Is inflation getting you down? Is the volatile stock market causing you to seek out personal finance hacks to save money and get through what could turn out to be a recession? If so, there’s good news. Individuals still have the power to fight back against economic forces that threaten to weaken buying power. What can you do? Besides building an inflation hedge by acquiring gold, cryptocurrency, and real estate, you can get to work reducing monthly expenses. A good start is to refinance student loans. Then, use the power of technology by using apps to help you save more efficiently and spend wisely.
Don’t neglect to get help from experts like financial planners, CPAs (certified public accountants), and credit counselors. One of the most potent tools in your collection is to contribute the maximum allowable amount to retirement accounts every year. Additionally, save big by planning vacations far in advance, shopping at wholesale clubs for bargains on food and fuel, and reorganizing your monthly budget at least once per year. Here are some of the most useful personal finance hacks that can help stretch your income and minimize expenses.
Hedge Against Inflation
In turbulent economic times, it’s best to do what you can to stay ahead of inflation whenever possible. For millions of working adults, that means investing in assets like precious metals and real estate, both of which have performed well in bad times. The metal of choice is gold, which you can acquire from an online dealer or broker. Whether your preference is bullion or gold-backed securities, having a stake in precious metals can be one way to outrun inflation. Real estate is another weapon in the fight against rising prices because it often holds its value when other assets lose out. If you don’t have the funds to purchase property directly, consider using REITs, real estate investment trust shares. They’re easy to buy through a broker and are an affordable way to slowly accumulate a stake in real estate.
Cut Monthly Spending by Refinancing Student Loans
One of the fastest and most efficient ways to reduce monthly expenses is to opt for a student loan refinance arrangement. If you’re currently paying on three loans, you can refinance them into one obligation with one payment. Applying takes just a few minutes, and the benefits are numerous. Not only are the refinanced loans flexible, offering terms from five to twenty years and limits up to $500,000, but the application process is simple. After providing some basic personal and financial information, you can customize the terms by choosing the monthly payment amount as well as the type of rate you prefer. Signing the document is your chance to lock in savings and knock a significant chunk off your monthly expenses.
Leverage the Power of Apps
The digital age offers consumers many ways to save money. There are free and paid apps you can download to your phone that help track spending, monitor credit card debt, send automatic deposits to savings accounts, and find coupons for items you frequently purchase. Some of the better ones can round up any purchase you make to the nearest dollar and send the difference directly to a designated account. Coupon apps can cut a significant amount from monthly bills as well.
Get Professional Opinions and Help
Speak with a financial planner to review your long-term and short-term strategies. Consult with an insurance agent who can update all your policies at least once per year. Have a CPA or Enrolled Agent prepare your taxes every year, even if you enjoy doing the job yourself. Both those professionals can represent you in front of the IRS should there be any problem with your filing.
Contribute Maximum to Retirement Accounts
There are a few tips for early retirement that you should consider. Strive to contribute the annual maximum to IRAs, which is $6,000 if you are under 50. If you’re 50 or older, you can contribute $7,000 per year. If your employer offers any kind of matching plans, whether 401k or thrift savings, take advantage of the offer and do your best to contribute up to the matching limit. Matched plans are becoming rarer these days, but they’re essentially free money for employees, so don’t miss out if you have the opportunity to contribute to one.