In a world of constant temptations and ever-increasing expenses, managing finances can be a daunting task. However, there exists a simple piece of advice that, if followed diligently, could potentially save most people a significant amount of money. This advice is to live within your means. This means spending less than you earn and avoiding unnecessary debts.

A netizen asked, What simple piece of advice, if followed, could potentially save most people a lot of money? “Possibly related to your job, experience with personal finance, budgeting, planning, day-to-day habits, etc.”, says OP. 

Below are the top 15 tips people came up with: 

Stop Buying Stuff You Don’t Need

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“When you’re thinking about buying something you don’t necessarily *need*, imagine somebody offering you the thing in one hand and what it costs in cash in the other. If you would take the cash over the thing from this imaginary stranger, you probably shouldn’t buy the thing.”

Buy In Bulk If It’s Often Needed

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“If you use it often and it’s not perishable, buy in bulk especially if it’s special! I’ve seen guys waste money coming in week after week for a few razor blades (a 3-pack instead of a 12-pack), purely because the small pack is cheaper. No bro, work it out per blade and the 12-pack is cheaper. This works with almost 90% of goods.”

Pay Yourself First

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“Pay yourself first. When you get paid, systematically put some into savings. Decide your percentage beforehand (10% for example) and do it every time.” Said one. 

“I set up my bank account to automatically deposit $15 in my savings account every Saturday and I haven’t touched it since. I’m not getting rich but I now have a nice little chunk of change should an emergency present itself.” Another added.

Start Budgeting RIGHT NOW

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“Don’t start budgeting ‘in a few years,’ start *now*. Heck, even if you’re in high school and flipping burgers on the weekend. The ability to create, and stick to, a budget will make a massive difference in your life.

Once you begin to budget your money, you’ll quickly realise where you are blowing your money on stupid crap. Set a limit for the fun stuff, but also have savings – a contingency plan, and you can save up for something you *really* want.”

Don’t Get In Credit Card Debt

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“Don’t get in credit card debt, especially store cards, I’m looking at you Wal-Mart. Some of these cards have interest rates of 18%!!”

Don’t Go Grocery Shopping On An Empty Stomach

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“Don’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. Put all of your loose change in a jar.”

“I make a list of what I need before I go to the store.  That way, it doesn’t matter whether I’m hungry or not.  I just buy what’s on the list.” Another added.

Don’t Buy New ALL The Time

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“I did a quick look, but didn’t find it listed: Don’t buy new ALL the time. Make a list of things you want to buy, and go check out refurbished (with warranty), and check out thrift and consignment shops. Check out Craigslist (but don’t succumb to the Craigslist killer).

Pack Your Lunch

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“Pack a lunch.  Cheaper and healthier.” Said one. 

“This is so true, you can make a healthy beautiful sandwich for less than a few dollars or buy one that’s not as healthy for close to 10 dollars.” Another added.

Buy Cars In Cash And Live In Smaller Houses

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“Buy cars in cash and live in smaller houses.

Sure, you can save a dollar or two here or there on coffee or packing lunches, but the big money is in transportation and housing. You can save many hundreds of dollars per month buying used cars in cash (vs leasing or financing) and lowering your rent/mortgage and household utilities by buying smaller housing.”

Avoid Paying Interests At All Costs

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“Do absolutely everything in your power to avoid paying interest/fees. It’s just throwing money away. 

If you buy unnecessary things while in debt, think of it as paying interest on those purchases.” 

Put Half Your Paycheck Into A Savings Account

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“When you’re younger, and therefore don’t have to pay bills or whatever, any paycheck you get, split it in at least half, and put half into a savings account, and the other into you’re normal account. This has helped me have a fairly large sum of money for someone my age just sitting there, for when I need it.”

Don’t Use Credit Cards Unless You Know This One Thing

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“Don’t use credit cards unless you *know* you’re one of those people that will pay the bill off completely at the end of every month and want to take advantage of the rewards.”

Check For Warranty Extension In Credit Cards

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“Many credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, but check) have a program that extends your warranty for anything (with some exclusions) you purchase on the card by a year. I haven’t actually tried using it to see how the service is, but it’s something that is missed because it’s in the fine print. Others also have travel insurance, including medical evac.”

Drive The Speed Limit And Buckle Your Safety Belt

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“Drive the speed limit and buckle your safety belt. It costs me $120 a month in car insurance for a 12-year-old Prius because I had a lead foot in my younger days.

Now I have a bad catalytic converter and my car is physically unable to exceed the speed limit. I haven’t received a ticket in two years & my insurance rates have flat-lined.”

Use A Mom-And-Pop Company To Get Your Taxes Done

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“Instead of getting your taxes done with a big-name company, use a Mom-and-Pop company that has had the same owners for years. 

Source: I worked at a locally-owned tax company one tax season, and the husband and wife that ran the company had done so for around 34 years. During this same time, my dad had my taxes done in our hometown with the accountant that we’ve been using for years–but he works for a big company. My tax return? $200. Cost to get my tax return done? $250 (Dad paid, shout out to my awesome parents). 

People who came to the company I worked at had the same amount of work with their taxes that I had paid around $30.  They’re also a lot easier to communicate with, and always remember clients (although I know there are always outliers to this fact, and you can end up going to a sketchy local place. Just be smart about your decisions).”

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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.

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