Personalfinance tips

Use Cash

Personally, I like using credit cards to build my credit and earn cash back, but credit cards can be dangerous if you aren't responsible with them. There are a lot of studies that prove credit cards make us spend more, so if you find yourself wasting money, you might be better off using cash.

Quit Smoking

Smoking is not only a dangerous habit to have – it's also an expensive one. According to SmokeFree, someone who smokes a pack a day is going to spend, on average, $177 a week on cigarettes which is over $9,200 each year! Imagine having an extra $9,200 in your bank account right now. You can do a lot with that money, but instead, you're lighting it on fire.

Use Paribus

Have you ever bought something online and then noticed the item selling for a lower price a week later? This happens all the time and most online stores offer a price adjustment policy just for this scenario. If you notice a price adjustment, you can simply send the store an email, and they'll refund you the difference. The problem is that 90% of the time you won't notice the price adjustment happen, meaning you miss out on that free money. That's why Paribus exists. Paribus connects to your email to monitor your online purchases, and if a price drop happens Paribus gets you a refund automatically. It's fantastic and super hands off. Sign up for Paribus here – it's free.

Download a Personal Finance App

There are a ton of different personal finance apps available that make budgeting, tracking spending, and saving, so much less painful. Since there are so many though, it can be hard to decide on which one to use. Here are my top suggestions:

  • You Need a Budget – This one isn't free, but it's the most helpful and feature-filled budgeting app on the market.
  • Mint – This one IS free, and it's excellent for tracking spending and setting up simple budgets.
  • Personal Capital – Another free one that's great for tracking net worth.
  • Trim – This one is also free, and it's the best for tracking subscriptions, spending, and more.

Pay Off Credit Card Debt

Credit card debt is brutal for your bank account as the interest rates are typically around 15-20%. If you want to save your money, pay off your credit card debt as quickly as possible.

Use Groupon

No spend weekends and meal planning is great – but you've still got to treat yourself every once in a while. Groupon is a great place to look for discounted activities and, well, basically anything! Whether you're looking for a fancy meal out, a relaxing spa day, or an exciting day go-karting with the kids, Groupon will save you money.

Workout at Home

On average, people are paying as much as $800 a year – or more – on their gym membership. Now I'm all for staying healthy and fit, but if you're not going to the gym HARD that price just isn't worth it. Instead, look into ways to work out at home or outside. There are plenty of free workout apps and Youtube videos to get you started.

Do No Spend Weekends

Believe it or not, there are a lot of things you can do on the weekend that are fun AND free. However, when it comes to thinking of free things to do, I always draw a blank. That's why I found some posts to help:

  • 75 Things to Do on a No Spend Weekend
  • 50 Free Activities to do on a No Spend Weekend

Start a Cheap Hobby

Investing your time in a good – and cheap – hobby will help you build a new skill, and you'll be less likely to go out and spend your cash money on other forms of entertainment. Here are some cheap hobby ideas:

  • Start a blog
  • Fill out surveys
  • Start working out at home
  • Read
  • Knit
  • Puzzle

Negotiate Your Bills

Bills, bills, bills. Doesn't it seem like all of your money just goes towards paying bills? What if you could change that? You can, but it will take a bit of your time and some negotiation skills. If you've got those two things, you can learn how to negotiate your bills with a few phone calls. However, if you don't have the time to negotiate every one of your bills by yourself, let Trim do the negotiating for you.