Even before the COVID-19 pandemic clobbered our economy, leading to millions of layoffs and financial uncertainty, many Americans were struggling to make ends meet. According to a report from the Center for Financial Services Innovation, “stagnant wages and increasing costs of housing, food and health care” were making it harder for consumers to keep up with their bills. Nearly half of Americans surveyed (46.5%) reported spending as much — or more — than they earned, the center’s 2019 Trends Report says.
Now more than ever, it’s important to know all the tricks to avoid creeping costs, especially this overarching rule: Never pay retail.
Make every penny count with these 11 savvy (and simple) tactics. A dollar you don’t spend on needs or wants is a dollar that can be working for you in an emergency fund, a health savings account, retirement savings or a college plan for your kid.