14 money hacks they should really teach in school


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Today I’m going to show you 14 money hacks you should be using in 2023.


In fact, these money savings hacks will help you:

Let’s dive right in.

The 14 Best Money Hacks in 2023

You and I both work very hard for our money. It’s only natural that we want to find ways to keep and grow our wealth as much as possible.

However, it’s not always easy to know where (or how) to start.


And that’s why I created this list of the best money hacks so you can build long-term wealth.


So if you’re ready, let’s kick things off with money hack #1.

Investment account

1. Open an Investment Account

One of the savviest money hacks is opening an investment account ASAP.

Investment Account

Did you know that more than 50% of US adults have money invested in the stock market?

Stock market

The stock market is such a great place to grow your money and build long-term wealth.


Pro Tip: To be successful with stock market investing, you have to be focused on the long-term results.

Rarely will you get rich fast in the stock market.


If you don’t believe me, then believe the 6th richest man in this world – Warren Buffett.


Buffett is a very strong believer in the “Buy and Hold” investing strategy (aka buy a stock and hold it for the next 3 to 4 decades so it can appreciate in value).


In fact, Buffett’s favorite investment was the S&P 500 index fund (it’s my favorite investment as well!).


The picture above is the S&P 500’s performance today. The 2008 Great Recession looks like a tiny blip on this grandiose chart!

Focus on the long-term investment, and you’ll probably make a profit.


In fact, if you had invested $10,000 in the S&P 500 index back in 1980, that $10,000 would have been worth over $760,000 in 2018!

Long-term investing requires minimal effort as well.


With long-term investing, you simply choose an index fund or a stock that you want to invest in and then hold that stock or fund for the next couple of decades.


Now, you can start investing by opening an investment account with well-known (and free) platforms like M1 Finance. M1 Finance is a free investment app where you can either build your own investment portfolio using the 6,000+ stocks and ETFs offered on M1 Finance or by selecting one of M1 Finance’s pre-selected portfolios (or “pies” as they are called).

The pie

There are 2 types of pies:

Two type of pies

The good news is you don’t have to be an experienced investor to start using M1. However, you do need at least $100 to start investing with M1 Finance.


Whatever your choice, make sure to follow this money hack and start investing today.


Your bank accounts will thank me later.

Invest in yourself

2. Invest in Yourself

Out of all the money hacks listed in this article, I believe this is one that you should implement and practice regularly.

Investing in yourself

Investing in yourself is the ultimate life hack.


Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make.



In fact, I try to reinvest about 3% to 5% of my gross annual income back into myself to grow my career and my knowledge.

A rule of thumb

You can never go wrong investing in yourself.

Below are several examples that I have used in the past to successfully reinvest in myself and in my future:

  • Books
  • Exercise
  • Seminars
  • Meditation
  • Online classes
  • Starting a business
  • Attending networking events

I try to make it a goal to read a minimum of 1 book a month to expand my knowledge and learn from other, successful people.

Did you know that 85% of self-made millionaires read 2+ books per month?

Self made millionaires

Some of my favorite books include:

  • The Behavior Gap by Carl Richards
  • The Millionaire Mind, by Dr. Thomas J. Stanley
  • The Monk who Sold his Ferrari by Robin Sharma
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

There is so much knowledge packed into these books – be it about psychology, money, life, or just purpose.


I also love taking online classes as a form of investing in myself.


While I would love nothing more than going back to college and becoming an eternal student, learning subjects from astronomy to arithmetic, I don’t want to spend $100,000’s of dollars on a degree.


That’s where online class programs like Udemy have played a major role in my development.


Udemy is an online platform that offers the following:

  • 65 languages
  • 70,000 instructors
  • 40 million students

One of my favorite courses that’s offered by Udemy that can come in handy – especially if you’re planning to start your own business – is called: An Entire MBA in 1 Course.


I also want to point out that investing in your knowledge is not the only way to invest in yourself.

You can also invest in your:

  • Mental health
  • Physical health

Pro Tip: A great way to invest in both your physical and mental health is taking up exercising.

In fact, 76% of the wealthy exercise aerobically for at least 30 minutes daily.

Wealthy exercise

Personally speaking, exercise:

  • Decreases my stress
  • Improves my fitness
  • Helps me stay focused
  • Increases my happiness

So overall, exercise is actually a pretty positive thing in my life, which is why I exercise for at least 30 minutes, 5 times a week.


Take this money hack to heart: Investing in yourself will likely yield the highest returns.

Social Media Account

3. Monetize Your Social Media Account

A great money hack you can use to earn passive income is monetizing your social media account.

Monetize your Social Account

Believe it or not, you can make money from your social media account.


In fact, since I started my Twitter account just over a year ago, I’ve been able to make $1,000’s from my social media profile!

Before you even start thinking about money, you have to make sure you have some of the basic strategies in place.


These strategies include:

  • Creating a brand
  • Using high-quality images
  • Taking the time to craft a great bio
  • Including your website URL (if you have one)

As an example, here’s how my social media profile looks:


While I’m not saying that my social media profile is perfect, I am saying that my profile seems to work, since I gain between 200 to 300 followers a day.


Pro Tip: The more aesthetically pleasing your Twitter profile, the more likely you’ll have followers coming back to your account to read more.

However, monetizing your social media account isn’t just about the looks, the aesthetics, or the feel of your profile.


It also has to do with:

  • Your niche
  • Your content
  • Your engagement

Before you monetize, you want to figure out the type of niche you plan on being in.

Niches on social media could include:

  • Food
  • Travel
  • Fitness
  • Finance
  • Comedy
  • Relationships

However, you can niche down even further, as I did. My niche is finance, but I’m specifically focused on finance for millennials.

Once you have your niche, it’s time to focus on your content.


Pro Tip: There is nothing more critical in determining how much money you can make from your social media account than the content you create.

In other words, you better make sure your content adds value for your audience before you start pushing products and services their way.

If you need help structuring your content, then check out this content creation guide, Create 24/7.


Create 24/7 literally transformed my social media journey.


I went from losing over 600 followers per month to gaining more than 55,000 followers in less than 12 months.

Twitter followers

This chart shows you the before-and-after impact of me taking the Create 24/7 course.


Take it from me, this content creation guide will change your trajectory.


Remember you cannot start pushing products/services without first adding value.


Building trust takes time, so don’t expect your audience to start buying from you, if you’re not adding value to their lives through excellent content.


After trust has been built, it’s time to consider which products or services you would like to affiliate market for.

Affiliate Marketing Definition: Affiliate marketing is when you promote a product or service to your audience. In exchange for email sign-ups, sales, or website clicks, you receive a commission.

When it works, affiliate marketing is like a well-greased money printing machine.


When it doesn’t, it is just a bunch of lost time and frustration on your end.

Learn the ropes of social media affiliate marketing by taking this Twitter Affiliate Mastery course, which can transform your money journey.

It sure changed my money journey for the better.


Related: How to Make Money on Twitter


4. Build a Solid Budget

If you want to save money fast, then one of the best money hacks is to build a solid budget.


Creating a budget, in my opinion, is one of the ultimate money hacks that can change your financial future for the better.


Budget Definition: A budget is a visual financial planning tool that helps you better understand how much money you’re earning and spending each month.

Have you ever gone on a long road trip?


Chances are, if you want to arrive at your destination on time, you’ll probably need a GPS, physical map, iPhone navigation, etc.

Unless you have a photographic memory, you probably won’t make it to your destination on time (if at all) without a map.

Your budget is your financial map.


Here is why you need a budget ASAP:

  • Budgets help you cut out unnecessary expenses
  • Budgets help you change your spending behavior
  • Budgets help you understand your spending patterns
  • Budgets help you focus on your long term financial goals

Pro Tip: In my opinion, everyone should have some sort of budget. You don’t necessarily have to review your budget daily, but budgets are an excellent guide to help move you toward your financial goals.

I know that the “b” word probably isn’t a topic that you’re excited about.

In fact, I know a lot of people who tend to shy away from budgeting, because:

  • They don’t know how to start
  • They don’t completely understand what a budget is
  • They’re scared to know how much they’re actually spending

And to be honest, I didn’t know how to start budgeting either, until I started brushing up on my personal finance skills.

Below are the budgeting rules of thumb that helped me go from carrying $3,000 in credit card debt (back when I was a college student) to paying off all of my debt and saving more than 70% of my gross annual income.

Type of expense

When I mention the “retirement and savings” category, I mean a long-term savings and investing strategy.


As in, don’t plan to touch this money until you’re about to retire.


Pro Tip: While my budgeting rule of thumb suggests saving a minimum of 20% of your gross monthly income for retirement and savings, I personally save more than 70% of my gross monthly income.

Think about it this way:


If you want to retire without financial worries, you’re probably going to have to do more than what the “average” rule of thumb suggests you do.


If you want to be above average, then you’ll have to do what the average person won’t.


And that’s where a budget will make a huge difference in your financial picture.


Are you ready to make a change in your life?


Start by creating your profile (it’s free) with YNAB (aka You Need A Budget).


YNAB, in my opinion, is the best budgeting app out there.


It’s 100% free to sign-up and you’ll get a free trial for 34 days (unless you’re a college student, in which case YNAB is completely free for 1 year).

Below are some YNAB pros and cons:


Here’s how much first-time YNABers claim they save with YNAB:

  • First 2 months: $600 saved
  • First year: $6,000 saved

So, if you want to start saving money, cutting out unnecessary expenses, and moving toward a better financial future, one of the ultimate money hacks is budgeting.


Recommended Reading: YNAB Review

High Interest Debt

5. Pay Off High-Interest Debt

One of the most critical money hacks is paying off high-interest debt – ASAP.

Pay off debt

Did you know that 47% of Americans carry credit card debt?

Credit card debit

Take a look at the liabilities (aka your debt) that you owe.

Some examples of debt include:

  • Car loan
  • Mortgage
  • Credit cards

But, not all debt is equal.

In fact, some debt is even considered “smart debt.”

Smart debt

As an example, credit card debt would be considered bad debt while mortgage debt would be considered smart debt.

Not only do credit cards almost always buy depreciating assets (like technology gadgets, clothing, etc.), but credit cards also have very high-interest rates.


In fact, the average credit card interest rate is 20.25%.

Average credit card

Unfortunately, the average individual credit card debt has increased over the past several years, and it doesn’t appear like that trend will recede anytime soon.


Take a look at the chart below:

Individual credit card debt

As of 2021, the average credit card debt for Americans is $6,270.

American family credit card debt

Let’s do some math:


Let’s assume you carry the average credit card debt balance of $6,270 and you pay the average interest rate of 20.25%.

Here’s how much interest you would pay: $1,269.68.


In other words, you would be paying $1,269.68 on top of your original debt – which is $6,270.


That’s why I think it’s key to pay off high-interest debt first.


Below are some strategies you could consider implementing to get rid of credit card debt:

  • Consider credit card debt consolidation
  • Pay off more than the monthly minimum
  • Consider a 0% interest teaser rate credit card balance transfer
  • Consider paying off the debt with the highest interest rate first

Personally speaking, I prefer paying off the highest interest rate first (while continuing to make the monthly minimum payments on all the other debts).

Are you feeling overwhelmed with the number of debt payments you have to make?


In that case, you may want to consider debt consolidation.


Debt Consolidation Definition: Debt Consolidation is when you take all of your debts (such as those from different credit cards) and roll them all into 1 basket.

So, instead of making 7 different payments to 7 different lending companies, you only have to make 1 payment to 1 new lending company.


As with all things, there are pros and cons.


Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of debt consolidation below:

Pro and cons

Another benefit of debt consolidation is that assuming you make all payments on time and in full, you have the potential to increase your credit score.


If you’re considering debt consolidation, then I would suggest you check out Tally.


Tally makes it simple to stay on top of your credit cards.


You scan your cards. If you qualify, tally gives you a line of credit at a low APR and manages all your payments.


No late fees. No gimmicks. Just a faster way to pay down your balances.


Caution: Keep in mind that debt consolidation is just a temporary fix and will not solve any spending issues. If that’s the case, then I would suggest considering seeing a counselor.

The most important thing that I can say is to figure out a game plan to get out of debt.


This is one of my favorite money hacks because it can help you find peace and move toward your other financial goals.

Emergency fund

6. Build an Emergency Savings Fund

One of the easiest money hacks is to prepare for unexpected future expenses by building and maintaining an emergency savings fund.

Emergency savings fund.

Did you know that 57% of Americans don’t have enough cash to cover a $500 emergency expense?

Emergency expense

Unexpected emergencies happen all the time, like:

  • A flat tire
  • A vet visit
  • A leaky roof

Unexpected events are simply part of life – so it’s up to us to get prepared for the surprise curve balls that life will throw us from time to time.


We do so by using an emergency savings fund.


Emergency Savings Fund Definition: An emergency savings fund is a liquid and easily accessible cash account with 3 to 6 months’ worth of your living expenses saved.

Here’s how to tailor your emergency savings fund account to your personal situation:

  • Determine your monthly basic living needs
  • Multiply this number by 3-6

You can typically determine your monthly basic living needs by following a budget (if you haven’t yet, check out YNAB, which is free for the first 34 days).

A budget can help you:

  • Track your income
  • Track your expenses
  • Cut out unnecessary costs

Then, it’s time to do some math.

So, let’s say that you found out you spend about $3,000 per month on basic living needs (like rent, utilities, car payments, etc.).

Here’s the range of your emergency savings fund:

Saving funds

Now, when should you have 6 months’ worth of living expenses saved versus only 3 months’ worth of your living expenses saved?

Let’s take a look:


Make sure you take a bigger picture look at your overall situation.


Now, if you want to start saving your cash in an emergency savings fund, I would recommend opening a high-yield online savings account as opposed to a regular bank savings account.


Here’s why:


A regular savings account from a brick-and-mortar bank (like Bank of America) offers minimal interest rates.

Bank of America

As you can see, interest rates range between 0.01% to 0.02%.


That’s peanuts.


Now, take a look at the interest rates that you could earn if you were to open an online high-yield savings account with Axos Bank (which is free):

Axos bank

With Axos Bank, you could earn up to 0.61% interest on the cash you save here.


Pro Tip: Typically brick-and-mortar banks have recurring costs like rent, heat, air conditioning, etc. which eats into their profits. That’s why brick-and-mortar banks typically lower the interest rates for their customers.

On the other hand, online banks like Axos Bank generally have lower costs than brick-and-mortar stores.


For that reason, online banks can afford to give their customers high-interest rates.


And while a 0.61% interest rate is nothing like the 7% to 10% return you could be getting in the stock market, having some cash on hand for emergencies is a safe money hack to protect yourself against the unexpected.

Invest your spare change

7. Invest Your Spare Change

If you go shopping and buy something, you typically receive some form of change.


And a simple money hack is to start investing your spare change.

Investing your spare change

It’s not easy to build a sizeable net worth in today’s world.


In fact, the median net worth of Americans under the age of 35 is $14,000.


If your goal is to retire early, gain financial freedom, or simply build long-term and sustainable wealth, you’ll need to start investing.


Pro Tip:A $5 monthly investment can make a very big difference in your net worth.

Are you ready to start investing – even if it’s just $5 a month?


If yes, then consider opening an account with Acorns.


Acorns is an investment platform that gives you the chance to open an account for as little as $5.


And here’s the best part: Acorns offers a feature, called the Round-Up Feature that invests your spare change!


Round-Up Acorns Feature Definition: Round-Up is a feature that tracks your expenses when you link your checking account or credit card with your Acorns account. With every expense you make, the Round-Up feature literally rounds up every withdrawal to the nearest dollar. After the rounded-up expenses total $5, Acorns automatically pulls the $5 into your Acorns account from your checking account and invests it!

You can also use up to a 10x round-up multiplier to fast-track your investments.


As you spend more money, the round-up feature continues to round up your spare change.


Once the rounded-up change equals $5, Acorns automatically pulls $5 from your linked checking account and invests the $5 in your Acorns account.


You spend, Acorns invests.


And that’s what I like about this money hack: It’s automatic and out of sight, out of mind.


8. Cut Your Subscriptions

Save more money almost immediately by cutting your subscriptions.

Cut Your Subscriptions

When was the last time you checked how much you pay for your subscriptions?


It’s important to review your monthly subscription spending because recent studies have shown that 84% of Americans grossly underestimate the amount of money they spend on subscriptions.

Americans grossly underestimate the amount of money they spend on subscriptions.

In fact, most people feel like they spend 197% less on subscription services than they actually are spending!


Why do we underestimate our subscription costs?


Below are a few reasons:

  • Subscription costs increase over the months
  • Subscription services are very easy to sign up to
  • Some subscription costs are so low that you forget about them

Pro Tip: The only time that I would keep a subscription service is if it is in high use.

Otherwise, cut the fat.


Here’s how you can trim the fat with your subscription costs:

  • Review your budget
  • Identify all monthly subscription costs
  • Determine which subscriptions you use consistently
  • Conclude with subscription services you don’t need

Once you’ve figured out which subscriptions you don’t need, you have several options open for you.

Your options may include:

  • Cancel your subscription service
  • Negotiate your subscription to a lower cost
  • Consider sharing the cost with your friends/family

I honestly just keep the most important subscription services.

Below is a condensed list of my monthly subscriptions:

  • Wifi
  • Netflix
  • Amazon
  • Cellphone bill
  • Anti-virus software

And for me, that’s about it.


I don’t even have gym memberships – I go running on the sidewalk and I have a DVD that I purchased a very long time ago that I use every morning for training.


In fact, did you know that 67% of people who pay for gym memberships never use them?

Paying for gym

But guess what?


You can still lower your subscription costs, even if you already trimmed the fat and cut out unnecessary subscriptions.


One way to save potentially $100’s of dollars per year is by using the service Truebill. Truebill helps you get control over your subscriptions by:

  • Tracking your subscriptions
  • Creating a budget that works for you
  • Negotiating the best rates on your subscriptions

What I like about Truebill is that this app creates a visual for you to better understand how much you are spending and for which subscription service.

Here’s the other cool part about Truebill:

Truebill negotiates your subscription costs for you so you get the best possible rates.

Truebill could save you money by:

  • Lowering your cable bills
  • Getting refunds on late fees
  • Lowering your cell phone bills
  • Getting refunds on overdraft fees
  • Lowering your car insurance bills

Cutting your subscription services is one of the best money hacks because you can save so much money in the long run.


9. Get a Cash Back Reward App

If you’re a savvy money saver, then perhaps one of the best money hacks for you is to sign up for a free cash back reward app.

Cash back reward app

Believe it or not, you can actually make money while you go shopping for your everyday items by downloading cash back reward apps.


Cash Back Rewards Definition: Cash back rewards is an incentive program where you are paid back a percent of the amount that you spend on specific items.

For example, you can earn money back on things like:

  • Travel
  • Clothing
  • Fast food
  • Groceries

…You get my point.

One of the best apps to earn money while you go shopping for your everyday items is the cash back app, iBotta (it’s free).

Remember: It’s important to continue with your regular shopping behavior.


Pro Tip:If you download a cash back app, don’t fall into the trap of buying more things to get more rewards.

Keep in mind that not every store you shop at will offer cash back rewards with iBotta.


Whether you earn a cash back reward depends on whether the store you shop at has partnered with cash back rewards apps.

iBotta has partnered with over 2,000 retailers, including:

  • Kroger
  • Staples
  • Expedia
  • Walmart
  • Ulta Beauty
  • The Home Depot

Clearly, there is a big list of stores that you can use to shop from.


Here’s how you get money from iBotta:

  • Spend money by shopping at one of iBotta’s partner locations
  • Scan and upload your receipt to your iBotta account
  • Get paid either by PayPal or in gift cards

Pro Tip: To get paid through PayPal and in gift cards, you’ll need at least $20 worth of cash back rewards.

Cash back rewards could be a great money hack for you to save some extra cash – especially if you shop at the major retailers that are partnered with your cash back apps.


10. Earn Money While Watching TV

One of my favorite money hacks is earning money while watching TV by completing online surveys.

Online surveys

I was shocked the first time I heard that I could earn money:

  • Watching TV
  • In my pajamas
  • While eating breakfast

That sounded pretty epic to me.


How can you earn money in such a lazy fashion?


By signing up to survey websites like with ySense (it’s free).


With survey platforms like ySense, you don’t just get paid to take surveys.


In fact, you can get paid if you:

  • Play games
  • Take surveys
  • Review products
  • Join focus groups
  • Share your opinions
  • Share digital browsing activity

I started earning money from online survey platforms back when I was in college – especially on those days where I didn’t have any classes, studying, or work.

It was such a great (and easy) way to earn extra cash.


Pro Tip: While you can earn money from survey platforms, chances are you won’t get rich from this type of income. In fact, on average you get paid between $0.25 to $0.75 per survey.

I should also mention that taking each survey could likely take between 5 to 20 minutes, so this is only a good option if you’re doing something on the side (like watching TV).


With Survey Junkie, (one of the most popular online survey platforms), you get paid in points (typically 1 point = 1 cent) and you can redeem these points for cash by requesting a payout either through:

  • PayPal
  • Gift cards

Typically speaking, you’ll need at least $10 in your account (or 1,000 points) to redeem and withdraw your cash.


Note: Survey Junkie typically only focuses on giving cash for surveys and not other activities like watching videos, etc.

There are other platforms where you could also earn money by completing surveys, watching videos, reading emails, and the like.

These alternative (free) platforms include:

  • MyPoints
  • Swagbucks
  • Zap Surveys
  • Inbox Dollars

If you’re looking to earn a few dollars here and there, completing online surveys is definitely a great money hack to consider.

Build your credit

11. Build Your Credit

Did you know that building credit is a money hack that can save you a lot of money down the road?

Build your credit

Are you a college student with no credit or are you just emerging from a nasty bankruptcy and/or divorce, so your credit took a nosedive?


Then it’s important to rebuild your credit ASAP.


Pro Tip: Credit is important because a good credit score means you can get access to the big-ticket purchases you need today.

Credit can help you get access to:

  • Car loans
  • Credit cards
  • Business loans
  • Mortgage for a home

If you have a good credit score, typically it’s a lot easier to get access to loans – and good credit also typically gives you a lower interest rate on the loans you plan to take out (which means more money in your pocket).


So what is good credit, exactly?


Your credit score is commonly determined by what is known as your FICO Score, and scores generally range from 300 to 850.


Check out the FICO Scores below:

FICO score

You’ll want to aim for a minimum credit score of around 670 to 739.


However, building up a good credit score typically takes time, because a large percent of your FICO Score is based on your payment history.


Take a look at the components making up your FICO Score, below:

Factors determining your FICO score

On the bright side, only a very small percent of Americans have a low credit score, with 11.1% of Americans maintaining a FICO® Score below 550.

Fico score

Good credit scores not only get you access to loans for big-ticket purchases, but good credit scores can also help you save money in the long run.

Here’s a list of reasons why good credit scores can make a difference:

  • Can lower car insurance rates
  • You can borrow at lower interest rates
  • Increased chance for credit card approval
  • Faster approval to rent homes/apartments
  • Could avoid security deposits for utility services

Well, if you have no credit or if your credit is poor, I have an app for you.The best DIY credit builder app, in my opinion, is known as Self.

Self, in effect, is a credit builder loan.


Credit Builder Loan Definition: A credit builder loan is an installment loan, where you pay monthly fixed payments to pay off your loan in exchange for a higher credit score.

Here’s how it works:

  • You take out a “loan”
  • The loan is not immediately deposited into your bank account
  • Instead, the loan is held in an FDIC insured CD, in your name
  • You make timely payments in full to unlock the loan in the CD

After you’ve made all payments for the loan, the money held in the FDIC insured CD is released to you.

I like credit builder loans because they can help you:

  • Establish a payment history
  • Establish your credibility to make timely payments
  • Help boost your credit score, as your transactions are reported to the credit bureaus

Pro Tip: The only downside to credit builder loans is that if you miss a payment, it could reflect very negatively on your credit report.

The “loan” itself could be for as little as $600 to $1,800 dollars, and you could repay your loan for either $25 to $150 per month.

You could also pay back your loan early.


Every time you make a payment, your transaction is reported to the 3 credit bureaus, so your credit score increases!

Meal prep

12. Meal Prep

One of the ultimate money hacks is preparing, cooking, and freezing your meals the Sunday before your workweek starts.

Meal prep

Did you know that the average American spends about $3,000 per year in just eating out?

Eating out

You might be thinking that it’s not possible to spend $3,000 on food that’s prepared outside of your home – and that’s where I encourage you to take a look at your budget.


Eating out is expensive.


In fact, restaurants, on average, markup their food by roughly 300% so they make a profit!


I don’t blame restaurants, because they have to make their money somewhere, right?

If you’re going out to eat, then you’re really paying for:

  • Service
  • Convenience
  • The type of food

Instead of paying the 300% markup number and eating food that wasn’t handled by you, consider meal prepping.


Meal Prepping Definition: Meal prepping is when you buy your groceries in bulk and cook your meals for the week on 1 day (typically before the work week begins).

Each meal, be it lunch or dinner, is prepared in advance and frozen so that all you have to do, is take out your frozen meal, heat it up, and eat it!


Now, obviously meal prepping isn’t just fun and fashion.


Here are some things that go into meal-prepping:

  • Money – you have to buy groceries in bulk
  • Time – you have to find time to cook your meals
  • Skills – you have to be somewhat comfortable with cooking
  • Comfort – you have to be ok bringing lunch to work instead of eating out

When you do go bulk grocery shopping, remember you can use cash back rewards apps like iBotta, where you can earn money on everyday grocery items!


Ibotta is partnered with over 2,000 stores, including:

  • Kroger
  • Walmart

…So, when you make your bulk purchases, you can snap a picture of your receipt, upload it to the app, and earn rewards on your purchases!


Pro Tip: While meal prepping can help you save on your budget, you don’t have to give up eating out entirely. Remember to live life in moderation.

If and when you do decide to eat out, I would highly suggest tracking your expenses in a budget.

If you haven’t yet, consider opening an account with YNAB (it’s free for 34 days!) to track your expenses and give you a better idea on your budget.

Below are some of the best foods that I used to meal prep:

  • Pasta and meat
  • Chicken and rice
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Salad and salmon
  • Chicken and salad

Granted, not all of my meals would last for exactly 7 days, sometimes my meal prepping efforts would only last for a few days – which is perfectly ok.


Pro Tip: You don’t want to store food that succumbs to bacteria spoilage, either, so be prudent with how long you can store the types of food you cook.

Meal prepping is a great money hack to help you save money and get ahead of your budget.

401k (or 403b) Investing Strategy

13. Optimize Your 401k (or 403b) Investing Strategy

Did you know that one of the most important money hacks is optimizing your employer-sponsored retirement plan?


Employer-sponsored retirement plans are structured to help you prepare and save more money for your retirement.

Employer-sponsored retirement plans include:

  • 401(k)’s
  • 403(b)’s
  • 457(b)’s

In fact, in the modern-day and age, 67% of private employers offer their employees access to a retirement plan.

Private employers

Typically speaking, 401(k) plans are the most common type of employer-sponsored retirement plan.


Do you have access to an employer retirement plan?


If so, it’s time to take a look at your investments and how you can optimize your money in the stock market.


Note: Each employer-sponsored retirement plan typically offers a unique set of investment fund options, so not all plans are the same.

Typically speaking, when you enroll in your employer-sponsored plan, you typically are slotted into a pre-set investment fund, which often is a target-date fund.


Target-Date Fund Definition:A target-date fund is an investment fund that automatically changes its allocation over a specific period, with a target date, which is typically your estimated retirement date.

In other words, with a target-date fund, you typically don’t have to do anything except continue making your contributions.

The closer the current year to the target date fund year, the more conservatively invested the fund will be.

Vanguard target

As an example, the 2030 target-date fund (above) has 65% of the assets in stocks and 33% of the assets in bonds.


Now compare the 2030 target-date fund to a 2060 target-date fund, for example.


As you can see, the further out your expected retirement date, the more tilted your asset allocation will be toward stocks.


Stocks offer more growth opportunities in the long run.


So what are the pros and cons of target-date funds?

Target date funds

Personally speaking, I would not want to pay more for a product that’s not even customized to my risk tolerance and my life goals.


Does that sound like you, too?


If so, then I would suggest you consider downloading the app known as Blooom (yes, that’s with 3 o’s!).


Blooom integrates with your employer-sponsored retirement plan (like a 401(k)) as well as with your Traditional and Roth IRAs, and offers a customized investment management approach to your money.


Here’s why you should use Blooom:

  • Reduces your hidden expense ratios
  • Builds a customized investment portfolio
  • Adjusts your investments throughout the year
  • Builds a portfolio based on your financial goals

All you have to do is link your retirement accounts with Blooom, and the investment app helps you stay on track with your portfolio.

While customizing your investment account allocation might not seem like a major money hack today, in the future, having a customized portfolio that helps reduce hidden fees could help you save $100,000’s.

Buy cheap term life insurance

14. Buy Cheap Term Life Insurance

If you’re young and you’re planning to start a family, then buying life insurance should be on your priority list.

Term life insurance

One of my all-time favorite money hacks is buying cheap term life insurance as a Millennial to financially protect my family.


Term Life Insurance Definition: Term life insurance is the most basic and cheapest type of life insurance and only lasts for a specific term (typically between 10 to 30 years).

If you outlive the term, you don’t get your money back and your life insurance coverage disappears.


If you don’t outlive the term, the death benefit of your life insurance will be passed on to your beneficiaries tax-free.


Here are some of the pros and cons of term life insurance:

pros and cons of term life insurance:

Term life insurance is a great option for Millennials, which is why I am also such a proponent of this type of insurance.

Here is why Millennials should consider term life insurance:

  • It’s cheap
  • You’re not overspending money on life insurance
  • Millennials are typically healthy, so premiums will be even lower

The cost of your term life insurance is not just determined by the status of your health, however.

In fact, there are many additional factors that come into play when determining the cost of your term life insurance premiums, some of which I have listed out below:


Another major factor that determines your premiums is, of course, the amount of death benefit that you select for your term life insurance policy.


Related Reading: How much life insurance do I need?


Whenever someone says they need a certain “amount” of life insurance, they are actually referring to the death benefit.


Death Benefit Definition: The death benefit of a life insurance policy is the amount of money that the life insurance company agrees to pay to your beneficiaries (tax-free) upon your death in exchange for your timely and full premium payments.

While there are many factors that go into determining how much life insurance you need, below are some key pointers to consider:

  • Income
  • Children
  • Total debt
  • Work status
  • Marital status

Below is a typical formula you can use to determine how much life insurance you’ll actually need:


General Death Benefit Calculation: Death Benefit = Financial Responsibilities – Current Assets

If you’re ready to take a closer look at life insurance for yourself and your loved ones, then I’d suggest checking out Policygenius.

I like Policygenius because the company isn’t a single life insurance company (like John Hancock, Lincoln National Life Insurance, etc.).

Policygenius is a matchmaker, so the platform matches the best life insurance company with your personal situation (like your age, your health, etc.).


Pro Tip: I would always suggest running some free life insurance quotes first before you decide to buy term life insurance.

The good news is that Policygenius gives you the option to run free quotes on their online platform.

Take a look at my $1,000,000 term life insurance quote with Policygenius, below:


While $1,000,000 might seem like a high death benefit, I typically recommend for young professionals with promising careers to consider $1 million death benefits (or even higher), assuming they plan to have a family down the road, have a dependent spouse, etc.


The good news is that $1 million in death benefits won’t cost too much money.


Take a look below:

Policygenius quote examples

In other words, if I were to buy a $1 million policy on myself for 30 years, I would be looking at an annual cost of about $524.28 – which is absolutely doable for $1 million of coverage.


As a contrast, if I were to buy a whole life insurance policy with a $1 million death benefit, I would be looking at a much more expensive cost to me:

Whole life insurance

In other words, I would have to pay just over $8,796 per year for whole life insurance!


The good news is, Policygenius connects with a variety of high-quality life insurance companies, so I can choose which life insurance company I will use.


Although life insurance probably isn’t your favorite topic, getting cheap term life insurance today is one of the best money hacks you can do today to financially protect your family and loved ones tomorrow.

Money Saving Hacks: The Bottom Line

Yesterday would have been the best time to take action with these money hacks.

Today is the next best option.


While reading and doing your research is important (obviously), it’s not everything.


You cannot win without action.


Note: Don’t sacrifice your entire current lifestyle just for your future. If you truly want to have a wholesome and successful financial future – and present – learn to live in moderation.

In the end, it’s important you’re happy with the financial choices you make today for tomorrow.


Implement these money hacks now and your bank accounts will thank me later!


This article originally appeared on Themillennialmoneywoman.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.


More from MediaFeed:

37 money-saving resolutions for 2023


It’s time once again to make a fresh start. That’s the beauty of the New Year. We can all pause and reflect on the past year and figure out what we can improve in the year to come.

Along with promising to eat better this year and turbocharge our careers, many of us are also examining our personal finances and seeing how we can manage our money better in the 365 days ahead. Last year, a Statista study found that a top-ten resolution was “to live more economically,” showing that financial wellness is definitely a big concern.

If you’re focused on saving more money in 2023 and beyond, here are some resolutions you can consider adding to your list. They offer you dozens of smart, creative ways to help you reach your goal.




Here’s our first New Year’s resolution: Consider ramping up your savings by following the 50/30/20 budget rule. This wise formula says to save 20% of your income every month. The other 50% of your money should go toward your needs (housing, food, utilities, debt), and 30% can go toward discretionary items.



Suwanmanee99 / istockphoto


With so many transactions coming in and going out (and so many of them being automated these days), keeping a monthly budget can seem intimidating. How do you track and manage all of the credits and debits? Are you going to overdraw your account? With a weekly vs. monthly budget, the amounts you have to track are smaller and more manageable, and you’re much more likely to stick to them. Make a spreadsheet of all your weekly income and expenses, and then decide where you can cut back to save money.


Recommended: Pros & Cons of a Weekly Budget




Has your once-a-week latte habit become a daily thing? And exactly how many streaming platforms do you subscribe to? Spending money on entertainment, takeout, coffee, and other wants can add up quickly. So when you create your budget, figure out ways that you can reduce spending on things you don’t actually need.





Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to reduce your spending? If so and you try to slash everything at once, you can wind up feeling deprived and losing motivation. Instead, you might try cutting back on, say, those fancy coffees one month and on movies the next. You’ll still save money, but the rotating nature of cuts and the challenge of “no flat whites this month” can keep it interesting.





Yes, adding your credit card details to your online accounts makes it super easy to check out, which is exactly the problem. That simplicity can also lead to increased spending on impulse purchases. Instead, remove those saved cards and force yourself to manually type in your credit card number when you want to purchase something. If you have to get up to find your card, that can be a way to avoid impulsive purchases that you don’t actually need.



Farknot_Architect / istockphoto


Economizing can be easier when you have a kindred spirit to support you. If you have a friend or relative who is also trying to save money or has succeeded at doing so in the past, recruit them to help you. The two of you can text when you need advice on a big purchase you are contemplating or when bills pile up and stay strong together.





When your paycheck hits your checking account, it likely makes you feel flush and ready to splurge a little. Instead, pay yourself first. Make it a 2023 resolution to set up automatic transfers from your checking to your savings account. All you have to do is set the amount and the date you want the recurring transfer to occur. Then, you can watch your savings blossom automatically in no time.


gustavofrazao/ istockphoto


If you’re not already earning rewards with your credit card, make 2023 the year to do so. With credit card rewards, you can get cash back when you make purchases. Then, once you reach a certain amount, like $25, you can automatically transfer it into your savings account. As long as you pay off your balance in full each month and don’t overspend, credit cards can be helpful when it comes to reaching your savings goals.





If you haven’t already tried a round-up app, consider doing so this New Year. These work by, say, charging you $7 for a purchase that really cost you $6.35, and depositing the additional 65 cents into savings or putting it towards your debt. Acorn and Qoin are a couple of the ones to research; they can help move you towards financial security.





Credit card interest rates are notoriously high, with rates averaging just over 19% in November of 2022. If you’re not careful, you could be spending hundreds of dollars every month on credit card interest. Create a plan to become debt-free for 2023 and prioritize paying off your high-interest credit cards. For example, you could use the debt avalanche method, where you pay off the card with the highest-interest rate first and then move on to the card with the next highest interest rate, and so on.





If you have credit card debt, you may want to pay it down faster as a New Year’s resolution in 2023. Signing up for a balance transfer credit card could help. You’ll pay 0% interest on your debt for a certain period of time (say, six to 18 months), before your interest shoots back up. Just make sure you pay off your balance before that introductory period is over or else you’ll be right back where you started. And if the interest rate is higher than your current credit card, your situation could be made worse if you don’t pay it off in time.





Yes, it’s more convenient to toss cans and bottles in the trash. But each one probably could net you five to 10 cents if you redeem them, which is typically easily done at your local supermarket. Plus it’s good for the planet. While it may not yield the down payment for a house, every little bit of cash put into savings can help, especially when compound interest kicks in.





If you have any free time at night or on the weekends, then you can freelance or work some other sort of side hustle. Whether it’s tutoring school children or driving for a rideshare service, those extra dollars can make a serious impact on your savings.

There are plenty of low-cost side hustles to consider. Even renting a room in your house on Airbnb could put hundreds or thousands of extra dollars in your account every month.




Decluttering your home may be another New Year’s resolution you have for 2023. Knock out that resolution along with your money-saving resolution. There are plenty of places to sell your stuff, from clothing to electronics to cookware, whether it’s gently or never used. Consider sites like eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace.



CrispyPork/ istockphoto


If you’re young, you may feel like you don’t have to worry about retirement just yet. But the truth is that time is likely to pass faster than you think it will. Plus, if you start saving right away, you’ll make more money on your investments through the power of compound interest. Take advantage of your company’s 401(k) matching policy, if they have one, and beef up your retirement savings in the New Year.





If you were to lose your job tomorrow, would you have enough money to last you until you found something new? What if you had a medical emergency or your house suddenly flooded? Having at least three to six months’ worth of savings in an emergency fund will help you cover any sudden, unexpected expenses, and help ensure that your budget and financial goals won’t be derailed.



designer491 / istockphoto


If you’re not a couponer already, 2023 is a great time to start saving this way. Check your weekly newspaper for the latest deals and discounts at your local grocery stores. Adjusting your purchases to match that week’s sale items can help you save. You can also clip coupons from sites like Coupons.com  and P&GGoodEveryday  before your weekly shopping trips for more savings.





Did you know that generic products might be the same as name-brand products but without the fancy label? Whether you’re at a grocery store or a pharmacy, look into buying those store-brand and generic products instead, because you could end up saving a lot and still having high-quality products.





In order to stay on top of your financial goals in 2023 (or any year, in fact), it’s helpful to set aside one day a week to go over your spending. Pay your bills and check your accounts on this day as well to ensure you’re meeting your benchmarks.



The average interest you’ll earn on a traditional savings account is only 0.21%. But if you research different investments like stocks and bonds, you’ll see that the market typically earns 10% annually. Perhaps 2023 is a good year to invest in the market or invest more; just make sure you invest according to the risk you are willing to take.


For instance, if you don’t have much to invest, then you might stick to investing in high-performing, more established and stable companies. But if you have money to spare, you may try investing in riskier, smaller and newer companies.



solarseven/ istockphoto


A high-interest savings account is going to give you more bang for your buck when it comes to your savings. The rates frequently fluctuate, but they are averaging around 2.75% to 3.25% annually in November of 2022 — much higher than the rate of a standard savings account rate.




If you use cash instead of credit and debit cards, you’re going to be much less likely to spend money in 2023. Credit and debit cards make it easy to swipe without thinking about the consequences. Paying $100 in cash for your groceries is going to have much more of a psychological effect than simply swiping your card, and it can help encourage you to save more money.



NeONBRAND / Unsplash


Are you aware of all the monthly bank fees you’re paying just to keep your account open? If you overdraft your account, do you get charged a hefty fee? Does your bank charge you to use an ATM outside of their network? Examine all the fees you are currently paying and then look into competitors to see if they charge lower fees — or perhaps no fees at all. Online banks vs. traditional banks typically charge fewer (or no) fees and pay higher interest rates.



Image Source/istockphoto


Let’s go old-school in 2023. Put all your loose change into a coin jar, and then at the end of the month, take it to your bank to cash it in. This is better than using a Coinstar machine, which will take 11.9% of your money when you convert it into cash. Note: You may have to roll the coins before depositing at the bank, but this can be done while listening to your favorite podcast.





Financial apps are an easy way to keep track of your spending in the New Year. All you have to do is link your financial accounts to these apps to see how much you’re spending and what you’re spending your money on. These apps will even give you suggestions on how to save money and improve your finances, as well as remind you when bills are due. Your bank is likely to offer a tool like this. If not, some of the popular ones include Mint, YNAB, and EveryDollar.





Think you’re spending too much on cable? Is your cell phone company ripping you off? Be a savvy consumer, and tackle it in 2023 to save more. Call your service providers, and try to negotiate a lower monthly rate. If you aren’t successful, you could always use services like Trim to negotiate your bills down so you can save more every month.





You know how it goes: Suddenly, it’s 7 pm, you’re starving, and haven’t even started to think about dinner so you wind up ordering in. Avoid that in the New Year by preparing your meals in advance. That way, you will have food in the fridge when you’re hungry, and you won’t be tempted to eat out. It’s also a good idea to bring lunch to work so that you won’t be tempted to purchase food on your break with coworkers.





Go through your bank statements to see if there are any automatic subscriptions you don’t need or remember signing up for. Cancel them immediately. If a company was charging you without your knowledge, you may be able to request your money back.





Not having an energy-efficient home can be costly. You may be wasting hundreds of dollars each month because you’re leaving the lights on or running the heater or A/C for hours on end. You can make a few changes like sealing up drafty windows and attics and using LED light bulbs to start saving money on your utility bill in 2023.





If you have a problem with making impulse purchases, then unsubscribe from your favorite retailers’ email lists. That way, you won’t be as tempted to spend because you’ll no longer receive news about flash sales or buy-one-get-one offers.





Gas prices have fluctuated considerably lately and are still quite high. Trading in your SUV for a vehicle with a smaller tank could be a smart move. Hybrid and electrical vehicles are good options as well. Though you may pay a premium for them up front, you’ll save a lot on gas in the long run.





Here’s a New Year’s resolution to adopt: Whenever you’re purchasing tickets, booking a hotel, or going to an event, ask if there are any discounts. You may be able to snag a discount if you’re a student, a senior, a member of the military, a resident of the state, or even a AAA member.





When you go to retail stores, you’re going to pay full price. Instead, when reasonable, look for used items on sites like eBay and Facebook Marketplace. Flea markets and thrift stores may also have the goods you might need, at steeply discounted prices.





Enlist a friend to join, too, and then share the spoils of buying in bulk. Since the likes of Costco and BJ’s tend to have mega-sizes and packs, you can split the low-cost food and other items you purchase. Say, you buy a dozen burgers and keep half; your friend buys the same number of buns and gives you six. It’s a win-win.





Don’t spend any money for a week and see how you feel. This means you’ll need to brew your own morning coffee and eat homemade meals. You’ll also need to avoid shopping late at night on Amazon, but at the end of the week, you should be able to more easily distinguish your wants from your needs. This will help make budgeting that much easier.



nicoletaionescu / istockphoto


This year, instead of spending your tax refund on a new pair of Jordans or a vacation, put it into your savings. It’ll accrue interest and you can then put it toward a larger purchase down the line if you want.





This one is a double whammy if you want to get fit in the New Year, too. Purchase some weights online, and tune into your favorite trainers on YouTube to start burning fat and gaining muscle. You can cancel your expensive gym membership and forget pricey personal trainers while feeling better about yourself in 2023.


Learn More:

This article originally appeared on SoFi.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.


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