89 Personal Finance Tips – Budget, Save, Make, Invest & Better Manage Your Money
Personal finances are personal. No two situations are the same and the best way to take control of your money and life differs for each unique individual. However, there are some personal finance tips that can help many of those looking to improve their financial standing.
Unfortunately, personal finances are still a sore spot for many.
There are dozens of alarming stats about the “average” individual’s current financial situation. Here are 3:
- Out of every 10 Americans, 6 don’t have $500 in savings.
- 49% of Americans are concerned, anxious or fearful about their current financial well-being.
- The average American household has approx. $8,161 in revolving debt.
The personal finance tips below aren’t going to single-handedly save anyone from a dire situation. But a small shift in spending habits or a mindset adjustment could generate major savings and earning potential. The right book or podcast might change your financial journey forever.
Compounding small financial wins can have an amazing return with limitless ROI across a lifetime.
This list of personal finance tips has been broken down into the different categories.
- Financial Literacy Tips
- Budgeting Tips
- Money Management Tips
- Tracking Numbers With Your Personal Finance Tips
- Protecting Your Money Tips
- Investing Tips
- Make Money On The Cash You’re Already Spending Tips
- Side Hustling Tips
- Career Income Growth Tips
- Personal Development Tips
- Saving Money On Groceries Tips
- Housing Cost Saving Tips
- Saving Money On Transportation Tips
- Saving Money On Services Tips
- Minimalism Tips
- Travel Hacking Tips
1. Make Personal Finances A Priority
The first step to mastering your money and taking control of your finances is making them a priority. Unfortunately financial literacy is not currently a major focus in the education system or mainstream media conversation.
You need to take the initial step and make personal finances a priority in your life. That first move to taking control of your money and life generally starts with focusing on financial literacy.
I touched on my own journey with the personal finance resources and content that saved my financial life.
2. Read Personal Finance Books
The wise words of amazing authors have helped millions of readers shift their financial journey. There are plenty of books to help you get started on the path to monetary betterment.
Four staple personal finance books:
- Your Money or Your Life
- The Millionaire Next Door
- The Simple Path To Wealth
- I Will Teach You To Be Rich
Check this page for more personal finance and personal development book recommendations.
3. Listen To Podcasts On Money, Investing And Side Hustles
The growth in podcasts over the last decade has been astounding with billions of cumulative downloads being circulated globally for free. Included in that progression of popularity are dozens of podcasts on personal finance, investing and side hustling.
There are so many great shows that could be highlighted. However, three of the most respected are:
Here is an overview featuring some of the 30+ best personal finance podcasts to provide you all the free, accessible content for everyday of the week.
4. Read Personal Finance Blogs
According to the Rockstar Finance Directory there are over 1,800 registered financial blogs. Sign up to the Rockstar Finance Daily Digest Newsletter to get 6-8 articles sent directly to your inbox every morning.
Three of the all-time staple personal finance blogs with content covering all aspects of money are:
Check out this article featuring Financial Advice From 29 Personal Finance Bloggers: A Memo To The Next Generation.
5. Seek Out Online Personal Finance Communities
One of the best ways to continue to improve your financial literacy is to connect with others holding a common passion. Thankfully there are endless opportunities to do that online through forums, social media and other communities.
Reddit has subs on /r/personal finance, /r/financial independence and dozens of other categories related to money. There is also the Rockstar Finance Forums, Bogleheads Forums and Mr. Money Mustache Forums to name three other options. With a quick search on Facebook you can find Groups with thousands of members all discussing personal finance.
6. Find A Money Mentor
Another avenue to improving your financial literacy is to find a money mentor. This could be someone in your personal or professional life that has excelled with personal finances and has a willingness to share insights with you.
Being open and discussing finances is a great way to learn and explore new thoughts or strategies.
Here is a helpful article from Financially Alert on how to find a money mentor.
7. Consider Financial Advisors & Planners
The personal finance blogging community can often paint financial advisors with a widespread brush of negativity. Why? The expensive fees some carry and overall support most bloggers have for DIY-ing all aspects of your finances drives that negative storyline.
However, there are some great financial advisors and planners out there. Plus these are your finances and you need to do what you feel is best. If speaking with a financial planner to better understand investing, retirement, estate planning, etc. will improve your financial literacy and give you a peace of mind, then do it.
This article from MoneySense shares insights on how to find the perfect financial planner.
8. Take Personal Finance Online Courses
Another avenue to improving your financial literacy is to take an online course about personal finance and money management.
The courses available range in the expertise level of detail and also price. Here are two cost-effective options that are both popular and highly reviewed.
9. Track Your Spending
One of the most essential steps to taking control of your personal finances is understanding where the money you’re currently spending is going.
Thankfully, tools like Mint, Personal Capital and You Need A Budget have made this practice extremely efficient. Mint is often the consensus pick due to the combined powers of tracking and budgeting it provides for free.
Setting up your account takes a matter of minutes and you now have access to track all your spending in one spot.
10. Create Spending Averages Based On The Past 6 Months
After you’ve starting tracking your spending through Mint (or another platform), one budgeting tip would be to get an average on your normal spending habits.
Dive back into 6 months worth of spending to take the average across the main budget categories: accommodation, transportation, food, entertainment, student loans, investments, etc.
Mint can help you do this with their automation and categorization tools but you’ll likely need to personalize it slightly.
11. Compare Versus The Average American
Personal finances are personal. Every situation is unique so comparing your situation versus others isn’t always the most optimal practice.
However, as you’re on the road to improving your personal finances you can often be alerted to any errors or your strengths by checking population aggregates.
One way to do that is checking your major budget categories figures to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016 Consumer Expenditure Report.
12. Explore Different Budget Techniques
As you will find with most areas of personal finance there are different strategies and recommended techniques. With budgeting, that’s the case.
There of the more popular budgeting techniques are:
Explore the different strategies (there are other recommendations than even those 3) to see what fits best for you.
13. Create A Realistic Budget
The most important step of budgeting is creating a realistic budget. If the budget you created isn’t feasible for your lifestyle and spending needs, you’ll just end up becoming frustrated or disheartened.
The tips outlined above should help you create a realistic budget.
14. Focus On The Big 3 Expenses
The ‘big 3’ expenses are housing, food and transportation. These 3 budget categories will make up the majority of your costs.
In an article from Business Insider, the data found that the top 20% of American household incomes spend 57.2% of their budget on the ‘big 3’. While the bottom 20% of American household incomes spend 70.3% of their money on the ‘big 3’.
The coming sections will touch on tips to save in those areas but those need to be the focus of your budgeting efforts.
15. Personal Finances Are Personal
One important tip on money management and your general money mindset is to remember personal finances are personal.
No two situations are the same and you need to focus on what works best for your life.
16. Pay Yourself First
A common personal finance tip and phrase you will hear is pay yourself first. What does it mean?
So often people will say they don’t have enough money to invest or save more. Therefore this root of this phrase refers to paying your savings and retirement investments first before your standard monthly expenses.
Don’t wait until the end of the month to invest whatever is left. Set up an automatic contribution that will still leave you with the necessary funds to cover your realstic budget outlined above.
17. Use The Power Of Automation
Speaking of automation, remove yourself from the equation (as realistically and optimally as you). Set up automatic 401k (RPP) contributions, automatically transfer money into various savings accounts, create monthly credit card payments to avoid missing one, etc.
This article on I Will Teach You To Be Rich explains everything you need to know on automating your finances.
18. Leverage The Powers Of FinTech
In recent years the access to powerful, cost-effective (most often free) financial apps and services has made money management much easier on the lives of consumers.
Whether it’s budgeting, saving, investing or earning more money, there are digital platforms to make those processes more efficient and effective for you.
19. Monthly Personal Finance Checklist
To stay on top of your finances and managing your money, create a monthly personal finance status check.
This is a quick process you can review at the end of start of every month to ensure all areas of your financial toolbelt are running optimally.
20. Make A Plan For Your Debt
An anchor on your financial journey will be debt. In particular, any consumer debt with a high interest rate (credit cards, car loans, personal loans, some student loans, etc). It will be a weight slowing your trajectory or opportunity to make any momentum.
Your financial situation and specifics of your debt will dictate the best plan of attack for you. However, there are some popular techniques on getting out of debt.
Again personal finances are personal so you have to formulate a plan that fits for you.
Here are the 7 steps I took with my own student loan repayment plan. If you have student loans, take the free surveys from SoFi and Credible to see if refinancing fits your needs and it could save you thousands.
21. Pay Off Your Credit Card Every Month
This is a stone hardened personal finance tip. Of course there are specific scenarios where taking on credit card debt might be unavoidable (emergency, medical situation, etc.).
However, if you’re going to use credit cards you need to pay them off in full every month. If you have credit card debt, get out of it ASAP. The interest rates will cripple you.
22. Talk About Finances With Your Family & Loved Ones
Money shouldn’t remain a taboo subject if you’re looking to take control of your finances. Try to establish a routine and open review where you can talk about money with your family and loved ones.
This will help you stay on the same page, remain honest, increase accountability and work together towards your financial goals.
23. Create Financial Goals
As you look to improve your financial situation, having markers to reach for will help with motivation, commitment and self-appreciation when you reach them. These money goals will vary from person to person.
What are you trying to achieve with your money? How do we best get there in the short and long term? When you close your eyes and think of the ideal, realistic life, what do you see?
Two popular methods to mastering your financial goals are:
Here is an article on finding the “how” to achieving your financial goals.
24. Track Your Net Worth
Tracking your net worth is a personal finance tip that you’ll see recommended in most books, blogs and podcasts.
Your net worth is a simple calculation, total assets – total liabilities = net worth. It’s one financial data point you can use to track the overall trajectory of your financial journey.
25. Check Your Credit Score & Credit Report
Your credit score is a indicator of your financial health or creditworthiness. It gives potential lenders (or sources of credit) an indication of the risk you might present should they decide to borrow you money.
While your credit report is a summary of your financial history that includes how you pay your financial obligations and your borrowing activity.
Tracking this information has a number of benefits that are outlined in this post on understanding your credit score.
26. Calculate Your Savings Rate
Some people recommend calculating your savings rate as being the most effective personal finance metric. The general calculation is straightforward. Savings rates = income – expenses / income.
As your income grows, so too should your savings rate. That’s how you will make serious money momentum against your financial goals.
Here is an article from You Need A Budget detailing how to calculate your personal savings rate and benefits to doing so.
27. Find Your Debt To Income Ratio
Another financial metric you can leverage as part of your tracking system is your debt to income ratio.
This is often overlooked and under discussed in the personal finance community. However, this data point will likely come into play when you look to take out a mortgage or borrow from any lender.
How do you calculate it? Investopedia notes this process: to calculate your debt-to-income ratio, add up your total recurring monthly obligations (such as mortgage, student loans, auto loans, child support and credit card payments) and divide by your gross monthly income (the amount you earn each month before taxes and other deductions are taken out).
28. Check More Personal Finance Figures
Want to explore additional personal finance data points? Check out this article from Millionaire Mob featuring 19 different financial ratios.
29. Build An Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is intended to keep you above water should an unfortunate emergency does arise.
Call it a weather the storm fund, the bunker of your finances or fallback account. The point here is clear, this a cache of money stowed away to survive when life hits you in the face with a dose of unfortunate circumstances
Check out this article on everything you need to know about emergency funds. Including the reasons to have one, how much to save and where to keep it.
A common recommendation is to build your emergency fund in phases:
- Save the first $1,000
- Increase that to 1 month of basic expenses
- Build that to 3-6 months of living expenses
30. Estate Planning
Being prepared for unfortunate scenarios can be daunting or morbid, but it’s always necessary. Should the unthinkable happen, you should want to have peace of mind that your loved ones will be taken care of.
Estate planning isn’t just for wealthy individuals. It’s for everyday people and a personal finance tip we should all prepare. Especially if you have kids and dependents financially reliant on you.
Check out this article from Investopedia covering the estate planning basics.
31. Life Insurance
What kind of life insurance do I need? If you’ve ever thought that, don’t worry you aren’t alone. It’s a common curiosity as you look to protect yourself, your family and your money.
Unfortunately, this is a pretty specific question to consider. If you have a family versus no dependents, children versus no children, ongoing financial obligations versus debt freedom and other factors.
If you’re young, with no children, debt free and no one would be negatively impacted financially by your death, you probably shouldn’t worry about it.
Again this is one of those scenarios where spending money to speak to a professional may be worth the investment.
This article from The Balance covers life insurance, including term vs. whole life. To further explore the term vs. whole life insurance considerations, Trusted Choice has an article that clears up a lot of the questions.
32. Health Insurance
I live in Canada so my experience and needs differ vastly from those located in the US (or elsewhere). This is another area of your personal finance that is unique and dependent on a variety of factors.
This Health Insurance 101 thread on Reddit is extremely informative. I know, health insurance information from Reddit…but it’s full of links to external resources, basic frameworks of terminology and concepts that can help you then seek out further information as needed.
Given the magnitude of the potential financial impact speaking to a professional here may be worth the investment.
33. Start Investing Early
There is a common saying when it comes to investing for retirement: “the best time to start was yesterday. If you missed that, the best time to start is today”.
According to CNN Money, 66% of millennials have nothing saved for retirement. That’s a major issue and unfortunate situations have made that a reality for far too many. Do whatever you can to let that not be you.
Start big, start small, just start.
The power of compounding returns and time will give you the best opportunity at wealth accumulation over your investing career. The next couple sections will touch on different opportunities and resources to do so.
34. Meet Your Company Match Maximum Contribution
The first step to investing is to get the maximum match your employer will contribute to your retirement. Whether it’s a 401k, 403b, RPP or RRSP here in Canada, meet that match. It might be 3%, 5%, 8% or another figure.
That’s “free” money and generally requires limited to no work on your end. Ideally they offer low-cost index funds within their providers offerings so you can reap the rewards as best possible.
35. Two FinTech Tools To Make It Easier & Save Money
The growth in access and power of financial technology has made investing easier, more affordable and user-friendly for the masses.
Here are two great services that can get you started investing and also save you money (to maximize returns) with your 401k.
- Acorns: Acorns is a micro investing app with over 6 ways for their 3 million users to save and invest for retirement. Roundup your spare change daily, make smaller one-off contributions and more. Get started today in less than 5 minutes and for as low as $1 monthly.
- Blooom: Blooom is a service that reviews your 401k to help you save money, invest smarter and maximize your retirement returns. Get your free checkup today to make sure you’re making the best decisions with your 401k.
36. Read The Simple Path To Wealth & The Little Book Of Common Sense Investing
This personal finance tip on investing is quick and easy. Read the amazing book The Simple Path To Wealth by JL Collins. You won’t regret the time spent learning from this truly resourceful and inspiring book.
In addition to The Simple Path To Wealth, read The Little Book Of Common Sense Investing by John Bogle.
This book was written by the founder of Vanguard, one of the leading investment management companies globally. Combined with The Simple Path To Wealth, this will give you all the insight needed on low-cost retirement investing to secure your future.
37. Invest In (Or Max Out) Your Other Retirement Accounts
After meeting the match with your employer plan and reading those 2 great books on investing, the next step is opening up other retirement accounts: Traditional IRA or Roth IRA (or RRSP and TFSA for Canadians).
Whether you’re going to DIY through your own discount brokerage account or leveraging a robo advisor, the goal is to start.
Start small, start big, just start. The power of compounding and time in the market will be your best friend as you navigate your financial journey.
38. Start With A Robo Advisor If You’re Not Comfortable With DIY
If you aren’t fully comfortable with investing or would rather “set it and forget it” at this stage of your investing career, robo advisors are an amazing option.
Robo advisors have made saving for retirement more accessible and easier. They can give you access to broad market index funds and pre-built portfolios to match your risk tolerance.
While the fees will be slightly higher than DIY investing, if the comfort of going with a robo advisor is what will get you started and feel most confident, do it! I invested with Wealthsimple before moving all my funds to Questrade and was always extremely happy with the Wealthsimple platform.
39. Fees Will Cripple You
As an investor you don’t get to control much with what goes on in the markets with your money. However, one area you can control as best possible are the fees you’re paying.
The growth in low-cost access to investing has made this much more effective than in the past. Don’t let investment fees cripple fee. Do as JL Collins recommends in his book The Simple Path To Wealth.
Check out this case study on how retirement fees could cost you over $500,000 in your lifetime.
Diversification doesn’t need to mean having 17 different ETFs, 40 individual stocks, REITs, GICs, HISA, a tri-plex, etc.
You can achieve equity diversification with a 3-fund portfolio featuring a domestic stock total market index fund, international stock total market index fund and bond total market index fund. You can read more about a 3-fund portfolio from The Bogleheads.
Then perhaps add real estate investments and maybe a more-risky, smaller allocation investment. The idea here is “not having all your eggs in one basket” to reduce risk and create multiple streams of investment income.
This article can help you take a deeper diver on diversification.
41. Asset Allocation & Rebalancing
This is about building an investment plan and sticking to it. Plus have the flexibility and wherewithal to adjust as market changes shift your allocation or as you age and get closer to retirement.
As a broad, non-specific example to provide clarity to these terms let’s assume your target asset allocation is 80% equity and 20% bonds. Let’s say because of market conditions and changes in prices of the assets you own in your portfolio, your allocation has shifted to 85% / 15% at the end of the year.
The practice of rebalancing is the buying and/or selling of assets to get that allocation back to the target holding.
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45. Side Hustling 101 & Diversifying Your Income
The term side hustle has built steam in recent years. It essentially boils down to earning additional money outside your 9-5. Whether through a passion, skill, hobby, area of expertise or just hustle, you’re diversifying your income streams.
It’s an amazing personal finance tip and strategy to help reach your financial goals. There are countless ways to put extra money in your pocket.
Make a list of your own ideas based on your experience, skills, passions or network.
46. Listen To The Side Hustle Show
The best podcast on side hustles is The Side Hustle Show hosted by Nick Loper. If you want to get expert knowledge from hundreds of guests that are pursuing different side hustles, this is the show.
These guests might be earning a couple extra hundred dollars a month or a million dollars a year. The common theme? They all just started side hustling to earn extra money and pursue another income stream.
47. 35+ Side Hustles To Earn More Money
With the growth of the gig economy, digital platforms and the old fashioned hustle of hard work, there are dozens of ways almost anyone can earn extra money.
This post profiles 35+ side hustles that (almost) almost anyone can do. There is something for everyone here to make some extra money.
48. How To Make $1,000 Quick: 12+ Fast Ways To Make Cash When You Need It
If you’re looking to start an emergency fund, make an extra student loan payment or bills are looking a little tight this month, most people can make some cash fast.
Here are 12+ ways to make $1,000 fast when you need it.
49. 7 Steps To Maximize Your Career
Your career is a million dollar income generator. With a proactive, invested effort it can be worth much more and reaching your financial goals will be expedited.
Check out this great article from ESI Money on how to manage your career to make millions more. The 7 steps shared are an amazing framework to build your behavior and mindset around.
50. Always Negotiate Your Salary
One of the biggest missteps many people have when starting a new job, looking at a career change or going through a review, is underestimating their worth.
Whether it’s self doubt or the nervousness of asking for more money, it’s something you need to break.
Here is an in depth article from Lifehacker on how to negotiate your salary.
51. Invest In Yourself
The best investment you can ever make is by investing in yourself.
Whether you’re planning on learning a new skill, starting a hobby or pursuing a passion, the benefits and return can be far more valuable than any other investment.
Continue to learn, develop and challenge yourself to make progression personally and professionally.
52. Take Advantage Of Free Education
Here are 50+ free online classes from various universities you might want to check out. The topics covered include technology, sciences, business and humanities.
These are only a few examples of the free education opportunities available to you. With a quick Google Search or vested effort, you can likely find a great way to invest in your personal or professional development for free.
53. Use Your Employer’s Benefits
Often large organizations (or even companies of all sizes) will support their employees pursuing further education. The net benefit of having all, or a portion, of these costs covered by your employer can change your entire financial trajectory.
Not only are you saving costs on invest in yourself, to value of this further education can springboard your career.
54. Read More Books
According to Thomas C. Corley of Rich Habits, “85% of self-made millionaires read two books or more every month. They read books that help them grow and learn: career, how-to, biographies, self-help, health, leadership, history, current events, and more.”
If you’re looking for inspiration, check out these personal finance and personal development book recommendations.
55. Source Flyers & Coupons
Long gone are the days of needing to spend hours cutting coupons at the kitchen table and organizing them into envelopes (however if you do this and have a system that works for you, keep going).
56. Get On Your Most Frequent Store’s Rewards Programs
From price discounts, cash back, in-store point redemption, 3rd party rewards integration (ex. Air Miles) and so on, there are benefits and savings to be had just by getting on the free rewards program at your favorite stores.
It’s free, quick and simple.
57. Develop A Routine
Using the same store(s) will help you save time and money – you know the layout and usual route from entry to aisle to exit plus you’ll get familiar with the different savings or offers available.
And as we mentioned above you get the advantages of the rewards and/or loyalty program by concentrating on the 1-2 key stores that work for you.
58. Use Discount Stores & Bulk Suppliers For Specific Products
If you’re Canadian and have a Real Canadian Superstore or No Frills close by, that’s another option to help drive additional savings. For Americans, I’ve read that Aldi is a strong cost savings store in comparison to others.
Dollar Stores, Bulk Barns, Costco and other bulk or discount sellers can provide cost savings. However, you need to be selective on the products you’re purchasing and not losing those savings by overspending on the upsells.
Costco has a sales page that highlights various offers.
59. Find Local Farmers Markets
It’s not only healthier to eat more fruits and vegetables, overall in life, and specifically those that are locally sourced, it can be a cost-effective way to cut down your grocery bill too. Plus it puts money back in the hands of local farmers, suppliers and entrepreneurs.
Three quick tips farmers markets: shop in-season fruits and vegetables, build relationships with the farmers and go at the end of the day or in bad weather.
60. Meal Plan, Make A List & Stick To It
Being prepared by understanding what you need will help you save time and save money.
Map out your breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks for all the different meals you (and/or your family) will need for the week. There are a ton of free printable templates available for meal planning and grocery lists.
The key is to stick to it once you’re at the grocery store.
61. Don’t Overlook Private Label Or Store Brand Names
Depending on your tastes and preferred foods, you can save quite a lot by buying the private label\no-name\store brand products when available.
This can take a little testing and learning to figure out which items meet your taste standards. For the most part these private label and store brand items are on par with the big brand name producers, but there are definitely some hits and misses taste-wise.
Cereals, granola bars, oatmeal, rice, frozen vegetables and fruits are pretty easy places to start. I’ve found you can save 15% – 25% on costs when buying the private/store brand.
62. Capitalize On Sales For Your Regular Items
Look to capitalize whenever possible, especially on non-perishables or items that can be frozen, when there are big savings on items you use regularly.
The key is that you aren’t buying items just for the sake of buying. These are groceries you frequent or that can be stored away without risk of going bad or being overlooked.
63. Don’t Shop When Hungry
It’s an old saying but it’s true; don’t shop when hungry.
You will be much more inclined to get those unnecessary unhealthy and costly items or over shop on what you actually need. It’s also easy to succumb to the tricks of the grocery store merchandisers who selectively place those oh-so tasty treats right by the checkout.
64. Bulk Cook & Prep Meals
Bulk cooking and prepping your meals for the week ahead (or a collection of upcoming days). Is highly recommended. Why?
- Helps you avoid expensive takeout after a busy day at work knowing you have a ready-made meal at home
- Reduces time during the week you’re having the prep and worry about food – focus your time on your side hustles, family or something beneficial instead.
- You built a grocery list with specific ingredients based on your plan – put it to work!
65. Keep An Eye On Expiry Dates
Any of the savings you’ve achieved will be all for not if you’re having to throw away a pack of chicken, head of lettuce or tub of yogurt because they’ve spoiled or passed their expiration date.
You can use a “front of the line” approach. Place the produce, meat or perishable food items that are closest to expiring or spoiling closer to the front of the fridge or cupboard.
If anything is able to be frozen, toss it in there and store it for future use.
66. Use Your Full Inventory
Try to clear out your food supplies once a month to avoid re-purchasing items you already have and it helps let your budgets stretch further.
You’d be amazed at the types of meals you can make by combining a few of your remaining supplies. Go to MyFridgeFood.com and plug in the supplies you have to generate some recipe ideas.
67. Reflect On Spending & Set Targets
Similar to the tracking your spending personal finance tip in the budgeting section, you need to track your grocery spending.
Also setting targets is another practice to become more effective with your grocery saving endeavours.
For more details check out the 13 easy steps to save money on groceries.
68. Discounted Gift Cards & Coupons
The digital age has opened opportunities for consumers to save on gift cards and get access to coupons through various platforms.
Whether it’s individuals selling gift cards they don’t want or retailers discounting their own, here are a few options.
- Ebates: Ebates has a gift card section on their site that lists dozens of daily coupon deals and cash back offerings on gift cards. Plus when you sign up to Ebates you can get a free welcome bonus – Americans get $10 free and Canadians get $5 free.
- Swagbucks: Swagbucks also has an extensive library of gift cards and coupons for food stores. There is a free $10 welcome bonus when you sign up for Swagbucks.
- BeFrugal: BeFrugal has over 100 restaurants on their website. They too offer a free $10 registration bonus to new members.
69. Check GroupOn
If you’re travelling or just looking to eat locally, GroupOn always has amazing deals listed. From finer dining to popular local eateries, the offers can save you above and beyond 50%.
Sign up for the food and drink deal notifications in your neighbourhood.
70. Local Eating Spot Specials
If you have a favorite burrito spot, sushi stop or burger joint, find out their list of weekly specials and daily deals.
Make a list of those different specials and try to build your eating out schedule around that.
71. Booze Kills The Bill
It’s no secret that booze kills your bill. Wine is marked up 150%, a glass of beer is 3x the cost of the same one at the store and a couple ounces of mid-shelf liquor is 4x the per ounce cost.
It’s a hard area to save on but there are 3 basic tips:
- BYOB(W): Find local spots that let you bring your own beer or wine.
- Happy Hour: Track down the best happy hour deals close to your intended restaurant and swing by their first.
- Home Drink: Just like the good ol’ college days, “pre-game” at your house with a nice drink alongside family, friends and loved ones before going out to dinner.
72. It’s Hard And Often The Most Personal, Difficult Personal Finance Tip
It’s easy to say “live outside the city”, “own a smaller home”, “live in a trailer” or “move to a low cost of living area”. However, that at times isn’t feasible for everyone given career choices, family situations, school districts for kids, safety and the American dream we’ve been told forever.
Is saving $75,000 on a house worth it if you’re going to spend an extra 90 minutes on your round-trip commute from the suburbs to the city? That’s an extra 15 days a year you’re spending commuting. 15 days!
Housing is a tough one…
73. Paying Off Mortgage Aggressively
One option to “save money” in the longer term is to pay off your mortgage aggressively to negate future interest costs.
This is very situational and dependant on your specific mortgage, interest rates, living situation, self-employed with riskier income, self-employed to take advantage of tax deductions, etc.
74. Take Advantage When You’re Younger Before “Life”
If you lived on campus during university or lived with friends offsite, why not continue the trend of having roommates?
This article from Insider highlighted the potential savings that having a roommate can generate based on research by the real estate company Trulia.
According to the U.S Census Bureau, a third of all 18 to 34 year old young adults live at home with their parents. Pew Research states that includes 15% of 25 to 35 year old millennials.
If you’re still young, stretch those savings at home or with roommates as best you can. Pocket whatever extra money for retirement or saving for your own place.
What’s househacking? This article and podcast from Millennial Money will outline everything you need to know about househacking.
In essence, you can live for free (or much less than normal) by having roommates pay you rent (that covers some or most of the mortgage). Or purchase a duplex, you live in one unit and rent out the other.
It allows the you to use money from other people to pay down the mortgage and eventually reap the appreciation value.
76. Rideshare With Coworkers or Neighbours
An opportunity to save money on transportation is to ride with coworkers or neighbours. If you live in the general vicinity of one another and head to same central location, build a system where the driving duties rotate.
Everyone will save money on gas, parking and wear-tear on their vehicles plus alleviate the stresses that can come from driving in rush hour or hectic morning traffic.
77. Rideshare Via Uber
Whether you use the Split Fare or uberPOOL function of Uber, you can save costs from sharing rides.
Similar to the ridesharing above, if you have coworkers, neighbours or random strangers heading the same direction as you, uber can help you save on costs.
78. Explore Telecommuting With Your Employer
If there is potential to telecommute and work from home even once a week, or bi-weekly, those cost-savings can add up.
It never hurts to ask and exploring the option with your employer could be all it takes.
79. Bonus Saving On Daily Transportation Tips
- Walk or bike whenever feasible
- Consider public transportation to alleviate the parking and gas expenses
- Review your insurance rates and explore opportunities to reduce those costs
- Take care of the upkeep on your car and ensure the basic maintenance is consistent
This article from Money Crashers touches on 10 ways to save on transportation. Including buying new vs. old, financing and more.
80. Negotiate Your Services With A Quick Phone Call
Your life time value as a customer to these companies is worth tens of thousands or more. Giving you $10 off your cell phone bill or Internet subscription to keep you as a long-term customer is worth it to them.
A quick call to any of your service providers can save you hundreds annually. You’d be surprised what you can get if you just ask.
This ultimate guide from Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You To Be Rich includes a collection of tips, scripts for what to say to customer service agents and a ton more.
81. Trim – Financial Assistant Service
Trim helps you save money on your subscriptions, bills and recurring expenses. It’s like an automated savings assistant that reviews your services to identify cost-saving opportunities.
Trim is a free tool and their users saved over $1 million in the last month. Sign up today for free to review your own spending habits and subscriptions.
82. Paribus – Purchase Monitoring Service
Paribus is a free service that can save (make) you money by monitoring price changes on your recent purchases.
Most stores offer a price match within a specific time period should they drop the price of an item you bought. However, tracking and keeping up to date on that can be difficult. That’s where Paribus comes in.
To date they’ve helped members save over $15 million. You can sign up today for free and let Paribus go to work for you on saving you money.
83. Cut The Cord
Cutting the cord has never been easier thanks to the amazing streaming services and customized (often free) options available to consumers.
The days of paying for a swollen cable package with 878 channels you don’t need are long gone. According to Marketwatch, over 5 million more Americans will cut the cord in 2018 (with 8.6 combined already doing so in 2016-17).
You could potentially save well over $1,000 annually depending on the current cable package you have.
Here are a couple articles to help you cut the cord and still get access to the media you want:
84. Sell Your Clutter
Throughout the years, we’ve all accumulated a bunch of “stuff”. From birthdays, Holidays, vacations, random shopping trips and so on.
Our closets, shelves, storage units and space under the bed tend to pile up with this “stuff”.
The double benefit of clearing some of this clutter by selling it is that it can help you make extra cash and clear up your living space. Whether it’s eBay, Amazon, Craigslist or a garage sell, run through your “stuff” and take down the items not giving you any value.
85. Set A Purchase Review Timeline
If you’re going to be making a bigger purchaser, set a timeline where you can reflect and review before doing so.
Whether it’s a $100 or $1,000 threshold, that’s your choice. The timeline might be 48 hours or 2 weeks depending on the purchase.
This can help alleviate spontaneous spending and make sure whatever you’re purchasing is of value and need.
86. Travel Hacking 101
The idea of travel hacking is to game the system or take advantage of the offers available to travel more, for less.
Thanks to travel rewards credit cards, aggregating discount travel and accommodation services and a ton of content on how to beat the system, there are major opportunities available.
Check out this post that covers travel hacking 101 and the basics of getting started.
The best way to live like the locals and get a great cultural experience when travelling can often come by staying in specific neighbourhoods, not the chain hotels. Not to mention the potential money you can save.
Airbnb has revolutionized the travel game and created cost-saving opportunities around the world.
If you are new to Airbnb, you can use this link to get $45 in free travel credit for your first trip! No strings attached, $45 off your accommodation costs to enjoy your summer fun.
88. Travel Rewards Cards Listings
Travel hacking requires credit cards so we need to stick to some basic rules. Don’t let the chase for rewards work against you and get you into any financial trouble.
Therefore the basic rules are:
- A vow to not carry a balance – the benefits of earning rewards and points is washed away if you’re paying interest on outstanding balances.
- A system to pay off your balances with automation – reminders to pay before due dates, instant payments on due dates, etc. – don’t let human error cost you.
- Have a good credit score, like 700+ – opening each new credit card can drop your credit score a few points. If you’re planning a major purchase, like a house, in the near future it’s best not to open a handful of new cards beforehand. You want that mortgage lending interest rates as low as possible, a higher credit score will help that. Check out this post for everything you need to know about credit scores.
There are some great services that aggregate the best travel rewards cards:
- ValuePenguin (Americans): Value Penguin lays out all the different travel rewards cards in an intuitive, easy to understand chart. They total up a “2-year rewards value” figure for each card to generate a quantitative comparison metric for you to use.
- Ratehub (Canadians): Ratehub features an easy to navigate chart as well as individual reviews for the most popular cards.
89. Ultimate Travel Hacking Resource Guide For Americans & Canadians
This article includes a collection of over 70+ tools, tips and resources to help you travel more for less.
From credit cards to discount hotel and travel aggregators or podcasts and forums, it’s a master list of cost-saving and travel hacking opportunities.
Conclusion: 89+ Free Personal Finance Tips To Help Master Your Money
The final personal finance tip is….
Enjoy this wild ride called life and make the most of it as best you can with the people you love and care about.
Life is unique and personal finances are personal.
There is no way all of these tips are applicable to all walks of life. No two situations are the same.
Spending endless energy stressing about money will only deter you from enjoying what you have, so find what works for you and move forward. The best decision you can ever make is to live the life you want and do what brings the most value to your life.
What personal finance tips are making the most momentum in your life?
Are there any money making or saving techniques really helping you out?
Let me know in the comments below.
Here are some other posts to help you take control of your money and life:
- 15 Smart Money Moves You Can (Easily) Make This Month
- Financial Advice From 29 Personal Finance Bloggers: A Memo To The Next Generation
- How To Make $1,000 Quick: 12+ Fast Ways To Earn Money When You Need It
- Building Good Money Habits – Make Your Own Money Momentum
- 35+ Rewarding Side Hustles That Almost Anyone Can Do To Earn More Money
- Waking Up At 5AM Changed My Life – Win The Morning, Win The Day
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