12 More #Money Ideas to Try

by J. Money - Published December 3, 2019

gold money

Morning, beautiful people!!

Got a handful of new tips to share with y’all from our community this morning :)

I keep a running document over the year that I copy/paste the gems into as I come across them, and then every few months I dump them all out for others to (hopefully) be motivated by too.

So here’s the latest dumping! Courtesy of your fellow readers here, and perhaps even from you! ;)

The “one hanger rule” is my personal favorite…

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The Money Binder

“Years ago I got into some deep trouble with credit card debt and owing the IRS back taxes. I declared bankruptcy back in 2008 and since then have kept a binder with monthly tabs and 4 sheets of loose leaf paper in each section.

I’m the type of person who needs to see physical things in front of me to remember to do things, so online spreadsheets just don’t work for me.The 4 pages are headed “Household Expenses”, “Food and Groceries”, “Income” and “Business Expenses”. As I pay bills and receive income, I record everything by hand in my binder. This also makes doing my taxesa breeze. I pay estimated taxes quarterly, and when it’s time to do my annual return everything is in one place… no scrambling around to find receipts, etc.

This system works for me and for the first time in a long time I am debt free and am building a nice brokerage and retirement fund with Vanguard. I keeps tabs on my checking account and brokerage account online so I know exactly where I stand on any given day… no surprises and less stress.”

– Magdela

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The Two-Person Finance Group

“I don’t track my net worth because it’s not worth anything… BUT, on the plus side, my new neighbor and I just started our own two-person finance group! :P We’re planning to meet every other weekend to talk over our situations and share what we are doing to improve them and swap any ideas that we have.

She’s a single mom just a few years younger than me, so we’re at least around the same age and both single. I don’t have any kids to take care of like she has, but it’s ‘nice’ to meet someone else who has to watch their pennies too, rather than a lot of these stories where two people both work at lucrative jobs and make good money. I mean, that’s great for them, but it’s not realistic to our situations.

So we’re forming our own club. :) I think it should be called ‘The Brokes and Otherwise-Not-Yet-Financially-Successfuls’, what do you think?”

– Leah

[EDITOR’S NOTE: I think it’s brilliant, haha… And will one day have to change the name to “The Riches Because-We-Held-Each-Other-Accountable’ group!]

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The Car Payment Pretender

“One day I called a tow truck to have my car towed for a starter problem, and my neighbor asked if I was ready to buy a new car. I said no, and that I love not having payments, since my car has been paid off for several years. My neighbor told me, “a car is never truly paid off.”

Those words hit me, and I began to save up every month. I am pretending that I have a car payment, and setting aside $300 a month. If and when my car needs a repair, I’ll tap into that fund. So far I have saved over $3k in one year. Eventually I hope that will pay for my down-payment on the next car, or cash out a used car.”

– John

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The “One Hanger” Rule!

“Rule in my house is that we each only get so many hangers. When you go out to buy something new you have to know what you will get rid of because no new hangers are allowed :)”

– Roxanna

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The Book Diet

“I’ve been on a book diet ever since giving up Amazon for Lent. Giving up Amazon revealed a HUGE leak in my budget and I’ve since cancelled my renewal for Prime. It was just too easy to buy things. A little friction for making a purchase is a good thing!”

– SJF

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The Petty Cash Saver

“Here’s a money saving idea that I have implemented into my daily life:

I withdraw a predetermined amount each week (petty cash: lunch, coffee, snacks, etc). At the end of each week I deposit the leftover cash into my “my want ” account (in my safe). The reason behind this was to stop eating “junk” for lunch because of my cholesterol level. The second reason is to fund my “want account” (firearms and precious metals collection). Every time I want that $5 cup of coffee or that $15 lunch I think about an ounce of silver or a box of ammo. Needless to say, I’ve been packing a lunch or coming home for lunch. It doesn’t happen everyday because I’m all over town and occasionally take clients out to lunch.

Its been a “win-win” situation thus far. I don’t feel guilty pulling money out of the account for “want” stuff and my hobby gets funded on a regular basis. Its a great reward and discipline system. And its still contributing to my investment portfolio, right?”

– Max

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The “One Bag a Week” Rule

“For the past few years, I’ve been donating one bag per week to Goodwill – 52 bags per year adds up! House is much easier to manage now. No more junk drawers, no more stuffed closets, and the garage is on the path to becoming manageable.”

– Holly R.

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The Santa Boxer-Upper

“So my daughter just had her 6th birthday and we’re buried in new stuff. But when my daughter turned 2, we started a tradition that she actually looks forward to:

The weekend after her birthday we pack boxes for Santa. She goes through all her toys and the ones she no longer plays with (but are still in good condition) go into a box. The next day I mail this box to Santa so he can clean up the toys and give them out to other kids at Christmas.

She gets so excited about her Santa box! And this has an added bonus in that at Christmas unboxed toys are acceptable as some other kids sent them to Santa because they don’t play with them anymore.”

– K.

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The Modern Day Window Shopper

“I like to put like ten items that I want in my cart at a time from Amazon, so then the price is several hundred dollars and I know I can’t afford that right now. So then I have to wait, or cull my cart to find out what it is I really want. Because on Amazon, I could spend every cent I have, and I’d still never have ‘enough’; there’s always something else super cool! :)

(And if I can’t decide, I’ll move everything to the saved portion of my cart and refill it with new things to consider. I think I have 400+ plus items in my saved cart, and three 2,500+ wishlists full, so I have lots of things to look at!)

I guess I’m what you’d call a window shopper in the ‘old days’; I LOVE to look, but I know that’s where most of the allure lies anyway–after I buy most things, the rush is gone, and I really don’t care half as much about the purchase anymore. Or I frankly just never use it. So I stick to my dreams, and enjoy looking, but I try not to buy much. I’d rather save my money for experiences.”

– Leah

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The Unexpected Money Saver

“For 15+ years I have taken nearly every form of “surprise” money (a refund, a rebate, money back from reselling my textbooks, deposits returned, etc) and deposited it into savings or an investment account. If I wasn’t expecting it, then I wasn’t counting on it, and therefore I won’t miss spending it.

Looking back I realize our family has received hundreds of such checks. I estimate the total to be in the $25-$30K range. Just last week my 16 and 13 year old kids each received a check for $9.45 for drawings they had entered at our local interstate fair two months ago. I have no idea what role their submissions played in the checks, and it really didn’t matter because I promptly added them to the children’s savings accounts.

I estimate that my “never spend unexpected money” practice will be worth $150-$200K in retirement. Not bad for money I didn’t lift a finger to earn.”

– D.G.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Just had a flash back of our old Spavings challenge!! Not a bad idea to pick back up again and perhaps try and beat our record ($4,040.50 in 10 months)]

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The Debt Rounder-Upper

“Back when I was 1,000’s in credit card debt, I would first figure out what 10% of the balance was and then round it up to the nearest $10 and use that figure as the payment due that month. It helped me pay down the debt much faster.

Conversely, now that I am debt free and saving money, I look at my monthly savings account balances and round them up to the nearest $100 and immediately schedule those transfers to take place.”

– Kim

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The “Accomplishments” List

“I have something called My Accomplishments List. I put down international travel I’ve done, certifications or degrees I’ve gotten, or just anything big that I’m proud of. It reminds me I really have done things in life whenever I feel completely incompetent or like I’ll never get anywhere. It’s a nice boost to self-confidence. :)”

– Rachael

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Anyone try some of these before?? Anyone have their own tricks up their sleeves? ;)

Money stays the same over the centuries, but we’re always needing new ideas to keep us excited! Even if they’re repackaged and labeled something different! Haha…

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Leif Kristjansen @ FiveYearFIREescape December 3, 2019 at 6:57 am

We use the concept of the one hanger rule everywhere around our house.
-Coffee cups only get so much space.
-Groceries only get so much space (to stop us from hoarding)
-Clothes only get so much space

The one place this concept has been a challenge. Kids toys. They keep growing.

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2 J. Money December 3, 2019 at 1:11 pm

YES!! IF YOU FIGURE OUT A SOLUTION TO THAT PLEASE LET ME KNOW!!!! :)

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3 Chris December 3, 2019 at 7:15 am

This comment is for the person on the book diet. My library has an online “affiliate”. (I’m not sure if that is the correct word). It is called hoopla. I can listen to audio books on there. They also have ebooks and movies. Just passing along this great information for another book lover. Plus, it’s free!

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4 J. Money December 3, 2019 at 1:13 pm

Thank you!

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5 Stephanie December 3, 2019 at 8:34 am

Yes!!! Someone else who puts pencil to paper the old-fashioned way! Some may find it arduous but it’s the budget system that keeps me on task and on goal.
I also use cash envelopes for my weekly expenses like groceries, gas, etc. My etc includes an envelope for books! Love that someone else has a book diet, and that someone takes “my wants” cash, then saves the left-overs. I still do the Spavings thing but hadn’t considered challenging myself in that regard. Hmmm…perhaps a goal for the new year.
As always, it fascinates me to find out how others approach money, savings, debt, minimalism, and giving. Thanks for sharing all these brilliant ideas.

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6 J. Money December 3, 2019 at 1:15 pm

So glad you liked this :) And you’ll have to tell us how it goes if you do end up challenging yourself more!

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7 Working Mom December 3, 2019 at 10:29 am

I thought everyone without a car payment did the Pretend Car Payment, ha! I always laugh when financial advice people say things like “Imagine your life without a car payment” because it makes it sound like once you pay off your debt, that money is free to spend. What I wish they would say is “Imagine paying yourself a car payment every month that earns interest instead of paying someone else and paying interest.” All it takes is getting ahead once (in our case, it was using savings and a bonus to purchase a minivan with cash years ago and then committing to never having to pay *anyone else* a car payment again. We put $200-$400/month into a vehicle fund which we draw from for repairs if necessary or save for the next vehicle. We’ve bought 3 vehicles total with cash, keeping each for an average of 7 years and never paying more than $13,000 before trade-in. My favorite place to stash it once my high-interest checking account is maxed out is Capital One Money Market.

I love the idea of the Santa Boxer-Upper and brilliant that it gives a reason for “unboxed” toys to be received as well. My kids are used to getting unboxed things–when you can score an entire Barbie collection or a bike on FB Swap, why not?! But I love the idea of boxing up things for others at a certain time each year.

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8 J. Money December 3, 2019 at 1:17 pm

You are definitely onto something there with the “forever” payments :) Never thought of it in that regard but you’re right – it never does end! Unless you totally go car-less, which would also be a pretty magical thing, haha…

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9 Kris December 6, 2019 at 1:22 pm

I’ve been doing the same thing with my “car payment” ever since I paid off my used Volvo wagon – gosh I loved that car, but my mechanic convinced me I needed to stop repairing it. My payments at that time were about $250/month, so that’s what I put away. Every year, I increase the payment by at least $25 – I’m up to $500/month now, or rather, $250 every pay period (which means an extra payment twice a year).

I’m on my third cash-paid minivan, which I’m hoping will last long enough for me to score something in the minivan or SUV category that’s electric or at least hybrid. We’re a Great Dane people, and I drive the “dog car” – no Nissan Leaf or Toyota Prius for me!

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10 J. Money December 6, 2019 at 1:48 pm

Nice!! We’re currently on the hunt for a minivan too – our first! – though no luck finding one we both love yet (or at a decent price range, harumph…)

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11 J December 3, 2019 at 10:35 am

Sometimes you can see a suggestion a hundred times, but on that 101st the timing is right. I’m not one for celebrating my successes (or taking praise), but I just made a quick accomplishments list and put it in the back of the excel file I use for my financials. It’s private, and it’s there if I need to take a peak.

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12 J. Money December 3, 2019 at 1:19 pm

Score!!!

Let’s see how many new line items you can keep adding to it too over the years :) Great idea storing it in your spreadsheet to have all the goodies in one spot!

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13 Kellie @ Big Style Finance December 3, 2019 at 1:53 pm

I do something similar to the “car repayment” idea, but I do it for all the big expense items I own. I spreadsheeted how long each of them will live, worked out how much I should put aside each fortnight, and now I have a fund for “asset replacement”.

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14 J. Money December 3, 2019 at 2:42 pm

Brilliant.. especially the longevity part! Wouldn’t have thought to include that nugget.

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15 Scattered Mom December 3, 2019 at 8:50 pm

Wow! The concept of the one hanger rule is one that I will begin tomorrow. What a great idea. And so simple. I’ll bet my teenage girls would look at this as, “Let’s make an empty hanger so we can go shopping.”

~ M

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16 J. Money December 4, 2019 at 6:10 am

Haha, probably… but at least there’s a limited amount of damage they can do! ;)

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