In this econony many people aren't getting raises, but if you could get one without asking -- would you? Of course!
Follow these eight simple tips to feel as if your paychecks are getting bigger, without muttering a word.
1. Carry pocket cash, not plastic. Research shows that many Americans have an unhealthy relationship with credit cards. When we walk around with cash, we simply spend less and process the transaction differently. We are more mindful when we actually can see our own money being physically spent. Think about it, do you really need that third cup of coffee at Starbucks you just put on your credit card? The same applies for cab rides now that they accept credit cards. Swiping a card is just too easy, and, remember, if you don't pay off the monthly balance, that two dollars you spent on coffee could end up costing 10 bucks by the time you add on interest.
2. If you are going to use a credit card -- know which one gets you cash back and points. With my card, I just got a check for $180 from points. When you do use plastic, use it with discretion and very wisely. Compare credit card rewards at nerdwallet.com. Search by your preferred reward -- cash back, gas or travel.
3. From here to there. Check with your state to see if they offer tax benefits for commuters who use public transportation. If you are driving, fill up on Wednesday morning before soaring weekend prices. Some stations offer a lower price when you pay with cash. Check www.gasbuddy.com to find the most inexpensive rates in your area.
4. Prescription savings is huge. If you have a monthly prescription there is great potential for savings depending on where you go. One pharmacy may be $130 and another could be just $13. I found rock-bottom prices on generic drugs at warehouse clubs. Best of all, you don't even need a membership to use pharmacy services. And when two or more manufacturers make a generic version of the drug, it drives competition and lowers the price up to 95 percent off the price of the brand name version.
5. Resale shop! Costs for children's clothing (and toys!) can add up quickly. Resale shops sell brand new and gently used merchandise for 75-90 percent off the original retail price. To sweeten the deal, you can trade in old clothes for a credit towards your purchase. A consignment shop will sell your items and give you around 65 percent of the sale. With flash sales sites it is easier to catch up to the needs of your growing young ones and cut down on costs. Sites like Gilt Children and Zulilly are great resources.
6. Shop drugstores. Go to your local drugstores that are offering coupons for beauty products. This is a great place to get makeup, skincare needs, and other household items.
7. Deals on fun. We all deserve a night out on the town, so go to Restaurant.com where you can get $25 gift cards for just $10. Check with your local symphony, opera, or theater to see if they offer discounts on dress rehearsal performances or standing room tickets. For outings with the kids, buy a membership to one museum and get free or discount membership to hundreds of other museums, science centers, zoos and aquariums.
8. Before you buy. Be sure to look on Coupons.com for coupon codes making online purchases and receive instant savings. Coupons.com has codes for a variety of large retailers such as Kate Spade, Target, REI, Walgreens, Best Buy and more.
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