The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to look at how you can adjust your spending habits and budget better to save money.

By Shane Cummings, CFP®AIF®, Wealth Advisor & Director of Technology/Cybersecurity as featured in Kiplinger 

As we get into the new year, it’s an opportune time to set goals for 2024. Many of us will be looking at our finances, especially considering the inflationary challenges of the last few years, and asking ourselves, is there a better way to budget and save money? Here are some tips and tricks to take advantage of in the new year.

1. Clever savings hacks

There are free apps available, such as Rakuten or Capital One Shopping, that will pay you back for spending money on things you were already going to buy. The trick is to have their app or browser extension downloaded and check out in the right sequence to get credit with them.

For example, Rakuten may give you 2% cash back for buying pet food at your favorite pet store. You were already planning to buy it anyway, but if you do it through Rakuten, you get an easy 2% discount. The shopping apps will also frequently have coupon codes to use at checkout that may save you additional money. Given the small effort this takes, you could almost consider it free money in the right circumstances.

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