Every American can feel their cash flow getting squeezed by inflation, increased costs, and flat interest rates. It is hard to build up some capital to invest in yourself or simply treat yourself.
Here are eight great finance hacks that can help anyone start to save money and make money. Whether you need extra money for a vacation, to buy something big, or to pay down debt; you need these hacks in your life.
1. Budget, Budget, Budget
This financial advice is so simple you already know it. If you fail to budget your finances, you should be expecting trouble down the road. There is always a limit to your finances, and you need to know your limits and budget your spending accordingly.
You need to at least budget your living expenses, i.e., your rent or mortgage, power and light, car payments, and so on. This should just be the start; you need to budget everything to make the most of this simple hack.
2. Pay Your Future Self
Sounds kooky, right? But this genius financial hack is actually straightforward to understand, it is just hard to have the discipline to do. When payday comes around, most people have the same reaction: spend, spend, spend. You can be forgiven for wanting to treat yourself to some luxuries, but why not treat your future self to an easier financial life?
Basically, don’t spend; save instead. The first thing you should be doing with your paycheck is using your budget to work out your ‘disposable’ income and then set some aside in savings for later. Your future self will thank you.
3. Take Control of Your Credit
Credit cards have a bad reputation among some people. They are actually a great financial tool that people can use to increase their credit rating, helping them save money on other types of credit like mortgages and car finance. If you take control over your credit card use and learn more about your card and how the account works, you can make a credit card your new best friend.
There are lots of things you should know about credit card payments. Look here for more information from Tally about the best time to pay credit card, and how the credit card billing cycle works. Tally has been helping people reduce their credit card debt and interest for years, and it can help you too.
4. Start Investing Your Money
When people hear about financial investments, their eyes can glaze over. Investing can be complicated, and if you don’t know what you are doing, it is risky. Keeping your savings in a bank account is a safe choice, but the returns are minimal. You pretty much get back exactly what you put in.
Investments in Index Tracking Funds and Exchange-traded funds are great performers, and though they may sound intimidating there are investment apps that make it easy. You can even find these kinds of investments at your local bank if you speak to a financial advisor.
5. Do the Hustle
If you don’t have a side hustle to make a little extra money, what are you waiting for? There are tens of thousands of opportunities online to create a new revenue stream and put more money in your pocket, or into your savings.
Nearly every skill you could possibly have is marketable. Reading and writing are big earners, especially if you can read and write a second language. Translating pays big bucks, and all the work can be done on a laptop from anywhere in the world.
Start hustling. Even if you only start off small with an extra twenty dollars a week in your pocket, you will be shocked at how quickly that can build up to something bigger. You may even be able to leave your old job behind and follow your new passion.
6. Set Targets
Having a budget is a great first step and can help you start to build up some savings or reduce your debt. It is not enough though; you need to set yourself financial targets to achieve if you really want to take control of your financial future.
If you have something you want in mind, like a great vacation or a new car, then this can help you. Work out how much your dream vacay will cost, or your new wheels, or whatever you’re saving for, and set it as a savings target.
Make sure you monitor the progress you make towards your goal, as this can be a great motivator. Put a spreadsheet on the fridge, or get the kids involved and craft a funding chart with them.
7. Declutter and Profit
Looking for a few extra bucks to pay for something, or invest in your new side hustle adventure? There is gold in them thar hills, if them thar hills are your wardrobe, garage, and attic space. Every American home has at least one good yard sale inside it, with nuggets of cash waiting to be mined.
Thanks to the internet, you don’t need a yard sale anymore. Selling old clothes, electronics, and just about anything else is easy as pie on eBay and Facebook Marketplace.
You will make space in your home and make money. Invest it wisely or use it to help hit your financial targets. Don’t let the money sit there in boxes above the cars in the garage, make it work for you.
8. Don’t Stop
The worst mistake you can make after taking steps to take control of your finances is to give up or forget to do it. Monitoring your finances and controlling your spending takes time and effort, and many people stop after a while and fall back into old habits.
It may take some time and patience to see the results in your checking and savings accounts, but the money will come. You just need to keep at it, chipping away at debt and building up small windfalls into big bucks. Anyone can do it, only you can stop you.
Choose and use any three of these hacks and you will see the difference in your wallet. Even in the current financial climate, these top tips can help you achieve your goals and follow your dreams.