10 Ways I Radically Improved My Finances (w/out Changing My Lifestyle)

Updated: Dec 11, 2021

I am always looking for ways to save money without having to change too many habits or put in much effort. Lazy? Perhaps. Savvy? Definitely. Here are all the ways I started saving this year:

*Below includes referral links which mean I make a tiny percentage if you join. Everything I recommend is what I have personally done and would recommend even without a referral return. Thank you so much for supporting my family and have fun saving!

What can you cut?

This first recommendation is going to be the most time-consuming but oh so worth it. Go through your bank statements and write down all your recurring bills. For each item, ask if you can save money somehow (even for your basic expenses like utilities).

Here were my yearly savings from doing this:

-Switched phone carriers - $240 (see below)

-Switched to a shared family iCloud storage plan - $36

-Cancelled Netflix subscription - $156

-Cancelled Instacart subscription - $120 (although if you always overspend when you are in the supermarket, this can actually SAVE money)

-Called our credit cards and asked for different fees to be waived/refunded - $40

-Closed/downgraded all our credit cards with monthly/yearly fees - $320

-Spotify downgrade - $60

-Moved money into a 1-3% APY with ONE FINANCE (this is where our noninvestment money goes like emergency fund) - $32 earned in interest.

-Cancelled Amazon Prime (you can still shop on the site. You just don't have prime video. Also, I was just given a free month since they want us back) - $119

This Yearly savings= $1,083.

This doesn't include other perks I discovered like free lightbulbs from my power company, free heater tune-up from my home warranty, credit card benefits like free CALM membership for a year, etc. This took me a whole day to do. Making $1000 + bucks in a day is not bad!

Know all your credit cards, banks, and membership benefits.

Write down all your personal credit cards' APY so you know which cards are a priority to pay off (even though ideally you want to pay everything off every month) and reward percentages so you know which stores to use which cards.

Our Credit Cards:

We currently have Citi Double Cash. I love how simple this one is with 2% back on everything and you can cash in the money earned whenever you want. We also have an American Express card. This one offers tons of rewards. If you are an avid shopper or like rewards programs, you'll like this. It also does amazing things like reward you extra for shopping small or give you free yearly memberships like the Calm app. But if that sounds overwhelming to you, Citi Double Cash is where it's at. Amex (like Costco) also offers different % depending on where you use the card (think department store vs grocery shopping vs locally owned). Based on our cards, here is where we use them:

Supermarket: Amex

Gas station: Amex or Citi

Department Stores: Amex or Citi

Local shops: Citi (unless Amex is running a promo)

All things Costco, use Costco card

Other tips:

-Keep in mind some checking accounts like Betterment offer rewards as well.

-Amazon likes to partner with Amex often for other promos.

-Look for other perks like extended warranties and roadside assistance. Why pay for these if you already get them?

-In the future, I might close the Amex card and open a Lowe's CC when we start our home renovations as it's one of the best store cards out there (5% back).

-I've noticed the most bang for your buck is to use your rewards points for gift cards.

-If you shop at Costco, get a Costco credit card. We stayed on the basic membership forever, afraid of giving more money or signing up for a store credit card. After crunching the numbers, turns out you save a lot more going all-in.

-Start the cancelation process with all your sevices, often you will be pro