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3 Budgeting Hacks That Save You A Lot of Money

Budgeting is tough....but these 3 budget hacks will save you a lot more money than pinching pennies.

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You started budgeting and you want to reduce your expenses. But where do you start and how do you develop the discipline to stay on target? There are smart ways to save money without having to feel like you're giving up on fun. I've done it all and here are the three hacks that I found successful:

Budgeting Hack #1: Use credit cards to your advantage

Be strategic with the credit cards you sign up for. Check what the benefits are - do you travel often and can benefit from a card like Chase Sapphire Reserve or a United Airlines card? Travel cards generally give you a higher cash back on travel related expenses, free checked bags and cancellation, etc. If you don't travel, there are plenty of credit cards out there that offer 5% cash back on certain categories. They differ every quarter, allowing you to save more on a bunch of different categories: groceries, gas, even Amazon. Or take the lazier route and sign up for a unlimited cash back credit card that allows you to earn 1.5% cash back on all purchase (this will vary by credit card). Whether you're using the 50-30-20 rule or another rule, being strategic with your credit cards will help you reduce your expenses.

Budgeting Hack #2: Cash back on your purchases

Similar to credit cards, there are affiliate sites that offer cash back on your purchases, such as Rakuten Rewards. Retailers and brands offer cash back on purchases as an incentive for customers to shop. For them, it's an inventive way to get a new customer or to get an existing customer to spend more. For you, the customer, it's a way for you to save money on the items you already purchase and buy. It's easy to get carried away when you see cash back. Rakuten Rewards also tends to host cash back events every month with 10-15% cash back as an incentive. As long as you are wary of your