I’ve had several times in my life with almost no money. During these times, I learned a few money hacks. It’s cool how having no money can actually teach you so much.
It’s not about being a tight ass either. Money is about understanding what business does to take money out of your pocket and it’s also a journey in understanding temptation.
Why save money?
Saving money is how you fund your dream. No matter what you want to achieve, you need to have some money put aside to make it happen. Having a small amount of money saved can do the following:
1. Help you deal with emergencies
2. Give you surplus cash to put towards your dream
3. Make you less stressed
4. Allow you to take a break
Here are the money hacks I’ve learned from going through hard times:
Recurring revenue is the best source of income for your business. On the flipside, subscriptions will make you broke. The whole subscription model is designed to take advantage of you being lazy. Most of the subscriptions you have, you don’t need.
I find that one time purchases for things I don’t use a lot is actually better. Make a note of all of your subscriptions and then cull as many as you can.
Books instead of Netflix and movies.
Netflix and movies can use up your capital and they generally give you nothing. Replace these two media forms for books. Books are cheaper in the long run and if you focus on reading biographies and books that provide real strategies, you’ll become smarter too.
Go to the supermarket instead of the shopping mall.
Walking into a giant shopping center with all of your favorite brands is a disaster. You’re guaranteed to buy stuff you don’t need and temptation is likely to take over. The only shopping you have to do every week is your grocery shopping.
Visit the supermarket that’s not in a shopping mall and then you’ll be focused on buying things to fill your stomach, instead of your wardrobe.
People won’t remember what you’re wearing.
There’s this myth that we have to wear something new all of the time. The harsh reality is that most people won’t remember what you’re wearing anyway because they’re so focused on their own appearance and problems.
None of us need as many clothes as we have. Culling the size of your wardrobe will save you lots of money.
There are cheap times to get petrol and expensive times to get petrol. In my area, I find that every four weeks, petrol is cheaper than the other weeks. So, being smart about when you fill up can save you lots of money. Obviously, aim for the times when petrol is low.
Going out to restaurants.
Those of us who have worked in restaurants know that most of the profit is made on drinks, not the food. Most of the drinks you buy when you’re out for dinner are not good for you. The only real liquid you need is water. So, when going to restaurants, skip the drinks and focus on the food.
Driving everywhere is expensive. Try sharing an Uber with friends or taking public transport.
Parking is expensive and most of the time the car takes longer.
Use the frequent car trips you make to have someone else do the driving and then download some podcasts so you can educate yourself.
This whole industry is a bit of a scam. The idea is to make you think that everything needs to be consistently maintained and replaced otherwise you’ll end up lost in the desert with no way home, and you may even die of starvation.
The only two things you must do on a car every year is changing the oil and the oil filter. Watch some Youtube videos on when to change your tires and brakes because most mechanic shops will tell you that you need to change them when you don’t.
They’re evil. You don’t need the reward points and the benefits of not having one are far greater. Get a debit card instead. Credit cards give you a false sense of your true financial position. You will mess up. That’s how the credit card game is designed.
Book holidays in advance.
We all need to take a break at least a few times a year. The cheapest way to do this is to book in advance. Plan when your holidays are going to be and then book them, so you get more choice, and more chances to spot a deal.
I’ve recently used Airbnb a lot more and that’s halved my accommodation costs. The only challenge with the platform is that the good properties sell out early so you must book in advance.
Also, consider whether you are going to stay local or go overseas. In my country, it’s cheaper to go overseas than it is to travel within Australia.
Don’t join mailing lists for deals.
An IT guy told me the other day to sign up for all of the retailers mailing lists because then I will see more deals. This is the worst advice ever! These mailing lists will make you develop a habit of making impulse purchases and looking for things you don’t need.
“You don’t need access to more deals; what you need is to spend less and avoid temptation”
Let loose one day a month.
If you’re a scrooge every day of the week, you’ll get tired of it and eventually quit. The best way to be good with money is to have one day a month where you can let loose a bit and indulge on one or two things. Just don’t undo all of your hard work by going out of control.
Donate or volunteer.
Puts your BS money problems into perspective. The best way I’ve found to save money towards my dream is to meet people who have nothing.
“Once you put your finances into perspective by being around the homeless and people that are going through terrible tragedies, you’ll know why you are saving in the first place”
More importantly, being exposed to people in rough places will make you want to give some money away. This charitable act will make you a better person which is far more important than how much money you have.
So that’s what I did folks when I had no money. That’s how I saved money towards my dream which I’m now living.
Be smarter with your money.
Save for your dream.
Be a good human and give money or time to people who need your help.
If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net