7 Hacks to Improve Your Personal Finances
Anyone’s personal finances can be improved, no matter how good they are. Our financial affairs and money management are the keys to getting out of debt and obtaining financial freedom. Our finances, the monetary resources, and affairs of a
Below I have put together seven ideas to assist us in improving our personal finances. I started doing three of these as soon as I set out on this path to rid myself of debt. I have always been good about one of these items, and one of the others I have been doing for different reasons. But, I looked into the other two, but I don’t have time to take on more projects or side hustles.
Keep reading to see the seven hacks and see if they will fit your needs!
1. Check Your Credit Frequently!
I cannot stress enough how important it is to know your credit score and everything on your credit report.
First of all, your credit score affects what kind of interest rates you will get, and it will also determine how much credit you can get. Well, now your thinking, but the goal is to get rid of debt. However, in the early stages of our journey to become debt free, we will most likely have to use credit occasionally for different reasons. The key is to plan for it when possible.
SIDE NOTE: According to creditcards.com, as of March 31st, 2019, the average interest rate on credit cards is 17.67% while people with bad credit are getting an interest rate of 25.33%. A good credit profile can get you a card at 14.67% and even lower in some cases.
Secondly, you need to know as soon as anything fraudulent appears on your credit report. Make this a priority as soon as you notice anything that is not yours!
I use Credit Karma to keep track of everything related to my credit.
2. Refinance Your High-interest Debt!
This is one area where our credit score can make a huge difference in our journey to improve our personal finances!
There are several options for refinancing our high-interest debt, such as taking out a debt consolidation loan or even utilizing another credit card. Now your thinking, what in the world is wrong with him? How will using another credit card help me get out of debt faster?
Well, here is how. I recently applied for a new credit card that had a 0% interest balance transfer option for a period of time. So now, yes, I am still paying that credit card debt, but I am no longer giving any of that money away to a bank. Everything I pay to that card goes towards the balance of that card!
You can also get excellent interest rates on debt consolidation loans. I have seen some advertising for as low as 4.99%. Keep in mind, the interest rate you get depends on your credit score! However, if you can refinance a 16% interest credit card into a 5% debt consolidation loan, you will save money. In the end, this will get us closer to financial freedom!
SIDE NOTE: Use this calculator to determine how much you need to pay on a credit card to meet a specific goal, such as paying it off in six months.
3. Save Up an Emergency Fund!
If you have read any of my articles, then you know how important I believe this to be! Having an emergency fund keeps us from using credit!
There are so many reasons to have this to include car repairs, home repairs, veterinarian bills, etc. When an emergency happens, if it is indeed an emergency, we have little choice in dealing with it. Without some money set aside, we now have to use credit to take care of the issue.
I am still working on this as well, and I have a small fund set aside, but I would like to have a bit more. My favorite method for saving money is Digit. Up until I started this journey I have always been terrible at saving money, but Digit makes it so simple!
4. Don’t Spend What You Don’t Have!
So I know this tip is easier said than done! In fact, I have already talked about the potential need to use credit at the beginning of our journey. However, what we can do is NOT spend money, and especially credit, on things we don’t NEED!
If it is not necessary, do not buy it! We have to tough it out for a while to achieve our goals!
Remember, if your financial situation is anything like mine, credit cards have been our downfall!
5. Make Money Doing Small Tasks.
There are lots of ways to make some extra cash when you have some spare time. Here is a couple I have tried and work well. However, I discovered quickly that you need to sink a fair amount of your spare time into these to make a real impact.
One way is Survey Junkie. You get paid to take surveys! When you do a survey, you earn points. The points range anywhere from 10 to 150 or more. For every 1,000 points, you make $10, and they pay via Paypal.
Swagbucks is another site I have tried to make some extra cash. On this site, you earn Swagbucks for the things you are already doing. You can earn by watching videos, take surveys, shopping on eBay or Amazon. They have paid out over $335,245,653 in cash and gift cards.
6. Rent Out a Room in Your House.
Ever heard of Airbnb? You can earn some extra cash by renting out a bedroom. There are millions of people that look for rooms to rent via AirBnB instead of going to hotels.
For example, my
7. Get Paid Driving People Around or Delivering Food.
I am sure you have all heard of this. Uber, Lyft, Door Dash, etc. You can be a taxi for people or deliver food.
The valuable thing about these services is you work your own schedule, and the potential is there to make good money.
If you like meeting new people, driving for Uber or Lyft has that extra advantage. Earn money and meet new people at the same time.
For instance, I have a friend who does Door Dash on Saturday and Sunday mornings for three hours each and earns anywhere from $200 to $800 in only those two days in six total hours!
I have not done any of these. As I said, finding any extra time right now has been impossible.
It’s time for us to take control of our personal finances! Please remember that none of these things are instant! They won’t improve our situation overnight. All of these and any other financial tool take long-term commitment to achieve success! Set realistic goals and get after it! Best of luck to all of us in achieving financial freedom and turning our dreams in reality!
Keep in mind, not all of these tips will fit every situation. As I said, I don’t utilize all of these but I feel that they will benefit other people more than they do me.
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YOUR TURN – What tips do you have to improve our personal finances? Leave them in the comments below!