Saving money for 2018

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2018 is officially here! We’ve popped the champagne and made the resolutions that will expire before the month is up, but have you really set out what you want to accomplish for the year? 2017 went by extremely fast while this month is just trucking along. While I did accomplish a great deal of goals I still feel I let myself become too sidetracked with procrastination and laziness.

This year, I am setting concrete goals for myself. I am writing them down and setting daily affirmations and striving to commit more than ever before. We can read all day but taking control of whatever is it you want in life – more money, more love, more happiness – has to combine that knowledge with action.

One of my major goals this year to is to be financially abundant and get my finances in order. Being financially abundant, for me personally, does not mean I have to make a million dollars this year (although I would rejoice if that amount landed in my bank account), nor does it mean I am greedy and think more commas equals more happiness. True, better finances gives you more freedom. However, I am striving to create the life I want. If $40,000/yearly provides the same amount of happiness that $400,000/yearly would, sign me up! For me being financially abundant means I am creating income from skills and things I am passionate about – blogging, traveling, freelance writing, etc. For example, if I make $40,000 but I get to travel the world freely and work on my own terms and still be able to provide myself with food and shelter, I would be happier than if I made $400,000 and I am stuck in a cubicle all day everyday with little benefits other than a substantial salary.

While I am working towards my goals, I strive to save as much as possible. I will admit that I have not always been the best at spending wisely. I’ve been much better in 2017 than previous years but there’s always room for growth. Whether you’re saving for a travel fund or a future home, these are a few apps and websites I use to save money whenever I can.

Digit:

Digit is my ultimate saving hack. “Digit calculates the perfect amount of money to set aside every day — based on your income and spending — and automatically saves it for you. Most days it’ll feel invisible, but it won’t take long to feel like the future you’re working toward is within reach.” I hardly ever notice how much is taken out of my account and I love the feeling of saving monet without thinking about it. You can withdraw and transfer money with no fees. In the last year, I’ve saved over $1000 unconsciously!

Acorns:

Acorns is another money-saving tool similar to Digit but digs into the investment world. Acorns uses a round-up tool to save based on how you spend from your checking account. You can automatically save a pre-set amount  monthly as well. There are a lot of long-term financial gains from Acorns that can be further explained in the app. Sign up here!

 

Clarity:

Clarity is another money saving and tracking app. I use this app to save a set amount weekly. Currently I am saving $10/week. It may not seem like a lot but it adds up and I never notice it been taken from my bank account. For a  more in-depth look, Clarity also helps you track what bills you can cut out and how to save on current bills. They also track the amount of credit you’re using. The recommended amount of credit you should be spending is 30% of your limit. Sign up here!

 

Ibotta:

Ibotta is an app that lets you earn cash back from shopping through their portal or uploading receipts from grocery and lifestyle retailers. Unfortunately, I have not saved much in the grocery category because Ibotta only partners with certain chains. However, Ibotta has popular retailers, including Target, Walmart, Groupon, Footlocker, Bed Bath & Beyond, and many more. I always check Ibotta before I shop to make sure I’m earning cash back. After you earn $20, you can cash out via Venmo, PayPal, or retailer gift cards. They also have sign up bonuses. You can sign up here and get a $10 welcome bonus.

Checkout 51:

Checkout 51 is another grocery/personal items cash back app. It differs from Ibotta because you’re allowed to purchase from pretty much any retailer as long as it applies to the offers redeemable. Similar to Ibotta, you’re able to cash out after you’ve earned $20.

Ebates:

Sometimes I kick myself when I think about life B.E. (Before Ebates). Ebates allows you to install a tool in your browser that pops up anytime an eligible retailers participates in the cash back option. Almost everything I’ve ever shopped online partners with Ebates to give cash back. Ebates allows you to redeem your earned money quarterly. It does take a while but it’s a nice bonus for doing what you already do – shop! Sign up to get a $10 bonus here.

 

Other recommendations

Yelp:

Yelp offers cash back on certain restaurants when you link eligible cards to the app.

Uber Pool/Lyft Line:

Riding with others can occasionally be a pain, but if you need to get somewhere in a timely manner and save a few bucks, ride with Uber Pool or Lyft Line.

Seated:

Seated lets you earn rewards for dining out. The rewards are in the form of Uber credits, Starbucks gift cards, and Amazon gift cards. Sign up today to get an extra $5 reward!

Dosh:

Dosh pays ups when you book hotels, shop, or dine out. Sign up and get $5 instantly.

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