With all the craziness going on right now, you'll agree with me that it's necessary to keep an eye on our finances. That's why developing smart money moves is crucial.
Whether your focus is to earn extra money or save some, having a series of money moves can make a difference in your money goals.
The reality is we are in a different (financial) situation now than we've ever been before. But believe it or not:
While there's no one size fits all type of money strategy, there are ways that can help you get started.
In this post, you'll learn how to:
- reduce their debt drastically with little to no help
- make so much interest money in your savings account
- make over $600 a month with this simple side hustle
- start investing for your 401k and the likes
- and save more from frugal living strategies
15 Smart Money Moves To Fix Your Personal Finance
Here are some finance tips that will help you manage your money toward a healthier financial future.
1. Earn cash while sitting down and taking a break.
Like browsing online? I bet you do. Like making money while watching your favorite Netflix show? I bet you do.
You can do that and earn more ways than one using Swagbucks.
So far, I've made $1,550 with Swagbucks in just 8 or 9 months.Swagbucks gives out free gift cards and points redeemable for cash when you do things like playing games, watching videos, answering quick surveys, etc.
Who doesn't like that, right? By a mile, this is a smart money move or I should say free money move.
Sign up now with your email address and you'll get an extra $10 bonus. Learn how to make extra money online for FREE with Swagbucks.
2. Check your credit health.
If you have 10,000 financial-related things in mind, where would you start to learn how to live cheap?
The answer is to look at your credit health for one. Know first what you’re dealing with. By doing this, you’ll know what, how much, and to whom you owe.
By law, you are entitled to obtain credit reports once every 12 months through Annual Credit Report.
If you want to better track your credit daily and monthly for FREE, a great option is Credit Sesame.
It helps you understand what’s on your credit report. It provides resources to pay off your debt fast, best credit cards to use, build up your savings, among others.
Here's the deal:
My family uses it. Now, we're sitting on $400K savings and paid off $70K a couple of years ago while living on a single-family, low income.
Click here to use Credit Sesame now for FREE and discover the benefits it will bring to you.
3. Cut down your grocery bill.
Admit it, our grocery bill is a big chunk of our monthly expenses. In a recent study, Americans spend 11% of their over income on food.
Do you know you can cut it down to a bare minimum and still eat the best?
My family of 6 lives off of $150-$200 per month. We do that by meal planning using PlateJoy.PlateJoy is a meal planning service that sends us a super yummy meal plan and shopping list per week.
Each meal costs us around $2 per person or less. At times, it's $2 per cay (not per meal).
My family uses PlateJoy and we've eaten more without spending more. How I wish we started using this meal plan before.
Start your 100% risk-free trial membership here with the PlateJoy Plan.
Note: Subscription is as low as $8.00/mo for 12 months. With the exclusive discount code PRACTICAL10 I negotiated for my readers, it's even way less as you get $10 off. We end up paying $7.00/mo.
4. Build a debt plan.
With rates on student loans, credit cards, mortgage falling, now could be the right time to re-visit your debt payments.Ask the questions of how much interest you're paying, how much your principal amounts are, how much to add on your mortgage payments, among others.
Answering these questions can help you figure out what you need to do with your debts (e.g., whether you'd want to go for refinancing, paying more on your credit card debt, or something else).
Check out these great resources should you consider refinancing or consolidating your debts:
5. Start to make extra on things you do anyways.
We buy things online and in-store, do grocery shopping, pay one bill or mores, among others. So, it's best to take advantage of apps that pay you money to do that.
These are apps that pay cashback by doing your normal spending habits (nothing more and nothing less).
Here are some apps I recommend:
- Rakuten: Earn cash back up to 40% for things you buy online.
- Rakuten Extension Button: Similar to Rakuten. This extension will automatically tell you when potential cash back is available without you activating Rakuten.
- Ibotta: Save and make extra for groceries you buy (even from the generic, store-brand items)
6. Create a new bank account and don’t touch it.
One clever easy smart money move is to create a new account, make a direct deposit in that account, and forget about it.
Create one from banks like CIT Bank that offer among the highest interest rates in the industry.
CIT offers an account with an annual percentage yield (APY) of 1.55%, which is 21 times higher than the average APY.
This is ideal for bulking up your savings account.
That’s exactly what I did. After 6 months, I checked my account and found $1,200. That’s $1,200 I didn’t think I had. After just a year, I had $3,100.
Banks like CIT Bank is where your money will grow and not where banks can make extra from you. That's the kind of bank you want your money in.
7. Start negotiating your bills.
With all the subscriptions from different services such as Netflix and Spotify, keeping track of these services can be hard at times.
I recently found an interesting easy money app called Trim. It analyzes your accounts to save you money on utilities, cable/internet bills, insurances, and more.
This is beyond interesting:
Trim track and cut our on-contract Verizon phone bill by $16.75/mo. That's $201/year.
It is easy to use and so effective that last month alone, Trim users saved over $1,000,000 for its customers.
Click here now to start using Trim for FREE and let it start cutting your expenses just like it did for people like me. It could help.
8. Start a side hustle.
Sometimes, no matter how much we cut down, there isn't enough money to pay our financial responsibilities and save money at the same time.
If this is your situation, then, it may be better to make passive income through side hustles.
When it comes to learning how to make money online for free, you really don't always need to go out to make extra money.
There are online opportunities to help you make money doing things you already are doing. Some of the best side hustle ideas include:
- Blogging <— this is where I make a good $40K/month doing it on a part-time basis
- Taking two surveys <— some people earn at least $600/month sharing their thoughts and answering silly questions
9. Start investing in the stock market.
Here's the deal:
The yearly average stock market return is 10%. That's a big return. I started investing a couple of dollars monthly a couple of years ago.Now, my investment is over $250,000, but I’ve only put around $40,000 in it. In short, my investment has grown 4 times.
If you want to try investing (for example, 401k or retirement plan) at a slow pace, you can do ‘cents investing' using Acorns.
It rounds your purchases to the nearest dollar and invests the change in over 7,000 stocks and bonds. With Acorns, you can own a portion of a stock or mutual fund for cents. That's not possible before.
I use Acorns and my cents have grown up to $2,400 in under a year. Crazy, right?
Sign up and start with Acorns here and get easy, good money online of $5 sign-up bonus.
10. Invest in real estate for a few dollars.
Once upon a time, you needed five or six figures to invest in real estate.
Not anymore. Now, with just a minimum of $500, you can start investing painlessly, grow your money, and not think/check about it constantly.
Fundrise will invest your money in a professional portfolio of your choosing. This way, you exactly know what properties your money is invested in.
In the past, the average real estate yearly return is 8.7 – 12.4%. Don't you want to earn that? You can earn easy money online via dividend payments and capital appreciation.
Interested? Convinced? Click here to fund your Fundrise account now.
11. Plan for the unexpected.
While it's always good to make sure your personal finance is always in check, there are events that can derail your financial goal.
That's why it's always a great idea to save for the unexpected. In short, build up your emergency fund account.
In addition to paying down your debt and saving for your future, you need to stash funds towards your emergency account.
Typically, you want to set aside three to six months' worth of expenses in cash set aside. But you don't have to put a lot, to begin with. You can start small and go from there.
For example, if you think you'll need to replace your furnace. Then, you can start putting money aside for that.
If you're not sure how to start, you can use Qapital – an app that helps you set up a goal and help you achieve it.
Qapital can help you get to your goal fast with easy “goals and rules” set up. You can even team up with others to reach your Shared Goals.
12. Pay only the miles you've used.
Regardless of how little or much I drive, I still pay the same, better car insurance premium month after month.
Does that sound like you?
If you want to make an easy money move with sacrificing anything, there's pay-per-mile insurance called Metromile insurance.
Here’s how it works:
- Get a free quote with Metromile
- Plug the Metromile device into your car <— this tracks your mileage
- Pay a base rate + the going mileage rate you drive that month
It’s that simple and personal.
If you drive less 100 miles or less in a given month, you'd only pay for 100 miles. That's it.
Some have reported saving over $120 per month. That's a lot of money.
13. Refinance your student loans.
If you're looking for a smart money move, look no further. You know how bad the interest rates on students loans are.
It's actually higher than a 30-year mortgage loan rate. Yikes.Stop paying arm and leg on student loans when you can lower them in the first place.
SoFi offers competitive rates, which at times are lower than 5%. <— Student finance rate is over 5%.
Believe it or not:
Some The Practical Saver readers even got less than 3.5% on interest rates. Don't waste your time paying for interest when you can lower it easily.
14. Get a budget and stick with it.
The foundation of effectively managing your money is having a budget and sticking with it.
But creating a budget isn't easy, according to many people. Having to follow it is another dilemma to deal with.
Yes, I can hear what you’re saying right now, that is, it’s easy to say, but hard to do.
If you aren’t sure where to begin or don’t know where to begin, you can start with using the 50/30/20 budgeting method. It goes like this:
- 50% of your income goes toward essentials.
- 20% goes toward financial goals.
- 30% goes toward personal spending.
Don't just get a standard template online and use that. Remember that each situation is different and each calls for a different budget template.
15. Try to eliminate late-payment habit.
When using a card, either credit card or debit card, always remember its pros and cons.
Whenever you use your credit card, you can earn travel rewards, cash back or any beneficial incentives that your credit card offers.
But if you don’t pay off your balance every month, you’ll end up paying interest and drown yourself in debt.
You’ll get slapped with the dreaded late payment fee for every late payment on your credit card debt. Worse, many more bad stuff will follow.
The lessons here: Use your credit cards responsibly.
Credit cards can be a great tool to help you save money, that is, through cash back, rewards, etc. But they can be evil, on the other hand, if you don't use them responsibly.
Final Thoughts On Smart Money Moves
These are the many things I have already done that have greatly impacted the way I save for easy money online even with a small budget.
A simple stride and an early start can make a big difference in how much you will have saved later on in life. Act now and do these moves before the end of the day.
Now, from doing something you love to build to putting money into your savings account, you're sure to add more in your pocket.
Do you have a small budget? Are you ready to make these best money moves? Are there any other ideas to ensure you would make the right moves? Which ones are you going to follow or add on your list?