“Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.” – Woody Allen
Improving your finances is linked to happiness in life for most of us. Though this statement is not absolutely true, however improving your finances thus help you let go of unnecessary pressures in life. Like anything else in life, if you are not in pressing need of money you will be able to take decisions which you are afraid to take because of your dependence on money.
The purpose of this article is to share with you few hacks or tips which will definitely help you decrease your dependence on money. I am debt free right now thanks to the tips below I followed. It may or may not work for you. But since these are very generic tips, the chances that it will not work for you are very less. So go ahead.
1. Use Cash - The best advice for anyone could be to use cash for all purchases you will make. Don’t use credit while in debt. A debit card is fine unless it’s not associated with your overdraft account. The idea is to never let yourself go beyond what you earn. You will be able to bargain as well while paying via cash. Remember the golden rule
Debt = Expenses > Income
Savings = Income > Expenses
2. Freeze your credit cards - Don’t use credit cards till you are in debt. You will never be able to come out of it. I would rather prefer that you freeze your credit cards. Take a water bowl and put away your credit cards in it and put the bowl in the refrigerator. Are sounds able? I’m sure you will earn plenty of rewards for this one wise action.
3. Pay towards savings as your first bill - People who earn through employment generally works in this pattern. We pay taxes on what we earn, pay towards our bills and enjoyments and save whatever we are left with. Isn’t it? Instead, since the tax is inevitable I suggest you save first. Pay towards your savings, for you dream projects first and then spend whatever you are left with. This will automatically reduce your dependence on money. You will learn to live with less money.
4. Use Debt-Snowball technique to pay off your loans
5. Eat at home - This small tip can help you achieve fiscal and physical fitness. Eating at home is good for pocket and heart. Though I don’t mean to become the hermit and avoid chances of social interactions. This means bringing to office your own healthy lunch. This simple change can help you save around 2000 dollars a year. Double it up, if you are eating dinner outside as well.
6. Lend and Borrow - With the advent e-commerce today, we focus on purchasing everything even when it does not add value to us the specially a lot of novels. Though, I myself by few classic novels now and then, but lending and borrowing can re-ignite the spirit of sharing with others. No wonder, you might receive from others what you are desperately looking to buy.
7. Exercise - Staying healthy can be the best gift you give it to yourself. This one lifestyle change can help you avoid medical bills. Try to exercise at least 4 times a week for 30 minutes.
8. Deploy the money workers - We all can’t work for more than 10-12 hours a day but money can. These workers can work 24×365. Use them to help you. These workers never get tired.
9. Understand the Magic of compounding - No matter when you get enlightened to attain “financial freedom”, don’t delay it further. Starting to invest early will give you an edge. Remember Warren Buffet again, he started investing at the age of 13! You can’t offset, as much as you want, the power of compounding by investing large sums of money later
10 Shut the TV - When you are in deep debt it’s wise to shut off your TV and work to pay-off your debt first. Chances are that by avoiding most of the marketing ads you will help yourself not to buy a trendy gadget once again.
11. Cut out Cable TV subscription - Instead of watching anything mindless, chose what you want to watch. Feed your brain things you want it to. It’s easy to go with flow and fall in the trap. Better chose consciously what is best for your mind by assessing your situation. You will also save on subscription cost you pay to these companies.
12. Go out and make real connections - No matter how silly it sounds, social quotient has become an important to measure to gauge people worthiness. However, I still feel having one genuine real connection is far better than making 500 social connections. No wonder, we are living in an age where we prefer to even date online. Making real connections actually helps you overcome unworthiness in life that will actually help you curb consumerism and money spent in filling the void we feel inside.
13. Exercise at home - Though many of you will disagree with me for this, but that is perfectly okay. I prefer working out at home. It requires tremendous motivation to exercise every day on your own which has actually helped me in three ways. One, having improved health, Second, improving my determination towards a goal and third, saving me lots of money on gym subscriptions which we know we never utilize fully.
14. Pay debt first and spend rest - After following point 3, I will suggest instead of spending upon yourself try to pay towards your debt first and spend the rest. So now the final order for healthy finances should be pay towards your savings, pay your debts and spend whatever is left.
15. Budget is a Savior - No matter how cumbersome it sounds. Making a budget will only take time for the first time. After the first budget, it will only require 30 minutes in a month to maintain it. However, the invested time will be worthwhile and will give you a lot in return.
16. Track your expenses - I can’t stress enough on much how important tracking your expenses is. It can change your financial life in a matter of few months.
17. Make savings automatic - We all understand the importance of making and keeping commitments. That is why we try hardest not to allow any EMI to be bounced. We can apply the same concept to improve our savings. Make your savings transfer auto debit like an EMI and the chances are you will keep the promise and your financial situation will improve.
Embrace live the way it is. Nature has given us free ways also to keep us entertained. It’s not always necessary to spend a lot of money to enjoy life. We need to understand that life is not about buying stuff and get joy out of it for a day or two. We all do this.
We buy latest gadgets and try to feel that we have accomplished something great. We feel good that we have given business to credit card companies and others. Few days after the same gadget does not give any new feeling and we seek to some other options. We know this cycle is never ending. Instead, find joy in life, with people around you by showing them you value them in your life.