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Ask HN: What's your favorite way to save money?
164 points by jmaccabee on July 12, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 183 comments
My startup has been kicking around the idea of developing a Chrome extension to help save you money.

I've been wondering - what are some of everyone's favorite apps or extensions for saving money? I've heard of Ebates, Honey, and Ibotta. Is there a need that's currently going unmet?

Would love to get potential user feedback. Thanks!!

This app changed literally my life. YNAB! https://www.youneedabudget.com

It takes time to get used to, but after 6 years on and off, I am using it for the last 8 months regularly, and I already saved enough money for the next 4 months in advance.

This, and in addition, read https://www.amazon.com/Early-Retirement-Extreme-philosophica...

You don't need more, trust me.

But, of course, what these two have in common, is simply:

1. Spend much less than you earn 2. Try to just spend 30-40% of your income, but an emergency fund which stores 6 month worth of money, and then invest the saved money.

What I recommend, is a little game: 1. Don't eat out for a whole month 2. Don't do any big purchases for a whole month

You will see how much many you usually spend, and how your mind is triggering you to buy things. It will be really hard, so instead of thinking about "oh no, I shouldn't buy this", just write a note on a piece of paper everytime you want to buy something.

At the end of the month, you will see how "stupid" you were to want a certain things. If a certain things come up on this list over and over, then maybe it could be useful.

YNAB is good if it's just you or you're the sole manager of your account, but multi-user is hard to maintain, spent more time fixing syncing issues etc. I also don't like things that claim to solve money problems by asking you for money

Well, they don't solve your money problems, nobody can do this :) They offer you a really good service, which of course they want money for. But I think its around 2,50 Dollar a month? I already saved up to 15k in the last few months, so they can have their 2,50 ;)

YNAB is awesome--the desktop version, that is.

Unfortunately, they're going the web route for obvious reasons; but for me, I'm holding on to the desktop version as long as it can run on a Mac, which I hope will be a long time. I've backed up the installation file and my license.

For me the simplest solution is to have a second bank account I never take money from. Then every time I get my salary a certain amount gets moved to the savings account. I do not miss money I never really had. Additionally some days before my salary all my money above a certain threshold gets also moved to the savings account, so that I have the same money every month, even when I spent less. Also I have my I am poor level. When I have less than 1000Fr/$ I cut my spending to very basic things like food only. This protects me from depth and touching my savings.

All of this is easily possible in nearly any bank in Switzerland, I am not shure about the US or other parts of the world. Hope I could create some inspiration.

Also wanted to say, its important that all of that happens automatic, so that I do not need to decide whether its right to do so or not. It should be like taxes, forced on me.

Hey, I pretty much have the same setup you've described except the second money transfer if your current account balance is above a given threshold. How did you solve this? Do you use a special tool for this such as MoneyMoney for example? (This is what I'm currently using for dealing with my bank accounts)

Actually my bank/ebanking offered this feature. It also works opposite, so as example if you have less than 1000$ it will automatically move money from a certain account to this account.

[Not op, but:] It's kind of sad, the bank I'm using is constantly looking for engineers to "help create the future of banking" (or maybe that was a sibling bank - they're both constantly after engineers) - and yet neither have something as basic as a programmable api to do check balances and do transfers between accounts...

As I've finally gotten to a better cash flow (making a bit more, cutting/reducing some regular expenses, paying off some high-interest short-time debt), I'm experimenting with some new saving strategies (although the amount is still very small).

I have one tiny transfer that goes out of my account every day to another bank that has a small positive interest (a whooping 1.8% - which I guess is +/- zero wrt. inflation) - a "savings" account. As far as I can figure out, this only goes out on business days, and sometimes it gets canceled due to my regular account being empty. My general plan is to from time to time, when/if I have some excess cash, calculate what "should" be there (amount * current-day-of-year) and transfer the difference (The interest is a rounding error).

It's kind of interesting to turn savings on its head like this, and fun to see how "much" one can save, if you multiply that amount by 365 days. You could call it "a latte a day consumer saving", because you can quickly save enough to avoid buying one electronic gizmo on credit a year (ie: last generation phone, medium range laptop etc).

Well, ok a good regular size latte in Norway will likely set you back ~5 USD. But I suppose in the US people would go and get a latte that's three times the size for a similar price[1].

The other experiment I'm doing, is transferring a similarly sized sum, but scaled up to weekly deposits, that go into a somewhat high-risk fund (more or less the closest I could find to a technology index fund - low fees, but probably overall worse than an actual index fund). It comes to a little more over the course of a year, and hopefully over time will see ~5% interest - although that is certainly uncertain.

It looks like I'll be moving to a new job/location - with higher pay and less expenses, so I'll have to try to do an evaluation and see what I do with my "excess" cash. I'll probably save as much as I can for a year, and then see how close I am to being able to simply pay the rest of my debt (low interest government-backed student loans).

They're a little different from other debt, in that they are personal, and come with some insurance in case of unemployment or disability.

[1] http://www.fastfoodmenuprices.com/starbucks-prices/

I created a second bank account as soon as I went to college because I was too lazy to balance a checkbook. Now I actually have three accounts. Savings account for long term savings that 20% of my salary is deposited, a checking account where my rent is drawn from, and another checking account for general use where 80% of my salary is deposited.

It's probably not the best system but It's nice to have it all separated. It's a process if I'm going to take money out of savings and transfer it to my checking account so It makes me think twice on large purchases.

This is a great strategy, and I use it too. I've heard it referred to as "paying yourself first" since you're treating your future self as your #1 creditor.

I'm in the US, and this has been this single biggest factor in changing my finances. Move things out of accounts you have easy access to automatically, use that as an emergency fund and the source of any debt payments. Then just focus on your main account as your "available balance"

This. I'd love to be able to actually have dozens of "virtual" accounts that use a single account so I could keep track of what everything is for, but just having a separate account that I can't easily take money from works wonders.

this has been the most helpful for me so far.

My father always says : "saving money is the beginning of being poor".

So I always try to save money by thinking how can I make more. These days money = time is a strong equation, so just don't loose your time and use it in a way to make money.

Stop thinking about saving money and spend your thoughts on revenue stream. That's why I rarely use services like that and don't count the pennies ( I'm neither rich nor bragging )

I used to use this excuse to justify ridiculous levels of spending. My time is valuable, etc. It's definitely true for some people but probably not most and certainly not me. Unless you actually are earning more (and saving it too, not just spending it) as a result of this mindset, I'd recommend reconsidering.

I find it more like a mindset than an actual excuse.

E.g. I want to buy a Tesla and I don't have the money. I say to myself : "Now it's not the time." instead of "Let's save some money!".

If you have millions and you want to buy 10 cars, then I think you have a problem with your ego.

I think the point is that it's very easy to convince yourself of the time is money concept when you really just don't want to care about money or want fancier things. While forgetting that money is also time.

Of the two (money coming in and money coming out), you can only restrict money going out so much.

You have your basic expenses you need to live (food, shelter, water), which cost most people at least tens of thousands per year.

If you live miserably only allowing money out to expense those needs, you're still only saving tens of thousands.

You have a lot more ability to increase money coming in than money going out.

I think this is the point OP's father was trying to make. Don't get stuck in a loop of allowing your employer to pay you $xx,xxx (or $1xx,xxx) for decades and restrict yourself for your whole life just to retire old and live an average lifestyle. Take control of your life and control your success.

Certainly it's good to increase your revenue, but saving money is often much more valuable; a dollar saved is $1.4 earned, assuming you live somewhere with a high marginal tax rate.

Also, frugality reaps increased benefits as the income rises. If one can maintain the same cost of living while earning more money, you end up with huge % increases in discretionary cash that can be used for all sorts of great things: investing, philanthropy, starting a business, saving for future personal projects, travel, etc.

Example: earn $100k, $35k goes to taxes, spend $50k a year = $15k discretionary. Increase income 50% to $150k, taxes become $52.5k, spend the same $50k = $47.5k discretionary. So total income only increased by 1.5, but discretionary increased by a factor of 3. Of course, this is a simplistic example -- tax rates aren't constant for one thing. But the principle is very powerful, and the effect strength grows as the income increases. Using the above numbers, 2x the initial salary results in a 5x increase in discretionary income.

Lastly, this strategy also provides great protection against a decrease in income.

Agreed, but there's also a fine line between frugality and being cheap. You should optimize what you get for the money, not lower your quality of life in an unsustainable way.

Of course, all things in healthy moderation. In the end it will come to what one is willing to do personally. But we shouldn't confuse "spending money like my coworkers or peers do" with "maintaining a good quality of life", even if there can be some correlation. I think most people will not have a problem becoming "cheap" (to me this word means: a person who expresses their frugality in a dickish manner)

Whenever I've had cashflow problems in the past, for me, spending less was never the solution. Having a good idea (and thus, making more money) always was.

Extrapolating from the past doesn't always work. In this case maybe you are not accounting for future illness or burnout.

It's great that you can have profitable ideas whenever you need them.

The thought of running out of money can often be a great motivator.

this is true, but the most you can save is 100%, but earning potential is generally unbounded. if you do not have marketable skills, then saving may be the only way to go, but if you can develop a valuable skillset, you can earn significantly more than you can save.

Firstly they are not mutually exclusive.

Secondly, though there is no upper limit to how much you can earn it rarely works that way in the real world. People who are not saving money are doing it for many psychological reasons, like being unable to resist the temptation to spend on things. And most of the times they don't like it after they do it.

Earning may be unbounded but so is spending. Unless you have a baseline lifestyle that you maintain then any increased earnings will just be eaten by increased spending since you'll already have convinced yourself that saving is pointless.

The people who spend the least are the poorest. If you we're thinking about putting your money into something worthwhile you'd very likely get a tax credit, also here's the kicker, the most you can get your expenses down to is $0, what you can get your income to is limitless.

If you are very poor then clearly doing something to increase your income makes a lot of sense.

For most people on HN I'm not so sure, most roles have a ceiling that is very difficult to get above without moving into upper management or starting your own business. The odds don't look so good then.

On the other hand having some FU money will improve your quality of life significantly. Just being able to say no to that morally questionable feature your boss is asking you to implement or turning down a weekends work when you want to go to a friends wedding has a strong impact on your well being.

Having savings and investments means having choices, having debts imprisons people.

There's a distinction between "saving money", as in putting it in a savings account, having a nest egg. That is clearly a good thing. The other, which is what the OP is about, is "saving money", as in paying less for things. This is rarely a good investment in terms of the time/happiness/convenience/actual money saved trade-off. A somewhat extreme example is clipping coupons - the cognitive load of planning around saving a few cents on butter is simply not worth it for most people (and also, there's the subtle bias in altering your behaviour to take advantage of an offer). Another saying in the same vein is "penny-wise, pound-foolish".

I know someone who carefully plans and then spreads the weekly shopping trip between up to five different grocery stores -- and also complains that they have too little time. I and several others have tried connecting the dots for them, but it's clearly become an obsession (and needless to say, it's not like they track their spending and saving on this -- just assumes that they are saving loads).

Obviously, there are things that make sense. Of course you should shop around and negotiate for big-ticket items. It might well make sense to alternate weekly shopping trips between two different stores with different strengths (one might be good for fresh produce, but expensive for staples and household goods etc).

> For most people on HN I'm not so sure, most roles have a ceiling that is very difficult to get above without [...] starting your own business

Hacking on a side project is one of the things you could do once you stop spending hours saving dollars.

But, the point is, time is a strictly limited resource. Money has steeply diminishing returns around those ceilings. Stop wasting time saving small amounts of money and spend it getting the most out of your time (whether that's working on your revenue streams, or doing any of a number of activities that makes you happy).

"Hacking on a side project is one of the things you could do once you stop spending hours saving dollars."

Hacking on ever recurring side project can also be a huge time sink, especially since projects tend to have a disproportionate reward at the end.

most roles have a ceiling that is very difficult to get above without moving into upper management or starting your own business

Considering we're on a Site Formerly Known as Startup News, starting your own business should definitely be a real option.

Its been said many times that you should never start startup to make money. The opportunity cost and uncertainty makes its a very risky way to make money.

The other one I like is, "You can always make money back, but time you can never get back." My dad said that, and he was poor for a period of time in his youth. He later was an entrepreneur (but not of the tech kind, and not of the rich kind, more the independent kind that had $0 and no job, and later a staff of around 20, in the span of a few years).

I cannot relate to the extreme savings world that isn't necessary. For example, I had a friend who made much more than me but quite enjoyed the 'optimization' or 'life hacks' mentality including reducing his electrical expenses throughout his house, living in a studio, being vegan and finding tricks to spending no money on stuff. He had a system where the farm would deliver (in NYC) organic produce based on what was available seasonally, for a subscription fee, making his food experience cheap. He would sign up to those free loans the banks would give, the ones where they'd send a check and you had no interest for 8 months, and he'd put it in a CD for exactly 8 months to pocket the interest and pay it back. etc. And he made a lot more money than me (and still does).

I can't live like that. On the other hand, I'm not the impulsive/blind spender that needs a wife/husband/'life hacks'/software to keep his spending under control. I'm also a privileged tech worker with a comfortable (but not braggable) income.

Where can one find these free bank loans? Seems like a good opportunity.

Saving money is the beginning of being poor. Investing it, however, is not. You don't actually need a ton of capital to make decent income off of compound interest (capital gains), which is taxed at a lower tax rate (or not taxed at all in some countries). If your money is working for you, you shouldn't have to worry too much about saving on purchases.

That said, a lot of people are completely stupid with money. Some people will try to save money by cutting expenses everywhere and then, for example, proceed to overpay €10-20-50k on a house. Or not negotiate high random fees, ever.

Investing is also not as easy as saving. How does someone goes from no-invesment-knowledge to not-loosing-money in investment (and possibly "decent income off of compound interest")? Just trusting the bank guy?

Rule 1: Never trust the bank guy. With the exception of perhaps private banking (though fees are high there), if those people really knew how to make money, they wouldn't be working at a (consumer) bank. They'd raise a $10-20-50m fund and make a killing for their clients and themselves. It's that simple.

Either you go with low fee index funds (i.e. Vanguard S&P500, which tracks the market and will require the least amount of effort) or you learn about investing by putting in the time to understand things properly (which might lead to higher returns but can take a lifetime).

one can spend end less amounts of time on "investing"

i like macro-economics and treat it as a hobby.

others that may have little interest in the subject could take a simple route.

25% gold/silver 25% blue chip dividend or index fund 25% property or rental 25% in your business or hobby, if you spend/invest in what you know and like will usually do well same with work do what you have passion and ability=success

if #3 and 4 dont apply just put 20% gold/silver and 80% in 10 different good dividend paying blue chip. why gold and silver?? because inflation protection against fiat currency. another note now not the time to by stocks, now is time to sell. buy after next correction.

bank guy: I somehow suspected that


This is a great book, Four Pillars of Investing - https://www.amazon.com/Four-Pillars-Investing-Building-Portf...


You could consider the Bogleheads investing start-up kit: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Bogleheads%C2%AE_investing_s...

I see you are in Europe. In USA it's overpaying $100K-$500K for a house.

I believe this too and most of the tech people do that i guess, since they their skills are in demand. But there are millions of people who have standard revenue streams and not everyone can be entrepreneurial in finding new ways to make money than worry about pennies. These apps are aimed at those, showing people who they are wasting money and also ways to save it.

With all due respect to your father but that is seriously very bad advice.

It's almost impossible to fill a container leaking all the time.

Also make note a lot of people have gotten rich by saving and investing than have people who went into doing start ups or 'revenue stream' or such.

It's good advice, but it can be misinterpreted. You either spend 3 hours cutting coupons every few days or you can spend three hours learning new tech or gaining a qualification or going to meetups. Spending some money on books/taxi's etc to do so.

The best payoff is spending the money. However there is a "poverty" mentality where people would be scared of spending that money. You need to avoid that.

On the other hand you could buy a gimmicky fancy tv or keep your decent old one. Obviously just keep your old one.

Just optimise for the best expected payoff. For that you require a mix of saving, and spending.

i think its a good point too much time spent saving money is wasted time. my rule of thumb is can i save more that i get paid at work?? so if you get paid $100/hr. you can clip coupons 3 hours and save 20 bucks or stay at work 3 hours and make $300 i am a dyi person but if i can pay someone to do the job less than my pay i just work extra hours and hire that person.

I think a good distinction is hinted at in your last line "optimise for the best expected payoff". This form of spending is perhaps better termed investment.

A mix is the optimal approach. Investing some time into cutting the low hanging fruit on the expense side is certainly worthwhile.

People just take it to far...you can only cut thing so far before it screws up your lifestyle so yeah after cutting the obvious its about more revenue as you say.

100% agree with this, though I've seen it worded differently.

Rather than worrying about optimizing spending I find it much easier to maximize my earning potential. Negotiating a better salary will often net one more money over time than chasing coupons.

I'm sure your dad has a lot of money and all, but saving money works pretty well for most people.

Look at the interest rate. Now look at inflation (not "core" inflation, the one you pay). Saving, money in bank, is not a good investment atm. Or put differently, it's at best as good as gold bars under the bed.

So yes, you not only have to save the money. You need to invest it.

I was not going into explicit detail, but pontificating on the idea of saving as opposed to spending.

With that said, one of my banks offered me a 3.00% APY on a CD the other day. Still not really enough for me. I would prefer to throw the money in index funds and wait longer.

I like to approach this from a perspective of if I save y many hours by buying some service or product, then if my time is valued at x per hour, am I making a profit? Once that is considered I also consider if I can make that money back. So instead of cleaning the house myself, I might hire a team to come do it. During the time they are cleaning my goal is to do some kind of work that helps me earn that money back ideally.

There was a time I bought a Mac book pro. I felt it would save me developer time and focus compared to my old HP laptop. So I set out to earn that money back in 6 months (did it in 4). I feel like this complete approach helps.

That would be a very bad advice to Michael Tyson or every other athlete who went bankrupt after spending hundreds of millions.

Great. The question was "what is the your favorite way to save money?", not "what's the best way to increase my net". The two ideas of increasing income and saving money are by no means mutually exclusive, you should answer the side that he asks for.

I agree, I have a set amount of money that comes out of my accounts to go to my retirement account (well over 10% of my income), but it is my only abstract use of money. I really don't care where my money goes after that. I obviously use some of the rest to shelter, feed, and clothe myself, but the surplus gets spent (I have a 3 month savings reserve that I will replenish if I ever have to tap into it), other than that, what should I be saving money for exactly?

Why not both?

A penny saved is a penny earned.

Since this turned into a personal finance thread, how about favorite ways to spend money?

Starbucks. Every morning. Latte and a danish/cookie/muffin. $7.00 * 30 days = $210.00

Eat lunch out. Every day. And not with a coupon or fast food, but a sit-down restaurant. Sandwich, fries, soda, tip - $12.00. Every weekday, that's $240.00

Vending machine snacks, my job doesn't offer free snacks. $2.50 for a Mt. Dew/chips when I get that craving at 3:30. Every weekday, that's $50.00

Spend more at the grocery store than you would eating out a restaurant. Throw food away, don't eat your leftovers, buy expensive meats, cheeses and fancy ingredients. $150/trip or $600/month

Now that we're past the daily items, let's go into the monthly expenses.

SUV instead of a small car. $600/month and another $250/month in insurance, $60/week in gas. $1100/month

Buy a new MacBook. Every year. You sell the old one but you're still spending another $700 on the new one and sales tax. Don't forget to buy a new case/decal for the new one.

Upgrade your phone. Every year. Buy new accessories for it, and get the mammoth dataplan. This can be $150/month.

Frivously spend $100/month on iTunes purchases. Songs you don't really like, movies you don't even end up watching, games you'll play once and never open again.

Drink heavily! What else are you going to do with $70/night? Inebriate yourself a few times a week.

Piss away $25/week on lottery tickets. Might as well try, right?

Impulse purchases under $500? Don't even worry about it. GoPro, new tablet, latest game console, high-end pots and pans for your house - just buy it!

Spur of the moment trip to Africa? Don't even bother packing, just bring your credit card!

Clothes won't fit after all those vending machine snacks? Throw them all away and upgrade to bigger ones!

I just record all my discretionary purchases in a spreadsheet and recoil in horror at the end of the month.

My monthly spend has been steadily dropping since I started doing this about six months ago.

EDIT: I seem to have misunderstood the topic of this thread, but, as another commenter puts it, the best way to save money is to not spend money in the first place.

On that note though, while I realize there are plenty of apps that will do this sort of thing for you, I really wished there were that did it with this level of simplicity.

And I don't mean create an account for Mint or Level or any of the other bountiful budgeting services out there and merely export to a Spreadsheet. I (personally) literally only want something that can connect to my accounts, see a transaction, and update a row. Nothing in the middle.

Does it exist already?

I record all my spending manually with Expense Manager [ https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=at.markushi.ex... ] Dead simple. Add an amount, give it a category, add a note (optional). See trends, exports to excel. Every attempt to use mint, level, etc has resulted in confusing duplicated entires or entries that don't show up until I've forgotten what they are.

This is perfect. I have one of those phone case/wallet combos and cards are right there with the phone so I can quickly enter purchases.


Every month i create a file (e.g. 201605.csv for May 2016) where I write date, description, amount and category, manually, using whatever editor I have at hand. The files reside on Dropbox so I can also update these via smartphone when needed. And I wrote (like 15 years ago?) a very simple Perl script that pointed at csv files will summarize expenses and income by category, and provide totals (along as percentages, i.e. stuff like

"BOOKS: 23.75 / 0.31% of total monthly expenses"

That's all. Being .csv it can be manually updated, ported wherever I can run Perl, imported in Excel or in any DB I may care for etc. If I want to run analysis I can paste together all the files and run R on these etc. etc. etc.

I have maybe 20 categories, so it's easy to assign to them and I don't have to agonize for hours about how to tag any non-recurring expenses.

This has proven to be enough for me. YMMV, of course.

Simple does it: https://www.simple.com/

It's a bit of a hassle to switch since you need to set up direct deposit and wire your money over from your existing bank. Once you've done this though if you use the debit card for purchases everything is tracked with nice graphs and decent software.


- No branches, it's a bit of a pain to get a cashier's check on short notice.

- Can't use rewards credit card if you want to actually take advantage of it.

I find the automated data collection and graphs is worth the 2% 'cost' of not using a rewards credit card.

For me I don't think that would work, manually handling the receipts and entering them in a program is part of the process of understanding my spending.

>> I really wished there were that did it with this level of simplicity.

The desktop version of YNAB was pretty much like this.

if you use apps. and a spread sheet to keep track of all misc. expenses then i would say too much time and effort.

my simple way is take the misc. expenses $ money right off the top when cash check. i put the cash in my pocket. $800 every two weeks. and i use cash for all misc. stuff. use the credit card for fixed monthly expenses and pay maintenance stuff like insur, etc elec. check. so if run out of cash then done till next check. and usually have left over dont usually spend full $800 i just throw it in the drawer until it piles up and then spend it on something or divert to invest. acct.

1. Fatwallet

Until it was acquired a few months ago I was a longtime user of FatWallet to make a few percentage points back on the dollar at many stores.

2. Jet Anywhere

Jet.com has an incredible cash back program called Jet Anywhere. While the number of stores is small, the percentages are very strong. For example, 20% back at Nike or Saks Fifth.

What I'm getting the most out of though is plane tickets. Flight purchases through them get 5.6% back via Orbitz or 4.8% back via Expedia. After verifying you completed the travel, they dispatch cash back in the form of Jet Cash in 30 days. Many items on Jet are equal or cheaper than Amazon, so this is effectively cash. 5% back on plane tickets becomes a significant amount of money very quickly.

By the way — they do not have a Chrome extension and I have interest in working on one.

3. Cash back credit card

I also purchase everything on a card that gives 2% cash back on every purchase without exception. This is literal cash off your bill, not a rewards program.

I've received $100+ back from the first two methods, and even more from the third.


I'm really passionate about the topic of "money hacking" and happy to discuss more via email if you're interested. I'm currently writing a few blog posts on personal financial habits myself.

What card are you using with universal 2% cash back?

I'd prefer not to list my specific card provider on a public discussion board out of security consciousness.

That said, NY Times ran an article on "the holy grail" 2% cash back credit cards last year [0] which includes four:

- Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard

- Capital One Venture Visa Signature

- Citi Double Cash MasterCard

- Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express

[0]: Credit Cards With 2% Rebates, While (or if) They Last http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/09/your-money/credit-and-debi...

I guess this only works for people with good credit rating, where the risk of defaulting is low? It seems to me this would be you getting back the 2% default fee on credit card transactions, that has been featured on HN before - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11887469.

That's pretty crazy, and I don't think it would fly here, though I never shop at Walmart.

Perhaps it's different in Canada but Visa and MasterCard are the most popular credit card brands in the US.

The only time I've seen something related in the US is at discount grocery store chain Aldi's (it has some commonalities with Walmart) which has a 0.5% surcharge to pay with a debit or credit card in the US and Australia. They had been doing this internationally for a while, in countries where they accept credit cards at least, and Europeans seem to be more accepting of it than Americans, but it only became consistent in the US over the past year or so.

I use the Citi Double Cash which gives 2% cash back, with no annual fee.

Citi Double Back is one with 2% cash back. Also Chase AARP gives 3% on restaurants and gas (no cap), my two bigeest expenses outside of rent.

Personally, I save money by not buying stuff. Otherwise I tend to buy secondhand. Requires some sort of lifestyle to get this to work, since you don't always find stuff the moment you need it. Not needing/wanting to spend money, is also a (new) mindset; appreciating or even realizing/knowing what you already have. Yes, this is very close to tree-hugging-hippie-style-living, but what the heck :) Also: never, ever spend money you don't have. Don't borrow money. Maybe for a house, but never, ever for a car, t.v., laptop, whatever.

My method which is my least favourite but most successful was to marry a quite frugal woman. I was never the type who had any money left at the end of the month but have just put a 55k€ deposit down on a new house and have money left to furnish it (about 2 yrs of saving). I also have a young child, live in a nice area with high rent, have a car and have many hobbies which I enjoy regularly. The main savings have come from cutting back on expensive impulse purchases, the second would be cutting down to one coffee a day and bringing my own lunch to work. Next on my list is to quit smoking which should also greatly increase my savings ability.

> Next on my list is to quit smoking which should also greatly increase my savings ability.

Setting aside the obvious health benefits, this can make a pretty impressive saving by itself. From memory, I was spending something like £100-150/mo on cigarettes, and in the UK at least, I think the "sin tax" on them has only increased in recent years.

How about something that prevents purchasing, or forces a 1-day wait. The best way to same money is not to spend it, and most of us don't need half the stuff we buy....

Oh man, what a great idea. Especially as you start shopping around, you can build a broader profile of a customer's shopping habits, which could be sold for better targeting advertising.... oh wait... argh why does my mind always go there.

Have a meta-site, like a pluggin, with a shopping cart. You browse other sites such as Amazon, EBay, Anandtech, etc and it creates a registry of things you want.

On the backend it can solicit better offers from other merchants on the same and similar merchandise.

Also, as you note, the customer's data could be sold and (partially) turned into a rebate. Perhaps the site could also tell you which extra data (your gender, age, other purchases, etc) would be the most valuable and you could choose to release these facts.

You can already do this with Amazon's Add to Wishlist bookmarklet which lets you add any product from any page on the web to an Amazon wishlist.

I use Amazons wish list for this, most of the stuff I put in there never gets purchased.

I read a lot of philosophy books. They taught me to think deeply about the things that make me happy, and it turns out most of the things that make me happy are essentially free (reading, coding, etc).

I doubt it'd work for everyone, and it would be tricky to turn in to a Chrome extension, but something that put a Stoic quote in to Amazon's checkout page might help people.

Any book recommendations on this?

Anything by Alain De Botton but especially "Consollations of Philosophy" and "Status Anxiety", "How To Live: Micheal De Montaigne" by Sarah Bakewell, and "Philosophy for Life" by Jules Evans. None of them are hardcore academic works; they're just really interesting introductions to how philosophy can actually be useful.

1. Learn cooking: Saves a lot of money, healthy and a lot of long term advantages.

2. Learn to do the 'beginning with the end in mind': A lot of us here in India go and buy a plot on a reasonable loan, and then try to clear it off within 2-3 years. This way you get to acquire a resource, make a investment, and are forced to save up every month to clear the loan. This is more like forced savings. Repeat this for a long time, and you will get really really rich.

3. Keep a diary: Keep a habit tracker, try to get a continuous streak of $0 expense days.

4. Pick up a hobby like music: Gets you entertainment without bills for TV/Cable and things like that.

5. Buy for need and durability: Don't buy everything that you see people buying. Buy only if you need something and buy durable stuff.

There are a range of other things I do. But it might get a little too long for a HN post.

This is a great set of suggestions.

On the cooking side of things, I found I was spending a lot of money buying lunches. Sydney is a VERY expensive city: a 'cheap' lunch in the CBD costs at least $7. So, we're talking about saving at least $35-50 per week. Over a year, that's approx $1500-2000 per year. And often, it's not as good as things I like to make for myself.

So I cook double-or-triple the quantities of recipes on the weekends... I take pride in making complex curries, slow-cooked casseroles and the like. Usually, doubling or tripling the quantities does not change the cooking time significantly and there are economies of scale with the costs as well.

Then, I package up the extra into lunch and dinner-sized portions for myself, wife and family for the week in the freezer.

This way, we all get cheap lunches (cost approx $1-2) and gain extra time at dinner during the weekdays (no cooking! just re-heat and add rice/salad/veges).

I'd say that as well as saving $1500-2000 per year, it's also saved us an hour or 3 every single week. Frankly, it's worth it if just for the time saved.

Slow-cooker meals are indeed great. Very cheap to fix, makes big quantities, and they can be wonderful. Throw things in at 8am, at 5pm you have hot, delicious food in quantities to throw a dinner party or eat for days.

My wife and I did a "month of slow cooking" to try recipes. Most were good and many are part of our regular cooking rotation now.

5. I wish there was a definite way to determine quality beforehand easily, but in most cases it's a huge hassle. Also, customer feedback a few years down the line instead of right after the purchase would be nice because that's when the product's weak points really become known.

Ad Block Plus, no ads, no desire to purchase the products I didn't see.

Seriously, not buying stuff / eating out is the best way for me to save money, especially if I spent the time that I would have been shopping / going out, working.

Something that might be an idea is linking to a savings account and adding a button beside the purchase link on amazon, etc, like "Save money instead, if you saved $56.32, you'd have $2345.54 in total savings" it would be epic if it went into a GIC or something not very liquid.

That is an EXCELLENT idea. You'd get a bunch of customers on reddit.com/frugal

I really like this idea!! Thanks


It wasn't until recently that started to cook my own meals every day. I felt time was always time limited when I worked for a company so I would get takeout a lot. Especially in my time in Toronto due to the large amount of good places to eat at. Switching to eating predominantly stuff I make has saved a lot; next to rent food was my biggest monthly expense.

Phone plan:

In Canada carriers have different plans for each province, with the prairies getting the best deals. It's gotten so ridiculous that there's a "black market" where resellers sell SIM cards from other provinces and carriers trying to lock that down.

Anyway I lived in Manitoba and got a phone plan there where I'm paying half the cost for 3x the amount of data and features I would get in Ontario. The only downside is that most people calling me would get dinged long-distance since I'm using a Manibota number in Ontario, but Canada-wide calling plans are so common for mobiles now that I don't feel guilty about it.

Give me a chrome extension that always alerts me if I am missing a possible coupon on an e-commerce site that I am on. For example, automatically check sites like retailmenot.com etc and tell me possible coupon codes for a product i may be checking out without applying any coupon. Bonus points if u also apply that coupon for me :)

I cannot see the aggregator going on too long with this. The retailers will run the reports and see what's going on and put pressure on the network. Last second couponers do not add any value to a retailer and they are fighting those type of affiliates.

Thanks! Are you interested specifically in coupons? One thing we've been brainstorming is an extension that offered a more comprehensive set of ways to save - coupons, cash back, deals, etc.

Is that something you'd be interested in?

I save money the old school way - envelope/budget system.

We have a current account for day to day expenses (groceries, toll road pass top up, a couple of meals out) and the same amount gets out in that at the start of the month. Then with a separate bank we have an account for all direct debits and standing orders (mortgage, electricity, internet, phone etc) including a standing order to an investment account which we view as a monthly expense (we are essentially paying ourselves but it's taken monthly so no excuses to miss paying it), so we put the same amount in to that every month.

We then have a number of savings accounts that cover the various expenses that crop up on an irregular/long terms basis. Holiday fund, clothes fund, Oh Crap! fund, TV License, insurances, christmas/gifts etc. We know how much needs to be in these by the time a payment is due (say annual payments) so each month one 12th of the amount gets added so when the payment is due the money is there. For gifts and christmas we adjust as we go on a six monthly basis, basically by Christmas we know we need a certain amount and it's great come November and all of christmas is paid for.

Any money left over gets put into a either investments or a big pot for a large purchase we may want to make in the future (eg, property).

Historically we have tracked expenses with a web app that I wrote however recently have switched to Pennies on iOS.

For cash back we use Quidco, to reduce monthly costs we look at moeysavingexpert (Martin Lewis's old site).

Beyond that we often check if something counts as lifestyle creep - the tendency to needlessly upgrade aspects of your life just because you have more disposable income that before. If we see a habit developing that costs extra money or we are making a big purchase we have a quick chat and ask if it's needless lifestyle creep? Sometimes we decide it is and we're ok with it, other times we'll decide that in the long run it's not worth the extra spend so stop.

Seems to work for us.

I would love a Chrome extension that converts all dollar figures on the page into a the number of hours of work at my salary it would cost.

Something like this: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/time-is-money/oopp...

Note I haven't used it.

Or better, convert it to the opportunity cost of spending it, which is the base price plus all the gains over X years had it been invested instead of spent.

Since I set a goal for myself(hose/flat/something like that), I looked for a lot of ways to save money, my tips are:

- keep track of every cent spent, i started using GnuCash, but there are a lot of other solutions available - don't buy yourself a lunch every day, make a sandwich at home, or buy a thermo-box for warm food (this saves me ~30€ every week)

- if possible, drive by bike instead of the car or public transport

- i changed my petroleum gas and power provider and save about ~100€/y

- my opinion about coupons and "best deals" (on the web) is: they only mislead you to buy something you don't need. I only use coupons for grocery, and here you also need to be careful and compare the reduced price to prices of other stores.

- instead of going to the cinema/restaurant my girlfriend & I make picnics in the park or nature near, sometimes a bottle of wine + glasses is sufficent ;)

- second hand buying, ebay doesn't have the good deals anymore i think, but there are other (local) platforms (maybe there is a plugin which cross checks other platforms and puts it next to te amazon price tag?)

There are a bunch of apps that help you spend money more efficiently - but I always feel they're in the lower % of effective saving, and the real answer is 'choose not to buy that thing'.

So my question is - are you looking to help people buy thing x more efficiently (and I'm not sure there's a lot of unment need there), or to help people not spend at all (in which case monetisation becomes contrary to the goal of the app).

Okay, so a Chrome Extension that interrupts the user at the checkout stage when buying luxury items?

The interruption could range from a simple nag screen, to an enforced cooling-off period before you can proceed with the purchase. Perhaps in the future the user could opt to move the money from their current account into a savings account instead of making the purchase.

Or maybe not even let them purchase at all so you have to use your smartphone to buy anything online. PITA; makes you think twice.

If there would be a realistic way to reliably identify 'luxury' purchases, you could just have a really infuriating interstitial that:

* displayed the amount of money in a personally relatable manner - "ShineyTron300 costs the same amount as your last 2 months of food expenses, are you sure? (y/N)

* make it easy to cancel/stash or defer the purchase, including as you suggest, an enforced time delay before re-prompting

* make it hard to complete (require several captchas, solve a maths puzzle, or complete a couple of levels of Duolingo or something) before letting you through.

* Enforcing a personal 'luxury sales tax' that padded the total amount of some %, and transferred that amount to savings if you complete teh purchase.

Basically, go hunting for dark patterns, and use them against yourself.

I'm not sure how far you could go without it just being too annoying and disabling/bypassing it though.

I often frame my not-spending as a positive revenue, which works really well for small items. Don't run your business this way though!

For example, I didn't buy a coffee on the way in, that is five dollars more at the end of the day than I would have had otherwise, so the question becomes "Do I want five dollars for doing nothing?"

I have some habitual spends like that which are much easier to cut down on if I think I frame it that way.

There's https://digit.co :

Every few days, Digit checks your spending habits and removes a few dollars from your checking account if you can afford it.

It's a cool concept, but I won't use Digit personally because it doesn't provide clear financial benefit to me.

Digit sits on your money collecting the bulk of interest and giving you a paltry 0.2% annually [0]. To be clear, I'm not dissing it... if it helps some people save more than they would otherwise, then that's great, but it's just not right for my use case. I feel similarly about Acorns.

That said, their concept is solid. I run the same strategy but a few times per month by hand and into an account with a good interest rate.

[0]: See "Does Digit cost anything?" and "What are Savings Bonuses?" on https://digit.co/about/faq

Just be careful! If you make a large deposit to cover an upcoming expense Digit can go crazy and pull too much money because it thinks you've had an influx of cash that it can squirrel away.

Buying second hand. From utensils to a motorbike, the amount of money I have been saving is insane. Perhaps if the extension showed me the second hand value of the item or when available, where to get it?

Since nobody else said it.


If it flies, floats or fks it's cheaper to rent than to buy.

If you can't stay single at least avoid kids...

I know that won't be a popular opinion but the numbers don't lie.

Why is staying single cheaper? My girlfriend and I save a lot of money by being able to share an apartment and splitting the rent, internet connection etc. Living alone would be much more expensive for each of us.

sharing a place tends to be a lot cheaper - but note that many people who are single do not live alone.

congratulations to the only comment in the whole comments section that mentions kids or children.

like always, there's an XKCD for that: http://xkcd.com/946/

..and like someone mentioned their 200$ food budget, try spending twice that amount on kindergarden a month that your kid is not attending for now because he's home sick and you're spending extra on treatment.

When you've exhausted your saving options, making more is still the best option for saving money:) Simple math, if you spend 3000/month of your favourite currency, then you'll have twice more money by earning 4000 vs 3500.

More realistic advice: live like you would at 2/3 your income and use the extra 1/3 to optimize for low cost as necessary.

Stay single, save money, die and leave your paper trinkets for someone who will actually spend it to raise another human being

I live in a city where I don't need a car.

I brew my own beer (fortunately I enjoy this activity, and I live in a place with very high alcohol taxes).

I eat little meat.

I also brew my own beer, saves me lots of money. I think when I did the calculations, it cost $0.70(CA)/355ml, although I know I can get that lower.

I never buy anything unnecessary if I'm counting how much financial impact it's going to have. I don't have a car, but if I do, it's because I need it for the income, or because I have so much money buying a car feels like getting a packet of chips. "Why not, looks like something fun to do.".

Zillow: use it to buy a house that's not in the Bay Area and move to a place with a reasonable cost of living.

you might look into helping people save people money on their work commute. i save something like 232 euro each month by commuting outside of peak rail times (meaning i spend just 99 euro each month on this). but I'm not sure what the costs are for other options (if i bike it would cost more time, if i get a car then there is a number of costs to take into account). an app might analyse all the options and give people a good overview of the pros and cons.

Essential life habits: reduce, reuse. Do I need to buy a new thing? Do I have space for the new thing? (housing floor space costs a lot here) Am I really going to get good use out of it? Can I just use the old one or buy something good enough from a charity shop? Can I make do with the $2 Chinese electronics solution?

Beyond that, review your regular expenses. Anything daily or monthly. Is that subscription still good value? Mortgage interest rate and payment schedule optimal?

About once a year or two I'll pile my downloaded bank transactions into a spreadsheet and look at the biggest categories.

I'll also reccomend moneysavingexpert.com to anyone; UK-focused but great general advice. I'm not a big fan of coupons as they're mostly a way of getting me to buy things I wouldn't otherwise, which isn't actually a saving.

Here is a chrome extension - Honey - that deals with coupons.


Not quite on-topic, but I think that for a normal tech worker, it's usually easier to increase your revenue stream than to increase your savings.

On the other hand, if you're in CA and subject to a 50% marginal tax rate, saving $1 has the same impact as making an additional $2.

Automatic deduction into a 401k plan.

Separate bank accounts for everyday spending and long term saving.

I like simply using the approach of pretending a portion of my income doesn't exist at all. I've got a Money Market account that I shuffle money over to automatically, and in a reasonable enough quantity that I don't have to run the risk of tapping into it.

I make a point to never look at my paychecks and never check the balance of the account, and instead simply deal with my post tax, post saving total.

It doesn't lend its self to an app, but it has served me well over the years.

Eat out LESS - invest in kitchen appliances :). I wonder now how I lived without a FOOD PROCESSOR and ate out/prepared not so good food. Must haves food processor, a flask, a good lunch box. Take home food to office, beach, parks. Life gets so much better. Though one cannot avoid an occasional icecream on a summer day ;)

Invest on health - buy an exercise bike, bench/squat rack instead of gym. Saves a lot of time and money.

Property investment - dont know need to learn.

not spending. :P

its a shame banking services are still pretty archaic in their infrastructure - with secure access to user data through a good, secure, api, i'd love an app that would give me alarming notifications if i was spending money out of my account. :)

I also created a Chrome Extension that searches for the best discounted electronic gift card on Raise.com to help people save money.


Cool idea! Thanks

Saving money is primarily a mindset. Tools might help but in my opinion they are absolutely not needed.

Reading http://earlyretirementextreme.com/manifesto.html helped me to get the "saving money mindset" into my bones more than any other resource.

Agreed, it is indeed a rather simple mindset: You have to spent less then what you earn. However, that might not be as easy as it seems and hence you need data:

    $ ledger reg Expenses:Personal:Food -b 2016.06.01 -e 2016.06.30
    16-Jun-03 Pita Gyros      Expenses:Personal:Food         € 10.00   € 10.00
    16-Jun-04 Pizza           Expenses:Personal:Food         € 35.00   € 45.00
    16-Jun-09 Pita Gyros      Expenses:Personal:Food         € 10.00   € 55.00
    16-Jun-10 Greek Tavern    Expenses:Personal:Food         € 25.00   € 80.00
Now I know that last month I spend 80€ in food month in fast food which is within my budget for fast-food. If you're not managing a very small amount of money along with a very short list of expenses, then ofc you don't need tools otherwise tools give you data and as we all know, data can be of huge importance.

John Greaney's "retire early home page" is also helpful: http://www.retireearlyhomepage.com/

I like the CamelCamelCamel.com extension for amazon. It does something useful - shows me price history graphs so that I can see if that 40% discount is actually a discount or a sales tactic...and they also allow me to set alert for the stuff I buy in bulk but need regularly (toothpaste etc).

The amazon prices seem to fluctuate enough to make this worthwhile.

Didn't Amazon block CCC because of the price history graphs? I could have sworn they were all blank last I used it.

No just ebooks they can't track

I am using this spreadsheet https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/2tymvf/poo... for budgeting

I live in a 126 sqft Tiny house I built my self with my partner. Saves an incredible amount on rent.

My fav is our startup MyMoneyZen :P Originally developed it just for myself to use 10 years ago, then more and more people started asking me to set it up with them and I couldn't serve them all, so decided to make it available online.

Keen to hear anyone's thoughts...

MyMoneyZen is an online course, with built in software, which teaches people how to set up an automatic system to manage their money for them. So they can be good with money… fast.


For me a good way to save money is 'not have it' and not get used to spending it. Each pay cycle I move set %'s of my income into 5 separate accounts.

These are;

Daily spending, risky investments, safe investments, lifestyle savings (e.g. holidays or other luxury spends) and bills/fixed expenses.

Often I will dip into lifestyle savings if I overrun my daily spending.

The best simple extension would be to have something that tracked my current spend for a month against time left in a month for my 'daily spending' account. But not sure I'd want to give just anyone access to my bank details.

In the past I quit my job and spent 2 years driving from Alaska to Argentina on my savings.

Now I've done it again and will spend 2 years driving around Africa.

By far the number one question I get asked is how do I save money to do all of this - it's become a huge topic of discussion.

I wrote an eBook on the topic - called "Work Less to Live Your Dreams" which describes exactly how I'm able to do it.


How about modifying the displayed price to reflex the cost of the item after cc interest.

If person is going to put something on a cc, display the price after 6 months of interest has been applied.

Don't use credit cards. I also recommend YNAB: https://www.youneedabudget.com

More precisely: Don't use credit cards to carry a balance.

By not using credit cards, you're giving away 1–5% free reward money from cash back programs. Not to mention the additional purchase protection you receive from shoddy vendors, like bars padding tips.

Best way to not carry a balance is to not have a credit card. It's very easy to say "don't carry a balance" but most people do. When I used credit cards I often carried a balance, despite my best efforts. If you have the discipline to NEVER carry a balance, more power to you. But most people don't and the points just aren't worth it.

That's fair.

I've never felt like it's taken much discipline for me personally, and I've never carried a balance on any credit card. I try to live far under my means and mostly just spend money on food, coffee, travel, and a laptop. Most of the rest of my "things" are hand-me-downs.

One "hack" that works for me is reviewing each transaction and paying the card in full every week. If I see it especially high one week then I spend more conservatively the next. I don't do any explicit budgeting, but being conscious of the big picture helps me.

Definitely use credit cards. If you know how to manage your finances (i.e. spend about 40-50% of what you make and save the rest), it shaves off 1~2% off of all your purchases.

This is even before mileage, hotel stay, etc. rewards come in.

  * Walk a bit more so I save money on my drive to work
  * Work from home most of the week
  * I've stopped eating/ordering outside food dramatically
  * Stopped smoking cigarettes almost 15 months now
  * Reduce alcohol consumption
  * Turn off fans, AC, TV at home/office
And of course, investing. I usually force myself to invest whatever money I get in stocks or forex trading.

How did you get started in trading, can you recommend any good resources?

I'd like to do it myself, but am unsure how to get going.

I can't offer any advice specifically for trading, but for a more general introduction investing in the stock market, you might want to read "A Random Walk Down Wall Street" by Burton G. Malkiel.

GnuCash, definitely. Habit of my lifetime is to enter all expenses and incomes on a daily basis. It makes you accountable, and once a month I can sit down and check on financial plannings, where we are and where we ought to be.

YNAB is a paid SaaS whereas Gnucash is free, libre and has a nice mobile client to accompany it. Mobile also uploads to cloud storage, from where you can auto-import on desktop client startup.

YNAB still updates their 'classic' desktop version, which also has a nice mobile app to accompany it.

I stumbled upon this, which I think is pretty cool, www.wealthnation.com (every time you spend money on your card, it rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and saves them for you). On the other hand, you also have Robo-advisors like "Acorns" who do the same thing, but instead of saving it - they invest it shares.

I physically put a piece of electrical tape over my Visa card number. It sounds completely weird but I encourage everyone to do this. You'd be amazed that when you whip out your card all excited to buy something that it really, really makes you embarrassed to use it in public. Aka save the money, or you can't afford it.

Before I purchase anything, I read reviews, both positive and negative for balanced views. A lot of time negative reviews change my mind, even when product is rated highly overall. Though it is not intentional for me but I guess if someone is trying to save money, show them negative reviews first.

I do something that's been working for me: i save X amount every month ... if I save > X then it makes me happy , the rule is never save less than X , whatever it takes. I don't buy expensive clothes anymore or go on the piss massively you now it's all about balance.

I like https://paribus.co/ It automatically requests refunds for things you buy online that drop in price. It's nice because it's very passive and it's basically found money when it works.

Worth noting that Amazon recently discontinued its practice of supporting these refunds, which was a major use case of this app. If you're someone like me who primarily is buying from Amazon, this won't help you on that.

Seems a scumbaggy app to me (even if it's legal). If you buy something for $X, it's because you can afford $X at that point in time and you agree that that's its value.

Many credit cards offer "price protection" or something where if the price drops with X days after you buy something they'll refund you the difference. It doesn't seem scumbaggy to take advantage of a service a company offers you.

The best way is get your income above your interest in spending money. I buy everything I want and I end up saving money because I earn more than I spend. It helps that I am not that interested in consumer goods, but I can't think of a better way to save money :)

Instead of buying a house, bought a triplex. I save about $2,000 a month in rent/mortgage from this one decision, and it only taxed my willpower once. And I get to go out with my friends and loved ones as much as I want without running into any money problems.

My strategy: * use mint.com for budgeting and expense tracking. * a budget line item is "savings". * set up an automated transfer from my direct deposit checking account to my savings account. * fire and forget.

Be a producer, not a consumer.

Create a chrome extension that somehow keeps people working as if you're busy making money, you're generally not spending it.

Something that disables access to HN would probably be enough.

I know myself and my spending habits, so I have an account at another bank, no online banking, no credit or debit card. If I ever need that money I have to go to the bank.

Growing a pony-tail. I have not had to pay for a hair-cut in more than 1.5 years. When I get a little neck trim-up they only cost 10 dollars. Haircuts are expensive.

Show me a free alternative to some product show-cased on HN.

Favorite way? No apps, just automatic monthly savings the day after I get my salary.

from this book the richest man in babylon, I like the simplicity of just putting aside 10 percent to start.

It build up over time, and it is dead simple to implement.

Automate. Automate. Automate.

simple..move to a country where your USD = (3-5)x.

Frankly.. do boring things that don't cost you a thing. Stay away from vices (bars, pay to pay games, tech gadgets you don't need etc). Spend money on things that last, a nice bed, nice shoes, reasonable car, your family.

Live.. but don't waste.


> The stock market gives 10-11% returns on an annual basis.

Before 2000, maybe. Not so much since, especially if you took the two rides all the way down.

Have you really been plugging your own site successmanual/bighow for 6 years on HN?

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