A life hack is any trick, shortcut, skill or unorthodox way to increase productivity and efficiency in any part of your daily life. Instead of finding a work around in a computer program like a traditional hacker. A life hacker does the same thing for their everyday life. Online you'll find a large number of life hacks for anything you can think of, including saving money. Below you'll find some of our favourites in no particular order:
1. Pay with Cash – It's so simple, but most people never give it a second thought. Next time you go out, leave the debit or credit card on the kitchen table and only bring cash. A Dunn & Bradsheet study showed that people spend 12% to 18% more when using credit cards compared to using cash. The fact you can see what's being spent makes people consider more seriously what they're doing before they part with their hard-earned money.
2. Buy Cars at the End of the Month – If you're tired of being given the run around by sly car salesmen and feel like you're overpaying, then may we suggest buying a car at the end of the month? This is when a car dealer is trying to make their quota and according to AutoTrader, it's the best time to get the best deals because dealers are trying to meet their monthly sales goals and get their bonuses.
3. Put a Brick in Your Toilet Tank – When your water bill is too high, or your community is asking you to conserve water, don't sweat it and just put a brick in your toilet tank. It sounds bizarre, but it will save you a brick's worth of water and your toilet will still flush normally.
4. Use a Banana to Fix Scratches on Cds, DVDs and Blu-Rays – Anytime a product lasts longer and you don't have to replace it, you're saving money. Try this banana trick for minor scratches or smudges on your discs. It won't work for multiple scratches, but for one scratch you can rub the banana on the disc and then rub the inside of the peal over it. Clean it with water, dry it with a soft cloth and voila! It should be good as new.
5. Use an Old Chapstick Case as a Clandestine Money Pouch – Hiding money in your sock is so last year. Besides, most thieves know it's a common hiding spot and will look there or demand you empty them. To make sure you don't lose it all, hide your emergency fund cash in your empty chapstick container. Pop off the bottom, clean out the excess and then glue the bottom back on before rolling up your cash and stuffing it inside and putting on the cap.
6. Paint Your Roof White to Expel Heat – Some people go to extreme lengths to save money and if you painted your roof white to save on your heating bill, you'd be one of them. However, all the people who were laughing when you were climbing up the ladder will eat their words the moment you show them all the money you saved.
7. Clear Your Browser History When Booking Flights – Airlines know when you've been searching for the cheapest flight, thanks to the cookies that monitor your browsing history, and they'll actually charge you more on the flights listed (They smell fear!) So wipe the slate clean before you start doing your research because that will make your options all the more inexpensive.
8. Hit the Library for Free Stuff – Nothing beats all the money you save at the library. Just ask Bargain Moose contributor Avigayil Morris, she told us the money-saving wonders that come with owning a library card. These include, but are not limited to, free internet, free movies, free tv shows and of course, free books.
9. Save on Prescription Drugs with Honey – Not only do you catch more flies with honey, but you save money too. Toast is not the only thing it's good for, you can also use it as a topical ointment for burns and as a disinfectant that kills bacteria. So, next time you have a zit, burn or infection, hit the hive.
10. Reduce Your Cell Phone Data with an App – Say goodbye to data overage charges. That's because there's an app out there that will reduce your data plan consumption without reducing how often you actually use the phone. It's called Onavo Extended and it will compress your data usage by running in the background of your phone. (Another version, Onavo Count, simply tracks how much data you use.) So, when you're browsing the internet, watching a video or streaming audio on your phone, Onavo makes sure you never take up more data than you have to by making the file smaller. This means you can do twice as much with the same amount of data, which translates into big savings on your cellphone plan.
Photo credit: Auto Trader