Money management and personal finance can be touchy subjects. Many people experience a lot of anxiety when they think about their financial lives, both as they are today and how they may look in the future.
Maybe you didn’t start saving for retirement as early as you’d hoped or perhaps you didn’t get an emergency fund in place and ended up in debt. Whatever your circumstances, deciding to take control of your situation now is always the best choice.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are some of the most amazing money management tips to help you win on the personal finance front.
Money Management Tips to Help Win Personal Finances
1. Make Your Everyday Savings and Checking Accounts Work for You
When you combine a high yield savings account and a high-interest checking account, you make sure that all of your money is always working for you instead of just sitting there.
If you are looking for great high-interest checking and savings accounts, check out Radius Bank. They offer free options that can help you make the most of your money.
2. Take the Sting Out of Student Loans
Over the life of an average student loan, borrowers can save up to $20,000 if they choose to refinance. By refinancing your student loans, you can secure lower rates and consolidate your debt, making your payments more affordable and convenient at the same time.
3. Take Control of Your Credit
Your credit report and score play a massive role in your financial life. By monitoring your credit, including your score, you can make decisions that improve your situation, both today and in the future.
While there are tons of credit monitoring apps out there, Credit Sesame helps you keep an eye on your report and score for free. You’ll receive customized recommendations and access to helpful tools, empowering you to make better choices every day.
4. Get Cheaper Car Insurance
Many people don’t reevaluate their car insurance regularly, and they pay a penalty for not taking a look. For example, if you recently paid off a car, you might not need full coverage anymore, presenting an opportunity to save, even if you don’t change carriers.
However, doing a little comparison shopping is always wise. You can get quotes from competitors for absolutely nothing, and might discover an option that costs much less than what your current provider charges.
If you don’t put a lot of miles on your car each year, you very well could be overpaying simply because most traditional insurance isn’t ideal for incredibly low mileage drivers. For those who barely take their car out of park, Metromile, a pay-per-mile option, could help you save a ton.
5. Earn Cash Back with Rebate Apps
There are a multitude of cash back and rebate apps out there today. Not only are they convenient to use, but you can also get money for the same purchase from multiple apps, helping you earn even more.
If you haven’t tried a rebate or cash back app, consider starting with Paribus, Ibotta, MyPoints, or Swagbucks. They are all incredibly easy to use and very reputable.
6. Get Life Insurance
No matter what stage of life you are in, life insurance should be viewed as a must. Otherwise, you saddle your loved ones with your expenses if you pass away, or leave them unsupported if you are the primary breadwinner.
If you want to compare life insurance options, check out Policy Genius for some quick quotes.
7. Optimize Your 401(K) Retirement Plan
Figuring out how to make the most of your 401(k) can be daunting, especially if you have lofty retirement goals. Luckily, there are paths that can help you achieve greater success.
If you optimize your 401(k) with Blooom, you’ll get custom reallocations to enhance your account’s performance, ensuring your retirement account is reaching its maximum potential.
8. Start Investing with an Easy-to-Use App
For many, jumping into the world of investing feels complicated. But, today, thanks to a range of user-friendly apps, anyone can get in on the action to help build a better financial future.
Investment apps like Acorns and Stash focus on micro-investing, making portfolio building accessible to the masses. Betterment, a popular robo-advisor, supports a “set it and forget it” approach to investing, ensuring you can reach your goals.
9. Pay Off High-Interest Debt with a Personal Loan
If you’re plagued by high-interest credit card debt, paying it off with a personal loan can be a smart move. Not only will you get a fixed interest rate, but the finite nature of the loan also makes your payments predictable. Plus, you’ll know exactly how long it will take to wipe out your debt, and may even see a credit score boost after paying off your card.
10. Negotiate Your Rates
Not all services have costs that are set in stone. In fact, there are many bills with rates that are actually negotiable, thanks to hidden discounts and barely advertised promo rates.
If you want to lower your monthly expenses, Truebill can handle the negotiations for you. Plus, you only pay for the service is they actually secure you a discount, with the fee being set at 40 percent of what you save, so you always come out ahead.
11. Earn Rebates When You Shop Online
If you make purchases online, creating an account with a rebates site is a must. For example, if you shop through Ebates, you can earn cash back at thousands of popular stores every time you make a purchase. Since Ebates is free to use, there’s no reason not to give it a try.
12. Automate Your Savings
If you need to build a cash nest egg, automating your savings makes it simple. Decide how much you want to add every month or paycheck and schedule a deposit to move the money every time, ensuring you won’t forget to pay yourself first.
You can also enhance your savings by using roundup apps like Digit and Qapital. They roundup every purchase you make and deposit the change to your savings account, making it convenient to sock away a little more cash.
13. Find a Credit Card with Rewards
If you use a credit card, one of the best money management tips around is to make sure it provides rewards. By finding the best credit card rewards points option based on your needs you can earn cash back, gift cards, and more on purchases you’re going to make anyway.
Just make sure you don’t use the rewards points as an excuse for unnecessary spending. Credit card interest almost always wipes out any rewards you earn, from a financial perspective, so it’s best to stick to what you would normally buy and pay off the card in full every month.
14. Track Your Money Like a Millionaire
Millionaires (and millionaires in the making) understand the value of tracking their net worth, retirement, and spending. With Personal Capital, you gain access to tools that bring your entire financial life together, simplifying your tracking efforts to make sure you are always headed in the right direction.
15. Reduce Your Biggest Expense: Housing
For nearly every family, housing is their biggest monthly expense. By reducing your housing costs, you can make significant headway in mastering your finances.
Whether you choose to move to a more affordable home or rent out room with Airbnb, making your housing more affordable can make a big difference in your life.
16. Plan for Major Costs
If you own your home, house repairs like roof replacements can easily cost $10,000 or more, depending on where you live. Similarly, if an appliance like your refrigerator fails, getting another one usually can’t wait and can quickly set you back hundreds or more. This is why an emergency fund is crucial.
Even if you don’t own a home, that doesn’t mean there aren’t major costs on the horizon. Replacing your vehicle usually costs several thousand, if not tens of thousands. Home computers can be as expensive as a major appliance and are deemed necessities in many households.
If you have something big you can’t live without or face regular maintenance costs, make sure to plan for them. Break down the expense by how many months you usually have before it hits (you can look up average lifespans for most things online) and set the cash aside to make sure it’s there when you need it.
17. Avoid Impulse Purchases
Impulse purchases can quickly destroy any budget. If you spot something you want that isn’t on your list, wait at least 24 hours before you buy. This allows you to assess whether you were enticed at the moment or if it’s something you actually need.
For bigger purchases, you may want to instill a 7- or 30-day waiting period, just to be safe.
Another tactic is to monitor your cash flow every day.
18. Prepare for Medical Emergencies
Even if you have insurance, a broken arm, head injury, heart attack, or similar medical emergency will still be expensive. Ideally, you need to maintain an emergency fund that can not only cover your portion of medical costs but also handle a few months of living expenses. That way, if you miss work, you can pay your bill and keep up with your bills until you heal.
If you do not have an in case of emergency binder yet, make one now!
19. Start a Side Hustle
Diversifying your income can be just as important as diversifying your investment portfolio. By starting a side hustle, like creating a blog, you can bring cash in and give yourself additional financial security.
If you want to try your hand at blogging, Bluehost can help you get started.
20. Earn Quick Cash with Online Surveys
While you can’t necessarily earn a living by doing online surveys, you can earn some quick cash by sharing your opinion. If you want to make a little extra money, give Survey Junkie a try.
21. Try Real Estate Crowdfunding
Until 2012, real estate investing was the domain of the wealthy. Now, thanks to the JOBS Act, anyone can get into the game with real estate crowdfunding.
If you’re looking for a portal and don’t have a lot to get started, consider trying RealtyShares or Fundrise. RealtyShares focuses on middle-market opportunities, like commercial buildings or multi-family homes, while Fundrise provides access to eREITs and eFunds, a form of real estate portfolio with a level of diversification.
By using the money management tips above, you can gain control over your financial future. Try one (or several) of them today and see if you can’t get headed in the right direction.