The One Hack That Helped Me Save Thousands: 7 Stories
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eliza“I made my savings account super-inconvenient.”

Eliza Cross, 58, entrepreneur and blogger in Denver, Colo.

“My tactic goes back to the old, ‘out of sight, out of mind’ way of thinking. I used to have monthly automatic withdrawals from my checking account to my savings, but soon discovered one major flaw: It was way too easy to transfer money back into checking for small emergencies, like a broken garbage disposal.

So about two years ago, I decided to create an ‘inconvenient savings account.’ I deliberately chose a credit union that’s not connected to my regular bank, then declined the free debit card. If I want to take money out of this account, I have to physically drive there and arrange it with a representative. Because it’s such a pain to access, I rarely move cash back into my regular account—and have been able to save about $4,500 so far.”

matthew“I buy groceries in bulk.”

Matthew Walrath, 27, a nutrition coach in Los Angeles, Calif.

“Saving up for a house is a big financial goal of mine. And thanks to an easy hack I implemented four months ago, I should be able to cross it off my bucket list next year.

As a nutrition coach and fitness competitor, food has traditionally been one of my biggest budget busters. Until recently, I had a meal delivery service, dined out a lot and bought convenient items at the grocery store, like pre-cut produce. While training for CrossFit regionals, my food budget ballooned to $1,900 a month.

But recently, I decided to scale back in order to hit my other money goals. Now, I’m saving between $1,000 to $1,400 a month—without sacrificing nutrition—just by buying the majority of my food (meats and frozen fruits and veggies) in bulk and being more mindful about my habits. That alone translates into some hefty savings: anywhere from 25 to 60 percent off on produce and snacks alone. I also limit restaurant visits, freeze leftover fresh food and meal-prep weekly.

Doing this prevents waste and saves time—and I think it’s a savings trick that could work for almost anyone, even if your food expenses are a lot less than mine were. While there are some upfront costs to buying in bulk, the long-term savings definitely tip the scale back in your favor.”

November 14, 2016

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