Many people want to retire with a good amount of savings, a healthy nest egg, and have time for themselves to enjoy their golden years. Getting these going without overthinking takes a few simple hacks.
Here are ten financial hacks that can help you to retire early.
1. Automate Your Savings
It can not be stated more than to automate your savings. Every month, you should have money leaving your checking account in some savings account. This way, you can learn to live on less and, at the same time, save more money in the process.
2. Track Expenses
Many financial people will say to budget your money, but knowing where your money is going is one of the best financial hacks. Start by tracking your expenses. That means using a Google sheet, an app, or some method to see how much you spend each month.
After that, you can cut back on certain items, like if you are spending way too much on eating out. Then you can cut back and use those savings for investing.
3. Use Cashback and Reward Cards
Credit cards have a negative connotation attached to them because many people will overspend and get caught in credit card debt. If you are responsible and use them wisely, you can take advantage of cashback and reward cards. These can give 3-5% spending bonuses and a sign-on bonus of $150-1,000.
It rewards being responsible with spending and knowing how to take advantage of these cards.
4. Pay off Debt Strategically
Debt is something that can hold many people back. It can be student loan debt, credit card debt, or even a mortgage. So it is best to learn some strategies to pay off debt. You can use Dave Ramsey’s snowball method or even the better option, as Avalanche Method. These two ways can help you pay off your debt faster, giving you more money to invest for retirement.
5. Invest Your Money
Money sitting in your bank account doesn’t do much. That is why investing is so important. Using your money to make more is one of the fastest ways to build enough money to retire early. That can be through real estate, stocks, bonds, or a business.
6. Invest in Yourself
Investment in yourself is a surefire way to help you create more revenue. That means you can invest in more education, a side hustle, a new business endeavor, or something that can help you stand out from the crowd and make more money. Even financial education can help you to manage your money better. So take an opportunity to invest in yourself.
7. Pack Your Lunch
Eating out is such a drain on our finances. Packaging a lunch is one of the biggest ones to help avoid this. Meals out for lunches can cost $10-20; a lunch can add up daily. So it is best to pack a lunch. It saves time and money and lets you know where the food comes from.
8. Buy Generic Brands
Name-brand products are usually marked up more than those generic brands. Medicine, food items, and many other items are much cheaper for the same product if you buy generic brands. So start buying generic, and save on those name brands.
9. Create an Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is a helpful tool to save you in cases of emergency. You do not need to rely on a credit card or loan or sell assets to cover you. So building up an emergency fund with 3-6 months’ worth of expenses can help you out. It also allows you to have room to invest more money as you no longer have to save for those emergencies.
10. Pay Yourself First
One of the biggest financial hacks is to pay yourself first. Automating savings helps you to pay yourself first, but also, automating investing can do the same thing. If we can have less in our bank, then we can live on less, and automated investing and savings can help build a more significant nest egg without us even realizing it.
Start Taking Action
These simple ten financial hacks can help create a better financial plan for you and help you to retire early. It takes some work, like tracking your expenses and being more disciplined, but your financial future will be much brighter if you do a few things.
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I’m Steve. I’m an English Teacher, traveler, and an avid outdoorsman. If you’d like to comment, ask a question, or simply say hi, leave me a message here, on Twitter (@thefrugalexpat1). Many of my posts have been written to help those in their journey to financial independence. I am on my journey, and as I learn more I hope to share more. And as always, thanks for reading The Frugal Expat.