With the holidays quickly approaching and your list of who to buy for slowly getting longer, it doesn’t hurt to start saving your money and searching for sales before Black Friday rolls around. And with all the apps and coupon websites out there, it’s easier than ever to knock a few extra dollars off your big purchases. But see for yourself–from coupon sites to money-budgeting apps, these are six of our favorite ways to save.
By now, most of us have purchased something on the popular deal-of-the-day site, whether it was an electronic toothbrush or an Italian dinner for two. The savings are just too good to pass up. At the same time, it’s easy to get carried away. A good rule of thumb is to think long and hard about whether or not you (or your gift recipient) will actually use this stuff, because you might just be flushing money down the toilet. Example: Are those Archery lessons really a good idea?
We get it–you’ve got expensive taste. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend your whole paycheck on one pair of shoes. Gilt Groupe has new designer sales every day, and while the stuff is in style, it costs a fraction of the price you’d pay in department stores.
Download this smartphone app and when you take a trip to the mall, it will automatically notify you of sales going on at nearby stores. You can tailor the app to your liking by adding stores you actually shop in, so you don’t have to worry about getting an alert from Victoria’s Secret about a bra sale–unless you want to.
Avid online shoppers know that there’s nothing better than finding a coupon code after an extensive Google search. Free shipping and 50% off? Copy and paste. RetailMeNot is a great site for this type of discount. In addition to those helpful codes, you’re also able to print coupons or send them to your phone to redeem in-store.
Sometimes, it’s hard to keep track of what you’re spending. You look at your statement, see some random company, freak out–and then realize you took a ridiculously priced cab ride last Saturday night. Mint is an app that will let you monitor where your money is going. It files everything into categories and let’s you set budgets for yourself. It’ll also tell you that you had “unusual spending for restaurants and bars” this week. Think of it as a nosey, electronic mom.
Gas is one of those annoying expenses you hate paying, but need to pay. Avoid feeling sad after you fill up your tank by seeking out the lowest fuel prices around. Maybe a few bucks doesn’t seem like a lot (especially when you’re running low or late for work), but trust us–it adds up. Save your money for something you really need. Like Xbox One.