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    16 Small Money Habits That Might Have A Surprisingly Big Impact On Your Life

    And, people have actually tried (and loved) them.

    Ngl, 2020 changed many, many things — including our relationships with money. The way you manage money today is probably a little different from the habits you had a year ago. So we recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share money habits that changed their lives in 2020.

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    And if you decide to take a page out of their books, these habits might change the game for you this year, too!

    Here's what they shared:

    1. "We were putting aside money in our savings account each month for a trip in 2020 that didn’t happen. Instead of stopping when our trip was canceled, we kept putting that money into savings each month."

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    "Also, not commuting ended up cutting out my Starbucks habit, which saves me about $20–$50 a month!"


    2. "I started considering how small purchases add up quickly."

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    "Spending a dollar on a bag of chips from the vending machine, or buying an expensive latte once in a while is fine — but do it every day? That adds up, and tracking that is important so you can save money for more essential purposes. I do security on a college campus and I'd often buy snacks and drinks out of the vending machines without thinking about how much I was spending per week. Honestly, the pandemic helped curb that habit because they closed campus and emptied out the vending machines! After that, I realized I was saving a ton of money by not having snacks available all the time."


    3. "Whenever I wanted something that was pricey, I'd add it to a list. Then, after I paid my bills and put some money into savings, I could see what was leftover. If it was a sizable amount, then I could choose something off my list to buy."

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    "It was also good for impulse control because sometimes, I ended up crossing an item off the list simply because I didn't want it anymore. Or, an item would go on sale for much cheaper than it was when I first saw it."


    4. "Before I was laid off from my job due to the pandemic, I joined my employer's 401(k) plan, and contributed the maximum of what they matched. This basically doubled my money."

    Jar of money labeled "401k"
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    "And, I religiously deposited at least $100 (sometimes $200) per paycheck into my savings account."


    If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, it's often a good idea to consider enrolling. And if they offer a contribution match, you hit the jackpot! They're basically giving you ~free money~ for retirement this way. Not everyone is able to contribute the maximum amount to their 401(k), but starting small is a good first step. Having a percentage of your paycheck go straight to your retirement fund means you don't get to see it — and won't be tempted to use it for expenses. Honestly, I could go on and on about 401(k)s, but just check out our post on the most common 401(k) questions.

    5. "Setting aside one-third of each paycheck in a completely different bank account saved my life."

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    "When I saw the money in the account I always use, it was tantalizing. When I moved it to a completely new bank — one I don’t use for any other purpose — I was able to essentially 'hide' the savings from myself!"


    6. "I quit smoking cigarettes. I quit for my health but, my goodness, the savings added up quickly."

    Model putting coins into a piggy bank
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    7. "I started using cash back apps like Ibotta or Receipt Hog to get some extra cash or gift cards!"


    "Saving even a little bit helped a lot during the pandemic, so being able to get money back for buying certain items or brands was nice.


    8. "I break down my larger bills into smaller payments as I get paid."

    model working at a computer surrounded by paperwork
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    "Say for example, my car payment is $300/month. I pay $150 from each pay check since I get paid bi-weekly."


    9. "I set aside $10 each week for Christmas gifts."

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    "Once Christmas came around, I felt like I didn't have to skimp on my giving. My other funds were able to do their job, and I didn't have to worry about bills."


    10. "I paid off my car and instead of buying a new one or using that money for something else, I continued to 'pay my loan' by putting the amount into my savings."

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    11. "I set aside 20% of my check no matter how much or little it is."

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    "Before, I would always try to set aside an unrealistic amount and I would end up having to dip in my savings. So now, I don’t feel pressure to save a certain amount — just 20% no matter what."


    12. "A few months before the pandemic hit I started using the Trim app, and it helped me so much during the pandemic."

    Computer illustration showing that Trim has helped save $200 on a bill

    "It helped me see which subscriptions or bills I was paying to much on or wasn’t using at all because of the pandemic. I was able to pause some of them, cancel them completely or even get bills lowered because of the pandemic.


    BTW, Trim is an app that helps you cut down on the amount you spend on cable, internet, phone, medical bills, and subscriptions by combing through your spending and looking for ways to negotiate lower rates. You might say to yourself, "there's absolutely NO WAY I can pay a lower rate for my internet bill," but just sit back and let Trim decide for sure!

    13. "I unsubscribed from all newsletters that advertise a sale on their site and lure me into buying things I don't need."

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    "I also automatically transfer a certain amount from my paycheck to my long-term investment account every month."


    14. "I stick to a budget that I made a few years ago. Sometimes, I don't like not being able to buy an expensive pair of shoes or a nice purse, but the budget is what has helped me pay off my student debt."

    15. "I’ve been doing this for a few years now, but it’s the thing that helps me save the most money: I keep a set amount of money in my checking accounts and transfer the rest to savings."

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    "I keep enough to pay my bills, plus $200 for spending money/emergency money in my checking account. The rest goes to savings. It builds up fast!"


    16. "I use the Acorns app. It's mindless saving, and it paid for a trip to Disney World in less than a calendar year."

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    "It saves your spare change and extra automatic deposits into a separate investing account. You can choose how aggressively you want to invest and save."


    If this sounds like music to your ears (and bank account), check out more of our personal finance posts.

    Submissions were edited for length and/or clarity.