It seems there is an app for everything these days, especially for saving money. One in particular, called Paribus, will get you a refund when something you purchased was found cheaper. The goal is to help you gain money when prices change or drop. But, does it really work? Is Paribus worth it? I decided to do a Paribus review to find out.
My Paribus Review
What is Paribus?
Paribus was created and developed by two Harvard graduates, Eric Glyman and Karim Atiyeh, who used to use their skills to help Fortune 500 companies, according to their website. They now use their talents and knowledge in technology and business to help the everyday consumer, like you, save money.
Many retailers promise a price match credit when the cost of an item drops after you’ve purchased it. The problem is that they won’t just offer it to you; you have to work for it. So, Paribus does the work for you. They find these reductions and trace them back to your purchases when you sign up, helping you score some savings where you did not think they existed. The app works to find these price changes on a variety of merchandise, from clothes to groceries. Impressive, no?
Although I am still not done with all my Christmas shopping, I am already thinking about 2017. A new year brings new opportunities for growth, and I’m hoping for financial growth. One of my favorite ways to kick-start savings each year is a money challenge. In 2017, I will be giving the 365 day money challenge a try.
What is the 365 day money challenge?
The 365 money challenge is a clever tool to encourage consistent saving. Not just this, but it helps to change your mindset to pay yourself first. Traditionally, the challenge calls for saving a penny a day, increasing in the amount you set aside each day.
For example, one the first day, you will save one cent. Day two, two cents will be included. Three pennies will be saved on the third day and so on.
The penny version of the 365 day money challenge will increase your savings by $668, but you can drive up this amount by saving more. And actually, that is what I plan on doing. Currently, every year I save $1,378 with the 52 week challenge. Committing to $1 every single day may be a little much; however, by simply dedicating a starting point of five cents a day, I can save an extra $3,339.75 in 2017.
It’s crazy to think how much a nickel per day adds up, but the truth is in the numbers. Here is what the pattern will look like:
Day 1: $0.05
Day 2: $0.10
Day 3: $0.15
Day 4: $0.20
Day 5: $0.25
Day 6: $0.30
Day 7: $0.35
Day 8: $0.40
Day 9: $0.45
Day 10: $0.50
By the end of the first 10 days, I’d only be putting aside $3.20. But, by the end of the challenge, it will amount to $18.40 set aside that day. It all quickly adds up, though, with $23.70 saved in your first month.
It takes 19 days to increase by another dollar, but in the eleventh month, you’ll put aside $349.50, not including what was already saved. See how that five cents can really add up in this 365 day money challenge? If you are still having a hard time envisioning this, I placed it all out on the chart pictured:
You can stick with the penny a day challenge or you can shoot for an added nickel per day like me. If you are interested in pursuing this yourself, you can download a template here.
The importance of money challenges
Left to our own devices, we tend to forget about (or ignore) building up a financial cushion. According to the Federal Reserve’s 2014 economic report on U.S. households, many Americans could not even cover a $400 emergency expense without borrowing money. Additionally, 31 percent went without medical care in the 12 months prior to participating in the survey because “they could not afford it.”
By challenging ourselves to save, we are creating a habit that, in time, become like second nature. Even as I had followed through on the 52 week money challenge previously, there would be times I would forget to place money into my savings come Monday morning. But, I would make it a point to get to it Tuesday if it did not happen Monday.
I feel I should note, though, that you cannot solely rely on money challenges to build your savings. This is a great way to encourage paying yourself first, but needs to be used with other saving methods.
Even though the only debt I carry are in the form of student loans at this current time and I live comfortably, I have my eyes set on financial freedom and continue to plan financially for my future. I know that with consistency, dedication and hard work, my savings in 2017 will flourish and grow.
Looking for more ways to save money? Check out these other great articles
You can save money by planning for the holidays now.
Thanksgiving has sadly come and gone, and Christmas will be here before we know it. In 2016, the estimated average Christmas spending is $831, according to the Gallup Poll. This does not include money put toward holiday parties or traveling expenses. Just because the average U.S. consumer plans to spend more than $800 on Christmas gifts does not mean you have to. Although December 25 is less than a month away, there are many opportunities where you can save money by planning for the holidays now.
When shopping online, there are quite a few ways to get even more discounts. Here are just a few:
Discount Codes. Discount codes can be found all over the internet. Freeshipping.com will give you promotional codes for free shipping and coupons, and a slew of discounts can be found on RetailMeNot.com as well. Personally, I like to use the Chrome browser extension Honey, which does all the sale searching for you as you are on any given retail site.
Social Media. If you know your gift receiver loves a certain store, follow the company on social media. Retailers are often sharing exclusive specials and updates on their Facebook and Twitter pages, providing valuable information to followers everywhere.
Check reviews. Don’t waste money on junk by not looking at reviews first. You can grab a great deal on any computer, but it may not last as long as another at a similar price. ConsumerReports.com or simply checking reviews on Google or Amazon will help show you what will be worth your money as well as a nice gift.
Leave yourself out of it
As you shop, you will likely find items you would love to have for yourself. Stay focused and dedicate your December shopping to gifts for others only. Besides, if the item is a “must-have,” you can put some of that Christmas money toward the inevitable big sales after the holiday season.
Avoid store credit cards
Don’t fall for the “15% off your total purchase”specials when you sign up for the store’s credit card that day. While you may save money that day, these often come with higher interest rates, causing you to spend more in the long run. Instead, find out if any of your existing credit cards provide any cash back deals when shopping during the Christmas season.
Before you do any Christmas shopping, make a plan. Write out who you plan to buy gifts for and how much you are able to spend on each individual. Make sure to add up the numbers before continuing so that you can evaluate your totals. Then, adjust as you need to. Having a number in place will keep you in check as you shop.
Shop with a purpose
Don’t buy a gift just to buy a gift. Similarly, don’t purchase multiple gifts just so the receiver has multiple gifts to open from you. This is a surefire way to waste money. I know I would much rather get one meaningful gift than several items that are nice but have little use in my life. Purchase things that your loved ones will actually enjoy, not trinkets that will take up space.
Consider buying for groups
Buying for couples or a family instead of each individual can also save you money while allowing you to give something more meaningful. A game a family can play together or a household item for a couple are a couple examples of purchases that go much farther while also saving you money.
When you put your mind to it, it is not hard to save money by planning for the holidays now. And remember, those who truly love you will be more worried about spending time with you than what you bought them for Christmas. Sometimes, a well-thought out card with a meaningful letter speaks more to the individuals than anything you could buy them at the store. Keep that in mind and try not to stress out too much when shopping this season.
Is there anything you would add to this list that may help our readers save money over the holidays?