The Debt Free Guys™ best money hacks
Computer hack – bad. Lifehack – good. Hacking up a lung – bad. Hacking a solution – good. A hacker – bad. A money hacker – great! Be a money hacker with our 13 best money hacks to save more and have more money.
Our 13 best money hacks to save and have more money
Below are 13 of our best money hacks. These helped us pay off $51,000 in credit card debt, stay out of debt and now live fabulous lives without being fabulously broke.
1. Automating your money
Let technology make living your fabulously unbroke life easier. Save at least $500 in your emergency savings account and you’re already doing better than most Americans with our first of 13 best money hacks.
2. Money chunking
Ever get to the end of your money before the end of the month? Money chunking is your solution. Money chunking is dividing or chunking your money into various spending categories and setting it aside. The key is to only take that week’s (or whatever period you pick) cash with you when you go out.
Just like knowing you have a half pint of Ben & Jerry’s left in the freezer for tomorrow night, Money Chunking is your key to having some money the last week of the month, so you can have a few drinks or a bite with the boys.
3. Sending it before spending it
Pay all your bills as soon as you’re paid and before they’re even due. This will ensure that you pay your bills when you have the money. Sending it before spending it means paying yourself first. You’ll be surprised how much more money you’ll have when you’re not scrambling to pay a bill.
4. Phantom shopping
If you leave an item in the shopping cart of some online stores for a few days, you’ll get discount offers for your “abandoned item” and notifications when the price drops. Use this trick for your holiday and regular shopping.
5. Adopting the fabulous NSE (Not So Expensive)
There are two types of rich people; those who get rich and lose it and those who get rich and save it? What’s the difference? The latter doesn’t make the mistake of blowing their wad. They understand there’s a not-so-expensive alternative to everything. They may not be alternatives you want forever, but they’ll get and keep you debt free and make your rich.
We found NSE alternatives for watching TV, drinking wine and meeting our annual gay-travel quota. Even now that we’re debt free, we NSE.
6. Cutting the cord
The thought of cutting the cord for debt free tv may feel like Britney cutting her hair all over again, but it’s not that dramatic. It was a no-brainer because we only watched a handful of the 36 million cable channels we had.
This was our first step for freeing up money to fund our emergency savings account.
7. Automating savings and investing
Open a savings or investing account at a bank, credit union or investment firm. Then, set up a recurring direct deposit with this clever form here from your employer into this account.
If your company has a 401(k), 403(b), SEP or SIMPLE IRA, contact your human resources department to start funding yours ASAP. Your employer will automatically deposit your contributions into this account before the IRS touches it.
If you have more money to save or invest after qualifying for your full employer match, open a savings, investing or Individual Retirement account at a bank, credit union or brokerage firm.
Once opened, automatically save in it and invest in it.
8. Going digital
Download Ibotta to your phone and find instant discounts and rebates on products and services you already buy when you scan receipts with your smartphone. Download Chrome’s Honey to your computer for discounts, free shipping and promotions applied automatically to your regular buys.
9. Using the saver’s tax credit
The Saver’s Credit may take up to $2,000 off the tax bill. Instead of taking a tax deduction on your individual IRA or company-sponsored retirement account contributions, file for the Saver’s Credit. Tax credits are better than deductions because they’re a dollar-for-dollar reduction in your taxes. Talk with your accountant to see if this is right for you.
10. Going plastic
Buy discount gift cards to your favorite stores, and then use those gift cards to buy everyday items or gifts. For example, buy a $100 gift card and get a free $25 gift card added to it and get a 20% discount. Sites like GiftCards.com and GiftCardGranny.com have promotions for gift cards all year long and let you set alerts for stores you shop at already.
11. Dinero Detoxing
People gain clarity when they do a food fast. The same happens with money fast. How? Choose time between a weekend and a month and eliminate ALL unnecessary spending. This is a great way to catch up and get ahead on your financial goals like building your emergency savings.
12. Email hacking
It’s not as slick as an app by a Silicon Valley neo-genius, but this tip works because retailers know that, in a cyber-world, email addresses are gold.
Go to popular websites like Macy’s, Nordstrom and H&M, and subscribe to their email lists. Throughout the year, you’ll get coupons, discounts, promotions and free delivery offers straight to your inbox
13. Avoiding budget creep
Budget creep, not a Left-Eye song, is that increase in spending beyond your budget that happens so slowly you don’t notice it. It’s the answer to “Where the fuck bleep did my money go,” and is why automating your money management is vital. Avoiding budget creep means learning the triggers that cause you to spend and replacing negative triggers with better habits. For more, watch this video.
By using our 13 best money hacks, you’ll have more money to invest because you’ll save more money. None of our 13 best money hacks mean getting another job or drastically changing your fabulous lifestyle. You’ll just live more fabulously because you’ll be less broke.
Other tools for money hacking: