10 easy ways to save $10 every single day: That's an extra $3,650 a year


Americans report daily spending of around $100 on average — and that's outside of car or home payments and basic household expenses, according to recent Gallup poll data. But what if you didn't spend that much? What if you shaved off just a little bit in expenses without really changing your lifestyle and started pocketing just $10 extra every single day?

"Saving $10 a day doesn't sound like a lot, but it can really add up over time," said certified financial planner Douglas Boneparth, co-author of The Millennial Money Fix, in a phone interview. That adds up to $3,650 a year, which you could put toward all sorts of financial goals. "I am a big proponent of the cash reserve and creating a safety net in case of emergency," Boneparth added. "That can be several month's rent for a lot of folks."

An extra $3.5 grand or so would be more than enough to pay off the average $1,780 credit card balance carried by 18- to 24-year-olds — or it could make a significant dent as extra payments toward your student loans, or get you more than halfway toward maxing out an IRA for retirement.

"If nothing else, prudently investing $10 a day over a long period of time and a moderate rate of return can really add up," Boneparth said. Does banking a 10-spot every day of the week seem difficult? It won't if you follow these simple tips. Here are some super easy moves you can make — right away.

1. Hack how you dine out

Recent surveys suggest millennials eat out more than non-millennials and spend more when doing it; millennials spend a monthly average of $174 compared with $153 for non-millennials, according to Restaurant Marketing Labs. Eating out doesn't just mean going to a restaurant for dinner, either. Buying coffee, hitting up the vending machine, going out for lunch and stopping for prepared foods on the way home from work are also counted among these extraneous expenses.

Another cash-drain culprit? Booze: More than half of respondents aged 21 to 26 admitted in a recent Bankrate survey that they eat out at least three times a week — and hit a bar at least once a week.

The good news: You don't have to give up dining out to save money. You can just be smarter about how you do it. Order a few appetizers instead of a main course; go out for a late lunch rather than dinner, as lunch menus typically offer cheaper items; drink water instead of alcohol or soda — or BYOB — and opt to eat at restaurants where you can get a discounted gift card though sites like Restaurants.com.

The site offers gift cards with discounts of up to 80% or more that can be redeemed at 20,000 restaurants nationwide. If you normally spend $100 eating out weekly, you might be able to spend $20 instead — thus saving about $80 a week.

Potential savings: More than $10 daily

2. Automate saving on groceries

Buying groceries at sale prices comes with big savings. "Look first at the deals and plan your meals around what's on sale," Steve Economides, co-author of Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America's Cheapest Family, told Time. "This way, you can get meals for half-price."

You don't actually have to comb through grocery stores' flyers just to spot the best deals. Instead, download Favado, an app that helps you get the best prices by notifying you when items you buy are on sale at stores near you. It also offers printable coupons for any eligible items on your shopping list.

Stock up on sale items so you never have to pay full price, and combine coupons and store promotions whenever you can; Favado notes that by doing so, you can save 70% on grocery bills. Adults aged 18 to 29 spend about $173 weekly on food, or $24 daily, according to Gallup. If you save 70%, that's $16.80 saved daily.

Feeling extra lazy? Just shift your shopping schedule to line up with the cheapest days of the week to buy different items: produce tends to cost less on Wednesdays, for example.

Estimated savings: More than $15 daily

3. Get a little cash back on spending...

If picking out individual deals on your own isn't your jam, you can automate the process with cash-back credit cards and smart apps. If you get a good cash-back rewards credit card that gives you, say, 2% on all purchases, that's like getting $2 back daily out of your $100 spending.

Apps like Trim cancel subscriptions you're not using, apply coupons, alert you when prices drop on Amazon items and even contact cable companies for credits from outages and gives you cash back. You'll need to have a Visa card enrolled in the Trim Savings program to get the most money back, but once you've added your card, you could see daily savings add up.

For example: If Trim cancels one membership like an $800 annual gym membership, for example you'll save about $2 daily. (You can always switch over to these clever ways to get in shape for free.) And if the app hooks you up with one $10 deal per week on stuff like movies and dining out, that could save another $1 or so daily.

Plus, you can use multiple cash-back apps to double- or triple-dip. Apps like SavingStar and iBotta allow you to submit pictures of receipt or use store loyalty cards to get cash back on groceries. CheckOut 51 lets you get cash back on items by browsing grocery coupons and activating offers. So you could combine SavingStar's $4 off Butterball products with CheckOut 51's $1.50 off Butterball turkey bacon and smoked sausage for a combined savings of $5.50. Current offers of $3 off Bud Light and $4 off Little Debbie products would net you another $7 back, for example, on weekend party snacks.

Potential savings: $5 to $10 daily

4. ... or a lot!

Confused by all the different rewards cards out there? Instead of wading through the fine print on your own, consider using Wallaby, an app that recommends cards offering the most cash back based on your spending. Wallaby also alerts you to deals, such as a currently available $10 Amazon credit running through July 31. If you can earn a generous 5% cash back on most purchases as some cards offer and you're alerted to a $10 deal each week: That's like getting about $5 cash back a day, plus an extra dollar and change daily from the credit.

You can also maximize savings using discount gift cards from websites like Card Cash that can help you save about 5% at Target, more than 40% at Tim Hortons and more than 10% at Walgreens. According to Time, one stay-at-home mom saved $150 in a month by shopping almost exclusively with gift cards purchased at a discount. That's like $5 a day if you had similar results.

Finally, what you buy can help even more than how you buy it. Switching to buying generic items could save you more than $1,500 a year, or $4 daily.

Estimated savings: $10 to $15 daily

5. Clean cheaper

"The cost of dry-cleaning can add up fast, especially if you work in an office where professional attire is mandatory," Retire Rich explains. If you wear a suit or a skirt and thick sweater that need to be dry-cleaned regularly, you're looking at potentially $10 daily in dry-cleaning bills. And that's not counting the $15 it would cost to dry-clean a raincoat or the extra $4 or $5 for a tie or a regular blouse to be cleaned professionally.

Women spend around $1,500 annually on dry-cleaning, and men who dress up for work spend a similar amount. Tack on another $60 monthly to clean your down comforter or other expensive item like curtains or a fancy jacket, and you're looking at $2,220 annually on dry-cleaning. You could save about $5 daily by foregoing the fancy comforter and opting out of dry-clean items when building your work wardrobe.

Laundry can cost less, too, with a few simple changes. If you're washing clothes at a laundromat, you'll spend around $3 per load, not including detergent, which can run about $0.50 per load. If you normally do eight loads per week — which is about average, according to the Alliance for Water Efficiency — that's a weekly cost of $28. Cut loads in half by washing lights and darks together on cold, reusing towels, re-wearing pants a few times, opting for a duvet cover instead of a comforter and using your own detergent at a cost of around $0.06 per load. You'll spend about $13 at the laundromat and for detergent — a savings of about $15 per week or $2 per day.

Finally, consider skipping fancy cleaning products, which college grads spend more than $850 on each year. Instead, make your own using household products like vinegar and baking soda, and save another $2 or so a day.

Potential savings: About $10 daily

6. Hack your commute

A round trip commute costs an average of $12 daily, according to USA Today, but there are a number of different ways to cut those costs. The best options to maximize savings: Walk or bike to work, try switching to public transit, or ask your boss if you can work from home. Before approaching your boss, Harvard Business Review recommends creating a detailed plan for what your schedule would look like and explaining how allowing you to work from home would benefit the company.

If you can't work from home, other options to save on commuting include asking if your boss will let you work the same amount of hours across fewer days (for example: working four 10-hour days per week, rather than five eight-hour days), trying to arrange a carpool with coworkers or (carefully) asking your boss to implement a commuter tax benefits program so you can pay for your commute with pre-tax funds.

Potential savings: About $10 daily

7. Go really green

You can save money and help save the planet by slashing your energy consumption. Turning your heat down in winter and unplugging your air conditioner when you're at work in summer could add up to savings.

"You can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for eight hours a day from its normal setting," according to the Department of Energy. Running central air for six hours daily could cost around $120 a month depending on kilowatt costs — so skipping six hours of AC could save you around $4 daily.

Other options: Turn off your dishwasher's "heated dry" setting to save 15% of total energy use; turn your hot water heater's maximum temperature down from 140 degrees, which is the default setting on most heaters, to 120 degrees to save 6-10%; and unplug phantom power users in your house to save as much as 15% on total household energy use. Renters can save up to $2,000 annually, according to the Cornell University Cooperative Extension, by reducing energy use. That's up to $6 daily, excluding savings on heating and cooling.

You can go green on your commute, too — even if you drive a car. Avoid slamming on the brakes, reduce the weight of your car by getting extraneous items out (100 extra pounds in the trunk can make your car up to 2% less fuel-efficient), take your bike rack off and keep your tires properly inflated to improve fuel efficiency by up to 3%.

Potential savings: About $10 or more daily

8. Trick out your browser

When you're browsing the Internet, you may as well let your web browser help you spend less — by installing extensions aimed at helping you save. The free browser extensions Coupons at Checkout and Honey automatically find coupon codes for nearly every online store you visit.

Savings can be significant. Right now, you can save up to 50% on a Papa John's order for an average savings of $24, or $40 off your first two boxes from Hello Fresh. Take advantage of just one of these deals a week, using the Papa John's discount as an example, and you could save about $3 a day.

Plus, other tools like InvisibleHand and Shoptimate will allow you to find the cheapest prices on items. The average savings per use of Invisible Hand is around $15, according to CBS News. If you make an online purchase every other day — whether it be for food, grocery delivery, household products or otherwise — and you save an average of $15 on each, that's $7.50 less in spending per day.

Potential savings: About $10 or more daily

9. Cut your entertainment costs

Cable TV costs more than $100 a month on average. But your home entertainment costs could reach $150 if you also subscribe to streaming services like Netflix ($9.99 monthly), Hulu ($11.99), HBOGo ($14.99) and Amazon Prime ($8.99). To get access to the original programming on all of these streaming services, you'll spend $33.97. For music lovers, Spotify Premium is another $9.99 a month.

Slash that bill in a jiffy by canceling cable and picking just one streaming service that you split with a friend. Your costs will drop to as low as $5 per month, saving you as much as $145 per month or nearly $5 per day. And once you are sick of all the shows on Netflix, say? You can always switch to a different competitor.

In general, the average family spends more than $2,800 on entertainment costs annually, or about $8 daily. Cut costs by attending free concerts, shows or art openings; arranging a potluck party instead of going out to dinner; and opting for walks with friends instead of going to a bar for happy hour. If you could cut costs in half by substituting free entertainment for paid activities a few days a week, that's another $3-plus saved daily.

Skip the monthly purchase of a $60 video game or two hardcover books by going to the library instead and it'll save you another $2 or so daily. You can pick up some DVDs while you're there to supplement your home entertainment options.

Potential savings: About $10 daily

10. Bring in extra income

In addition to cutting expenses, you could try boosting your income by $10 or more daily and pocketing the extra. Sites like Clickworker, Fiverr and Upwork let you offer your services as a freelancer. Or there are services like Swagbucks, which pay you to provide marketing and other info by answering surveys, watching videos or responding to emails.

Other ways to make money by doing things you're already doing or making small changes to your habits include becoming a mystery shopper, writing reviews of bars and being part of a sleep study. With any combination of the above, it's definitely possible to make at least $10 daily.

The best part about boosting your income is that there's technically no limit to how much extra you can make, whereas you can only slash your spending so much before you run out of places to cut.

Potential savings: About $10 or more daily

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