According to USA Today, it costs a family of four over $12,000 a month to live in San Francisco, one of the nation’s most expensive cities.
While it can be appealing to live in one of the country’s sprawling metropolis cities to access unlimited entertainment, job opportunities and great eats, you might find yourself needing to make some adjustments to your spending habits.
Here are seven of the easiest strategies to save money without having to change much about your lifestyle.
7 Ways to Save Money in the Most Expensive Cities
1. Rent Out Your Spare Room
If you’ve snagged the perfect apartment but haven’t rented out that extra room, take advantage of home-sharing services like Airbnb to make a little extra cash money on the side.
Or, if you travel a lot for work and find yourself actually living in your place for less than half of the month, you can rent out your entire place for the dates you know you won’t be home.
Check with your local authorities to make sure you’re able to rent out rooms on Airbnb in your area. If you are, then you might be able to make extra money.
2. Earn Money with Rebate Apps
If you’ve got a little extra time on your hands you can download a grocery receipt scanning app to earn quick, easy cash.
These apps are designed to allow you to receive points or cash simply for scanning your grocery store receipt.
While the apps, ranging from Ibotta to Receipt Hog, vary in the way that they function, all of them are quick, easy ways to gain a little extra cash on the side.
3. Sign Up for a Rewards Credit Card
If you have a free checking account then make it a point to contact your bank about signing up for a new credit card under the same account.
Along with cashback programs, most major credit card companies offer other benefits that can ultimately save you cash, like points for gas, groceries and even travel.
If you’re smart about the way you spend money using your credit card, you can earn cash back for purchasing everyday items and build your credit. This makes it one of the best ways to save money without changing your lifestyle one bit.
4. Shop Online Instead of In-Store
Save gas on driving to the store and shop online for your clothing and other goods.
The internet is full of discount websites such as Overstock.com that offer major price cuts. Stores like these are known to offer discounts as big as 75% on many items.
Be sure to take advantage of free shipping minimums to save the most.
And, if you’re a student and you need help saving money, then try to see if the website offers a student discount. Many do!
5. Put 20% of Your Income in Savings
According to the 50-30-20 rule, you should invest 20% of your income back into your own savings account. If you don’t have a debit card that’s optimized to help you do this, then you should have one!
Try to follow this rule as strictly as you can. If you find that 20% is too much to handle, then invest 5 or even 10%. As long as you get in the habit of putting money away for a rainy day, it’ll help you in the long-run.
To make the most of this saving tip, it’s best to look for the best online savings account. Look for one that offers high-interest savings along with a few other perks to help you out.
6. Invest Time Into Your Side Hustle
Thousands of people all over the world are taking advantage of the gig economy, and you should too.
Become a freelancer in your spare time or find ways to make money online that you can do on the weekends.
If you’re able to turn a passion into a side hustle, then spending your evenings or weekends working on projects won’t feel like work at all.
And, your savings account will definitely thank you at the end of each month.
7. Automate Your Savings in a High-Yield Checking Account
The easiest way to save money without changing your lifestyle? Signing up for a debit card that does it for you.
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