If you work in the gig economy for extra cash or to make ends meet, then you want to make every penny count. Luckily, many tech hacks can help you save money on gas, shopping, technology or gear. You can also use several hacks, apps, and websites to stash cash and earn better returns on it. Finally that cliché that time equals money is true for a reason. So, any hack that can save you time can also, by default, save you money.
If you need to save money while working in the gig economy, these tech hacks can help.
How well your car runs affects how much it costs to drive per mile, according to AAA. By tracking your car’s mileage and maintenance, you can save money and prevent costly repairs.
Try using Hurdlr or Everlance to automatically track your mileage and expense. For keeping an eye on your car’s fuel economy and maintenance history, an app such as Road Trip MPG or Car Minder can help.
Use your drive-share route and an app that crowdsources data on gas prices in your area to save money. Apps and websites such as GasBuddy and FuelFinder check gas prices and alert you to the cheapest gas near you.
Most gig economy jobs require you to have a mobile phone and sometimes even a laptop. If you need one of these items, but also want to save money, try buying them used or refurbished. Look for a reputable resale source, such as Amazon Renewed or Best Buy Outlet, to ensure that what you’re buying is in excellent condition.
If your laptop is painfully slow or your phone screen cracks, you can save money by repairing these items rather than replacing them. For extra savings, try finding a local tech repair service or company that may offer better pricing.
IFTTT, or If This Then That, is a free platform that can connect your apps and devices through recipes. You can use it to automate tasks and save time. IFTTT allows an app such as Uber to connect with Google Calendar and automatically log your completed rides. There are dozens of recipes to try and new ways to save time.
Zapier allows you to instantly connect one app to another app to automate tasks and save time and money. For example, you can build a Zap that connects Lyft with other apps such as PayPal or Google Sheet to automate payments, scheduling, and tracking. Zaps are customizable, and with more than 1,000 apps to connect, you can find one that saves you time and money.
Working in the gig economy means your time is your inventory and your health is your supply-chain. So, when you need to see a doctor, you need to be able to do so quickly and without spending all your hard-earned cash on a deductible. Telehealth services offer a less-expensive way to see a doctor for health concerns. Check out Walgreens website, for options to “see” a doctor, get dermatology care, or talk to a therapist, for $59 or more without insurance.
Starship offers a health savings account with all the tools you need to save, spend and invest for your health. With Starship, you can set aside funds tax-free in a health savings account to spend on eligible medical expenses. You can also invest extra savings for future health care spending.
Get up to 80 percent off on prescription drugs by signing up for free with Steady’s pharmacy savings card. The card is available to all Steady members and works at all leading pharmacies.
Every time you get distracted from work, it can take more than 23 minutes to be able to focus again. If you’re working a gig that pays based on time or results, then those 23 minutes can be costing you serious money. Get focused with a tool such as Freedom, which can block distracting websites and apps on your Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS devices. You can also use your technology’s parental controls and built-in “do not disturb” modes to get the focused work time you need.
Even if you are trying to save money, you can’t eliminate every expenditure. Some tech hacks, such as Honey, allow you to buy the essentials and ensure you get the best deal. Honey is a free browser extension that automatically finds and applies coupon codes at checkout on more than 37,000 sites. If you’re waiting for a product to drop in price, you can use the Droplist feature to get an alert if the price is met.
Pei links to your existing debit and credit cards and gives you automatic cashback when you shop at a partner merchant. Some partner merchants include restaurants and shops you may regularly use, such as Starbucks, Sam’s Club, and Target.
Acorns automatically invests your spare change from everyday purchases into a diversified portfolio built by experts and recommended for you. You can invest as little as $5 a day or week, or any time you have extra cash, and earn money from more than 300 top brands that invest in you when you shop. Plus, Steady will invest $10 in your Acorns account after you make your first investment.
Wealthsimple Inc. is an online investment management service focused on making investing easier. Users get zero-maintenance, custom-built investment portfolios, and expert advisers. Steady users pay no management fees for a year when they sign up for their first account.