Top 5 Money Hacks to Help You Get the Most Out of Your Budget
By: Dannie Phan | September 15th, 2020
Everybody could use a little extra money, right? Especially right now. The economy is suffering, jobs are disappearing, and money is tight for a lot of folks.
Luckily, there are ways for you to earn a little more money fast, or save some of what you have, so you can sail through to the end of the month, budget intact.
That’s actually one of the first steps you can take – create a budget. Recognizing that for many people budgeting is somewhere near getting teeth pulled on the list of favorite pastimes, a budget will give you a solid idea of what you make and where it goes, putting the power of money into your own hands.
One of the most important things a budget allows you to do is to create an emergency fund. Like your own personal insurance policy, an emergency fund will make sure your next catastrophe doesn’t get charged to plastic.
In the meantime, below are some easy free money hacks to get money for nearly nothing, find money in your own accounts, or otherwise make the most of your loot.
Some hacks help you save money, while others will actually bolster your bottom line.
5 Hacks for Getting Money
1. Savings Matching – Retirement Savings
Did you know that some companies actually pay you to save for retirement? It’s true – some companies have retirement accounts of their own. When you invest, they’ll match it. It is truly free money. There must be reasons why people don’t use these programs, but literally not one good one comes to mind. Folks, take advantage of your employer’s matching program and see your retirement savings grow.
2. Cashback Rewards Credit Card
Talk about something for nothing. There are some credit cards that pay you money back for the items you purchase with the card. Buy gas? Ching! You get 2% back. Groceries – or the occasional takeout splurge? Same deal. That sweet pair of booties that’s perfect for fall. You got it – money back.
Take the Citi Double Cash card. You get 2% back on any purchase – 1% at the time of purchase and 1% when you pay it back, with no limit to how much cashback you can earn.
This method only works if you buy on credit what you have the cash to pay for. Start paying a high interest rate on your purchases, and you’re taking away any positive value on your cash flow.
3. Invest, Invest, Invest
Investing is only for the wealthy, right? Wrong.
Cell phone apps like Stash and Robinhood let you invest money by purchasing fractions of a company’s shares, so you don’t have to shell out hundreds of dollars. Investing is even more accessible with no account minimums or commission fees for trading stocks, so you can get started without all the drama.
Investing is one of the ways rich people have built their wealth – and passive income will help you reach your financial goals. Find out how to make money pull its weight through solid and high-earning investments that earn compound interest.
4. Get Cashback for Shopping
Here’s another tip for making money doing the things you do anyway: Sign up for certain rewards websites and get paid for playing games, taking surveys, scanning receipts, searching the web, changing your internet browser, or even doing your online shopping through partner retailers.
Signing up with Swagbucks, for instance, gives you chances to earn 2%, in cash or gift cards for places like Amazon, Walmart, Macy’s, eBay, Groupon, and more. It also connects you with money-saving deals so you can save more.
Shoply is another app that gives you cash back for shopping. It will give you a refund if something you’ve already purchased goes on sale for a lower price. Scan your grocery receipts to save more money with Shoply and get a refund for a percentage of your purchase or pay at the grocery store using your Android phone to save on the spot.
5. Use a Free Bank Account
Americans pay a whole lot in bank fees, but you don’t have to. Consider switching your accounts to a bank like Chime, that won’t charge you fees for your checking or savings account, surprise you with overdraft charges, or limit your debit card usage, to make extra breathing room in your budget. Spend less money on your banking to keep more money in the bank. It makes sense, right?
Make the Most of Your Money
There you have it: 5 great life hacks that help you find a lot of money in your everyday life. Follow these key personal finance hacks to make the most of the things you do anyway to get you on the road to financial freedom with more cash in your pocket.
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