Easy Ways to Improve Your Finances Without Having to Compromise
Saving money is usually associated with compromise. To improve your finances you need to sit down to evaluate your spending habits, cut down on what you spend, and start saving or investing money.
While all of these are valid methods to improve your finances, they might not apply to everyone depending on their particular circumstances. Let’s face it – not everyone might have the time, patience, or discipline to apply the most common tips provided by financial experts.
When it comes to saving or investing, well… sometimes you just can’t do it. But what if we told you that there are some easy ways that can help you improve your finances without having to compromise?
We live at a time when technological advancements have made it easier than ever to access the service of experts, automate certain tasks that used to be a hassle, and share information that can be easily accessed globally.
All of these benefits can now easily be applied by you to improve your finances, it is just a matter of knowing the tools at your disposal.
Let’s talk about how you can start to easily save money following some simple steps that will not require you to invest a lot of time, effort, or money!
Let Technology Do the Hard Work When it Comes to Your Finances
The rise of the digital economy has made it easier than ever for mobile and web applications to gain access to our financial information to assist us with our finances without the need for a financial advisor.
While your bank is more than likely to have a mobile app or an online banking site, the purpose of such applications is not to facilitate the saving process but to provide you with a vast source of information and services.
Fortunately, applications like Truebill have been developed to help millions of people better manage their finances by providing the information that matters when it comes to saving money. Truebill offers different features intended to manage your subscriptions, provide you insights on spending, create budgets, and automate your savings.
The digital nature of such solutions means that you will not need to gather receipts or scroll through your bank statements, get pen and paper or a spreadsheet, and analyze all of your financial data. Just by quickly setting up your account in less than 5 minutes, you will have access to all of the features that Truebill offers.
Being able to see your expenses depending on their category, frequency, and values will offer you important information on what services you might not need anymore.
This is especially relevant at a time when a subscription to online services has become the norm. How many times have you forgotten to cancel a subscription you are no longer interested in having?
Truebill isn’t the only financial app out there but is one we can vouch for. What is important is to find a reliable and trustworthy application that can automate the process of being on top of your finances, unless you had rather spend hours manually going through statements!
Make Sure You Are Not Paying More Than You Should
Savings can be hidden anywhere! When people subscribe to services like internet, cable, or cell phone, it is normal to forget about it after a while as you continue to pay the same monthly bill. We usually just pay attention to the bill when it gets higher but we ignore it could be lower.
Think about it this way: Technology advances each day, which makes it easier for service providers to offer better service at a cheaper price. If you have been with them for years, why should you be paying the same for a service that is considerably cheaper for them to provide?
An “easy” way to solve this issue is just to call your provider, see what new options are available for you and change to it, or just negotiate your current package.
However, we all know how talking to cable or internet providers goes: You wait and wait on the phone just to be offered a more expensive package, being transferred from one representative to another.
Well, services like Billshark can take care of the whole negotiation process on your behalf. With a 90% success rate, Billshark offers to give a look at your bills and talk with your providers on your behalf to lower what you pay. If they are unable to save you money, you are not charged!
While paying someone else to take care of negotiations might sound like an expensive service, it is surprisingly a win-win situation (we are talking about how to improve your finances, after all). Billshark charges a one-time fee of 40% of any savings they get for you, which means that even if they succeed and you get charged, you are still saving money!
According to the company, they have saved as much as $9.5k for certain customers and while this might not be your case, any amount of money you can save on a monthly basis will become a bigger win in the long term.
If you don’t want to share part of your savings with a company, you can also go through the process of contacting your service providers yourself! However, Biillshark has been backed by Mark Cuban, as well as reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, which makes it one of the most popular and trustworthy companies offering this type of service. Why not leave it to the pros?
You Might Be Owed Money and Not Know It
That’s right, you might be owed money by stores you frequently use. How many times have you purchased a product just to find out that it is being sold for a cheaper price some days later? Or the opposite can also be true, you wait a few days hoping the price will drop just to find out the product has sold out?
This is an annoying situation most of us have experienced and it is surprisingly easy to avoid. If you acquired a product just to find it at a cheaper price soon after, it doesn’t mean you have lost.
Certain credit cards offer a benefit known as “Price protection”, which while not being very popular, will allow you to receive a refund if the price of a product you acquired drops soon after. The conditions for this benefit can vary depending on your provider, so make sure to check your benefits and see if you have it!
While Price protection requires you to find the lower price and file a claim to get a refund, some users might find this to be too bothersome to recover $5 dollars or so, just taking the trouble to do the process for big saves. This is understandable but you should keep in mind that such savings can add up.
It is also possible to return an item and purchase it again at a lower price. While this will result in savings, this process is much more bothersome than using price protection or other services. f you don’t want to go through the trouble yourself, you can make use of platforms that completely automate the process.
Paribus is a platform run by CapitalOne that takes care of the trouble of monitoring prices and filing for refunds across more than 25 major retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Home Depot, and many more.
The service will track the price information of any online purchase you make and if it finds that the price has dropped during the next 30 days, provide you with the information on how to file for a refund or will do it on your behalf depending on the store, allowing you to easily improve your finances.
The best part is that the service is entirely free to use! Be it $10, $200, or $1500 a month, no one can complain about being refunded money without having to do any work besides setting up an account.
No matter which of these options you use, make sure not to pay more than you should have for that shirt, bicycle, or library you purchased. Even better, forget about having to consider if the price of that product will drop in the following days, just get it and get a refund afterward if that is the case!
The Old Methods Are Now Easier Than Ever
We all are familiar with coupons, rebates, and cashback as they have been around for a while. These methods have helped people around the world to save money and improve their finances for decades, as well as giving us scenes such as this one.
Coupons are genius and will allow you to save money easily just by taking a little bit longer when purchasing if you want to go from $70 to $12 just like in the video.
While in the old day’s people would actually be required to have a paper coupon, save it, and use it at the time of paying, technology has made the use of coupons easier than ever (especially with online shopping).
By using sites like TopCashback you will be able to find offers at hundreds of physical and online stores that will allow you to save money easily. Just check if that store you are planning on using an offer, add the coupon code upon check out, and start saving.
The service is free to use and is not limited to coupons as it also offers rebates and cashback offers, which will be credited to your TopCashback account and can be withdrawn once the retailer’s return policy is over.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Being a smart consumer is one of the best ways to easily save money without having to compromise. While using the tips we have provided will certainly result in you having to spend some time setting up accounts, reviewing your bills, or taking the time to search for an offer, they are unlikely to take you more than a few minutes.
As time passes, it will become second nature to use a coupon, search for an offer, or review your current subscriptions to see if you are really using all of them. To us, the major advantage of this approach is its simplicity and how easy it is to apply.
While their financial benefits might not be as big as creating a budget or other financial strategies, they are an easy way to start saving money that you can later use as an investment or savings to further improve its benefit. If you combine these strategies with some of the other tips you will find on this site, you will save even more money.
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