Spend Smarter, Not Harder: 8 Genius Life Hacks for Making Your Paycheck Last

Even in the best of times, there's nothing cooler than saving a buck. There is no surer way to become a millionaire than not spending the money you've already made.

One Reddit user asked the community which life hacks had saved them tons of money. They responded with several ideas that most people can implement to stretch their paychecks like Armstrong.

1.  Use The Public Library for More Than Books

Those who grew up at the intersection of CDs becoming mainstream and public libraries still being popular know all too well. Rather than paying 20 bucks for a CD, you could simply rent the library's copy, upload it to your computer, and return the album to its rightful spot at the library. While the popular media have largely changed their format, this rely-on-the-library blueprint remains viable.

Rather than paying $15 for an audiobook on Audible, why not see what selection the library has on disc? Same is true of DVDs and books that you would otherwise have to pay for. Despite what you may have heard, the public library ain't dead—it's just criminally underutilized.

2. Complete The Ritzy Yard Sale Circuit

You know how they say that one man's trash is another man's treasure? Statistically, you're more likely to find treasure on the front lawn or driveway of a mansion than a trailer park. That's not to disparage anybody, only to point out that, if you're inclined to complete the yard-sale (or garage-sale) circuit, you'd be wise to seek out neighborhoods where residents can afford to give away the good stuff.

To modify the truism, let's just say that one man's three-year-old Polo Ralph Lauren is another man's brand-spankin'-new Polo Ralph Lauren.

3. Check YouTube Before Calling The Handyman

There are no three letters more powerful than D-I-Y. You'd be absolutely shocked at what you're able to do yourself, and how much money you'll save by conquering your own projects rather than calling on outside help.

Disclaimer: There are certain fields, like plumbing and electric, where the vast majority of people should call an expert. But yard work? Or patching a leak? Handling these kinds of less-dangerous tasks yourself can not only be immensely cost-effective, but also highly fulfilling.

4. Go Easy on The Detergent

Despite what Big Detergent might tell you on the instructions, you probably don't need to use a whole scoop of detergent for a single load of laundry. Here's a dirty industry secret: It is in Tide's interest for you to empty that bottle of liquid detergent, or container of Tide Pods, as quickly as possible. Try cutting your typical detergent helping in half, see if your clothes are clean enough, and watch the savings roll in.

5. Become Your Own Version of Gordon Ramsay

It's a cliche that just won't die. Countless Americans lament their addiction to eating out, recognizing that it is costing them an amount of money they don't even want to think about. I just can't cook, many of them claim. In the words of legendary chef Gordon Ramsay, bollocks. If you can find a rotation of four or five easy dishes that you enjoy, and commit to substituting these at-home meals for even a portion of your usual dine-out nights, you'll find your wallet fatter and fatter as time passes.

6. Become Your Own Barista

The same idea that applies to eating in also applies to brewing in. If you did an honest accounting of your Starbucks or Dunkin' expenses, you'd likely be horrified. While nobody is confining you to instant coffee, consider that it may be worth investing in at-home brewing solutions that produce the quality of coffee you demand. While the upfront expense of a French Press or espresso machine may be daunting, it can be a cost-saver over the long haul.

7. Game The University System

Going to a costly four-year university that will saddle you with student debt and lead only to precarious job prospects is so 2010. Instead, consider spending a couple years crushing it at a local community college before transferring to a larger university for that all-important degree. You could also consider patching together a quilt of hand-picked online courses that provide the exact credentials you need, as these may be more important to employers in your field than some generic, one-size-fits-all university degree.

8. Play The Waiting Game With Purchases

Before you hit “Place Order” on Amazon, take a beat. Wait a day. If you still feel like the 75-inch television is worth your money, and that it is something you can sleep at night after purchasing, give yourself the green light to buy. Rushed, impulsive purchases are the bane of financial independence.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.