Saving money is hard enough without the right strategies and tools. Use these handy life hacks for your personal finance to multiply your money.
Data from Bankrate shows that one in five American adults is not saving money for retirement, emergencies or other unpleasant financial scenarios. In other countries, this figure is even more deplorable. People are simply unable to handle their personal finance.
The reasons for this indifference to saving are varied. Part of the problem may have to do with income (many of them live from salary to salary and have no financial ability to save), or misplaced priorities in financial management.
Or, more likely, the reason for the low savings rate among the adult population is that consumers do not have the right financial tools to save and accumulate efficiently over the long term.
In this case, some of the 20 life hacks below can help such people develop both financial creativity and discipline.
Use them all or just the ones you like, but in the near future, start your long-term savings program with these money-saving tools.
1. First pay yourself via automatic transfers
You can’t spend money if it has never been in your pocket. This is the beauty of automatic savings, where consumers can set up a direct transfer of a portion of their paycheck to the savings account.
Set up an automatic transfer of savings on payday and start your money saving program this way.
2. Install an expense tracker for your personal finance and use it regularly
Mobile apps are a great tool for saving money, especially apps that allow you to track your spending.
There are dozens of options for such programs, among which it is easy to choose the one that will help you successfully control your spending, and also help you build a competent family budget.
3. Cut the cord
Excluding from your expenses the payment of various paid channels and streaming services, such as Hulu and Netflix often saves hundreds of dollars a month.
This doesn’t mean you have to skip your favorite programs, since many of them can be watched for free or at a great discount, but it does help you get rid of large cable bills.
4. Organize your own garden
Grow your own vegetables in the backyard and your own fruit if you live in a warm climate.
You’ll save money, and as a bonus, you’ll get lots of healthy exercise and fresh air, and create a new healthy habit that you can enjoy for years to come.
5. Find additional income
Start writing about your hobbies for money as a copywriter philanthropist or come up with another part-time job to combine.
You’ll make some money, meet new people and see life with fresh eyes.
6. Reduce your credit card costs to improve your personal finance
Reducing the commission for a credit card can be very simple – you need to call the banks and ask them to give more favorable rates for its use.
Issuance and annual maintenance fees are among the costs you can reduce with a simple phone call. Also, make sure that you pay your bills on time to avoid interest and penalties – for this, you can set up automatic payments from your payroll account to your credit card account before the date the money is due to be debited.
This will help pay off debts in a timely manner and avoid increasing the cost of paying late payment penalties.
7. Use the “30-day rule” for your personal finance
This personal finance rule can come in handy to prevent you from making expensive purchases that you don’t need.
The procedure in this case is quite simple—if you are considering buying a large expensive item, for example, a new big screen TV for $600 or a watch for $500, let your desire live for 30 days.
After this time, the psychological “impulse” that prompted you to buy will probably disappear and you can save a serious amount of useless desire.
8. Sell unnecessary things to improve your personal finance
Selling things you don’t need and cleaning your house at the same time is very rewarding. Chances are you can make good, easy money by selling golf clubs you don’t use or a box of old cell phones in your desk drawer.
You’ll be amazed how much money such things can make, and if you really like the feeling, start selling things you don’t need on Avito or eBay more often to make extra money and clean up your apartment at the same time.
9. Focus your family budget on savings to improve your personal finance
Keeping track of important daily expenses, such as eating out, grocery shopping, buying a latte every day or paying for home care, can save you a lot of money.
Try reducing all your daily household expenses by 25% and this will save you hundreds of dollars a month. Extend the 25% rule to your utilities, cell phone bills and transportation, and try to save on other household expenses.
10. Put the change aside to improve your personal finance
Don’t take small things lightly. Instead of tossing your coins into a drawer or your pocket, exercise discipline and begin putting extra change into a jar or piggy bank.
At the end of the year, take this accumulated change to the bank and exchange it for regular money (i.e. paper bills). Thanks to this, you will not be spreading coins and at the end of the year you will have an increase in income due to the fact that you are responsible for the change.
11. Drive more carefully to improve your personal finance
You can save hundreds of dollars on car insurance simply by being a neat driver. Auto insurance companies usually increase insurance rates for drivers who are in accidents—the more frequent and severe they are, the greater the rate increase will be.
Drive a little slower, be careful on the road and save significantly on car insurance – often more than 20% of total insurance coverage.
12. Spend the day without spending money
No matter what day of the week or date, try to make yourself a “no-spend day.” The goal of this is to spend an entire day without spending a dime on purchases, or at least frills.
Yes, you may have to spend money on transportation to get to work, but in general you really don’t need to spend money unless it’s absolutely necessary. Instead, eat something from your own fridge and make your own coffee in the morning without going to the café.
Or drink beer at home instead of going to the bar.
This lifehack works fine on weekends, but becomes a more serious challenge than on weekdays due to the large amount of free time for a person.
But if you can handle a no-cost day on Saturdays, you can have a no-cost day every day of the week.
13. Don’t use credit cards
No, this does not mean that you should cut your Visa with scissors. It means that you should keep your credit cards in a safe place until you really need them urgently.
At the same time, it is almost impossible to use them if there is no card in your wallet or pocket.
14. Write a shopping list and stick to it
Yes, this money-saving life hack seems too obvious, but in fact the shopping list really works. Why? Because if you stick to the list and buy only what’s on it (in other words, what you need), you’ll save on several expensive things you bought because of short-term cravings.
You can simplify this task with a mobile app like AnyList or Yummly help you easily compile a shopping list for you.
15. Don’t choose the most famous and expensive brands
At the grocery store, get in the habit of buying quality branded items, but not the most expensive premium brands. Whether it’s peanut butter or cough medicine, it’s unlikely you’ll feel the difference, but you can easily save 10% to 15% on brand-name foods and other products.
16. Have you paid off a large bill? Keep paying
If you’re done paying $350 monthly installments for car loans or $250 a month of college tuition, keep paying more – this time just for yourself.
Look at it this way: you’re already used to this substantial monthly payment and you’ve managed to include it in your expenses according to your lifestyle. So why not keep paying that same $350 a month, but instead of paying off the loan, deposit it into your personal bank or brokerage account?
This is a great way to save money and build capital without affecting your standard of living. More importantly, you will become $350 richer each month.
17. Don’t waste windfalls
There is no law that says you have to take unexpected money (like an inheritance or a bonus at work) and spend it all. Instead, why not funnel it into your savings or retirement account or even the stock market and use that money to your advantage?
Ask any millionaire about the path to wealth and he or she will tell you that passive investing is a way to make your money work for you and be profitable.
18. Make your own Daily Double deposit
Want to save $3339.75 in an easy way? Here’s a simple tip.
Start saving by throwing 5 cents into your piggy bank or big empty jar. Every day, without interruption, add another 5 cents to your daily savings and in 365 days you will save $3,339.75.
Sound good? In this case, your largest daily contribution is only $18.25.
19. At the beginning of the month, withdraw all your money at once
Avoid expensive ATMs while giving up your debit card within a month by withdrawing all your money on the first day of the month at the ATM.
This step provides strong protection against unnecessary expenses and forces you to save money to pay for major expenses at the end of the month – saving you hundreds of dollars.
20. Don’t waste your cashback
Everyone knows a lot about banks. When you pay for your purchases with your card, you get a cashback of 1 to 10% back.
Instead of spending it, you can save the money received each time you receive cashback. Do this for a month and watch as the extra amount is credited to your account.
If you can manage it, you can pamper yourself with something nice at the end of the month, because you deserve it.
There are many tricks that can help you save money and accumulate a certain amount for a particular purchase.
With the help of the described life-hacks, you can significantly speed up this process, while insignificantly lowering your standard of living, and in most cases – just give up pointless spending.