Money Hacks: 20 Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Finances!
Following up on last week’s “Parent Hacks,” in which we discussed clever methods to save money without feeling the pinch, I thought it could be amusing to do the same with “Financial Hacks.”
Making more money is one of the surest ways to boost your mood, therefore I figured it was vital to pass on the methods that have helped me.
After both my wife and I decided to leave our jobs, we are now in the best financial position of our lives. Much of the credit goes to you, the readers, but I also owe a lot to being economical, paying off my debt, and saving as much as I can. The liars and cheats.
Here is what has helped me, but before you start flaming me, know that I am not claiming that these methods will be effective for everyone. In the comments, please share any helpful hints you may have.
1. Use Cash
Use cash for non-bill purchases like gas, groceries, and dining out instead of charging them to a credit card or debit card. Spending cash makes the purchase feel more real, and you may avoid overspending by stopping when you run out.
2. Small Weekly Savings Transfers
My buddy Trent over at The Simple Dollar inspired me to set up a similar system by having $20 of each paycheck go straight into savings. It’s a little enough amount that I don’t even realize the difference, and it adds up to around $2,000 a year in savings on top of the more substantial amounts I put away every other week.
3. Stay Home
When you go out, you’re more inclined to buy things you don’t need. You go out to restaurants, shop at malls, and get snacks at gas stations. When you’re on the road, it’s difficult to control your expenditures. Do not go out, but rather spend time at home enjoying no-cost activities. It’s a wonderful way to spend quality time with loved ones at home.
4. Don’t Get Catalogs
Or promotional messages from companies sent via email. As soon as you see an advertisement for a deal or a cool new product, it’s hard to resist the urge to make a purchase, even if you don’t need it. Instead, you can save money by blocking catalogs and promotional emails before they reach your inbox.
5. Keep a 30-Day List
If you feel the need to buy something you don’t need right now, write it down and give yourself 30 days to think about it. Only needs are allowed to be purchased; everything else must be added to a list, which is then archived along with the date it was added. You can buy it after the 30-day period ends, but by then you will have likely gotten over the intense desire to do so and will be able to make a more objective assessment.
6. Cook at Home
Yes, I understand that cooking at home appears to be more challenging than eating at a restaurant. However, this need not be challenging. Make a quick stir-fry with frozen vegetables, boneless chicken, or (my personal fave) tofu and some soy sauce or tamari. Use a premade pizza crust, sauce, cheese, and your favorite toppings to create a delicious homemade pizza. Spice up some meat or vegetables and roast them in the oven while you make some brown rice. This is not only healthier but also more cost-effective than eating out.
The easiest approach to saving money on future medical expenses is to take care of your health now.
8. Use the Envelope System
Utilizing envelopes to allocate your funds into different spending categories is similar to using cash. My non-utility expenses include food, gas, and other items. There are a total of three envelopes, and after they’re depleted, I’ve spent my budget for the month.
9. Talk with Your so Weekly
As a couple, it’s crucial that you’re on the same page about everything. Both of you should be committed to the same long-term financial goals, and from there you can work together to establish a general spending plan and an impulse-buying policy that doesn’t make you want to strangle one another. Ensure that you and your partner are fully aware of your financial standing at all times. To achieve this, all that is needed is a 20-minute meeting once a week. Talk things out.
10. the Spreadsheet Tracker Hack
Costly software like Microsoft Money, Quicken, and others like it can perform incredible things with your financial data. Free ones exist both on your computer’s desktop and in the cloud, and they may perform a wide range of tasks. However, I really don’t have any use for all that. I just want a simple way to keep tabs on my finances online that I can access from any computer, with no extra features. In my experience, using Google Docs and Spreadsheets is the most effective method for this. My old method of using Microsoft Money to keep tabs on my finances was to switch to a simple spreadsheet I made. Included with each entry are the transaction’s date, title, and amount, as well as a running total and a memo box. I mean, really, what else do I require? Simple is best. Latest news: check out a sample I uploaded recently.
11. Pay Savings and Debt First
Pay your savings transfer and your debt payments first when you sit down to do your bills (I pay mine all online). If you pay them last, though, you risk underpaying them. However, if you take care of them first, you won’t miss any of your fixed expenses like rent or mortgage payments, electricity, food, or gas, and instead will be able to reduce your discretionary spending.
12. Exercise at Home
It’s fine if you disagree with me; everyone needs to find their own path to happiness. However, I was able to cut back on my gym membership fees by doing things like running on neighborhood streets and tracks and investing in some inexpensive weights and a chin-up bar. I don’t go to the gym since I perform so many bodyweight exercises (pushups, Hindu squats, lunges, pullups, dips, etc.).
13. Cut out cable TV
I’m not trying to imply that I never watch television; rather, I prefer to watch DVDs so that I can rest assured that what I’m taking in is of higher quality than the typical fare found on broadcast networks. And if you know where to search, you can find a lot of it online for free. There isn’t a significant discount, but it does accumulate.
You may make your life much easier and more tranquil by getting rid of all the unnecessary items lying around your house, and it will be much more challenging to go out and acquire more of the same. Simplifying your home is a decision you won’t regret.
15. Lend and Borrow
Donate your old books, clothes, and toys to those in need. A simple email inquiring if anyone has what you need should suffice. If they aren’t going to be using it, they’ll probably just give it to you for free.
Although bartering is a dying art, many people will accept your skills or goods in exchange for friendship or acquaintanceship rather than cash. If you make it a habit to offer to barter, you can save a lot of money. As an example, I was able to save well over a thousand dollars by having my website designed through the barter system.
17. Use Online Savings
Personally, I choose Emigrant Direct, although ING Direct and many others are also good options. You can earn double the interest rate of a regular savings account, and it’s not as convenient to withdraw money if you don’t have an ATM card, so you’re less inclined to spend it impulsively.
18. Try Frugal Gift-Giving
One of the most heartwarming customs is exchanging gifts with one another. Until it is mass-produced for profit. Then it’s just extremely costly for what it is. Instead of buying anything material, try giving the gift of time. As a gift, you could try making or baking something for them. Provide the kind of assistance they’d value. Being generous doesn’t have to set you back a lot financially.
19. Teach Your Kids About Advertising, Saving, Earning, and Gift-Giving.
Teaching your children about personal finance will end up saving you a lot of cash. The less likely kids are to demand (OK, beg and plead for) the newest trend toys if they are aware of the subtle ways in which advertising influences them. They will value your earnings and savings efforts more if they have some financial literacy. If kids are aware that providing presents does not require a large financial outlay (as discussed above), they may be less inclined to ask for pricey items.
20 Find Happiness in Life, Not Spending
People often make purchases in the hope that they will bring them joy. They can’t help but have to have the newest phone, pair of sneakers, or automobile on the market. In a word, it’s a blast! You spend your money on it, but the satisfaction you get from it lasts for little more than a few days at most. It’s as simple as going out and getting more.
A vicious circle that never seems to end. Instead, you should train yourself to enjoy life. Embrace the outdoors and its beauty. In the community, you’re a part of! To have pleasure in what you’re doing! The benefits of meditation and physical activity! There is no need to seek fulfillment through material acquisitions; life provides abundant opportunities for fulfillment.