You’ve heard all of the common financial advice at least 100 times. How about a few tips that you might not have heard before? A new perspective can generate new thoughts, ideas, and actions. A new perspective might change your financial future.
Unique financial tips that can change your outlook:
1. A car can last a lot longer than five years. It’s just a hunk of metal and plastic rolling around on four tires. If you can avoid attaching your ego to your automobile, you can save a lot of money by driving your car for several more years. Put that car payment into your retirement account instead and see what happens.
2. Know the five types of financial emergencies. Are you prepared for each of them?
• Home-related issues, such as a furnace breakage or a leaking roof
• Major car repairs
• Funeral-related issues. Either paying for a funeral or travelling to one
• Medical issues
• Job loss
3. Spend five minutes on your finances each evening. A single TV commercial break can last five minutes. Review all of your financial transactions for the day. You should have four minutes to spare after you’re done. Follow up on any discrepancies.
4. Create small money goals. These should be easy to accomplish.
• I’ll spend less than $75 on food this week.
• I’ll save at least $25 each Friday and deposit it in my savings account.
5. Acquire renter’s insurance. It’s only a couple of dollars each month but can replace your items in case of theft or fire. Even your old computer and milk crate shelves are worth something to you.
6. Find ways to entertain yourself that are free. Much of the money you spend only serves the purpose of making you feel better. Instead of distracting yourself by purchasing things you don’t need, find some free forms of entertainment.
• Books and videos from the library
• Attend free concerts or listen to music at home.
• Throw a Frisbee.
• Play cards with friends.
• Plant a garden.
7. Pay off your small debts first. You’ll build momentum this way and feel a greater sense of accomplishment. The other alternative is to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first. It makes more financial sense, but it’s not as satisfying. Decide for yourself.
8. Consider how much it costs to use an item one time. People often don’t like to buy an expensive mattress, but consider how many times, and how many hours, you’ll use it. Even an expensive mattress only costs a few cents each night over the lifetime of the mattress.
• How much would a $75,000 Mercedes cost to drive each day? Assuming you keep the car for 5 years, that’s roughly 1800 days. You’d be lucky to sell the car for even 50% of what you paid for it. $37,500/1800 = $21/day. That doesn’t even include the cost of insurance or the interest on your monthly car payments.
9. Avoid having too much in your savings account. Unless you need the money in the very near future, there are better places to store your money. Put your money to work for you with investments. Make a list of a few and choose the one that makes sense.
10. Create a financial mantra that supports your financial goals. Use it each day.
• I only buy things I need.
• I bring my lunch to work.
• I save 10% of my income.
A little unconventional advice can be a good thing. Open your mind to new ways of looking at old challenges. You’ll find solutions you’ve never considered.