8 Smart Ways to Spend Less Money and Save More (Part 2)

More of Money Girl's smart strategies to spend less, take advantage of valuable rewards, and save more money.

Laura Adams, MBA,
May 7, 2014
Episode #355

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Ways to Spend Less Money and Save MoreThis is the second episode of a 2-part series about how to save money by spending less. In Part 1 you learned 4 tips that I use to cut spending, save time, and purchase better quality items every day.

Now we’ll discuss 4 more strategies, so you keep more of your money and take advantage of valuable rewards..


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Tips to Spend Less and Save More Money

Getting the best value for what you buy is always important. Additionally, how you buy something also plays a huge role in the net price you pay.

Here are the remaining 4 tips in this series for smart ways to spend less and save more:

Savings Tip #5: Leverage Your Brand Loyalty

Brands are in a fierce competition to win your business. Companies are increasingly using loyalty programs to acquire and retain customers, boost spending, and encourage additional purchases.

Here are 3 main types of loyalty programs brands may offer:  

  1. Cash back or rebate programs - These pay you based on total purchases made during a set period of time. For instance, outdoor retailer REI has a membership program that gives you 10% cash back on annual purchases for a one-time fee of $20. Plus, you also receive other special deals like discounts on merchandise, travel, and skills classes.

  2. Discount programs - These give you an immediate benefit when you check out, such as a lower price or free shipping. For instance, the Amazon Prime program gives you free 2-day shipping (with no minimum order), free movie and TV show streaming, and more, for $99 per year. If you’re a regular Amazon customer, you’ll come out ahead with this offer.

  3. Rewards programs - These allow you to accrue points, which can be redeemed for free or discounted goods and services. For example, coffee lovers can use the Starbucks reward program to earn "stars" for certain actions, like paying with a registered card, mobile app, or by entering promo codes from Starbucks products in the grocery store. Starbuck’s stars can be redeemed for drinks, food, and more.

Other well-known reward programs include:

If you like a brand, be sure to enroll in its reward program and see how it works. If the program comes with a fee, consider how long it would take to break even. If you could recoup the program fee in less than 6 months, it’s definitely worth the cost.


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