10 ways to save and make more money in 2018
New Year’s resolutions are easy to make—and break. So we’ve brainstormed 10 easy ways to save—and make—money in 2018. Consider bookmarking this post and coming back to it every quarter, as a refresher.
How to Save Money in 2018
1. Set aside money with every purchase.
Qapital is a free mobile app. It sets aside a little bit of cash for you, every time you make a purchase.
Let’s say you buy lunch at a fast-food restaurant. The bill comes to $5.32. You pay with your debit or credit card, which you’ve linked to your free Qapital account. Once Qapital sees that transaction in your account, it will automatically withdraw $1 (or another amount you’ve specified) from your checking account. That $1 is added to your Qapital savings account (which you can transfer back to your regular checking or savings accounts as needed).
Your money doesn’t earn interest in a Qapital account unless you sign up for its Visa card. The upside, though, is that Qapital makes it painless to save small amounts of money without even thinking about it.
2. Make a wish list for the year.
When money’s tight, consider making a wish list of big-ticket items for the year, such as furniture, TVs, computers, travel and such.
If possible, come up with an estimated budget for all one-off, big purchases in 2018. Write down and prioritize the items, focusing first on what’s needed vs. what’s wanted. If your computer is five or more years old and painfully slow, that’s probably priority no. 1.
Do your best to space out the purchases, too. Whenever possible, try to pay for the big-ticket item in cash, to some degree. For example, you could save 20 percent of a new computer’s cost and charge the balance to a card.
Also, keep in mind tip no. 3, below.
3. Time your big purchases.
When’s the best time to buy a gas grill? If you thought spring, guess again: it’s fall, according to Consumer Reports’ “Best Time To Buy Things” roundup. Bookmark that page and check it before you make a big purchase. You could save hundreds of dollars.
4. Earn cash back.
With a free Ebates account, you’ll earn cash back whenever you make an online purchase from a participating retailer (like Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Walgreens). You can also find ‘daily deals’ on the Ebates website. Earn $25 by referring a friend, too.
The Penny Hoarder has a list of four additional cash-back sites.
5. Cancel unused subscriptions.
Trim is a free service that analyzes your financial transactions, looking for regularly recurring subscriptions you’re not using. Trim will cancel those unused services for you. Also, Trim will negotiate with Comcast and others to get you better subscription terms. In those instances, Trim takes a percentage of the money it saves you.
How to Make Money in 2018
6. Sell stuff.
The first part of any year is an ideal time to declutter. Do you have tech gadgets, clothes, furniture or other stuff you no longer need, and that are in resale shape? Along with eBay, other options for selling stuff include Amazon, letgo, Decluttr, Craigslist, even the Facebook app.
7. Rent your stuff.
You can rent all or part of your home with Airbnb; your car with Getaround; even rent your driveway with JustPark. But what about that camping equipment you use only once a year? Loanables makes it possible to rent out that gear and a lot more. You might also consider using Loanables to rent something you won’t need much instead of buying it.
8. Join online focus groups for extra money.
By participating in online polls from Harris Poll and Survey Junkie, you can earn rewards to use with Amazon, Starbucks, iTunes, and others. With Survey Junkie, you can get PayPal gift cards, too.
9. Deliver stuff.
In major cities around the U.S., you can deliver groceries, food and other merchandise by signing up with gig economy companies like Postmates. Work as much—or as little—as you want. Similar on-demand delivery work is available from Instacart (groceries), DoorDash and Caviar (restaurant meals), and many more.
On-demand gig work doesn’t just involve delivering stuff. With well-known app TaskRabbit, you can earn extra money assembling IKEA furniture or doing handyman jobs, yard work, or something else entirely. Freelance professionals can try their luck with Moonlighting, Upwork, and Toptal. And don’t forget driving for Uber or Lyft in your spare time—or letting others borrow your car with Getaround.