We all know the traditional finance tips for saving and spending money. But what unconventional personal finance tip has worked well for you? After someone asked a popular personal finance forum for the answers, these are the top-voted replies.
1. Be Careful About Who You Marry
One user warned, “Be extremely careful with who you marry. It will be your life’s most significant financial decision – treat it like that, as romantic as that is.” Another semi-jokingly added, ‘This is big. Now let’s talk about the wedding.”
2. Make a Dollar Amount Rule
Many agreed in the thread that setting a limit on what you’re willing to spend is a great way to use discretionary spending. For example, one said, “I made a rule. Anything over 50 bucks, I would have to wait a day. It stopped my impulse spending.”
3. No Spend Months
True, many have heard of No Spend November. However, one user encourages you to choose a few months out of the year and commit to no spending. She elaborates, “My partner and I do ‘No Spend’ months several times throughout the year, and takeaways have been:
- The number of impulse items that you realize at the end of the month that you didn’t need.
- The amount of food you have in the back of a cupboard or bottom of the freezer has just been sitting there for months/years.
- How much novelty you add to your life when you challenge yourself to avoid discretionary spending, you start getting quite creative when planning hanging out with friends and date nights.”
Many agreed that this might be tough, but it has proven to be helpful in their lives for the same reasons. Someone took it one further and volunteered that they alternate months.
4. Practice Health for More Wealth
Another explained, “Things that save you money in the long run if used properly:
- beginner’s cooking class to learn to cook your meals well
- gym membership/exercise equipment for maintaining a healthy body as you age
- joy for reading books/fiction – relatively inexpensive past time, gaining new skills, excellent for brain health
All will benefit your finances and keep you healthy (arguably the most excellent form of wealth).”
Several Redditors stated that walking saves them money by not owning vehicles or using public transportation. One explained, “I walk almost everywhere. I have a 55-minute walk to work every day. People say I’m crazy.
Alternatively, the bus takes 30 minutes, including my walk to the stop, and driving takes 15-20. So at most, I am costing myself 1-1.5 hours per day by walking, and I am getting great exercise, and it’s free. It seems like a no-brainer to me, but yeah, apparently, I’m the crazy one!”
6. Quit Smoking
Quit smoking! Easier said than done, right? Have you honestly tried? Someone volunteered, “I was a heavy smoker (pack to pack and a half per day) for many years. Fourteen years ago, I quit for good.
When I did, I opened a new savings account. I started transferring or depositing the daily amount I’d normally spend on cigarettes. In two years, the amount in that savings account accounted for almost 70% of what I used as a down payment on my first home!
Smoking takes an enormous toll on physical and financial health – it’s burning money. So quitting has been my most significant personal financial hack, a massive game-changer.”
7. Quit Spending Real Money on Games
Speaking of games, stop spending real money for fake money with in-game purchases. One noted, “Shoutout to whoever hacked my MapleStory account, which I had spent roughly $2000+ on without realizing it!
As a result, I could quit and focus on school!” Several others admitted they had spent real money for fake cash for games on their phones.
8. Put One Item Back
Another confessed, “When I go to a store, I always put one item back in my basket before checking out. It keeps me from getting things I didn’t go there for but thought were a great idea. It directly counters the psychology stores take advantage of in their layouts.”
9. Hot Showers at the Gym
One user volunteered, “Taking hot showers at the gym saves on the water bill and keeps my washroom a little cleaner.” Several loved the idea, even adding they hate cleaning their tubs. So they would try this hack.
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10. Move Saved Money to Savings Accounts
Finally, one shared, “When buying something on sale, I move the money I saved from the sale price to my savings. For example, an item for $125 is on sale for $100. So I’ll move the saved $25 into my savings account.”
What do you think? Did Reddit get this right, or do you already benefit from these unconventional personal finance tips? This article is inspired by the internet and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of The Cents of Money.
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This article first appeared on The Cents of Money.
With a passion for investing and personal finance, I began The Cents of Money to help and teach others. My experience as an equity analyst, professor, and mom provide me with unique insights about money and wealth creation and a desire to share with you.