7 Money-Saving Tricks That Actually Work

On a blackboard are four words with arrows pointing from one to the next: earn, save, invest, and retire.

Selena Maranjian | The Motley Fool

Many, if not most, of us want to save more money. But it can be hard to do — especially when we’re faced with lots of tempting possible purchases every day and we often have a credit card on us that makes spending quick and easy.

Fear not, though — because you can save money and potentially a lot more of it than you thought you could. Here are seven tricks you might try. See how much you can save with them.

1. Make the most of cash-back credit cards

This trick is not for you if you tend to use credit cards to buy more things than you can afford. If you’re reasonably disciplined, though, it can put (or keep) some significant dollars in your pocket regularly: Get and use one or more cash-back credit cards. These cards offer anywhere from 1% to 2% back on every purchase, and some pay up to 5% or 6% back on certain purchases, such as those at supermarkets or particular retailers. If you spend $300 per month at Amazon.com, for example, and earn 5% back on most purchases there, you’ll essentially be spending 5% less — saving about $180 annually. An American Express card that offers 6% back on supermarket spending can save you $24 per month, if you spend about $100 per week at the supermarket.

There are lots of great credit cards out there, so make sure you’re using the ones that serve you best. For example, if you travel a lot, look into cards that offer travel rewards and discounts — and if you’re in debt, focus not on getting cash back but on paying off your debt, perhaps with the help of a 0% introductory APR card or a balance-transfer card.

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