Here are a bunch more hacks to add to that FIRE Spreadsheet ;)
I was going to wait until I had a little more saved up, but some of these were just way too good to be hidden for long! Haha…
Tips don’t do anyone good just sitting in the inbox :)
Hope you find something new to try!
The Landfill Trigger
Here’s a little flip to the financial empowerment game. Last year I walked in to a Fred Meyer department store and looked out over a sea of dresses, shoes, belts, hats, bathing suits, appliances, lawn furniture, outdoor games… you get the picture. And suddenly, I realized that it was all destined for a landfill eventually. All. Of. It. And just like that, I didn’t want to buy anything. – Pamela VanDeursen
The “Impulse Tax” Fund
I created a new account at my credit union called my ‘Impulse Tax’ fund. Anytime I’m tempted to spend money impulsively, I move that exact amount over from my checking account to the Impulse Tax account, so I feel like I really did spend the money–yet I don’t have the buyer’s remorse feeling over unnecessary or regretted purchases later. At the same time, I also try to brainstorm at least one or two other options of how I could still get that same item later for free or at least heavily discounted, so I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself either.
Case in point: today How to Train Your Dragon 3 came out to digital platforms, and I was immediately tempted to buy it for $19.99. So I moved that money immediately over to my Impulse Tax account and realized that I could probably watch it for free through our local library or see if someone else already owned it that I could borrow it from, or lastly, just rent it instead of purchasing it, and save myself $15 in the process. – Rachael
The Love Letter
I’ve been writing a “Love Letter” to my wife every year for the past 5 years. I update it every year-end, when I update all of our “numbers”. I print out all of our updated password stuff, attach an updated net worth statement, and update all of our contacts (insurance agent, etc). She keeps it in an envelope “just in case”. It gives me peace of mind to know she’ll be alright. – Fritz @ The Retirement Manifesto
[For a similar idea, see our post on The ICE Binder – a preformatted “love letter” with all the fill-in-the-blanks you need if you’d rather not spend the time building something from scratch :)]
The “Not Spending Money Unless Other People
Are Involved” Trick
I noticed about myself that though there are several purchases I’ve regretted making, I don’t think I regretted any of the purchases I made that involved other people. I prefer experiences to things, and the best experiences are social connections. (Sounds funny to say, coming from a major introvert like myself, but I do prefer to do things with others rather than alone.)
So right there I realized I could cut out a lot of unnecessary spending simply by deciding not to spend money unless other people were involved. Instead of grabbing a specialty coffee on the way to work on Mondays just because it’s on sale and tastes good and it’s my habit and I ‘deserve it’…. I decided I’d make it more of a treat by only purchasing it when I walk there with my family, or if I’m meeting a friend for coffee, or whatever. I make it a social bonding time first, and then the money spent means something. It’s attached to my relationships, not just a habit that is mindless at best, and maybe not so healthy at worst. – Rachael
The (Negative) Net Worth “Mileage” Motivator
(In response to our post on visualizing your money by measuring how far it could take you if you were to line it all up in a straight line from your home, miles-wise ;) For example, I could make it all the way to York, PA from the DC area!)
At first I was all disappointed to find yet another fun net worth trick I can’t do until I’m out of the negatives (sometime next year) but then I realized: just use the absolute value of my net worth, measure a distance starting from home, and see where I’m “coming home from”.
If net worth zero is home, last month I was at my favorite pizza place. I guess that’s sort of like bringing home the bacon… bringing home the pizza!
The (Non) Bills Breaker
I’ve said NO to breaking $20 bills for small, random purchases. If I don’t have a $5, then I won’t buy it. – Becky
Got any of your own tricks you haven’t shared with us yet?! Stop holding back!
For previous hacks shared:
- 17 Hacks to Reach FIRE Faster
- 12 Excellent Money Hacks For Ya
- 9 More Financial Hacks to Put In Your Pocket
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!