Finance

20 Money Hacks: Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Finances

We had the Parent Hacks earlier this week, and I was thinking it would be fun to do the same with finances — ways to trick yourself, to get around obstacles, to boost your accounts, without it hurting.

Improving your finances improves your happiness, in general, so I thought it would be important to share stuff that’s worked for me.

I’m in the best financial shape in my life, despite quitting my job and my wife recently quitting hers too. A lot of that is thanks to you guys, the readers, but it’s also thanks to frugality, to eliminating debt, to saving as much as I can. To these hacks.

Here’s what works for me — please avoid flaming me, as I’m not saying they’ll work for everybody. Share your tips and tricks in the comments!

  1. Use cash. Instead of charging things to credit cards or debit cards, use cash for non-bill spending such as eating out, gas, groceries. Spending cash makes the spending more real, and there’s an added advantage of knowing when you’re out of cash, instead of spending more than you
  2. Small weekly savings transfers. I got this idea from my friend Trent at The Simple Dollar, who automatically deducts $20 a week from his check to savings. I decided that I could live with $40/week without really feeling it — it’s a relatively small transfer that I barely notice, and I save about $2,000 a year on top of my larger bi-weekly savings transfers.
  3. Stay home. Going out makes you more likely to spend unnecessarily. You eat at restaurants, go to the mall, stop at the gas station for snacks. It’s hard to avoid spending when you’re on the road. Instead, stay home, and find free entertainment. It’s also a great way to bond with your family.
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