Do you worry about money? Are you concerned with how to get more, save more, spend less and wonder if you’ll have enough when you get older? If so, you are not alone. The vast majority of people have money concerns, but ignoring these concerns won’t make them go away, it will just cause bigger issues down the road. Instead of running away from managing your finances, start to run towards managing your finances.
We’ve broken these money hacks down into three categories: Spending, Saving, and Earning.
Spending Hack #1: Only spend cash.
This first spending hack is a very effective mind trick: only spend cash. It sounds extreme, but the rule here is that if you run out of cash you’ll have to wait until you earn more to spend again. This is a physical reminder of a principle that was lost on Americans a long time ago; don’t buy what you can’t afford. Are you looking for a tip to make this hack a little easier? Try this: get the cash you need for the week in big bills such as 50s and 100s. This is called the “Denomination Effect” which shows that the likelihood of spending is lower when an equal sum of money is represented by a single large bill. For example, it’s easier to spend five $10 bills than it is to spend one $50 bill.
Opening and closing various lines of credit can be a red flag to your next lender, so we are not advocates of cancelling your credit cards. Instead, just simply cut them up. If you are hesitant to cut up your credit card in case you need it for an emergency, then put it in a place that is not easily accessible for a while.
Don’t take your credit card with you when you go to dinner or to the movies, and definitely leave it home if you’re going shopping. Pretend that your credit card is temporarily unusable.
Saving Hack #1: Do an economic shutdown.
This may be one of the more extreme money hacks, but an economic shutdown is a great way to do a financial cleanse that will put an end to the vicious cycle of over spending and under-saving. During an economic shutdown you will only spend money on what you need, and not one thing more. While it doesn’t sound like much fun, the results are great. In fact, you may save anywhere from 30-50% of your income! Click here for a step-by-step plan on how to start your economic shutdown today.
Saving Hack #2: Tip yourself.
This is an easy money hack that can add lots to your wallet. It’s as simple as this: whenever you find yourself in a tipping situation, tip yourself the same amount. For example, if you go out to dinner and tip your server $8, put $8 into your own savings account. It’s a positive spin on savings that can really add up.
Earning Hacks #1: Get your rewards…and use them.
If you haven’t cut up your credit card or put it away temporarily (as suggested in Spending Hack #1), then be sure that you’re getting something out of the credit card that you have. Most big name retailers now have some kind of rewards/loyalty program like the Kroger Plus Card of CVS ExtraCare. Be sure to research what credit cards have the best rewards and cash back programs and make the most of them. Keep in mind that if you are going to use a credit card, paying it off on a monthly basis is critical to keep yourself from falling into the debt trap.
Earning Hack #2: Sell your stuff
Do you have a bunch of clothing items that are just taking up space in your closet? Or maybe handbags you don’t use anymore, or you’re redecorating and looking for a place for some old furniture? While giving items away to charity is always a good thing to do, consider gaining back a little of that money through one of the many new safe, online options through which you can sell a variety of goods. Companies like OfferUp, Tradesy, Chairish, ThredUP, Poshmark, Threadflip, Snobswap are some new options, and even Facebook now has “buy, sell, trade” groups you can join that are based in your area.
Are you trying to get out debt, saving for something big like a car, or simply looking for a way to do even more with your money? If so, please download this great e-book, 17 Money Hacks, which includes 11 more money hacks that will start you down the right path.