New Year's Hacks: 7 ​Tips to Save Money + Give Back to the Bay Area

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Want to save money AND give back to the local community this year? It can be done! 


1. Carpool: Lyft Line

Weekend and weekday warriors alike shoud all be using Lyft Line. You've known this since you were a kid and your mom dropped off you and the rest of your friends in her mini van: Carpools are the easiest way to save money.  // lyft.com/line

2. Travel on the Cheap: Hopper App 

Making a goal to travel more in 2016 can certainly feel like an expensive one. Hopper App lets you know when you can get the lowest airfares based on your available travel dates. The app will also let you know where you’re able to travel based on your budget, and set up an alert to let you know when that ticket you’re dying to buy has dipped to its lowest point. Paradise, here you come!  // Download here. 

3. Get Your Credit Score Up: Credit Karma

This is the year to get your credit under control. Credit Karma has exploded in popularity because of one core feature: it gives you two free real credit scores, and tells you the exact factors that go into them. This means that instead of just saying your credit score is 700, it tells you how you scored on things like payment history, age of credit history, credit card utilization (how much of your credit limit you spend each month), and number credit inquiries (how many people are checking your credit), which also means you know how and where to make any necessary changes.  // Download here

4.Give Back: GLIDE

GLIDE is a local cultural icon and San Francisco's premiere provider of innovative social services for marginalized populations. Among other services, GLIDE offers comprehensive support services to San Francisco's poor and homeless communities. Want to do something about SF's homeless problem? These guys have been battling it for over four decades, and could use your help.  // glide.org

5. Take Advantage of Free Days

The only thing better than a day at the museum is a free day at the museum. Mark your calendars now and have fun all year long! // freemuseumday.org/sf

6. Set a Budget: Mint

This popular app gives you all the tools you need to manage your earnings, spending, saving, and budgeting by syncing all your accounts, from bank accounts and mutual funds to your 401(k) or IRA. Mint also analyzes your spending habits, helping you pinpoint areas where you can potentially save. If you’re forgetful about balances, you can also set a low-budget alert and Mint will email or text when you hit it. // mint.com

7. Save a Life: Volunteer at SPCA 

While the SFSPCA seems like a large organization, the group, with two locations in the city, is always looking for dedicated long-term and short term helpers. Youth volunteer programs are also available for middle- and high-schoolers: Sixth, seventh, and eighth graders can sign up for Community Service Saturdays, where they can play with animals, make posters, and help maintain the shelter. Teenagers can join a three-week program in which they'll learn how to take care of animals. Who doesn't want to play with puppies in 2016? // sfspca.org/get-involved/volunteer

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