29 Simple Life Hacks to Keep in Your Back Pocket

Life can be tough, so anytime someone shares a simple trick to make it a little easier, I jump all over it. Plus, a good life hack can make you look like a genius – and there’s nothing wrong with that.

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Check out these 29 tricks shared with us from some AskReddit users.

1. Scam free

If you are given a prepaid debit card as a gift, save it after you spend the money. You can use it to sign up for free trials online without worry of being scammed.

2. Generosity

Let someone know you’re picking up the tab for a meal after they’ve ordered. This allows a considerate friend to order what he or she wants freely and also prevents a colleague or acquaintance from taking advantage of your generosity.

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3. Is it annoying?

If you have a guest bedroom in your home, spend a night in it yourself to be sure there are no annoyances and that it is comfortable.

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4. I could have used this MANY times

If Word crashes or shuts down and your document didn’t save, search “.asd” in the file Explorer under “This/My PC”. It should be there.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

5. Vacuum seal

If you want to “vacuum seal” food, put it in a ziplock bag and submerge it in a bowl of water with the bag open above the water. The water will push the air out of the bag, and you can close it without any left inside.

6. Save your cell

I’ve spent nearly 20 years repairing liquid/water damaged electronics. More specifically, cell phones. I know putting the phone in a bow of rice is the go-to recommendation for water-damage, but that only works to an extent. There’s a better way.

Photo Credit: Instagram, @billy245

Rice will passively absorb moisture. Unfortunately, you don’t want to passively absorb the moisture, you want to actively remove the moisture as quickly as possible. The longer the moisture is sitting on those circuit boards, the higher the risk of corrosion.

The liquid itself almost never is directly responsible for failed consumer electronics, it’s the corrosion that takes place after the fact or the liquid damaging the battery. And corrosion on electrical components can happen within just a few short hours.

While rice does dry a phone out slightly better than just sitting it on the counter, it really doesn’t do much to prevent the corrosion.

What you want to do is set the item in front of a fan with constant airflow. Take the device apart as much as you can without ruining it so that the insides can get as much airflow as possible. Even if it’s not in direct contact with the air, the steady air blowing over the device will create a mini vacuum effect and pull air from inside. It’s just a small amount but it’s significantly better than just allowing the rice to passively absorb the evaporated moisture. True, rice can act as a desiccant, but a fan blowing over whatever is orders of magnitude faster.

What you want to avoid at all costs, however, is heat. Do not put your phone inside an oven or hot blow dryer. Heat can damage electronics just as badly as liquid.

7. Perfect Range

If you are buying headphones or speakers, test them with Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ It has the complete set of highs and lows in instruments and vocals.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

8. Quotas

Buying a car? Buy it at the end of the month. Salespeople have quotas to meet each month and will be more likely to cut you a deal.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

9. Nail on the head

If you are examining nursing homes to place a loved one, look at the fingernails of the residents living there at the moment. Long fingernails (especially on men) would likely indicate that the home is either understaffed or does not care enough to do such a small task.

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10. Oh Deer!

According to rural veterinarian we talked to over the weekend, she sees one bizarre but surprisingly common avoidable animal emergency in the summertime.

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Deers, mainly fawns, who have been hit or run over by various lawn mowers.

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Deer often hide or leave their fawns in high grass in early summer. If you are mowing high grass with a riding mower or similar machine, take extra time and check the entire field before you start.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

If you do find one, don’t be afraid to move it; mama deer will not abandon her fawn because of your scent!

11. Settle the nerves

If you wake due to stress and can’t fall asleep, do a chore like emptying/reloading the dishwasher or putting away the laundry. You’ll burn off your frustration and be able to settle your nerves with a sense of accomplishment.

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12. Cut the softness

Refrain from using fabric softener on your socks; it lessens the absorption causing them to wear out at a much faster rate. Same goes for towels!

13. Candid camera

When a stranger asks you to take a photo of a group, take several before and during the “3 2 1” countdown.

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock

Basically, just click the button from the time you get the phone through the final shot. People tend to appreciate the candid moments more than the staged ones. If nothing else, it gives them something to talk about later on. Of course… take the final one as well.

14. Fancy feast

If you’re reduced to eating ramen so you can pay rent, as I often am, go to the Asian market or at least the Asian aisle in your market. The packages generally come with much more interesting seasonings that do a lot for the flavor of the soup and making you feel “fancy”.

15. “Fair enough”

Saying “fair enough” defuses almost any tension or conflict that can otherwise lead to an argument.

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16. Repeat offender

When meeting someone for the first time, try and use their name as early as possible. For example – ‘Nice to meet you, [Name]’. You’ll have a greater chance at recalling their name and will feel more confident in addressing them, thereby earning their respect.

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I know it sounds like a no-brainer, but I see this happen all the time and I’ve certainly experienced it myself. The only thing worse than saying, “I’m sorry, what was your name again?” is having someone say it to you. People like hearing their own name, especially from someone they’ve just met. Make a habit of saying their name in subsequent sentences and you won’t go wrong.

17. Tasteful

Try foods that you hated as a kid. Your taste buds change every 7 years, and you might find that you enjoy most of the foods you once disliked.

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While I still dislike the smell of most of these foods, they taste delicious to me now. Don’t just smell and dismiss them. I disliked brussles sprouts, apricots, dried fruit, etc, and now in my early 30’s I recently tried and love all of those things.

18. Perspective

Instead of asking others if they “know” a subject, ask them if they’re “familiar with” it; people are less likely to feel challenged by the latter phrasing (and as a result, more likely to answer honestly).

No: “Do you know anything about The Wiggles?” or “Do you know the Pythagorean theorem?”

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Yes: “Are you familiar with The Wiggles?” or “Are you familiar with the Pythagorean theorem?”

19. Practice small

For people pleasers it can be very hard to say “no” and it is easy to get taken advantage of. Practice by saying no to small things that don’t matter much. It will make it easier to say when it really counts.

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

20. Plan ahead

If you don’t have a great relationship with your landlord, before submitting an application for a new apartment have someone you know call and ask for a reference. You can find out before hand what they will say about you and address anything negative with the prospective landlord proactively.

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21. No Ass out of You and Me

When training someone new, do not assume they know things. Go over everything unless they tell you specifically that they already know it.

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22. Pet emergency

If you own a pet or are taking care of one, look up the nearest emergency veterinarian right now so you know exactly where to take the pet in case of an emergency.

If the animal is suffering, it’s best to know exactly where to go rather than wasting precious moments looking up the nearest pet hospital.

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Make sure it’s open on Sundays just in case.

23. Teach to study

You might have heard that teaching others is an effective study method. So treat your word document as your clueless friend when studying.

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock

24. DIY Electric Bill

Many people aren’t aware of this, but most electric companies have a feature where you can call and enter your meter reading yourself. My wife and I had noticed that during the months of December, January, and February, our bill was much higher than what we had anticipated.

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So, during the month of March, we decided to keep track of our meter for a full 30 days. During that time, we only used about half the amount of electricity that our electric company claimed we had used during the preceding three months.

That was when we learned we could enter our own meter reading, and that sometimes electric companies don’t actually read your meters, they just estimate your bill based on previous months usage. We have seen a drop of nearly 33% to our electric bill compared to the months we had not entered our own numbers.

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock

So, if you feel like your bill is higher than it should be, perhaps consider checking your own meter reading and comparing it to what your electric bill says. If you notice any discrepancies or feel like something is off, check with your electric company and see if they offer the ability to enter your own reading manually.

25. Bike box

If you need boxes to pack pictures or TVs when moving, go to a bike shop and ask for boxes. They often have boxes from the bikes they’ve put together that fit these objects very well.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

26. Pay it forward

If you use a gift card and are left with a small amount on the card, have the cashier apply it to the next person’s purchase.

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I have had too many gift cards with a few dollars on them sit in my wallet for months because I forget about them, so instead of throwing them away or in a drawer somewhere and forgetting about them I figure it’s better to let someone use it than nobody at all.

27. Discounts ahead

If you’re shopping at a new website, sign in and leave stuff in your cart. They’ll usually send you a discount code within the next day or two.

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28. Deep research

When shopping for apartments and houses visit the location at night time before signing.

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My girlfriend and I were planning on signing a lease tomorrow at a beautiful apartment unit right next to a retention pond. It’s perfect in the daytime but we went to show her parents tonight and the pond was full of bullfrogs. It is unbearably loud.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

And these are really expensive apartments too, with good insulation. We are going to talk to them tomorrow and sign for a different unit farther up the road that we saw.

29. On the record

If you are having an argument pretend that you are being recorded, it will save you from saying hurtful and silly stuff which you may later regret.

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