Oh, what would we do without social media? It has the ability to share, connect, entertain, distract, and then some. But social media accounts like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram can provide you an opportunity for real savings if you know how to take advantage of these platforms.
Learn how to spend less and pocket more with these tips.
- Twitter—Twitter can be a good way to review restaurants and other venues. If you feel you must write a negative review, stick to the facts and offer suggestions for improvement. Whomever is the Tweeter at that business may offer some goodwill gesture on their part to bring you in again at a discount so you can give them another try. You can also tweet the merchant and ask where to find the lawnmower you've had your eye on. Maybe you'll get a referral, plus a 10% off coupon, like one tweeter did.
- Hashtags work—If you're looking for deals, clicking on hashtags might provide you many options. By lumping things into categories, like coupons or promo, can bring up countless ways to save. You can find hashtags across social media, so opportunities abound.
- Discounts and giveaways—No airline is likely to give you free plane tickets. But there are verified, official company accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram that offer deals and giveaways. You just need to do a little search for them.
- Recipe ideas—What's for dinner tonight? Sometimes this is one of the biggest stressors of our day. Some quick and easy recipes can be found on Facebook for you to save and try. Plus, the more you click on one video or recipe, the more likely you are to receive additional recipes from the same chef. It can be a real time saver, and even sometimes addictive, especially if you like to cook. Even better, Pinterest might be an effective way to keep track of your favorite go-to meals, Finally, the biggest plus in finding new recipes online is that it's usually cheaper to cook at home than going out.
- Barter and borrow—Neighborhood social media sites are a great way to stay connected to your community and the local happenings. And if you join Facebook Marketplace groups in your local area dedicated to buying, selling and swapping, you might find things you need on the cheap. Or sell some of your unwanted stuff. Great deals can be had! Think of it as an ongoing online yard sale—not much trouble, and there could be brand new items that you are able to snag for a fraction of the price. Moving sales can be especially lucrative for deals and steals; people have a timeframe, aren't taking it with them, and want it gone.
- Home exercise—The internet has a wealth of information all for the viewing and downloading. Need a quick exercise routine? Go on YouTube, put in your parameters and enjoy the convenience of exercising from home, whenever you want. Using your free resources at home will likely free up quite a bit of money that would have been spent on a possibly unused gym membership.
- Free financial advice—We all need a helping hand in this area, so why not search out a good video on YouTube? You may be surprised at the quality of the information you receive from the likes of Suze Ormon and Dave Ramsey, among others. You might be able to get daily tips and financial motivation just by clicking.
- Online shopping—It only takes a few seconds to search out some merchandise and place an order from just about any retailer. Or, you can stick with Amazon and get everything you need in a one-stop shop. Don't forget to seize free shipping whenever you can.
- Use Pinterest to plan parties on a budget—Did you know that Pinterest has a wealth of party-planning ideas, décor and recipes all for downloading? It's a real time-saver. No more wracking your brain trying to decide what little Bobby wants for his 6th birthday party theme. Pick a category, click, shop and forget about it.
- Get free DIY advice—You'll find everything from simple car servicing to bathroom repairs on sites like YouTube and Pinterest. Need to replace a toilet tank component? Just YouTube how to do it. It probably won't save you time doing it yourself, but you are sure to save quite a bit of money. (Plumbers make about $300 an hour. That's enough for most people to give it the old college try first.) These sites also have home décor ideas.
- Search for scholarships—Tips on how and where to find scholarships and college savings can be found through "Twitter name @529forCollege." This might take some legwork, but may be well worth the effort for you and your student.
Resources: Living on the Cheap, My Money Coach, Discover, Money Talks News, MarloThomas.com