Personal Finance Hacks
It only takes one poor money decision to cause mayhem in your finances. You may find out you’re behind on bills and have a high-interest build-up on your loans out of the blue. Arming yourself with some personal finance hacks can reduce such instances, if not eliminate them.
Although hacking your finances doesn’t make you richer overnight, it takes you closer to financial freedom. In the long run, you’ll get a chance to get out of debt, save more cash, and make investments without a strain on your wallet.
Here are the top personal finance hacks that can help you manage your money properly.
1. Make the Budget Your Friend
Most people think they don’t have time to create a budget, or it’s restrictive and won’t let them enjoy their earnings. Even if you can track your spending by only checking your receipts and bank statements, you need a written plan for the upcoming month. It’s also possible to have a budget that lets you do the things you enjoy once in a while.
To create a successful budget, figure out your financial situation, calculate your income and expenses, and monitor your spending habits. This is where the many financial tools available on the internet can come in handy to make the process a bit simpler. If you’re one who overspends, you either have to lower your expenses or find an extra income source. In most cases, it’s easier to reduce your spending by stepping away from non-essential purchases or replacing them with cheaper alternatives.
You may be unwilling to give up the morning coffee, night out, or going to the movies. By analyzing your priorities, you determine the things that you can cut back on or save for special occasions. This way, more of your earnings go toward debt payment, savings, and investments that are essential for reaching your financial goals.
There is no optimal time to start budgeting your money. The sooner you begin, the better you get at the game.
2. Pay Off the Highest Interests First
You can save the most money if you pay off your high-interest debt as fast as possible. The interest of a balance accumulates over time and you’ll have to dig deeper in your pocket when you delay settling it. The best option is to prioritize debt payoff according to the interest rate.
To start, list down all your debts and include their active balances, minimum monthly payments, and interest rates. Once you sort them by their interest rates, attack the debt with the highest interest. You can do this while paying the monthly minimum of the other debts to avoid lagging behind on anything.
Let’s say you have debts as follows:
- A student debt of $10,000 at 7.5%
- A credit card balance of $5,000 at 15%
- A personal loan of $2,500 at 10%
Here, dedicating more money toward paying off the credit card is your best bet for being debt-free within a shorter time. After that, you can move on to the personal loan and pay extra toward it until it’s no more. Meanwhile, the student loan interest continues to build up until you also pay it off. But it won’t reach the levels that your high-interest debts would if treated the same way.
3. Stop Using Credit Cards
Having a credit card makes you pay less attention to your financial situation when making purchases. You’ll be tempted to go on shopping sprees and spend money you don’t yet have. This habit can harm your finances because spending more than you earn puts you in debt and it becomes challenging to handle your monthly bills.
If you spend with cash, you’ll be conscious of all the cash you have and keep off any unnecessary expenses. You also avoid the additional charges that come from making transactions through credit cards.
You can enact a cash-only policy by taking small steps such as leaving all the cards at home. After a while, stretch further and destroy your credit cards except for one or two. You may miss the reward points for the moment but you get a chance to enjoy financial freedom in the long run.
Be sure not to close the credit card accounts unless you have a serious spending problem. This is because closing the accounts can damage your credit score.
When it comes to online shopping, always use a debit card linked to your bank account. You won’t have to borrow money to buy anything online that’s unnecessary.
4. Build an Emergency Fund
An emergency fund improves your financial security by setting aside cash for unexpected costs. You can’t predict when you’ll lose your current job or your business becoming slow. Emergencies occur from time to time and can strain your financial situation.
Having an account for emergencies is a quick solution to such problems. You become more productive knowing that you’ve got everything covered.
You can either generate extra income or adjust your budget at first to put more money into your emergency fund. Having several months of household expenses in this account can go a long way in preparing you for any future financial disasters. This approach offers you more time to recover and get things back in place.
5. Improve Your Money Mindset
Your money mindset determines how far you can go to achieve your financial goals. Making money takes greater effort when you have negative thoughts or attitudes toward your finances. If you have a poor money mindset, you spend your cash unwisely with little to no savings and investments.
Start by changing how you view money. Think of it as a resourceful tool that can make your life simpler. After all, many of money’s downsides come from how people interact with it and not the medium itself. It’s good to boost your financial knowledge by reading books and practice proper money management.
With a positive mindset, you can easily take risks and see failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. Achieving your dreams only happens when you start believing in yourself.
6. Learn a Skill
Learning a new skill is a personal finance hack that can help you save more money. You don’t have to pay experts every time you want something accomplished.
Manual jobs make up a significant portion of monthly expenses. They include lawn mowing, fixing pipes, and repairing faulty electronic. If you can do any of these things yourself, you get to keep the money and take steps toward your financial growth.
Digital skills are also worth learning in this day and age. You can quickly grow an online business using skills like Internet marketing, blockchain, and content writing. Most things are learnable through the Internet for free. E-books and e-courses are also necessary for enhanced learning.
7. Time Your Purchases
Depending on the price of a particular item, timing your purchases can save you a significant amount of cash. You only have to know the time when a product’s price drops and then make your purchase.
For instance, some sellers tend to lower the prices of old stocks when new ones arrive. This is a perfect time to get discounts for something you’ve always wanted to buy.
It doesn’t hurt to buy stuff before an event and store it at home. If a specific product’s price is discounted during festive moments, you can wait and purchase it around that time.
Online shopping comes with gifts and coupons from time to time. Don’t forget to keep track of the Black Friday and anniversary deals of the merchants you love to buy from.
Wrapping It Up
It’s possible that you’ve heard about several personal finance hacks from this list. But the results only appear when you take some action. Start by applying one or two finance hacks to your situation and see what changes they make.
Your finances should be on your priority list if you’re determined to achieve your financial goals. Make your money grow now and you’ll enjoy all the fruits with time.