shopping, that means making a list and sticking to that list. The more time you spend traveling up and down aisles, the more likely you’ll be spending and buying things that you might not need.
- Avoid Scams
Online and phone scams occur every minute of every day. Here is where you need to be diligent about opening emails from strangers or organizations. Even if you are contacted by your bank or some other online institution, don’t upload any information or click on any links. Go to the original site to see if there really is an issue with your account. Many scammers can fake an email to make it seem legit. If you get trapped, then your computer could become damaged and your identity compromised.
- Active Apps
There are a lot of apps that you can download on your phone to help you save money. While shopping, there are apps that provide price comparisons. Other apps can help you find cheap gas prices and places to park.
- Batch Activities
Look for ways to batch activities. You don’t have to wash dishes after every meal. Let them stack up and do them all at the end of the day. The same for answering emails. If someone needed an immediate response, then they would probably call you! Batching activities can help you save time and that is very precious.