A lot of people think I'm crazy…. that is, crazy obsessed with personal financial planning. I'm guilty of that and I'll say it loud.
Over the past 34 years of my life, I have been fortunate to have been surrounded by people who helped me bring out the best in me.
My family and I have experienced ups and down when it comes to finances.
My dad used to earn less than a dollar a day to feed a family of 11. The thing with that is a dollar was not enough. But we survived.
Luckily, we survived, paid off the debt, and saved a ton of money in the process. We paid off $40K and saved at least 200K in under 4 years while living on one income.
I call these lessons the best secret free personal finance lessons I've learned in my life even though these secret lessons are those tips and tricks that people overlooked and don't put into action.
10+ Borderline Genius Personal Financial Planning Tips To Know Now
I think I am more than lucky to have learned some of the best financial planning lessons that one could learn. Here are some of the best personal financial planning tips I have always followed in my life.
1. Remember time is gold; Make the most out of it.
I believe that time is gold. That's why, when I have free time, I use it to make money on the side. #sidehustle
Some like to sell dress, art, etc. Some prefer to do other things. For those who want to stay home and still make money, one great side hustle that's applicable to anybody is taking surveys.
If you like giving your opinions, then, you might as well get paid to do it.
You won’t get rich from it, but you can easily earn upwards of $500/month or more just by filling out surveys in your own spare time.
Over 6,000,000 members of Survey Junkie will say you can easily make $10+ from a few questions and more if you stay longer. With an email submission or Facebook account login, you're on your way to the SJ money land. Click here to create a FREE account.
On the other hand, Survey Club alone made one person $4,000 in one month. It doesn't open it's doors all year long, but it's open right now. So, take advantage of it.
2. Make the right decisions.
While we sometimes need to find solutions on how to live cheap or within a tight budget, we may not always be comfortable talking about our personal finance to others because it's a sensitive matter.
I hear you on that because my family has been in that scenario before.
One great solution that works for us is by using a personal financial planning app called Digit. It could work for you as well.
It is a sophisticated way to save money. It examines your spending habit and saves you the right amount of money every day.
What’s great with Digit is your money is FDIC insured up to $250,000 and your information is encrypted. You also get 1% savings bonus every quarter.
Digit is free to use for 30 days but after that, you will be charged $2.99 per month. The cost may be high but there are a lot of benefits you can use.
For example, Digit knows when the best time is to save money. There's no account minimum and it will reimburse you if it saves too much, which in the end, outweighs the cost.
With Digit, we paid off our $40K debt and saved $70K in 2.5 years. Digit helped us live off well under $31,000/year. How I wish we found this app a long time ago.
3. Negotiate to save money.
I recently found a simple, FREE personal finance app called Trim that I think is a great solution for those people who want to cut their expenses or negotiated them.
Once your bank account is linked, Trim will analyze your spending, find subscriptions to cancel, negotiate your bills, etc. for you – no need to do anything here.
Trim cut our on-contract Verizon phone bill by $16.75/mo. That's over $201/year. Last month, subscribers saved over $1,000,000 with Trim.
Whether you use Trim or not, the key s to negotiate – Trim is just a tool to make negotiation painless and easy as much as possible.
Alternatively, you can use Bill Slasher. Signing up for Bill Slasher takes 1-2 minutes. Like Trim, there's no risk to signing up because if Bill Slasher doesn't save you money then it gets nothing. Most people are unknowingly overpaying for cable and cell phone bills and its experts help its customers get the lowest possible rates with their existing service providers.
4. Learn to adapt to changes (the old tricks may not work anymore).
Changes are one thing that's constant. That's even true with personal finance.
Just because we lived on $150/mo budget doesn't mean we can do it again now.
Another example is the banks. A lot of us put our money in the bank because it's a safe way to keep the money even though they charge monthly maintenance fees.
Now, it's different since banks will pay customers to stay with them. Nowadays, innovative banks offer unbeatable products and services like CIT Bank – a 5 out of 5 Bankrate Star Rating – that offers a High Yield Savings Account with 1.55% APY.
It's APY is 21 times higher than the 0.06% the big banks pay and it doesn't have any monthly fees. Click here to learn more about CIT Bank here.
Our situations change and so do our finances. What worked in the past may not work in this time around.
5. Focus where the money pit is.
For those who have 401(k) investments, how much fees do you pay? A lot of people don't know but they should.
401(k) investments aren't created equal. Believe it or not, 401(k)s can be a money pit, too. A few hundred dollars in fees can add up fast.
If you've got different funds in your 401(k), chances are you're paying too much in fees and don't have time to read every single prospectus.
There's a new tool called Blooom. It's my new found obsession.
It analyzes your 401(k) for FREE. It spots hidden fees, tells you if your portfolio is too aggressive, and finds out how much you could be missing out on by DIY-ing your 401(k).
A lot of its clients cut their hidden investment fees by 46%. Blooom clients' collective lifetime fees saved is over $776,465,300 and counting.
6. Invest now even for a couple of cents.
If you invest $100/mo now over 10 years at 15% return, you'd have $24,770 in 10 years. You would've doubled your investment due to interest earned. That's better than investing one $12K 10 years from now.
Believe it or not, new investments apps allow you to invest cents – the thousands of dollars of initial investment requirement is gone.
Acorns lets you invest as little as $0.01. It rounds up your purchases and invests your money when $5 is reached across 7,000 stocks and bonds while reducing risk.
I'm at $2,332 now, and it all started with investing cents 7 months ago. My rate of return? It's 12.5% return without me lifting a single finger.
Sign up and start with Acorns here and get your $5 sign-up bonus.
7. Don’t spend what you don’t have.
There are so many ways to get money that is not your own. #useloansorcreditcards
One of the best lessons I learned is if you cannot pay with cash, then, you shouldn't buy that thing at all.
If you use credit cards or other debt instruments, pay them in full and on time. Plus, you should also use these debts when you get more rewards using them than when you use your cash.
Before you use these instruments though, I recommend you check your credit score for FREE with Credit Sesame.
It's a FREE service that allows you to see your credit score without making a direct hard credit inquiry against your credit.
It'll also tell you which debt instruments you're likely to be approved for. Thus, helping you avoid getting rejected by these debt issuers.
8. Stop paying off those credit card fees (the unheard way).
There are the interest, penalty, annual fees, and others that come with credit card debt. #mountainofdebt
Credit card debt is like a disease that doesn't go away easily. It is pure evil even in its simplest state.
Recently, I stumbled on a company called Tally, that offers a simple and practical way to pay down your card debt like a breeze.
Tally analyzes your credit cards and credit history to ensure it's a fit for you. Consumers typically need a FICO score of 660+ to qualify.
If you qualify, you'll receive a Tally line of credit to pay off your cards with high APR balances – saving you significant amounts of cash by minimizing interest costs and eliminating all fees.
Tally takes all the burden from you since it makes the right payment to the right card at the right time – no more late fees.
Click here to start using Tally – your credit card debt concierge.
9. Understand your money.
It's difficult to manage your finances or money when you don't know where to even begin. Don't know where your money is going = Chaos.
But how do you analyze and understand your money and get your personal financial planning back on track?
One way to do that is to always have and be on a working, realistic budget.
Are you any of these people?:
- Busy and don’t have time to budget but wants to;
- Doesn't know where to begin and in need of help, and/or;
- Has done everything but to no avail or combination of any of these types of people.
If yes, one great option is to use a personal finance tool called Spentapp. Plus, get a $10 sign-in bonus.
Once a bank/credit card account is linked, Spentapp immediately analyzes your expenses, finds money mistakes and makes financial recommendations you can use. All those without you lifting a finger.
With the help of our budget printables and Spentapp, we managed to live off well under $31,000/year.
Click here to get Spentapp for FREE. Sign up thru my link and you'll get an extra $10 bonus.
10. Choose the “harder” right than the “easier” wrong.
Often in life, we choose the easier routes because they’re more convenient, they’re less of a hassle, among others. But at times, these choices are not the right ones to make.
For example, when a business is failing and the only solution is to cut down on people, it’s hard to make the call of letting people go. It’s hard, but it’s definitely the right thing to do.
I always tell people to invest early. The truth is, it’s hard to invest money when you are just starting out and have a lot of bills to pay. Investing money early on is the “harder” right and not investing early is somewhat but not entirely the “easier” wrong.
11. Be happy with what you have and don’t have.
The next on my list of best personal financial planning tips is being happy with what you have and don't have.
In this day and age, it is so easy to want some more. It is so easy to want what other people have. My wife and I tell ourselves that we don't need to stay in touch with what is current. For that reason, we tell ourselves we don't need to buy gadgets, new services, new products, etc.
What my father and mother taught me was to be content with what I have and don’t have. I believe in what they said.
Time changes, and it changes so fast. What‘s in the market right now may not be considered ‘in’ a couple of years later. This is especially true with technology.
Are we happy not buying those ‘in’ stuff? Yes. Do you miss out on anything? Absolutely, not.
These are the personal financial planning tips that I have followed in my life.
These tips have allowed my wife and me to get out of a bad financial situation and to save so much money in such a short time. I do believe that without these tips, my family won't be able to efficiently and quickly manage our finances.
What do you think are the best personal financial planning tips you have learned in your life? Share your thoughts or stories in the comments section below.
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