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Pop Culture

19 super practical life hacks people swear by to save money, time and aggravation

“Life hacks” may be cliché, but all these deliver.

life hacks, reddit tricks, saving money

Happy woman in blue long sleeve blouse holding money.

There isn't a person on the planet who doesn't have some trouble with the basics in life, whether it's time management, focus, money, health, children, waking up, staying organized, getting enough exercise, or making sure they can find their car keys.

Some of us do better than others, but we could all help with the basics. The good thing is that we have each other to help us along the way. One of the great things about the internet is that it allows us to crowd-source great advice on conquering life’s struggles from strangers.

Now, imagine how extraordinary our lives would be if we could only put them into practice.


A Reddit user called angelicasibs asked people on the LifeProTips forum to share their “favorite” life hack that has “saved you money, time, or made your day-to-day activities easier.” They received over 3,300 responses, and many were super practical but not necessarily obvious, life hacks they swear by.

Many of the hacks are for developing the focus and dedication it takes to handle small tasks before they get out of hand. A lot of times, it’s not the big things in life that cause us stress, but a dozen small things that add up to a big headache.

People also shared their tips on how to save money, keep their kids on task and stay hydrated. So, here are 19 of the best life hacks to give you money and time or make your day-to-day activities easier.

1.

"When my kids started school, I set an alarm on my phone for about 10 minutes before we had to leave. That way, it was only the clock/alarm telling them to hurry up, not their mother. They’re in their final years of schooling now, I still have the alarm and in those 13 years, I’ve only had to yell to get ready maybe 5 times and my kids have only been late for real reasons (car trouble etc). It really helped us." — Technical-General-27

2.

"I keep a $2 Great Value feather duster in the glove box of my car. At the first sign of dust accumulation on my dash, vvvt vvvt my dashboard and vents are pristine again. Learned this LPT from the most awful woman I've ever had the displeasure of dating, which just goes to show you can learn something from everyone, folks." — NeverEnoughCharacter

3.

"When the butter is cold use a potato peeler to get a nice thin slice that spreads easier." — ldawg413

4.

"'Just 10 minutes': Put on a timer, and start doing what needs to be done in the house. Folding the laundry, washing dishes, putting away clutter, etc. When the timer goes off, you can stop. But far more often I'll just keep going until everything is done." — feestfrietje

5.

"Mine is 'Might as Well' when walking past laundry on the floor, might as well take it to the bin if I am heading that way. Walking past trash on the floor, I Might as Well pick it up and put it in the bin. Going downstairs Might as Well take a cup and put it in the sink. Trying to compress multiple activities into one when it is convenient." — w13szczus

6.

"Batch cook lunches. It takes an hour out of your Sunday but is so much cheaper and ensures you don't just eat junk food because it's easier." — looj87

7.

"Stop caring if things go well or not. Literally revolutionized my life and how I enjoy the world. Being frustrated by circumstances out of your control will drive you insane. And if you look closely, basically everything in your life is out of your control. It’s just raining circumstances on you every day." — unnameableway

8.

"For dealing with emails: The Four Fs - Finish it (read and reply), Forward it, File it, F… it (delete it)." — knownuthinatall

9.

"When my 3 kids were little, and there were lots of taco Tuesdays and spaghetti dinners, I would buy hamburger meat in bulk and go ahead and cook it and then freeze the cooked burger crumbles in 1-2 cups freezer bags. Easy to pull out, defrost and reheat." — srchd4

10.

"Don’t drink your calories. A small glass of orange juice is 130 calories. A can of soda is 140. A bottle of beer is 160. Swap those out for water/tea/black coffee and that’s 430 calories you didn’t consume each day." — ernurse748

11.

"Weekly menu planning combined with meal prep. Once a week, my fiance and I go through our pantry and freezer, and plan out a menu for our evening meal. This allows us to grocery shop once a week for only the items we need for said meals that we don't already have in the house. When we make those meals, we make enough to have a couple leftover containers for the next day's lunch, or put in the freezer for a future meal." — 306ughmyknees

12.

"Lifting weights. It literally makes every aspect of my life better." — marshall_chaka

13.

"At stores or anywhere that has a membership connected to a phone number, I always use whatever area code I’m in + 867-5309, usually someone has it set up to that number and you get the discount." — UhOh_its_Rambo

14.

"Floss. Get some floss picks and use them after every meal. It doesn't have to be a crazy process. I'm in my late 40s and still have all of my teeth, and when I go to the dentist, they always say, 'Whatever you're doing, keep doing it.' There is a lot of evidence that poor gum health can lead to heart disease and other issues. Lazily using a floss pick after meals can make a huge difference." —LostMyKarmainElSegundo

15.

"Minimalism and going low waste. Both saves a ton of money, minimalism saves a lot of time as well (managing and cleaning a household becomes way easier and faster)." — SquirrelTail13

16.

"Always put your keys, wallet, phone, or any other everyday important item in the same place every time. Don't put it down anywhere else, but its designated place. This will save you 5-10 minutes searching for any one of these items on a regular basis. This time adds up and helps prevent you from being late to things. It very well might save you from losing your job." — ShiverMeTimberz

17.

"Deleted all social media. Do not regret it at all. Have so much more time, concentration has improved drastically, and mental health has improved." — jmffett

18.

"Home automation definitely; robot vacuum and turning on ACs before I come back home." — Legitimate-Station45

19.

"The quicker you do it, the quicker it's over with. You still have to do it if you put it off, but now instead of sitting there dreading doing the thing you can be glad it's already done. Exercising is a good example. Do it in the morning and the rest of the day you don't have to think about how much you don't want to." — ThatVaultGirl101

True

Do you ever feel like you could be doing more when it comes to making a positive impact on your community? The messaging around giving back is louder than ever this time of year, and for good reason; It is the season of giving, after all.

If you’ve ever wondered who is responsible for bringing many of the giving-back initiatives to life, it’s probably not who you’d expect. The masterminds behind these types of campaigns are project managers.

Using their talents and skills, often proven by earning certifications from the Project Management Institute (PMI), project managers are driving real change and increasing the success rate on projects that truly improve our world.

To celebrate the work that project managers are doing behind the scenes to make a difference, we spoke with two people doing more than their part to make an impact.

In his current role as a Project Management Professional (PMP)-certified project manager and environmental engineer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Joshua Williard oversees the cleanup of some of America’s most contaminated and hazardous waste sites.

Courtesy of Joshua Williard

“Recently, I was part of a four-person diving team sent to collect contaminated sediment samples from the bottom of a river in Southeastern Virginia. We wanted to ensure a containment wall was successfully blocking the release of waste into an adjacent river,” Williard says.

Through his work, Josh drives restoration efforts to completion so contaminated land can again be used beneficially, and so future generations will not be at risk of exposure to harmful chemicals.

“I’ve been inspired by the natural world from a young age and always loved being outside. As I gained an understanding about Earth's trajectory, I realized that I wanted to be part of trying to save it and keep it for future generations.

“I learned the importance of using different management styles to address various project challenges. I saw the value in building meaningful relationships with key community members. I came to see that effective project management can make a real difference in getting things done and having on-the-ground impact,” Williard says.

In addition, Monica Chan’s career in project management has enabled her to work at the forefront of conservation efforts with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF-US). She most recently has been managing a climate change project, working with a diverse team including scientists, policy experts, data analysts, biologists, communicators, and more. The goal is to leverage grants to protect and restore mangroves, forests, and ecosystems, and drive demand in seaweed farming – all to harness nature's power to address the climate crisis.

Courtesy of Monica Chan

“As the project management lead for WWF-US, I am collaborating across the organization to build a project management framework that adapts to our diverse projects. Given that WWF's overarching objectives center on conserving nature and addressing imminent threats to the diversity of life on Earth, the stakes are exceptionally high in how we approach projects,” says Chan.

“Throughout my journey, I've discovered a deep passion for project management's ability to unite people for shared goals, contributing meaningfully to environmental conservation,” she says.

With skills learned from on-the-job experience and resources from PMI, project managers are the central point of connection for social impact campaigns, driving them forward and solving problems along the way. They are integral to bringing these projects to life, and they find support from their peers in PMI’s community.

PMI has a global network of more than 300 chapters and serves as a community for project managers – at every stage of their career. Members can share knowledge, celebrate impact, and learn together through resources, events, and other programs such as PMI’s Hours for Impact program, which encourages PMI members to volunteer their time to projects directly supporting the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

“By tapping into PMI's extensive network and resources, I've expanded my project management knowledge and skills, gaining insights from seasoned professionals in diverse industries, including environmental management. Exposure to different perspectives has kept me informed about industry trends, best practices, and allowed me to tailor my approach to the unique challenges of the non-profit sector,” Chan says.

“Obtaining my PMP certification has been a game-changer, propelling not only my career growth, but also reshaping my approach to daily projects, both personally and professionally,” Chan says. Research from PMI shows that a career in project management means being part of an industry on the rise, as the global economy will need 25 million new project professionals by 2030 and the median salary for project practitioners in the U.S. is $120K.

PMI’s mission is to help professionals build project management skills through online courses, networking, and other learning opportunities, help them prove their proficiency in project management through certifications, and champion the work that project professionals, like Joshua and Monica, do around the world.

For those interested in pursuing a career in project management to help make a difference, PMI’s Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification could be the starting point to help get your foot in the door.

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