Money saved accumulates over time and over time, you can add up all the savings and be happy about it. It’s good to develop a good spending habit. It takes time, patience, and strategic planning. And above all, perseverance. I have put together 5 tips when it comes to what I do to help save some money here and there.

1. Understanding the basic concept of supply and demand. 

You either learned this in economic class or heard this from casual talks, but understand this basic concept and apply it to your situation. When the supply is low and demand is high, the price increase such as gas, natural resources, or the new limited edition of Jordan’s. If supply is high and demand is low, price is rather low such as mass produced napkins, old fashioned shoes, or expired ships. This leads to our next tip.

1a. Find the right time. 

Timing timing timing! When you buy the iPhone 5 or airplane tickets to London matters, it matters so much that sometimes even a week, a day and within hours can make a difference. For air plane tickets, it’s cheaper to buy it on Tuesdays and as soon as you know the definitely times you are going. Not only does this relate to finding the right time for purchasing, but also the time of the trip, if applicable. The high seasons when everyone wants to go to Florida will be much more expensive than if you are available to go there during the down seasons months like October when most people are not free to go. Plan for the right time and analyze the market to see when the right time is.

2. Take advantage of online searches. 

If you know how to search on google, you can do quite a bit of saving if you just spend a little time prior to purchasing right away. If you want to save money, do research on where you can find the cheaper deal. Rather than buying the Paco Rubanne perfume at Sephora right when you tested the smell and fell in love with it, take some time to compare the price sold online on amazon, ulta, and even the store itself like sephora, because it might not only be cheaper but sometimes there are deals and free samples or complimentary gifts. I usually love to use EBATES when it comes to online shopping. Getting a percentage of total purchased cash back is saving money technique! If you want to try out restaurants in your neighborhood and want to save some money, try If you just like to buy things in general when there’s a good deal, sign up for slickdeals. When you’re definitely purchasing an order from a website, search online to see if there are online coupon codes to earn you a free shipping or other benefits.

3. Talk to friends and family and look for reviews.

If you are making a purchase but need advice or tips from others, ask around and bring it up during a casual conversation at the dinner table at home or eating with your friends. They may or may not have tried the product before, but there’s still chance that they’ve heard about experiences from friends and family which can help you make a decision. For me, when it comes to cosmetics or skincare, I always look up personal reviews on makeupalley to see what other customers have said or watch youtube videos of those who have tried it who can give extremely helpful insights towards knowing whether the product or purchase is right for me.

4. Make a list. 

Don’t go crazy and buy things impulsively! This is simple and seriously makes a difference. Before you go to the mall, grocery store, outlet, make a list of items you want to purchase and the overall budget you’d be happy with in the end of the day. Bring that list with you as you shop, it not only helps you to stay on track, you are also unlikely to forget what you were there to concentrate on. I get it, there is too much stuff to look at and buy, you might lose track. Don’t stray away from that list and convince yourself that you need something when in fact you don’t. Purchasing something you’ll never use, even if it’s a good deal, is a waste of money.

5. I’m going to tell you a big secret.

A big part of saving money is not only getting stuff you buy for a little bit cheaper, but also earning free products or giftcards that can be used. At this point, I’m quite glad I don’t have too many followers, because the less people know about these, the better. I will share with you two websites that I use which I have been very happy with. One is BzzAgent, sign up and fill out surveys about yourself and if you’re suitable for their Bzz Campaign, you will be selected to try their product or service for free of charge. The trick is to stay active by filling out their surveys so they know more about your interest, personality, types of products you’d use, and more. The pro is that you get to try amazing products without you paying for anything and you even see the products on the shelves when you’re shopping a few months later. The trick is that you have to keep up your high rating score by doing your job, which is writing reviews and sharing what you think about the product with friends and family. You also have to get lucky with this, because they choose the candidates they want to try out the products; I’m always jealous of campaigns that I see is happening but did not get contacted.

Another website is E-Rewards, which is a website that invites you to complete surveys that you might be qualified for; depending on your qualifications, you will either get the full rewards amount of a few E-rewards dollars or a small unqualified E-rewards dollars. The E-rewards dollars gets accumulated over time, and depending on how much you have, they can get you American Eagle, Starbucks giftcards or even mileages. I was first introduced by this site from American Eagles since they had a partnership together and only a limited amount of customers were selected, but since another company bought what was the old E-rewards, and now anyone can sign up for an account. I have signed up for many websites to earn money for doing surveys, and this one is by far, the only one that I use after four years of loyalty. I’ve gotten two $25 American Eagle gift cards and a $50 starbucks giftcard and countless magazine subscriptions after these years. It doesn’t take over night to get there, so be patient.