a brown package wrapped in brown paper with the words treating yourself written on it

The look on my financially savvy, budget-conscious, banker husband’s face when I told him I was writing a piece for the money-themed issue of Keys Woman magazine was priceless.

As a couple, we both know I’m the last person to talk about budgeting, savings or anything pertaining to money. As someone who can justify nearly  any purchase, what could I possibly have to say about finances?

I may not balance a checkbook, keep a spreadsheet of upcoming bills or do any of the things  fiscally responsible people do, but I do like to find ways to make my purchases work for me — Think credit card points, airline miles and more. 

Let Your Algorithm Work For You

Ever heard the phrase “Tiktok made me buy it?” 

 I love a Lululemon set or great pair of Dolce Vita sandals as much as the next gal, but over the past couple of years, I’ve discovered some great “influencer” accounts on social media that share fantastic “dupes” on platforms like Amazon, Target and even Walmart. These dupes are almost identical to the real thing but for a fraction of the price. I’ve even used apps like Poshmark and Mercari to sell my own gently used items and replace them with quality no-name brands.

LTK or Like To Know is a fantastic app that organizes your favorite account’s finds with commissionable links directly to the products. Some of my favorites include:




Cash is king

Have you noticed how some of your go-to spots now add a small percentage (usually around 3%) if you pay with a credit card in person? Start saving those few bucks every time by paying in cash. How many times have you scoped out the menu online before heading to a girls dinner? Exactly. You have an idea of what you might be ordering, so stop at the ATM for cash and save that added fee. (Just be sure to use an ATM in your network..

Perks of points & referrals

Many businesses offer referral incentives for loyal customers, ranging from discounts on the next purchase to cash rewards for every friend you refer. Whether it’s online or in-person, opportunities are available. A favorite way to reap the rewards through referrals is spreading the word about a great local service that you use. If you frequent a good med spa, ask if they offer rewards in return for you spreading the word, or even by hosting a party. Does your favorite fitness center offer a discount or free month if you bring a friend that signs up for a new membership? Ask them.

  • Target Circle has great offers
  • Starbucks Stars earns you free drinks and menu items

Digital coupons

Take advantage of coupon apps like Fetch and websites like RetailMeNot to find discounts on everything from groceries to entertainment. Whether you prefer digital coupons, promo codes or cashback offers, there’s something for everyone in the world of digital savings. Before making your next purchase, be sure to check for coupons — you might be surprised by how much you can save with just a few clicks or taps.

Living your best life doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. Embrace the digital era and adopt a savvy mindset. With these hacks, you might just save a little money and, in the words of Alexis Rose from Schitt’s Creek, “Every now and again, spending a little bit of money on something really special  — it might not buy you happiness, but it can definitely help make you smile.”

Annie Briening
Annie Briening moved to Key West 15 years ago from Philly and hasn’t looked back. She is a foodie at heart, always down to dive into a new dish with a great view… oh and don’t forget the wine! You can find her biking around town, on a boat, or hanging with her hubby and her sweet pup.