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10 Ways to Cut Your Health Care Costs

10 Ways to Cut Your Health Care Costs


If you haven't already received your company's health-insurance renewal notice this year, brace yourself. Average costs per employee seem certain to surge by more than 20 percent for the second year in a row.

Among who responded to an August healthcare survey, nearly one-third reported health-insurance premium increases of 30 percent or more. Thirty-seven percent reported increases ranging from 16 percent to 29 percent. At that rate, the average cost of health insurance per employee will exceed $3,000 in 1990, up from $2,748 in 1989, according to A. Foster Higgins & Co., a benefits consulting firm based in New York.

A recent survey by Nobel Lowndes, an employee-benefits firm in East Orange, N.J., found that 73 percent of senior executives believe health-care costs will continue to increase 20 percent or more each year for the next three years. These gloomy executives are primed for the worst, knowing that costs already have gone up eightfold since 1970.



Moreover, business shouldn't count on Congress for a big fix. Although some lawmakers favor a Canadian-style nationalized health-care system or mandated coverage for all workers, those legislators comprise a vocal minority that is better at capturing public attention than winning converts on Capitol Hill. In addition, both of those proposals focus on broadening coverage to the nation's 31 million to 37 million uninsured, not on controlling spending.

The message here is clear: If you haven't already gotten serious about cutting your company's health-insurance costs, now is the time. It can be done. Just ask Philip Leber, who slashed his small company's monthly premium from $10,000 to $2,500. The first thing you should do is learn how the system works—or doesn't work. Most small employers spend fewer than four hours a year thinking about their company health plans. Learn what your options are. Your insurance agent can help you shop for cheaper plans. But don't stop there. Compare plan benefits, insurance-company records, and service guarantees. Consider Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans and HMOs (health-maintenance organizations), even if your agent doesn't handle them. The Blues in some areas offer clear advantages to small companies. Experts regard HMOs as the best buys in health care.

Find out if your company is eligible for new, low-cost health-insurance plans now available in five states. In addition, foundation-funded pilot projects in several parts of the country are demonstrating that it is possible to cut health-coverage costs 30 to 40 percent. In short, health insurance isn't as simple as it used to be. And the pace of change is accelerating, offering new hope for a truce in the business battle with exploding health-care costs.

"The next couple of years present as much potential for change as at any time in the past 20 years," says Gail Wilensky, administrator of the federal Health Care Financing dministration, which oversees Medicare. You can be part of that change by putting at least some of the following 10 ideas to work for your company.

1. Increase Cost Sharing By Employees


This recommendation is at the top of every consultant's list. Small companies tend to pay far more of their workers' total healthcare bill than large companies do. Yet research shows that insulating employees from the costs of care encourages unnecessary use of health services. Fifty-two percent of the companies responding to the Nations Business health survey said they pay 100 percent of their employees' health-insurance premiums. But 45 percent said they intended to implement or increase employee contributions to these premiums.

An equal number said they plan to increase employee deductibles. Insurance companies first attached $100 deductibles to major-medical plans in the early 1950s. But 40 percent of employers still set deductibles at $100 or less. Celtic Life Insurance Co., a smallbusiness health insurer based in Chicago, calculates that raising a $100 deductible to $250 would cut premium costs for single coverage by about 11 percent. A $500 deductible' would cut costs by about one-fourth. A $1,000 deductible would save about one-third.

2. Allow Employees To Pay For Health Premiums With Tax-Free Dollars


Set up a so-called flexible spending account, which allows your employees to pay their share of healthinsurance premiums and unreimbursed health-care expenses with pretax dollars dollars. A flexible spending account could save employees 20 cents to 35 cents on the dollar, because state and federal income taxes and Social Security taxes are not imposed. Moreover, the company saves by reducing the employee's base salary on which it pays Social Security and other taxes. Hire an outside payroll accounting firm to handle the paperwork. You can pay the service fee and still come out with a net savings, says Don Brown, a Silver Spring, Md., insurance broker. The monthly administration fee would run between $2 and $5 per employee.

3. Transfer High-Risk Employees To The State's High-Risk Pool


Insurance premiums soar whenever someone in a small-group plan becomes very ill—with cancer or heart disease, for example. As an employer, you should explore the possibility of moving employees with serious health problems into a state high-risk pool and then negotiating a lower premium for the healthy members of your group. Twenty-four states have high-risk pools for people whom insurance carriers don't want to cover, although some of these pools are not yet operational. Risk-pool insurance generally sells for 150 percent of the typical individual premium. The insurance is comparable to that offered by a standard majormedical health policy. Rules governing coverage differ from state to state.

For example, some states won't allow employers to move high-risk individuals into the pool; only the uninsured are admitted. Other states encourage it. Some state pools have waiting lists. Call your state insurance commissioner's office for details if you live in one of the following states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

4. Switch To An Open-Enrollment Blue Cross And Blue Shield Plan


Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans operate as de facto high-risk pools in a number of states by providing "open enrollment" periods during which any group can buy insurance. Among the 74 Blue Cross and Blue Shield organizations nationwide, 21 offer open enrollment. Open-enrollment plans "are better than state risk pools because Blue Cross offers coverage at substantially less cost than the rates charged by state pools," says Greg Scandlen, director of states services research for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association in Washington, D.C.

Employers who buy open-enrollment plans are insulated from the premium spikes they can experience with other insurers once someone in the group becomes very ill. These plans use so-called community rating to calculate premium increases. All companies buying one of these policies are in the same risk pool, and all pay the same rates. All the Blues once used community rating to set premium levels. But that began to change in the 1960s when commercial insurers started to lure away firms with low risks by offering them cheaper health insurance. The Blues increasingly found themselves writing policies for groups with above-average health claims.

As a result, premiums went up. And most Blues today use the same health screening and rating practices used by commercial insurers. Five of the open-enrollment plans limit applications for insurance to specific periods during the year. Some will take groups no smaller than 10 employees. For details, contact Blue Cross plans in Alabama, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, the National Capital Area (Washington, D.C), New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York (six different plans), North Carolina, Pennsylvania (four different plans), Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia.



5. Replace Your Traditional Health Plan With An HMO


Unlike traditional health insurance, HMOs cover all medical needs, including routine preventive care, for a flat monthly fee that typically is less expensive than traditional health insurance. Moreover, two types of HMOs, the staff and the group models, have proven to be more effective at controlling costs than any other form of health-care delivery. Staff models employ physicians directly and put them on salary. With group models, the HMO contracts with a multispecialty group practice and caps payments for services.

Look for an HMO that operates in accordance with voluntary federal standards, so-called federally qualified HMOs. These HMOs are barred from refusing health coverage based on medical screening. Their premium rate increases are tied to the experience of everyone in the HMO, which protects a company from sharp increases based on heavy claims from a few of its employees. There are 307 federally qualified HMOs covering more than threefourths of all persons enrolled in HMOs nationwide.

The catch with an HMO is that those who are covered have to use the HMO's doctors and the hospitals that it desigdesignates. Those unwilling to surrender their freedom of choice can go for an "open-ended" HMO, a new hybrid that will allow the insured to see doctors outside the HMO if the covered person is willing to pay out-of-pocket deductibles and coinsurance. Enrollment in open-ended HMOs jumped 39 percent in 1989. Because HMOs typically can't afford to market to small companies, start your search in the Yellow Pages.

6. If An HMO Is Out, Shop For A Traditional Plan With Managed Care Or A PPO


Switching to a managed-care health plan with built-in restraints on the use of health services should cut your costs by 5 to 10 percent. The costliest health insurance you can buy is a traditional indemnity plan. Under such a plan, employees choose their physicians. Insurers, acting as a passive pass-through mechanism, reimburse doctors and hospitals on a feefor-service basis. They also increase employer premiums as necessary to keep pace with rising costs. Many experts predict that traditional indemnity health insurance will be replaced by managed-care indemnity plans by the mid-1990s. Managed-care plans attempt to hold down costs by placing controls on the use of medical services.

Most insurance carriers already offer a variety of managed-care features as additions to traditional indemnity plans. They include prior approval for elective hospital admissions, second opinions for surgery, utilization review, case management, and discharge planning. A number of insurers also offer preferred-provider organizations (PPOs), which also may be organized by hospitals or sponsored by large employers.

PPOs are groups of doctors who have agreed to discount their fees, usually by about 10 percent to 20 percent. By definition, PPOs build in mapaged-care features to hold down expenses. To encourage use of PPO doctors, employees pay only a small fee of $5 to $10 per office visit. Kmployees may use doctors outside the PPO, but out-of-pocket expenses rise sharply with the addition of deductibles and coinsurance.

7. Purchase Your Health Insurance Through A Business Group Or Coalition


Individual small employers have little or no leverage in buying health insurance, but when a number of small employers band together to purchase insurance, they can wield real clout in the market. The Small Business Service Bureau, an association based in Worcester, Mass., arranges group insurance through HMOs and Blue Cross organizations for 35,000 small businesses—most with fewer than 10 employees—across the country. "We negotiate the terms of the benefits, and we have trained staff members who explain the options to small-business owners," says Lisa M. Carroll, health-services director.

Fred Rohm, president of the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce, in Newark, Del., manages a group-purchasing arrangement for small employers in his area. Premiums for 350 small employers covered by the chamber's indemnity plan went up only 1 percent this year. The chamber in San Francisco launched a group-purchasing arrangement in March. It lets small employers in the Bay Area choose an indemnity plan, an HMO, or a PPO. Ask your local chamber or business association about group purchasing.

But use caution in signing up. Some insurance agents and many business trade associations offer group-purchasing plans known as multiple employer trusts (METs). "METs were everybody's answer to the problem of rising costs several years ago," says David Helms, president of the Alpha Center, a health policy and planning center in Washington, D.C. But METs in general have not lived up to their cost-cutting expectations, primarily because insurers lure away low-risk groups with rock-bottom rates, says Helms. This leaves the MET with higher-risk groups, which erodes its ability to negotiate low rates. Make sure the MET you choose is backed by an insurance company. Self-insured METS—those not backed by an insurer—have experienced high failure rates.

8. Purchase One Of The No-Frills Insurance Plans Now Available In Five States


Virginia, Missouri, Florida, Illinois, and Washington this year exempted small firms from regulations requiring them to provide certain types of health coverage. Typical mandates cover chiropractors, well-baby care, dental checkups, and treatment for alcohol and drug abuse. Some states require coverage for more exotic procedures, such as in vitro fertilization and acupuncture. By exempting small firms from such mandates, insurers may offer no-frills plans with premiums Costing 20 to 40 percent less. To prevent employers from canceling existing insurance, some states restrict the new, lower-cost plans to companies that have been without insurance for at least a year. Call your state insurance commissioner for details. More states are expected to remove mandates for small companies next year.

9. Determine If You Are Eligible For One Of The Low-Cost Pilot Projects Operating In 10 States


Pilot projects funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation of Princeton, N.J., have helped nearly 2,000 small businesses in 10 states purchase health insurance at savings of 30 percent to 40 percent. The projects were designed to attract small, uninsured companies. Although these projects typically exclude firms that have offered group insurance within the past year, there are two notable exceptions—in Florida and Colorado. The Florida Small Business Health Access Corp. in Tampa accepts firms that have gone uninsured for only six months. The corporation currently provides health services to 560 small businesses covering 2,855 individuals. It uses state funds to subsidize marketing and administration. That lowers the cost of premiums employers pay to enroll their workers in a local HMO. A 35-year-old adult male pays $75.52 a month for the standard option plan; family coverage is $198.95.

Eighty percent of the companies enrolled have three or fewer employees, says Ree Sailors, the corporation's director. The legislature more than doubled the plan's subsidy this year to $4.7 million, permitting it to expand into 11 rural counties by next June. In Denver, the Shared Cost Option for Private Employers (SCOPE) accepts small companies seeking to switch to a lower-cost health plan, as well as those currently uninsured. SCOPE, in operation less than a year, is providing health insurance to 471 companies covering 4,296 individuals.

SCOPE'S health plan is the only project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that operates without a government subsidy. It cuts premium costs by requiring relatively high deductibles and coinsurance (the percentageof costs not covered by insurance) and by relying on a select group of doctors and hospitals. Routine visits to a doctor's office require a $15 payment. Hospital admissions require an individual to pay a $250 deductible plus half of the first $5,000 in charges. But the planalso covers a wide array of preventive care at no charge.

The high cost-sharing with employees allows U.S. Life Insurance Co., the Neptune, N.J., insurer offering the plan, to keep rates low. A single 35-year-old male pays $54.94 a month; family coverage is $148.47. "In the first five weeks [of the plan], 8,000 businesses called for information," says Judith Glazner, SCOPE'S director. Other Robert Wood Johnson Foundation health-care pilot projects are those operating statewide in Michigan, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin as well as those in Tucson, Ariz.; Brunswick, Maine; and San Francisco.



10. Seek Out New, Low-Cost Plans Offered By Some Insurers


The low-cost health-insurance plan offered by U.S. Life Insurance through the SCOPE program in Denver already has inspired similar plans, says David Dunn, a senior vice president of U.S. Life. "Just because of SCOPE, most of the carriers in Denver have tried to de sign similar products to appeal to the same market," says Dunn. He has encouraged other insurers to copy the plan and offer it elsewhere. A number have shown some interest in doing so. Blue Cross and Blue Shield organizations also have launched a number of low-cost plans designed for small companies and the uninsured. Blue Cross of Tennessee offers a comprehensive, nongroup program called Impact, for employers with four or fewer workers. Premiums for individuals start as low as $28.13 a month. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oregon offers a PPO for small groups. Premiums are about one-third less than those of regular Blue Cross plans.

There are, of course, other ways to cut health-care costs. The additional options that follow are common among midsized and larger companies yet are within the reach of many small firms:
• Start a wellness program that promotes healthful behavior. By some estimates, about one-half of all health problems are related to lifestyle choices such as smoking and neglecting to get proper exercise.
• Explore the feasibility of using a mail-order prescription drug program if you have employees who need large quantities of high-cost maintenance drugs. Mail-order pharmacies do a highvolume business and offer unit prices based on that volume. They are often more aggressive in providing lowercost generic drugs, which can be a cost saving in itself when appropriate.
• Eliminate mental-health and drugdependency care from your health plan, and contract for this coverage separately, using a quality managed-care company that specializes in these services. This strategy can save you 10 to 40 percent of your health-care costs. Mental-health and drug-dependency care are the fastest growing segments of medical plans today. Experts argue that much of the treatment now provided is inadequate or unnecessary.
• Offer a cafeteria-style benefits plan. Cafeteria plans allow employees to tailor their benefits to their individual needs, and they also enable employers to establish limits on company contributions.

For small companies, the frontier in health-care cost management lies in direct contracting with doctors and hospitals. Fred Rohm, of the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce, is eager to test how well this works. Although his plans are still in the formative stage, Rohm knows what he wants: a health center staffed with salaried doctors who would provide basic services to employees and dependents of hundreds of small companies in his area. Patients would receive routine care at the center, including X-rays and laboratory tests. As necessary, the staff doctors would channel patients to outside specialists who would work for discounted fees. Hospital treatment would be paid according to a set fee schedule reflecting significant reductions from usual charges.

"I think we can sell the plan if we can price it at $60 to $75 per month per individual," says Rohm. That's about 40 percent to 50 percent less than the typical health-insurance plan. Rohm is negotiating with JSA Health Care Corp. of Columbia, Md., to set up the proposed health center. JSA is one of a handful of companies nationwide breaking into the business of setting up health centers with "company doctors" for corporate clients.

Joseph L. Falkson, JSA's director of primary health care, says the company currently runs seven similar health centers for dependents of U.S. military personnel, and those centers have succeeded in holding down costs. "We have calculated that between 1986 and 1989, we had 1 million patient visits at the centers," he says. "Our estimate is that we saved the military $40 million over what it would have spent if our patients had been purchasing typical fee-for-service medical care."

Company health centers represent just one approach for solving the health-care problems faced by American business. Clearly, there is no one solution best for all, but there are many small ways in which individual companies, business groups, insurers, and government can chip away at the problems today while contributing to a lasting solution for the future.

Time will tell whether any of the recent innovations in health-care delivery will lead the way out of the current crisis. Hut workable solutions need to be developed sooner rather than later. The nation's employer-based health-insurance system can't take too many more years of 20 percent price increases.

35 Ways to Teach You How to Save Money


Saving, rational consumption and financial planning are part of a comfortable position and confidence in the future. You can learn to save money quickly, but it is better to change the approach to your expenses gradually.

How to learn to save money

1. Take control of your income and expenses


To do this, plan your weekly or monthly budget and regularly check how well you are following it. Divide it into mandatory and optional costs. Try to shorten the latter. Do it manually on paper, computer, or mobile apps. Online home bookkeeping will optimize personal finances and show problems.

Calculate how much you earn in a month. This should include any of your income: salary, bonuses, cash gifts, part-time work. This will give you an understanding of how much you have at your disposal.

2. Save some money


To make saving easier, use strategies that are clear and workable, such as the five-envelope technique . Another option is pay yourself first, where you regularly save 10% on any income.

This will gradually build up a "safety cushion". It will help to cope with unforeseen expenses: breakdown of equipment, medical needs and other difficult life situations.

Identify and prepare in advance for irregular expenses (insurance, taxes, or changing tires on the car).

3. Set a goal


It is difficult to save without a specific dream: you succumb to momentary desires. When there is a goal and terms (for a trip in six months or for a car in a year), it is psychologically easier to save money. You know why you give up some things.

4. Open a bank deposit


Do not put money under the mattress, inflation will "eat" it there. Finance should work. There are many ways to do this, but the safest is to open a deposit in a bank. To choose the best conditions, check out the Sravni.ru service.

How to save money with a small salary

5. Don't go shopping on payday


When you receive your salary, there is a risk of spending it right away to reward yourself. However, you have to spend only after the money has been allocated.

Set aside 10% of your income (if that's a lot, then at least 5% or even 1%). Pay your mandatory monthly expenses (utilities, phone bills, internet, groceries), and then try to spend on useful things that will last you a long time. Give up everything that is cheap and disposable.

6. Close credit cards


High interest rates on debt prevent you from saving, and you will be tempted to spend more than you earned. Find out how much you owe the bank each month and budget so that paying off the debt is a priority. When you close the loan, send even more money to the "piggy bank".

7. Give up bad habits


The regular purchase of alcohol and cigarettes wastes not only health, but also the budget. Go to bars less often. Relax actively, spend time in parks and sports grounds.

8. Trust sales less


All kinds of "Black Fridays" and "Cyber Mondays" are more often marketing gimmicks than real benefits. In addition, people are led by daily offers in the spirit of "1 + 1" and take unnecessary goods out of greed.

Don't buy everything and ignore the advertising hype. Take what you really need.

9. Plan big purchases


This will help you to ask the price of the product (find out its price in different stores) and accumulate the required amount on time. Set a purchase date and determine how much you should save per month.

The same approach can be applied to gifts for the New Year to loved ones or to prepare a child for September 1st. If there are 6 months left before the New Year, and you plan to spend 10,000 rubles on gifts for your family, it will be easier to save 1,500 a month than to pay the entire amount at once on the eve of the holiday.

10. Skip fast food and business lunches in a cafe


Instead, look for canteens near work - it's cheaper and healthier. To make it easier to search, look at Yandex.Map. A more budget-friendly option is to cook at home and carry it with you.

11. Issue transport passes


If you buy a ticket for the metro or train every time, it will be much more expensive per month. Just compare the price of a season ticket and a one-time trip in your city.

How to save money by spending money

12. Use cashback


Cashback is a return of a percentage (usually from 1 to 10%) of the money spent on purchases. It can be obtained through cash-back services, for example, Letyshops or the banking application that you use. Therefore, before buying any product or going to a restaurant, check if there is any cashback on it.

13. Go to coupon sites


Coupon sites were popular in Russia in the early 2000s. But over time, the "big three" of the largest and most reliable were established.

14. Track cheap flights


In the high season, catch "last minute" tickets for charter flights. They are cheaper because travel agencies could not completely sell them.

How to save money on food

15. Don't go shopping hungry


On an empty stomach, any food seems more attractive, so the basket will be filled with unnecessary items.

16. Arrange scheduled trips to the supermarket


Before this, make up an approximate menu for the week and a list of products. This will make it easier to follow the plan and not deviate from the budget.

17. Download discounted apps


Many mobile services help monitor promotions in grocery stores. Popular applications - "Edadil", "Promotions of all stores in Russia".

18. Find out the addresses of wholesale stores


For example, METRO Cash and Carry. Go there for the goods you can't do without in the kitchen (cereals, flour, sugar). For meat, vegetables, fruits, go to the market - there you can bargain and bring down the price.

19. Buy groceries online


In order not to go to several points comparing the prices of products, use the online stores of these retail chains. It's easier to find out about promotions there.

20. Buy analogues


Famous brands make you pay more. Products that the store makes itself will be cheaper (Red Price at Pyaterochka, D at Dixie, 365 days at Lenta).

How to save on clothes

21. Plan your wardrobe correctly


When you go to the mall for clothes, write a list too. It will help you not to be distracted by cute sneakers if you only need jeans and a T-shirt. Basic things must be of high quality and durable. Check clothes for defects, look at seams and pills.

Try it on, even if you are sure that the size is yours. If you are thinking of taking or not taking, do not buy.

Consider your lifestyle: when you work in a bank, you can't do without a pair of business shirts, and one sports kit is enough for fitness.

22. Dress in stocks, thrift stores and thrift stores


Fashion is cyclical, so do not shy away from second-hand, there are really interesting things there. There are also swaps, freemarkets and dress crossings where you can exchange clothes for free. Bring your own, and take what you like.

23. Register on store sites and subscribe to their news


Brands and online clothing sites often give promotional codes for the first purchase (for example, Befree, Lamoda, Wildberries). This way you can save 5-15%, which is especially beneficial when you buy an expensive item (winter jacket, suit, shoes). Subscribe to our newsletter to keep abreast of sales or promotions.

24. Buy clothes when traveling


This applies to designer items that cost less in their homeland than in our country. Also, do not bypass Duty Free at airports if you want to take original jewelry, accessories or perfumes. In some countries, you can do Tax Free (VAT refund) for purchases.

In order not to travel abroad yourself, use the Grabr.io service : it brings together buyers and travelers and helps to get goods that are more expensive in Russia. There you can order clothes, gadgets, nutritional supplements and other things.

25. Become a member of bonus programs


Do not be lazy to draw up the cards of the stores that are offered at the checkout. They will give you an advantage the next time you come to the store.

26. Learn to take care of things


If you take good care of your clothes, they will last longer. Sew up holes, remove stains, periodically dry-clean your outerwear, clean your shoes every day.

When you are tired of the thing, go in for customizing - reworking and updating. You can make a T-shirt from a jacket, a topic from a T-shirt, a hat from a sweater, and shorts from jeans.

How to save money on a car

27. Monitor her condition


By performing maintenance on time, you save on major repairs. Study the car manual or service book to change parts according to the plan, for example, the timing belt.

28. Do some of the work yourself


You can check the level of fluids in the car, change engine oil or wheels yourself.

29. Reduce fuel consumption


This can be done by checking the air filter and tire pressure frequently. Avoid idling and use cruise control to avoid harsh acceleration and braking.

30. Get discounts at gas stations


Gas stations reward their customers. Lukoil, Tatneft, Gazpromneft, Rosneft, Shell and others have bonus, discount, fuel cards. Check if there is a cashback at the gas station where you refuel in your banking application.

Do not buy food or coffee at gas stations yet: prices there are much higher than store prices.

31. Plan a route


By combining several activities in one trip, you will reduce fuel consumption, wear less your car and save time.

Assess the traffic situation through the navigator. Sometimes it is better to go by public transport, take a car sharing or taxi, so as not to burn gasoline in traffic jams. If you have a dacha, then leave there before everyone else does.

How to save money when renovating

32. Make the correct sequence of work


Make a repair plan. You cannot lay clean floors if your wall decoration is not ready. Take measurements of the rooms in order to accurately calculate the area and material you need to buy.

When you need a lot of building material, it is better to take everything in one go to save on shipping.

33. Choose simple building materials


Don't chase brands for exterior or interior decoration. Instead of tiles in the kitchen or in the toilet, lay linoleum, and replace stretch ceilings with foam plates.

34. Choose your interior style wisely


The minimalistic design of a house or apartment is a guarantee of the absence of unnecessary furniture or finishing touches. Choose styles where floor, ceiling or wall finishing is not required at all, such as loft or industrial.

35. Do part of the repair yourself


This applies to redecoration when you have a little painter or plasterer skill. And it is not difficult to glue wallpaper, fold laminate or assemble furniture if you watch a few lessons on Youtube.

189 Life Hacks to Save Money


How do you save money? Financer's 189 life hacks will help you find ways you might not have thought of. Save by buying more, enjoying and having more fun, getting healthier every day. Save smartly!

1. Always take food and drinks with you
Wherever it is allowed. It will always be cheaper than buying "locally".

2. Cook at home
Going to cafes and restaurants, ordering food at home is, of course, nice. But cooking at home is much more profitable. Any purchased food will cost you 50 - 100% more than cooked yourself.

3. Test products
Services like Buzzaar and the like send you a product to test. You need to try it, distribute it to your friends, and then post a photo report with a review. The parcels are quite weighty. According to the feedback from the participants, from testing tea/coffee, then you can not buy them at all for a month or even two.

4. Have a "no shopping day"
One of without our society, already confirmed by psychologists, is the habit of buying. Spend only one day a week with your family and don't shop at all. It's not as difficult as it sounds. But it will help to see how many joys are around.

5. Do kitchen gardening
Considering the prices for parsley and dill, you can save a lot by growing greens on your windowsill. At the same time, the air in the apartment will be fresher.

6. Look at the lower shelves of the stores
Or the topmost ones. In the middle (at the level of your eyes), according to the laws of sales, the most expensive things and products will be located.

7. Healthy lifestyle - the way to save
A healthy lifestyle, proper nutrition and an active lifestyle are powerful savings in the long term, which will save you from the need to treat many diseases for many years to come.

8. Stop competing
People spend a lot of money just to be better than others. Consider if you have this bad habit. And if there is, try to get rid of it. In 90% of cases, this is just how extra money is spent. Instead of being distinguished by an expensive smartphone or car, it is better to save up for an apartment or house.

9. Drive to the store full
Hungry people buy 10 - 15% more than well-fed people. And this is logical. As the saying goes, "I would eat it with the eyes of an elephant." In addition, when we are hungry, it means that our glucose levels have dropped. And it is necessary, among other things, for the brain to function. Roughly speaking, we just begin to think worse about what we really need.

10. Get a reusable bottle
Think about how often you buy water in half-liter bottles to quench your thirst. If this happens more often 2 to 3 times a week, it makes sense to have a reusable bottle and take water from home.

11. Start saving for retirement
Given the unpredictability of our pension legislation, it is advisable to open a replenishment deposit as early as possible and make at least 2-3% of your income to it. This will not greatly affect the quality of life, but you will be surprised how much money can be raised in 5 - 10 - 15 years.

12. Unplug the plug
Even if the appliance is not turned on, if the plug remains in the socket, a small amount of electricity continues to flow. A decent amount accumulates in a year. Or rather - "indecent", considering that this is electricity, from which you do not have any benefit.

13. Don't keep money at home or on a card
The financial cushion is best set aside for replenishment and withdrawal. Yes, the percentages will be small, but still.

14. Count in liters and kilograms
Many manufacturers are disingenuous, offering a lower price, but also a lower volume / weight of the product. Always convert to cost per liter or kilogram. So you really know what is cheaper.

15. Buy clothes "out of season"
The choice will be more limited. But the prices are also much lower.

16. Choose the right food brands
Own products of network markets (Auchan, Pyaterochka, etc.) are much cheaper, and are often produced at the same factories as expensive branded products.

17. Postpone purchases
Did you spontaneously want to buy something? Wait a day or two. Do you still think that it is vital for you? Then buy. But 90% of the time, you will realize that it was only a momentary rush. Or maybe you will forget about the thing that seemed so desirable just two days ago.

18. Forget about bars
Bars and clubs are literally a vacuum cleaner for your money. You can have fun with friends at home or in the park. In a word, there are a lot of places where they will not pull half of your salary out of you.

19. Buy seasonal vegetables and fruits
They are cheaper than greenhouse ones.

20. Load the washer 100%
The washing machine will consume approximately the same amount of electricity and water in any case. Therefore, by erasing "in small portions" you only rob yourself.

21. Walk
If the road is less than 1.5 - 2 km, walk this path instead of driving or using public transport. Especially if we are not talking about buying something heavy or about the road to work (when, indeed, even 10 minutes of saving can be critical).

22. Be polite
Obvious but effective advice. Polite, smiling customers are much more likely to be reminded of available discounts and “suddenly” found necessary goods. They are more often found a place "outside the schedule" and generally go to meet them in every possible way.

23. Refuel at the right time
At least in the summer. Optimally late in the evening, at night or early in the morning. During the day, when it is hot, gasoline is saturated with vapors, which occupy up to 5% of the volume. As a result, you get 5% less fuel directly.

24. Semi-finished products are evil
Although cute cutlets may seem cheaper than meat, if you recalculate the cost per kilogram, you will understand that this is not at all the case. After all, this "minced meat" contains at least 50% of bread and eggs. A good slice of pork of the same satiety will cost much less.

25. Wholesale stores are your everything
See what foods you are consuming in really large quantities. Milk? Water? Juices? Diapers? If you buy immediately for a month, you may be able to order from wholesale stores. It's much cheaper. A small wholesale starts from a fairly small volume of purchases.

26. Drink water
The cheat on alcohol in restaurants reaches 5-10 times the size. Drink water, maximum - juices or soda (although they are well wound on them). Most importantly, avoid restaurant alcohol.

27. Buy products by weight in stores
Alas, the markets continue to either overweight or call the wrong price. And the apparent "savings" due to low prices immediately disappear. It is more profitable to buy vegetables, fruits and other products by weight in large markets, where the buyer himself weighs the purchased.

28. Don't fill the kettle
If you only need a cup of tea, pour one cup of water. And remove the limescale often. It reduces thermal conductivity, boiling takes longer, and more energy is spent.

29. Live pharmacist
Even if you ask for the most common iodine, with a high degree of probability you will be given something branded for 100 rubles or more. Feel free to clarify several times that you want the “simplest” thing. Better yet, take a look at the pharmacy website in advance, if there is one. The difference can be up to 10 - 15 times the size.

30. Cake size matters
Count on sweetness according to the formula - 200 grams per guest. Do not need anymore. According to statistics, only 70% of guests taste sweets anyway.

31. Wash in cold water
If there are no stubborn or greasy stains on your clothes, and you just need to freshen them up after wearing, there is no point in washing them in hot water. You will be able to save up to 90% on electrical costs for the washing machine.

32. Quit smoking
Yes, advice that has set everyone's teeth on edge. But really - getting rid of this addiction, you will not only improve your health, but you can also save 2,000 - 5,000 rubles a month on average. Or 20,000 - 50,000 per year.

33. Don't buy a lot of baby clothes
They grow very quickly and the wardrobe will still have to be constantly changed.

34. Leaving - don't pay
If you are leaving for more than a week and no one is left at home, you have the right to apply for a recalculation of utility bills. You will only need to confirm the fact of departure - for example, show tickets. The application is submitted to the management company.

35. Pay for parcels with stamps
When sending things and documents, we pay up to 20% VAT. And you don't have to pay VAT for stamps. Tell the post office that you want to pay with stamps. You will be paid in the program and given a check marked "without VAT". You don't have to glue stamps - it's just a form of payment. If the employee is not aware that this is possible and will refuse you, call the hotline 8 (800) 2005-888, and they will confirm your case.

36. Prioritize
The main thing in saving is to separate "need" from "want". The really necessary spending should be at the top of the list of expenses. But most often you can refuse whims. Meanwhile, the majority of people spend up to 30% of their money on just such a minute “want”. Before you buy something, ask yourself, "Do I really need this?"

37. Think about stocks
Sometimes you can find very good clothes there (including from well-known brands) and at very favorable prices. A decent second-hand can also be a good option.

38. Cook smartly
It is more profitable to reheat food in the microwave than on the stove. And to fry bread and other small "dishes" - in a toaster.

39. Create a grocery list
For example, hang a bulletin board in the hallway or kitchen. Make a table for cereals, meat, canned food, household consumables, etc. Write down with a pencil how much and what you have. Then, before going to the store, you will not need to dig up the cabinets. On the other hand, you will stop buying what you already have at home.

40. Get involved in financial education
Subscribe to news from large banks (for example, Tinkoff), at least start occasionally reading financial analytics. In the modern world, it is vitally important to understand what is happening in the world and in the country in order to be ready for any changes. Most importantly, you need to know how to obtain legitimate financial benefits.

41. Use taps with an aerator
This is a mesh at the end of the tap. It not only retains sand and other impurities, but also contributes to the "dilution" of water with air. As a result, the pressure does not decrease, and the flow rate is reduced by almost 2 times.

42. Clean the vacuum cleaner after every cleaning
So the degree of suction will be maximum, it will not be necessary to brush the brush over the same place several times, and the faster the cleaning, the less energy loss.

43. Don't have a zoo at home
Pets warm the soul. And yet there should be a reasonable number of them. Three cats, a dog, two hamsters and fish will seriously undermine your budget.

44. Check out the Fix-price
Despite the fame of the "cheap store", you can really find good things there - especially consumables (notepads, pens, etc.). And very cheap. Just be careful. Do not buy some little thing that is not worth the offered price - this is where it happens.

45. Check the expiration date of products in the store
Then you do not have to throw away the products, and with them - and money down the drain.

46. Make lists
A shopping trip with a pre-made list can save you up to 30% of your regular costs. After all, it is confusion and the lack of a clear understanding of what to buy that does not allow us to pass by "here is another share 2 at the price of 1".

47. Defrost the refrigerator regularly
The abundance of ice increases the cost of electricity.

48. Do not throw away non-working equipment
List it for sale on Avito. Repairers often buy non-working units for spare parts.

49. Don't just go shopping
Shopping walks is the easiest way to spend your excess. Something always catches your eye.

50. Check checks
The "human factor" plays a role everywhere. And not because the cashier or the receptionist really wanted to cheat you. Mistakes just happen. And technology as well. But these mistakes can result in significant expenses on your part.

51. Fix your clothes, don't throw them away
This does not mean that trousers or shirts need to be sewn up to holes. But a broken zipper, flying buttons and a slightly parted seam are easy enough to "fix". And this is much more profitable than buying new things. If you don't know how to do it yourself, find an inexpensive atelier nearby. It will still be cheaper.

52. Subscribe to communities like "For Free"
You can often find quality items there that you won't have to pay for. There are also similar communities "all for 1000". You can even stumble upon decent furniture or appliances.

53. Subscribe to communities like "For Free"
You can often find quality items there that you won't have to pay for. There are also similar communities "all for 1000". You can even stumble upon decent furniture or appliances.

54. Write down all your expenses
And those included in the planned budget. And even more so, those that happened spontaneously, unexpectedly. Often, at the end of the month, we cannot figure out where to make such a breakthrough of money precisely because several thousand or even tens of thousands of rubles were spent on unexpected spending.

55. Install apps with discounts
"Foodil" and other similar applications will allow you to find out in time about where you can get discounts in stores. This will greatly reduce spending.

56. Learn a language through barter
Now there are a lot of services that allow you to communicate with foreigners. Find a native speaker of the language you're interested in who wants to learn Russian and engage in barter.

57. Make big purchases
Buying food for 2-3-4 weeks will save a significant amount, and at the same time carve out more time.

58. Have picnics
Buy vegetables, fruits and have a picnic by the sea. It will be even better than lunch at any restaurant, and much cheaper.

59. Cleanliness is the key to savings
Teach children to be hygienic. How much it wil.

60. Turn off the stove earlier
Electric stoves keep warm for a long time. So it is more economical to turn off the stove not after the dish is ready, but 5 minutes before. And it will not burn, and you will save energy.

61. Feel free to ask for discounts
Maybe in the clinic where you applied, there is some kind of action going on now. Or at the store. Or even in a restaurant. The employees themselves will be happy to tell you about special offers, bonuses and discounts.

62. Copper and ceramics versus steel and cast iron
Steel and cast iron pots and pans take much longer to heat up.

63. Understand tax deductions
You can get back some of the money that your employer deducts from your salary in tax (or that you pay for yourself as an entrepreneur). There are deductions for purchased medicines, for paid education, for real estate - and all registration online takes half an hour. Moreover, just for medicines, you can get more than 15 thousand a year.

64. Use energy efficient light bulbs
There is still a lot of controversy around them, but you can't argue with the facts. The use of energy-efficient lighting sources can save up to 3,000 rubles per year. And if you do not have a one-room apartment, and in the dark, most of the family is at home - even more.

65. Buy books from second-hand book sites
On Alib and similar services, you can even find new publications for literally a penny. The condition of the book is indicated by the seller - up to excellent and new. For comparison, last year they exhibited a 6-volume Hugo book in good condition (only yellowed pages) for 300 rubles.

66. Drive right
Rapid acceleration, frequent braking, constant increase / decrease in speed and driving at speeds above 2500 rpm increase fuel consumption by an average of 25%. Try to overtake less and keep at a speed of 70 - 90 km / h. It is this mode in most cars that is designed for minimum fuel consumption.

67. Start keeping a home budget
Calculate your budget and try to stick to your plan. Our tips will help you.

68. Don't try to skimp on cheap clothes
This does not mean that you have to go to Prada and Armani. But simply high-quality, albeit more expensive, things last longer and, ultimately, much more profitable.

69. Don't go shopping after work
A tired person is less attentive and often agrees to a purchase, just to buy something and not “travel in vain”. Even if this "something" he does not need at all.

70. The best fun for kids - free
Of course, children need toys, entertainment and educational activities, but do not succumb to the modern mass hysteria “give everything to the child”. Don't spend too much on entertainment. This is harmful not only from a budgeting standpoint. Children, who are only taken to various entertainment events, grow up less independent, because they simply do not know how to occupy themselves.

71. Rent
If something is needed for a short time, there is no point in throwing money on it. A hammer drill, which is needed every five years, a lawn mower or similar things can be rented.

72. Change your shower
Have you changed your shower for a long time? Do it now. Modern models with extended spacing are much more economical, and the flushing efficiency is just as good. Savings - up to 1.5 liters per minute.

73. Prepare documents in advance
Maybe now you don't need a driver's license or a foreign passport. But it is better to draw up all the available documents at once, so that later you do not run into increased duties or changed rules. For example, 8 years ago, it was possible to get a license simply by passing an exam. Now you definitely need to study at a driving school and pay money for it.

74. Dress for one time
If you only plan to wear a dress or suit once (for a wedding, party, etc.), find a salon that is ready to take back evening wear for half the price within a few days. It will already be much cheaper.

75. You don't have to have fun for money
There are even more free options in the entertainment industry. Go to the same "Afisha" and choose. Concerts, exhibitions, master classes - you can find whatever your heart desires and not pay a dime for it.

76. Understand the composition of cosmetics
Visit a beautician once not to "make a marafet", but to get detailed advice. Read the articles of experts on the Internet and find out which "ingredients" are really needed, and which are just an advertising lure. First, this is how you finally start buying cosmetics that work. Second, find out that there are many inexpensive but effective analogues.

77. Create a separate travel account
You can save money there for vacation every month. And at the same time, when you rest, there will be less temptation to spend too much.

78. Explore government programs
Everyone knows about maternity capital. But this is far from the only existing federal program. Find out what subsidies and aids you are entitled to on preferential terms.

79. Choose banks with insurance
If you are going to open a deposit, make sure that the bank participates in the insurance program. So the amount of up to 1.4 million is guaranteed to be safe in any situation.

80. Choose the right technique
When choosing a refrigerator, microwave oven, stove, look not only at the functionality, but also at the level of energy consumption. Opt for more energy efficient technology.

81. Feel free to ask your doctor / pharmacist about analogues
Sometimes you can find medicines with the same composition, but 50% or even 80% cheaper than a medicine from a promoted brand. The main thing is not to select them yourself - without a specialized medical education, you can make a serious mistake.

82. Don't keep eggs in the same basket
The old rule is usually the world, but still working. Never invest in one thing. If you have an opportunity to make savings or at least open a deposit, select several banks. Or even several types of assets. Just be sure to study them beforehand.

83. Travel on weekdays
Weekend tickets tend to be more expensive, both by plane and by train. And it's more difficult to get them.

84. Collect store maps
Do you often shop somewhere? Is there a store offering a discount card for the opening? Collect everything. These are not as useless "pieces of cardboard and plastic" as you might think. On loyalty cards and similar bonus programs, you can really save up to 50% of your spending.

85. Try to shop without kids
Even if your child is well brought up, it is unlikely that he will never ask for anything and you are unlikely to refuse him all the time. And children's "want" severely increase annual spending.

86. Order from online stores
So you will save time, and you will be much less distracted by promotions, and you will be able to think about what you can really buy with a special offer right now, and what you don't really need.

87. Use public transport
Unless, of course, you are in Tokyo, where, they say, it is absolutely impossible to understand all the intricacies the first time. In other cases, public transport is much cheaper than a taxi.

88. Supply counters
Remember that otherwise water consumption is simply calculated based on the norms. It may be a profitable option if you splash under running water for many hours every day. But in 90% of cases, it is more profitable to pay by the meter.

89. Place the refrigerator further from the stove
Unbelievable, but true - this way it consumes less energy, because it does not have to cool down additionally.

90. Clean your phone from subscriptions
Once every 1-2 months, check if you have accidentally connected any paid subscription. This can actually happen almost unnoticed by you. And money from the account will fly away decently.

91. Talk to doctors about money
If you are currently in financial trouble, do not hesitate to tell your doctor. In 99% of cases, you can find some more inexpensive analogue of treatment, or at least measures that will allow your health to not worsen. This is much better than keeping silent and simply not following the doctor's instructions, starting the disease more and more.

92. Have you been renting for a long time? Haggle
If you have been renting the same apartment or house for a long time and always pay your rent on time, maybe you should carefully talk to the tenant about a discount or more favorable terms? For example, that you will pay less if you immediately deposit money several months in advance.

93. Shop with friends
If you do not have such a consumption of products and things to buy in bulk, agree with your friends and shop together.

94. Get an advisor for meaningful purchases
Someone who really understands these products. Alas, sales consultants have their own goals, and they are not always interested in selling you something of high quality and cheap.

95. Use a card with cashback
Get a credit card , and then part of the money spent will be returned with cashback. There are offers with a refund of up to 20%. And in order not to have to pay interest, it is enough to pay off the debt before the expiration of the interest-free period (up to 55-100 days).

96. Replace the mixer with a lever mixer
It allows you to quickly adjust the water temperature. For a year, the savings turn out to be decent.

97. Change
Thanks to Ya.Menya and similar services, it will be possible to exchange unnecessary things for the necessary ones. It is more profitable than throwing it away and then spending money on purchases, and much easier than selling and then buying again.

98. Minimize the number of active processes on the computer
The lower the load, the less energy it will consume.

99. Don't forget about the maintenance of the equipment
Regular replacement of filters in the washing machine, maintenance of the air conditioner will prolong the life of your household appliances for a long time and will save you a lot of money on repairs and the need to buy something new.

100. Do not open deposits more than 1.4 million
This is the maximum amount that is covered by insurance. In addition, from a certain amount, the rate begins to fall and the deposit becomes not so profitable.

101. Swap batteries for rechargeable batteries
If you have a lot of things at home that run on batteries, it is cheaper to buy good batteries once than to constantly spend even seemingly “pennies”.

102. Reduce the number of extension cords
Because of the greater "number" of points of resistance, they lead to greater energy consumption.

103. Eliminate "heat leak"
Even if you changed your double-glazed windows not so long ago, check if there is any blowing somewhere from a window or from the walls. The fewer such leaks, the less often the heater will have to be turned on.

104. Take part in the drawing of prizes, services and workshops
Do you like to sit in social networks? Sit profitably. Many specialists and shops offer goods, services or master classes for free, playing them for repost. The chance is small. And still.

105. The nearest Zambia is a way out
Dzerzhinsky and similar cities located immediately behind the Moscow Ring Road do not differ in infrastructure and provision from the sleeping areas of Moscow. And real estate here is much cheaper, and utility bills are much lower. It's not even worth talking about the benefits of fresher air and fewer people.

106. Get medical insurance
Especially if you have a large family. Voluntary health insurance will significantly save on paid medical services. The main thing is to choose carefully and read the reviews.

107. Application "Thank you" and analogues
Install apps to accumulate points when you purchase from specific stores. This is another type of cashback - and quite profitable.

108. Check your payments
The invoices sent by no means always correspond to the truth. Check if you have counted too much. The difference between real and "written" debt can reach several thousand, and sometimes even tens of thousands.

109. Create a personal account at the Federal Tax Service and at the State Services
So you can always check online for debts, fines, etc. In addition, payments made through these systems will be much easier to confirm in the event of any overlaps.

110. Change money wisely
If you need cash, never change it at the airport. There will always be a disadvantageous course. But there is one more life hack - compare the rate in your bank and in exchange offices. It may be cheaper to simply pay by card wherever there is such an opportunity.

111. Buy pet food online
Online pet stores usually have a good discount program and you can immediately choose something in the "sales" section.

112. Shelter instead of buying
If you are not going to go to exhibitions and do not have a great love for a particular breed, it is much more profitable to take an animal from a reliable shelter than to buy it. Moreover, pedigree inhabitants are often found in shelters.

113. Book rooms on hotel websites
This is usually cheaper than booking a room through a travel agency. Sites like Financer will also be useful, but in a tourism direction. Compare hotels with different conditions and choose the best one.

114. Don't forget about vaccinations
Both for yourself and for your pets. Remember, health is the best way to save money on medications and doctors.

115. Do not call. Chat on the Internet
Especially if you are at home or at work - in a word, where there is unlimited Internet or connected to a mobile tariff that you still do not have time to spend. Calls via Skype, WhatsApp, Telegram and other messengers in this case will be much cheaper.

116. Take Nursing Courses
A lot of the procedures that you have to pay for in the hospital can be performed independently at home. Courses for junior nurses will cost around 8-10 thousand (as of 2018). But they will allow you in the future to save several dozen, or even hundreds, on the setting of injections, droppers and other procedures.

117. Repair the car
Timely maintenance and minor repairs will save you money in the long run. Less often, complex and expensive repair work will be needed. And, of course, the car will fail much later.

118. Take care of raising your pet
Moreover, it is advisable to do it yourself (if we are not talking about complex large breeds of dogs). The better your pet is brought up, the less problems and expenses will be caused by damaged furniture, damaged things, etc.

119. Scratching post for a penny
An excellent scratching post will turn out if you wind a jute cord on a wooden block or a plastic post. And then just change it as it gets worn out.

120. Minimize the number of devices
It's easier to get one big smartphone for both reading and making calls than buying a small phone and tablet separately. And if, for example, you need a laptop only for text work, a tablet with a keyboard is more profitable.

121. Buy flights from your computer
Some companies automatically increase the price when buying from a smartphone. Sometimes the difference reaches 1.5 thousand rubles.

122. Sell unnecessary books
Many people still get books from moms, dads, grandparents. Some kind of "history of the revolution" or other publications that you are guaranteed never to read are more profitable to sell. And the place will be free. Just be careful - you may come across a rare edition, for which you can get quite decent money.

123. Exercise isn't just for humans
Frequent walks and active activities with your pet will help him stay in shape - and this is a guarantee of health and the prevention of many diseases.

124. Order from one account
Many online stores have individual loyalty bonuses, cumulative discounts, etc. Create one account for the whole family so that everyone can order profitably.

125. Look for fellow travelers
Services like Blah Blah Car are a great way to save money on travel. And if you are on good terms with a colleague and live close to each other, it may be more profitable for you to give each other a ride in turn than to constantly "drive two cars."

126. Coupons & Gift Cards
Use coupon services to save money. Just remember to check reviews so you don't get a coupon for a poor service.

127. Remember safety
The seat belt was not invented by cowards. Be sure to follow the safety rules in the car. Most often, insurance refusals occur precisely because the driver himself did not follow the rules.

128. Unload the car
An increase in car weight by only 100 kg is already an increase in fuel consumption by 15% - 20%.

129. Get regular medical check-ups
Any health problem (especially heart problems) is easier and cheaper to cure in the beginning. Plus, the better your health, the better and more productive you work.

130. Create a "health fund"
Set aside at least 3-5% of your income for a "medical fund" - this will be emergency supplies in case of a health emergency. It is cheaper than borrowing money immediately if someone is sick. And it is certainly cheaper than not being treated at all, and then paying for services for the treatment of any "side effects".

131. Get "luggage clothes"
A capacious vest will allow you to stuff most of all in your pockets, turning it into carry-on luggage and reducing the risk of overpaying for the weight of your luggage.

132. Sometimes a hostel is more convenient
If you're not going to spend a lot of time in your room, it might be worth considering a hostel instead of a hotel. It is much cheaper, even if you choose the comfortable option with a separate bath and toilet. And even cheaper if you are traveling with a company.

133. Learn to give your pet injections
Injecting is a rather expensive "pleasure." Especially if your pet needs a course of treatment. Meanwhile, it is quite simple to put the injection yourself. Ask your veterinarian to teach you.

134. Consider a “connecting flight”
This option may be cheaper than a point A to B flight.

135. Follow the promotions in pharmacies
Some pharmacy chains organize promotions for certain drugs or "bulk" discounts on certain days.

136. Warm the engine with a blanket A lot of fuel is spent on warming up the car in winter. Instead of throwing out your old blanket, start covering the engine with it before parking overnight. It will not allow the engine to freeze so much that it will take a long time to warm up in the morning. It will be possible to start in 30 - 40 seconds. 137. All inclusive can be more beneficial
Especially if you are visiting the country for the first time and are not yet very pricing-savvy. Moreover, the greater the number of travelers, the more, most likely, it will be possible to save. In addition, you do not have to constantly think about the remaining money and worry that it will not be enough until the end of the vacation.

138. DIY pet toys
Toys at pet stores just seem cheap. But they actually cost a ridiculous amount of money, given that any pet can figure out a toy from household unnecessary little things.

139. Don't miss out on free opportunities
We're not talking about cheap advertising "go through a full scan and find out that you are terminally ill", but about official promotions. Large medical and even government centers sometimes offer similar promotions as part of some federal or image programs.

140. Buy a router yourself
It is always cheaper than settling for a model that comes "from the provider". True, only if you are able to customize it yourself. Otherwise, the cost of a specialist can kill all the savings.

141. Dishwasher - for rest
Of course, not in everything. But it is more profitable to wash large pans and pans by hand. The dishwasher will use a lot more water on them.

142. Refinance your mortgage
Interest rates change every year. Study the offers on the market - it may be more profitable for you to transfer the mortgage to another bank or simply conclude a refinancing agreement . Why pay more when you can not pay?

143. Install a two-tariff electricity meter
This will allow you to switch to cheaper night or weekend rates. Washing, ironing and washing dishes in the dishwasher can be postponed overnight. Or until the weekend.

144. A good travel agent is a separate savings
A good specialist will always find ways to save money, and most importantly, to avoid spending unknowingly. The main thing is to competently approach the choice of a travel agency.

145. Get a credit card with "miles"
If you often travel by plane, a credit card with bonus "miles" for each purchase will help you seriously save on ticket purchases.

146. Plan two vacations
Always have a plan B for your vacation. Instead of visiting one country, plan two and compare. You can do the same with the entertainment options already in the "place of residence."

147. Car repair = fuel savings
According to statistics, 30% of cars have excessive fuel consumption. A third of the deviations from the norm are due to interruptions in the power system itself, 28% to the engine, another 26% to the ignition system and about 16% to the transmission.

148. Take tests directly to the laboratory
For example, "Invitra" calmly accepts tests directly. And it costs seriously cheaper than taking it through the clinic (which will increase the price from above for the driver to take the tests to exactly the same "Invitra").

149. Compare providers
Perhaps your home is already connected to another, more profitable provider. Check it. Just be sure to read the reviews before switching to another company. In order not to lose the quality of the connection.

150. Compare different airports
Sometimes tickets to the same country at different airports under the same flight conditions can differ quite well in price.

151. Don't carry cash
If you are going abroad, it is better to take very little cash with you. Firstly, each country has its own laws in terms of the import of cash. Secondly, your bank cards will be of much less interest to thieves than “live bills”.

152. Do not withdraw money from "other people's" ATMs
In almost all ATMs, cashing a card of another bank is accompanied by a commission. It would seem that it is not large (50-100 rubles), but a decent amount can run up in a year. In addition, if you have a card linked to an individual entrepreneur or LLC account, the commission can grow up to 300 - 500 rubles.

153. Sign up for alerts
Are there stores where you buy something on a regular basis? Be sure to subscribe to their e-mail newsletter to keep abreast of special offers, promotions and other sales.

154. Travel "out of season"
During the season, tickets, hotels, and local entertainment become more expensive. Even a week before or a week after you have every chance of seeing the same good weather, and everything will cost much less. Also try to avoid traveling on major holidays (New Year, May 1-3 or 9 in Russia).

155. Tradition doesn't have to be expensive
A family tradition to gather in a restaurant or go on vacation is wonderful. But forfeits at home or parties together can be just as fun. But much more inexpensive. Show your imagination - so the holidays will become more fun, and the wallet will be fuller.

156. Make a vacation plan
Make a rough vacation plan and allocate the funds that you plan to spend. Don't forget to set aside some of it in case of emergency.

157. Include travel in your insurance
Insurance from airlines and travel agencies is good. But we all know how difficult it can be to actually get the promised services. In addition, insurance for travelers, issued by yourself in an insurance company, will be cheaper and will allow you to independently choose what you really want to insure yourself against. And air tickets and tours can be bought cheaper.

158. Choose profitable routes
There are notoriously inexpensive vacation destinations. For example, Turkey, Greece. If you really want to go to the sea, but not enough for Italy, maybe you should choose one of these options?

159. Put on your helmet
When driving a motorcycle, remember that it is cheaper to prevent injury than to treat it. Even insurance. A helmet and a "turtle" are not a luxury, but a necessity.

160. See your vet regularly
A regular check-up of your pet's health will allow you to detect the disease in the early stages, when it is easier and cheaper to cure it.

161. Explore Subscription Options
Contrary to popular myth, subscribing can also be useful - for example, to buy e-books or watch high-quality movies. Most importantly, do not forget to turn off the subscription for those periods when you do not need it.

162. Choose the right insurance
Be sure to find out all the conditions for insured events. It is better to overwhelm the consultant with questions than to find out later that repairs for half a million will not cover you.

163. Conduct an energy audit
At least once every six months, analyze what the electricity is spent on and think about how you can reduce these expenses. Especially if new appliances that consume energy have appeared in the house during this period.

164. Ask a friend for a discount
Going to buy something from a store you haven't encountered yet? Ask your friends - maybe someone already has a discount in this store.

165. Go to events with friends
Many paid events offer discounts for group visits - at times quite serious.

166. Change consumables regularly
Regular replacement of filters, gaskets in the plumbing system, plastic pipes and other consumables will help avoid accidents, and at the same time reduce the frequency of replacing a more expensive piece of equipment (for example, a tap).

167. Review mobile rates regularly
Mobile communications are rapidly falling in price. At least once a year, it makes sense to look at the tariffs of your provider - there is every chance that you can already pay a lot cheaper for the package of services you need.

168. Save money on pet care
Make a deal with a friend or neighbor. He might even like it. And in return, offer a trip to a restaurant or some other "pleasantness".

169. Find "your" clinic
Permanent treatment in one clinic, firstly, will make the treatment itself more effective. Because the doctor will already thoroughly know your characteristics, and specialists of different profiles will always be able to consult with each other. In addition, all analyzes and research results will be "at hand" of the specialist, and you do not have to re-pass them more often than necessary.

170. Learn to care for your pet
Trimming your nails and cleaning your ears is not that difficult. You can watch YouTube videos if you are afraid of doing something wrong, or even ask your veterinarian to show you how to do it. This is much more profitable than taking your pet to the veterinary clinic for procedures all the time.

171. Talk to the locals before you travel
Before sending on a trip, go to the forum of the point where you are going and find out the approximate prices - for housing, food, and other goods. So sellers won't be able to deceive you just because you are a tourist.

172. Buy quality food for your pet
Not more expensive, but better quality. First, it will save on treatment costs. Second, quality food is often more expensive. But it contains more nutrients, and not "dummies", so its consumption is much less - your pet will simply fill up faster.

173. Keep an eye on your tickets
Plane or train tickets can still be returned with a 100% refund. If you bought them in advance, do not forget to look for better opportunities during this time. It may be possible to return tickets and buy a cheaper option.

174. Download travel apps
Now there are a lot of applications that will help you save money - from the selection of tickets and hotels to free guides in various countries.

175. And hotels have discounts
If you are sure that no emergency will happen and you will definitely stay at the planned hotel, book a room without a refund for canceling your booking. This option is significantly cheaper.

176. Don't feed your pets homemade food
Firstly, in the end it can come out significantly more expensive than special feed. But more importantly, 90% of human food is extremely poorly absorbed by animals due to flavors, colors and other additives. As a result, treatment is much more expensive than feed would have cost.

177. Compare plane and train
Train travel is not always cheaper. Be sure to compare all the possibilities. It is possible that the plane will be not only faster, but also more profitable.

178. Save money on babysitting
Do your neighbors have a child too? You can take turns with the children or at least hire one nanny for two apartments.

179. Explore Discounted Entertainment
Even paid movie shows or museum exhibitions have special offers - for example, discounts for students. See how you can benefit from your "status".

180. Do not administer human medications to animals.
First, it is often more expensive, if only because human medications have a higher dosage. In addition, self-administration of medicines intended for people can have dire consequences - from severe poisoning to death. Use human medications (and in principle medications) only as directed by your veterinarian. Even if you have something at home that you think can replace pet medication, it is better to spend on a prescription than spend much more on additional pet medication.

181. Brushing your pet's teeth is not superfluous
Dental prophylaxis for your pet will prevent expensive treatment and problems not only with teeth, but also with digestion.

182. Check your UK
In addition to the "personal desire" of the management company to set its own prices for utilities, there are quite legal regulations governing this process. Learn your rights and check your bills regularly to avoid arbitrariness and pay more than you could.

183. Compare prices at veterinary clinics
Of course, there are emergencies when help is needed urgently. And then any adequate nearest veterinary medicine will do. But perhaps a more distant, but more inexpensive option is suitable for episodic prevention.

184. Take your photographer with you
If you are looking for photos from an event, try to find a separate, inexpensive specialist. Prices for photo and video filming in registry offices and other establishments are usually very high.

185. Save space
Set up a dormitory for children. If you live alone in a rented apartment, it may be more profitable to rent an apartment with your “neighbor”.

186. Hire a local guide
If you are familiar with the language of the country you are flying to, hire a local guide. If you don't know well, look for ads from compatriots. Many, moving to another country, offer the services of guides and translators. This is often cheaper than booking a tour. In addition, the "locals" know much better where you can eat inexpensively and very tasty food or have fun for reasonable money.

187. Choose the right gasoline
Diesel cars are usually more expensive (both on their own and to repair), but if you drive more than 50,000 km in a year, this is a sensible choice. On average, overpayments will pay off in 5 years.

188. Refinance a car loan
Look for better car loan rates . Why pay more than you could for several years?

189. Ask your veterinarian for advice
Surely he knows how to save money on the maintenance of your pet without risking his health.

Best Tips to Save Money 2021


When December is now over, many people take out their pen and paper and start writing down a long list of New Year's resolutions: One of the more common goals is "save money goal" and even though you mean well, saving usually stagnates the following month.

Think about what is used
Many people spend a large part of their monthly income on communication and entertainment. This means that you pay for cable or satellite TV, mobile phone bills and the Internet. But the bills can be significantly reduced by cutting out what has not been used.

Reducing TV costs is in many ways easy today. TV often costs twice as much as a monthly mobile bill. Do not put more on TV channels than necessary now that there are options such as Netflix, Viaplay, etc. on the internet.

When we talk about the internet, what do you need for speed? There is a big difference between 30mbit and 100mbit, but when / why do you need a faster internet? There are big price differences depending on which supplier and speed you choose - think about whether you really need the speed you have today.

Choose the right savings account

Be picky when choosing where you want your savings. There is a big difference from account to account and bank to bank - it is important that you examine all the options you have.

Think about things like monthly / annual fees and what it costs to make withdrawals or if you have to commit to a better interest rate.

Even if the interest rate feels minimal in the beginning, it builds up quickly and every krona counts when you save for a specific goal.

What are your debts?
The first thing you should do before you start saving seriously is to first form an opinion about your current debts. It is more worthwhile to pay off a loan and avoid the interest from that loan than to put money in an account - you win on it in the long run! Be sure to pay off the debts with the highest interest rate first for that very reason.

Something that many with multiple debts do not think about is to gather all the loans together. Do you pay 3-4 places at the same time every month? Go to your bank and collect everything in one and the interest rate will go down significantly.

Start buffer saving
Your savings goal may be for larger purchases - investment for a house or a car - but you should not touch your buffer until it is actually urgent. It is important that you have money to fall back on if you e.g. lose their job or end up in hospital.

Usually you want enough to be able to manage three to six months without income - Start small and increase.

Keep track of your expenses every month
Start counting your monthly expenses, for one month count every penny you spend on expenses. It is extremely important that you find out where your money is going and what you can cut back on.

.. and set budget

When you know how much you are spending, it is important to set a realistic budget. It can be difficult to create a budget, but it is important to test what works best for your lifestyle.

Shop smarter
When shopping, shop smarter. Check what there are alternatives to everything you buy - brands, points system, shop in bulk, etc.

Most grocery stores offer different point systems depending on what and how much you shop - it's worth checking out what's locally near you.

Take advantage of the internet
Everything you buy can be compared on the internet. Are you going to buy a new TV? Check if you can order it directly from the warehouse for a much smaller price or if the store next door might offer an equivalent TV fixed for an incredibly much better price.

Reduce electricity costs
For many, the electricity bill is a good point to start reducing costs, especially if the electricity is used for heating. Fortunately, you do not have to live in the dark or freeze to cut the invoice by up to 20-30%. It can mean thousands of dollars over the course of a year, money that can be used for something else.

Heating of the home
The savings are greatest for electric heating (or air conditioning). An average electric wall stove consumes 1500 watts or 1.5 kilowatts (kW). In households that are heated or cooled by electricity, heat accounts for almost half of the total electricity consumption. The second largest share is water heating, about 14%.

Lowering the temperature in the home is a safe and simple method that makes it easy to reduce electricity. Most water heaters are several degrees higher than necessary to constantly keep the scalding temperature in the water tank.

It is a way to provide hot water as quickly as possible. But of course you can wait a few extra seconds at the sink and lower the temperature a few degrees. It also makes the house safer, as the highest water temperature is then at a fireproof level.

It is just as easy to reduce electricity for heating (or cooling), and you do not have to suffer through the measure.

When are you home?
In most homes, there are several rooms that are rarely used during the day, and others that are not used at night. At night, the home office, living room, kitchen, and (if you have) laundry room are typically empty.

Lower the thermostat for these to about 10 C in the winter. It takes less electricity to heat them in the morning than to keep them heated all night. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can set it to automatic start half an hour before you get up. That way you never notice the difference.

Closed bedroom doors insulate. Keep them closed (or almost) at night. It prevents the heat from the bedroom from leaking out, and vice versa during the day. Keep laundry and extra bedrooms closed at all times except for the short periods they are in use.

The same applies to air conditioning for cooling or heating. If you use air conditioning, you can close the wiring to rooms when not in use.

Of course, one should make sure that the home is well insulated - a must for long-term savings. But replacing insulation or improving it is expensive and the profits accumulate over the years. In the short term, it gives greater savings to look at things you can control right now.

Keep track of your goal and reward yourself when you reach it
It is important to keep track of savings every month - are you ahead, exactly or after the goal? Go through it at least once a month and see what and if you need to improve it.

Once you reach the goal, celebrate and reward yourself with something - it is important to save but it is not about totally overlooking pleasures. Good luck!

Bonus: Save money on entertainment
"Entertainment" is a broad word. It can mean going to the movies, having dinner, watching a sporting event, and more. In the reach lies the secret to lowering the cost of an important part of the good life.

Movies
For example, movies that may be your passion. There are many different ways today to watch movies for almost nothing. You can sign up for a web subscription for a few tens per month and watch two movies a week or more. You can watch many for free on high bandwidth computers. Save gas and time by skipping theater, and making your own popcorn at home.

If you have to go to the cinema, it is good to skip all the hyper-expensive sweets and soft drinks. And use discount cards for cinema.

Meals
Food is a great pleasure and everyone loves to go to a nice restaurant and eat royally. But there are alternatives at much lower prices. Good restaurants are defined not only by good food (but it is important) but by good service. Ask friends where they have received good service in middle class places. Try that place.

If you want to save a lot in the area, you can cook dinners at home - but with wonderful differences from a normal everyday meal. Invite some friends and ask them to bring dessert, wine, and a special dish. Fix cozy lighting and think through serving and dish based on exotic recipes. It gives a good atmosphere and a sense of adventure that turns the dinner among friends into a lavish evening with gourmet food.

Sports and events
Tired of sitting at home and watching TV sports? Do you feel like going out and watching people? There are lots of ways to do that and still save money.

Many bars have large, high-resolution screens for football, ice hockey and the Olympics. No matter what sport you like, there is a bar with the right "menu", at least on selected days. Use your online social network to coordinate with whom you want to turn an ordinary day into a tennis event.

Be creative and look for unusual circumstances and arrangements. It provides a good opportunity for cheap entertainment.

Can also warmly recommend my friend at SparaCash who gives several good tips and tricks on how to get started with your savings.

How to Reach Your Savings Goals


Are you frustrated by not meeting your savings goals? We have a few suggestions to make it easier for you.

Determining how to save monthly can help you reach your savings goals. The hardest part is getting started! Once you find the tips and tricks that are right for you, saving could become a habit.

Read on to discover the secrets of monthly savings and start improving your financial situation today.

Save every month


Of course, how much you want to save each month depends on your lifestyle and your salary, but learning to save is also a state of mind. To embrace it, you need to set up saving habits that don't require you to sacrifice anything that pleases you.

But then, how to save? Once you've factored in your monthly income, expenses, and savings , it's important to allow yourself a little leeway to indulge yourself, within reason. Be careful not to be too hard on yourself, or you can quickly become demotivated.

Avoid all or nothing


The idea of having all or nothing tends to manifest itself in two ways. When it comes to saving, you either meet or exceed your savings goals or you save nothing at all. This is also often the case with an overly strict diet; either you reach your diet goal, or if you miss your target slightly, you may start to binge eat because your goal seems impossible to achieve.

In other words, if your savings goals are too ambitious, there is a good chance that you will fail. If you can't reach your monthly goal, you're unlikely to stick with your savings plan. This mindset is very counterproductive, since even saving only € 1 per month is better than nothing!

The trick is to find the right balance to make your savings goals an interesting but not impossible challenge, so you don't get discouraged if you don't reach your goal a month later. Think of your savings as a long-term investment. Even if there are unforeseen events along the way, it is always better to save.

The 50/30/20 rule


To better manage your budget, the 50/30/20 rule can be a useful budget method . Created by Senator Elizabeth Warren when she was a law professor specializing in bankruptcy law, the 50/30/20 rule suggests dividing your monthly expenses according to the following rules:

50% of your budget for your "needs" such as rent, charges, credits;

30% for your "desires" such as restaurants, sports or vacations;

20% for your savings goals

How much should I save each month?


Under the 50/30/20 rule, you need to save 20% of your income each month. If you have a regular, fixed income, one of the smartest ways to save is to automate your spending every month. For this, you must automatically pay 20% of your monthly income into your savings account.

This way, your money does not stay in your bank account which reduces the likelihood of you spending it.

What is the average monthly savings?


According to Eurostat, the average monthly net income of an EU citizen is € 1,473. If we apply this figure to the 50/30/20 rule, we get the following breakdown:

€ 736 for needs (i.e. 50% of income)

441 € for cravings (30% of net income)

€ 294 for savings (i.e. 20% of net income)

According to these figures, if the majority of European citizens followed the 50/30/20 rule, the average monthly savings in Europe would be around € 300, or roughly € 3,500 per year. For many, this would constitute an important emergency fund , or contribute significantly to the repayment of unpaid debts.

Our tips for saving every month


Now that you have an idea of how much you need to save each month, here are some tips on how to do it. But remember, while all of the following methods are a great way to save serious money, trying to do too much too soon can be counterproductive.

Start by choosing the tips that are available to you, and then, once they become habitual, start incorporating other savings methods into your routine.

Start paying off your debts


It might be frustrating to hear, but until you pay off your debt, it will be difficult for you to save properly. However, if you use the 50/30/20 rule and devote 20% of your monthly income to paying off your debts, you should be out of the red quickly.

This is good news for your bank balance, but also for your mind, as it will give you a greater sense of financial independence.

Save on your charges


Reducing your expenses each month can save you a considerable amount of money. The main culprits are your gas and electricity bills. You should therefore make a habit of regularly comparing suppliers to get a better deal.

Additionally, you should consider:

Switch to LED bulbs, as they consume 90% less energy than standard models.

Replace devices that consume too much energy.

Regularly monitor your energy consumption to identify where you could reduce your consumption.

Do not leave electrical appliances on standby.

Save on your shopping


There are many ways to reduce your shopping budget . Start by planning your meals for the week so you know exactly what ingredients to buy before you hit the store. By sticking to a shopping list, you're more likely to stick to a tighter budget.

Another great tip is to do some mental math while shopping, every time you add something to your cart, calculate the cost of your items. If mental math isn't your thing, use your phone's calculator to help you with this task.

However, perhaps one of the best tips is to avoid shopping when you are hungry. Nothing will make you stray from your grocery budget more than an empty stomach pushing you to fill your basket with expensive snacks.

Reduce your phone bill


Reducing your monthly phone bill can quickly save you big time. There are several ways to achieve this:

Before buying the latest phone model, ask yourself is it worth it, especially if your current phone is still working.

When buying a new phone, pay for it up front rather than including the price of the phone in your monthly bill, as carriers often increase prices this way.

Compare operator prices until you find the best deal.

Before taking a plan that includes a multitude of features, ask yourself if they will really be of use to you.

Cancel unused subscriptions


Many operators derive most of their profit from subscriptions. Why ? Because once people buy into it, the idea of canceling seems too laborious, when in reality it's usually straightforward and can save you a lot of money. Ask yourself the following questions when considering continuing to pay for a subscription:

How often do you use this subscription?

Is there a cheaper alternative?

Does this subscription have an impact on your daily life or could you live without it?

If you don't use your subscription often, or there are cheaper alternatives, or you can do without, then cancel it.

Buy used products


If you need to buy a new item, consider buying it used . Without losing too much quality, you can often get a good deal while saving a lot of money, but you have to be patient.

Whether you're looking for second-hand clothes at thrift stores or specific items in online marketplaces like eBay, you'll need to keep your eyes peeled for the right deal. However, once found, you will be delighted with the savings you have made.

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