Resolved to Save More Money?
Aside from incorporating healthy habits, saving more money is the most popular New Year’s Resolution among Americans. The turn of the year provides a natural opportunity for integrating new tools that will support you in the pursuit of your goals. If you’re among the thousands of people looking for new ways to pinch pennies, you’re in luck. Modern technology gives us more tools than ever to sock away savings, retrieve refunds from retailers, get cash back, and monitor spending. Here are a few secure, legitimate tools that your friends, neighbors, and colleagues are likely using to set a little more savings aside this year. Full disclosure — none of the links included in this article are affiliate links. We’re simply sharing information about popular new apps. We are not being paid or compensated in any way by any companies mentioned, and our sharing of these apps is purely informational, not necessarily a recommendation.
Install iBotta on your smartphone to get cash back on your groceries. Before you shop, add the products you’re planning to buy to your in-app shopping list. Once you’ve put the produce away, scan your receipt from a participating store (Wegmans and Tops are both on the list). Your cash back will be deposited into your Ibotta account within 48 hours, and you can transfer your balance to PayPal, Venmo, or a gift card once it’s reached $20.
Don’t shop online without checking RetailMeNot. The site features the latest coupon codes for thousands of sites, along with how many times they’ve been used successfully. Install the Genie browser extension to be alerted of savings automatically, or use the site to find cash-back offers or gift-card deals.
Stores pay Ebates a commission for sending members to their websites, then shares the cash with you. Just sign up for an account and install the Ebates button in your browser. When you’re shopping on a participating website, an invitation to activate cash back will pop up. Just activate, complete your purchase, and watch your Ebates balance add up. There’s also a smartphone app that gives you access to exclusive offers and cash back on in-store purchases.
Millennials are squirreling away savings bit by bit with an approach called micro-investing. Acorns and platforms like it automatically move small amounts of money from your bank account(s) to an investment account based on rules created by you. Set up Acorns to make recurring or one-time investments, or to round up purchases to the nearest dollar and invest the difference. It’s a savings method that you can set and forget.
YNAB is budgeting for a new millennium. Input your budget, connect your bank account, and get more insight into your spending than you’ve ever experienced. Integrated tools will help you pay down debt, track your financial goals, and — of course — stick to your budget.
Don’t feel comfortable linking your accounts and sharing all that information? You’re not the only one. Pinterest is a veritable wonderland of ingenious savings tips and tricks with a purely analog approach. From jar and envelope savings systems to budgets and formulas, you’re sure to find a strategy that suits your style.