We’ve talked a lot about strategies and tips to become more financially sustainable so far in 2020 — and this is for good reason. Improving one’s finances is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions that Americans often make when the ball drops on another calendar year.
While setting a budget, cutting back on your monthly subscriptions, dining out less and refraining from impulse buying can all help you save more money or pay down debt, there are a bevy of other financial tips that we’ve yet to hit on. Think of them as “money hacks” — and you might just be surprised about some of the tactics that we’ll share with you in this piece. Here’s a closer look at money hacks from the experts:
We get it, money issues can be far from something that you think about favorably. In fact, they can be the exact opposite. But according to the experts, money has a lot more to do with how you think of it than what you may initially believe. That’s why taking an optimistic approach to your financial goals can be a huge benefit, an ace in the hole if you will. On this note, it’s important not to compare yourself to others who may be more well off financially than you are. It’s important to focus solely on you, your financial situation and your goals. Treat money with respect, don’t think of it as the enemy and you’ll have a much healthier mindset when you go to attack your goals.
Don’t Give in to Peer Pressure
Let’s piggyback off an important note from the above section: not comparing yourself to others and focusing on your financial situation. Regardless of your stage in life, it’s only natural that you’re going to want to participate in some of the same activities that your friends and co-workers do. We’re talking about going out to lunch and dinner, drinks after work at the bar, etc. But there’s nothing wrong with ordering a lesser expensive item off the menu or skipping beer and wine for a glass of water instead. Forget about if or how you’ll be judged by others, this is about you. Something as simple as this can free up a lot of disposable income for you to allocate toward other things. And you should never have to make excuses for why you’re doing what you’re doing.
You Don’t Have to be Perfect
When many consumers set financial savings goals, they often do so with a boom or bust mentality. That is, if they’re not saving a significant sum of money, they wonder what the point is of saving anything at all. In reality, every little bit helps. Maybe you don’t have hundreds of dollars you can free up in your budget each month to put into a savings account, but even $35 or $50 or $75 all adds up in the long run. Don’t worry about being perfect. When you set a savings goal, just make sure you’re packing something away each month.
Save What’s Needed, Not What’s Left
A popular bad habit that consumers often find themselves falling into is taking any money that they don’t need for living expenses at the end of the month and only putting that money toward savings. Why isn’t this a great strategy? It’s because people have had about four weeks up until that point to make the appropriate adjustments to meet or exceed any of their savings goals. Not making good on them is certainly a step back. That said, get into the habit of assigning yourself a monthly savings goal and doing what you need to do to hit it each month and not treat savings as an afterthought.
When it comes to saving money or paying down debt, it’s often not one big thing that’s going to do it for you, but many smaller things that all add up in the long run. And while we can discuss the importance of budgets and ways to cut back in detail, sometimes it’s the intangibles — like your mindset — that can be the most important savings hack of all.