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101 Personal Finance Tips Your Mom Didn’t Teach You

101 Personal Finance Tips Your Mom Didn't Teach You

Hi gorgeous, do you suck at managing money?

Fret not… Here are 101 personal finance tips your mom probably forgot to teach you…


1. Create a budget and stick to it. This one deserves its own category and belongs right at the top. For help how to do this, seek the multitude of free resources on the web or ask someone who is good with money. There are plenty of them around. Have someone hold you accountable.


2. Shop at international markets or farmer's markets. Depending on your location, these outlets often have good deals, especially on produce.

3. Use coupons.

4. Only buy sale items.

5. Combine coupons and sales. You may occasionally score a free item!

6. Grow your own fruits and vegetables.

7. Buy only necessary organic items. Do research to find out which products are the most susceptible to pesticides and other unnatural chemicals.

8. Purchase off-brands. They often taste as good as a national brand.

9. Join a warehouse bulk store. Be careful though. The annual fee might outweigh the savings.

10. Double your coupons. Some stores allow this. Others do not. Check with your local grocer.

11. Buy the Sunday paper. It is a treasure trove of coupons and information.

12. Look for online coupon sites, both store-specific and general coupons.

13. Buy ripe or nearly expired products. Stores often have special sections with savings on these items.

14. Purchase efficient calories. Some foods are just generally a better value than others. Think potatoes, bananas, rice, etc. However, don’t forget to eat everything in moderation and with a balanced diet.


15. Cook in batches and freeze leftovers. This prevents waste and increases time efficiency.

16. Take your lunch to work. Ever add up how much you spend just on lunches?

17. Minimize eating out. Appetizers, desserts, drinks, taxes, tip. Suddenly, that $6.99 dinner special turned out to be a $40 meal for two.

18. Use coupon books. Many cities have their own versions, often offering two-for-one savings to restaurants and other food places.

19. Join email lists. Most chain restaurants offer some kind of opportunity to join their list to receive special offers.

20. Buy during happy hour. Sonic, Steak ‘n Shake, and many other places now offer “Happy Hour” specials during non-busy times.

21. Plan meals around what is already in the refrigerator.

22. Share food with neighbors. Try new foods, get rid of leftovers, make new friends. Win, win, win.

23. Skip the $5 coffee. We all enjoy our Starbucks now and again, but sometime hard choices have to be made.


24. Be part of a family plan. If you don’t like your family, find some friends to go in with together on a plan.

25. Limit options on plan. Do you really need unlimited texting and data usage?

26. Use a simpler phone. The money you save is cool, even if your flip-phone isn’t.

27. Use Skype instead of your cellular phone. Technology diminishes the need for other technology. Take advantage of it.


28. Pay off high-interest debt first.

29. Treat student loans like any other kind of debt. This is not free cash.

30. Use cash instead of credit cards. You can’t spend money you don’t have.

31. If you must use credit cards, pay them off each month. If you learn nothing else from this list, memorize this.

32. Use a credit card with rewards. Again, make absolutely certain your rewards are not offset by interest or finance charges. Be wary of annual fees as well.

33. Don't pay ATM fees. Just don’t do it. Withdraw from your own bank.

34. Pay bills online and save a stamp. And save time.

35. Set up automatic bill-pay. Save even more time.

36. Watch out for overdraft fees. Regularly monitor your bank statement.

37. Check your credit report for free three times a year. If you don’t know how to do this, Google knows how.


38. Catch red-eye flights. It is better than having a red-eye from the tears you shed from having no money.

39. Fly during the week.

40. Travel during non-peak times. Maybe not spring break. Cruise the water at a time other than the summer.

41. Change your own oil.

42. Skip flying first class. Ok, this one might have been a stretch. But, some people do.

43. Ride bike or public transportation to work. This perhaps is not always feasible.

44. Carpool. Some cities even have cool lanes just for you where you can go really fast.


45. Use a fuel-efficient car. A pickup is nice, but really?

46. Never lease. If you don’t know this one, then the rest of this list is probably meaningless to you.

47. Buy used. Be smart, used cars are one of the wisest but ignored purchases versus a new car.

48. Properly inflate your tires. Gas mileage will suffer greatly otherwise.

49. Keep up with maintenance on your car. Begin to think long-term, and not just about the present.

50. Have a trusted mechanic. Ask friends or family members. There are some unscrupulous characters out there.

51. Shop around for insurance. Be careful that you retain the coverage you need, however.

52. Pay premiums in one installment. Paying all six-months at once often will allow for a discount over paying monthly.

53. Renew license plates online. Some state offer savings for doing this. If nothing else, you will save time and postage.


54. Craigslist. If you haven’t heard of it, you’ve been living under a rock.

55. Yard sales. Perhaps the best deals of them all.

56. Ebay. No explanation needed.

57. Silent auctions. Sometimes, good deals can be found here. As a bonus, the proceeds often go toward a worthy cause.


58. Goodwill. You really can find some deals here, despite the stereotype. Shop at the stores in the nicer areas.

59. Secondhand shops. You pay a bit more, but often find better selection.

60. Outlet stores. Brand new items at discounted prices.

61. Sales. Resist paying full price.

62. Buy out of season. Ever notice clearance items appear when you don’t need them right then?


63. Use low-cost trading sites. Trading is more affordable, personalized, and easier than in the past. Make sure your personality is compatible with the risk-level of your investments.

64. Invest in mutual funds with low fees. The fees can add up quickly.

65. Invest in an IRA. It is never too early to think about retirement. Do some research.


66. Use reusable razors.

67. Make your own body lotion and soap. Look online for any number of recipes.

68. Do your own manicure.

69. Send an ecard. Save time, money, and postage.

70. Disconnect cable. We all waste enough time anyway.

71. Utilize the internet at the library or coffeehouse.

72. Use open source software.

73. Buy used books/music/dvds. and are great resources. Many non-virtual stores also exist.

74. Borrow from friends. Just make sure you return items in good condition or they may no longer be your friends.

75. Get your security deposit back. Have fun in that apartment, but it isn’t necessary to trash it.

76. Rent dvds from cheap store-side kiosks. Don’t feel sorry for Blockbuster.

77. Live with a roommate. Two-bedroom dwellings are not twice the cost.

78. Make homemade Christmas gifts.

79. Purchase generic drugs.

80. Buy cheap seats. We all like box seats, but hey, who said the process of being fiscally stable was going to be something we like?

81. Get used to cheap toilet paper. Enough said.

82. Buy energy-efficient bulbs.

83. Buy a filter rather than bottled water.

84. Take your shoes off before entering your residence. Carpet cleaning savings, anyone?

85. Cut your own hair.

86. Fix slow leak tires with a patch kit.

87. Use a clothes-shaver to make clothes like new.

88. Wait a few years after a new technology comes out. Don’t worry if your friends have IPad 2’s already and you don’t.


89. Attend classes at a local community college and transfer elsewhere later.

90. Complete the FAFSA. It can be a wealth of aid.

91. Take advantage of employer reimbursement. Not everyone will qualify but it doesn't hurt to check.

92. Apply for other scholarships that may be available.

93. Buy textbooks online.

94. Pass your classes! Failing can set you behind like nothing else.

95. Take core classes first before jumping fully into your major. People change majors. All the time.


96. Sell unused/antique items on Ebay or Craigslist. Ok, this one is different in that it is suggesting a way to actually make money

97. Take surveys online. You won’t get rich off of this, but they can often be enjoyable.

98. Join a focus group. If you land the right assignment, you can make a quick $50-$100 once in a while.

99. Write articles. Most sites are not fully legit, so do your homework.

100. Pick up odd jobs off Craigslist.

101. Sign up with a temp agency. This can help with additional cash flow or to fill in employment gaps.

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