With the rising cost of living, it can be challenging for middle-income earners whose paygrades remain stagnant to live their lives the way they want. While cutting back on one's spending is a typical response to inflation, it's not the only option—in fact, one man has proven that you can still buy the little things in life that make you happy in life without totally destroying your bank account.
Chris Hutchins, a self-proclaimed "life hacker," revealed on his All the Hacks podcast that he was able to get 10 million credit card points in 2019 by simply spending his money strategically. He says that using credit cards the "right" way, especially those with reward systems, can save you a whole lot of money.
"The biggest one for me is looking at where you spend most of your money and figure out how to get a better return or erase the expense," he explained.
For example, if you regularly buy gas for your car or stock up on groceries, having credit cards that give you points for filling up at certain gas stations or buying at certain supermarkets can help you rack up the reward points. The key is to make a conscious effort to always use those credit cards when you shop at those places—establishing a "spending routine" will ensure that you maximize the rewards you get, and consequently, the savings you make.
“If you’re spending a lot on dining or groceries, there are cards that will give you an outsize multiple on that spending,” Hutchins added.
Even better is if you can get a cashback credit card. If you tend to make big purchases throughout the year, charging them all to that card can help you make the most of the cashback feature. For example, people who build their own PCs and buy pricey computer parts frequently can charge all of the purchases to a cashback card to offset the expenses. That way, they can continue to enjoy their hobby without worrying too much about the state of their bank accounts.
Another tip that Hutchins gives is to wait for cheaper prices. Oftentimes, companies will offer sales at specific times during the year, and knowing when those times are can help you score huge money savings.
Hutchins says sometimes it's just a matter of taking initiative. "It’s not a secret that you can call your cable and cell service providers once a year and they’ll likely give you a better rate plan."