The financial impact of the ongoing global health crisis has reemphasized the importance of saving for a lot of people. A survey by Forbes Advisor reports that 40% of people with emergency savings before March 2020 spent these funds during the pandemic. Of that percentage, 73.3% used up half of their savings or more. Difficult times can offset our usual saving habits. This means that it’s more important than ever to find strategies to lessen our spending to financially protect ourselves against the unexpected. If you’re a shopper looking for ways to save as you spend, here are a few promotional tools you can leverage.
Cash-back programs are similar to discounts, except instead of decreasing an item’s price, cash-back programs reimburse buyers for purchases. Because they’re an effective way of incentivizing customer loyalty, cash-back programs are often used by credit card companies and banks.
But financial institutions aren’t the only companies offering cash-back programs. In an feature titled ‘13 Best Discount Shopping Apps’, US News lists the many mobile cash-back apps shoppers can use to find cash-back offers. For instance, you can link your credit card to the cash-back tool Dosh to automatically receive cash-back funds whenever you buy from the retailers they’ve partnered with, which include Walmart, Sephora, and Instacart. You can also use the smart coupon tool Coupon Cabin, which has an in-store homepage that features cash-back offers.
Also, more coupons are available at ShipTheDeal to help you save time and money. Technology has made it a lot easier to access store discounts. Developers have created mobile apps and software that can help you find and even print coupons. Parents.com covered coupon technology in a recent article, which lists the different websites and apps shoppers can use. For online shoppers, they recommend Cently, a browser extension that finds discounts at online stores and automatically applies them to your cart at checkout. You can also find coupons on websites like Coupons.com. It has a mobile app, which allows you to redeem cash-saving vouchers without having to print physical copies.
Companies are always looking to attract new customers. This is why many have incentivized refer-a-friend programs, which reward you for earning the store new customers. Personal finance website AskMoney.com covers these nifty money hacks in their articles. In one of their recent posts, they note that refer-a-friend rewards can come in many different forms, including discounts, credits, points, and free perks. They also add that refer-a-friend programs can have conditions surrounding rewards. For example, some companies might withhold rewards until referred friends hit a certain spending goal. Others might place time limits on deals or reward validity. Take note of all program details before applying. Before choosing a program, decide what kind of reward you would benefit from most, then determine whether you and your referred friends can meet the program terms.
Our article on ‘How to Lower Your Grocery Bill in 2021 and Beyond’ explains that many retailers offer discounts in the form of rewards cards, which allow you to earn spendable points for every purchase. To make the most out of this system, get a rewards card from a store you often buy from. For instance, you can apply for a rewards card at your favorite grocery store. Earning points will be easy, as buying groceries is already part of your usual routine. Rewards cards can also give you access to sales and discount prices.
During difficult times, shoppers need to find ways to limit spending so they can set aside money for protection against unexpected events. Fortunately, promotional tools like cash-back programs, coupons, refer-a-friend programs, and rewards cards can help shoppers save even as they spend.
For more useful money hacks, check out the rest of our blog here on Budget Savvy Diva.