It’s no secret that personal finance bloggers are known for offering many “money hacks.” In reality, though, most of these are pretty straightforward — such as saving more money or paying off your debt. Yet they’re called “hacks” since they appear to be clever and innovative.
That said, not every money-saving tip is equally effective, so proceed with caution. The truth is that many money hacks won’t save you any money in the long run. What’s worse, these hacks may actually hold you back from accumulating wealth.
With that said, let’s take a closer look at the top ten money hacks keeping you poor.
1. The more you buy, the more you save.
Don’t fall for the “Buy Three, Get the Fourth Free” and “Get $50 Off When You Spend $200″ offers.
The reason? When you see a sale or discount that encourages you to buy more in order to save money, that’s almost always a bad idea. You’ll usually end up buying unnecessary items with the extra money you’ve saved.
“The BOGO is one of these quasi-legitimate — maybe not-so-legitimate — deals that rely on consumers not paying a lot of attention to what they’re doing,” explains Mark Cohen, Director of Retail Studies at Columbia University’s School of Business.
“Buyers see ‘free’ and find it to be incredibly compelling without really doing the math.”
Essentially, you’re getting a 50% discount off of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) with a BOGO deal. It is not uncommon for this price to be artificially marked up in the first place.
2. Building wealth requires a side hustle.
Having a side hustle allows you to generate income from a different source. It is often argued that they are an essential part of living frugally or building wealth. After all, you can save more by bringing in more money.
A side hustle may not be necessary for some people. In fact, they would be better served by switching jobs and advancing in their main job instead. Furthermore, there need to be systemic solutions to systemic problems. It’s impossible to Uber our way out of rising living costs and inflation.
As Grant Cardone asserts, side hustles will never make you rich. In fact, you should quit them altogether.
“They’re not helping you,” he says. “They are just distractions from what actions you should be giving your all. Also, stop looking for other options.”
His recommendation is to commit to and strengthen your first source of income. “It deserves and needs your love and attention,” Cardone adds. “Commitment is like magic. Do it now, and watch what happens.”
3. Stuff you can DIY.
Sure. You can change your own oil. The thing is unless you have a car lift and the right tools and knowledge, changing your own oil is messy, time-consuming, and it doesn’t save you money. In fact, there is no cost difference between doing it yourself and going to a mechanic.
For example, each oil change costs around $40 to do yourself — provided you have the right tools at hand. However, you can get a $25 oil change at places like Firestone.
Obviously, this category includes a wide range of items. It is generally a good idea to leave some things to the professionals. During a renovation, for example, if you don’t have experience in electrical or plumbing work, hire a licensed professional instead.
4. Taking out interest-free loans.
Don’t borrow just because you don’t have to pay interest. Although it seems financially beneficial, you’re making yourself poor by doing this.
In order to attract a lot of debtors, many organizations or stores offer interest-free loans. In some cases, you won’t have to pay interest. Nevertheless, you have to pay back the money you borrowed.
Furthermore, refrain from taking out a loan unless you are absolutely certain you need the money and can pay it back. By doing that, you’ll only harm your finances.
5. Delete your valid addresses from your Experian credit report.
Here we have a TikTok hack by @thedisputeher. And, it’s a doozy.
“The idea is that the credit bureau will also remove the negative accounts associated with those addresses,” Ana Staples writes over at CNET. However, accurate information will not be deleted by credit bureaus.
Furthermore, even if you succeed in this “hack”, you will lose all the positive data associated with those addresses, she adds. Therefore, following this advice may still harm your credit score.
6. Making a lot of effort to save a little money.
It might be better to spend your time or effort in other ways if you realize you are spending a lot of time on saving a few bucks. A few examples include clipping coupons all morning on Sunday or driving far for furniture or shopping at five grocery stores to find a deal.
Rather than burn up gas and time driving and shopping around, you might have been better off finding deals much closer to home. Understanding how much your time is worth will help you make better choices so that you can spend it wisely and save money.
7. Save money by moving somewhere cheaper.
Moving several states away to find a cheaper price of living is expensive. Moving costs on average $1,400 nationwide, ranging from $800 to $2,000.
In addition, what if you need to be in a major city for your job? Do you require certain healthcare services? What if you suddenly need a car, insurance, and gas after moving? And, how much will it cost you to visit your friends and family?
In addition, housing costs have risen everywhere in recent years. Since 1970, home prices have increased 150% faster than inflation, overtaking the inflation rate by 150%. What’s more, rather than $408,100, the median home price would be just $177,788 if home prices grew at the same rate as inflation since 1970.
8. Cheap cars and tiny houses.
The “tiny house” is often regarded as an essential accessory for minimalists. However, is tiny living really a money-saving technique?
Several sources suggest that it is — there’s even an entire Netflix sub-genre dedicated to the subject. It’s easy to understand why, when you consider the true cost of buying a home conventionally — as we just discussed in our previous point.
It’s important to note, however, that very few people are able to live in a tiny house for an extended period of time. Moreover, tiny houses aren’t easy to get zoning anywhere near a city, they’re vulnerable to weather and security threats, and almost always lose value on the market when resold.
It may be cheapest to buy an older car, but their cumulative long-term costs often offset this upfront saving. The modern vehicle is also safer, requires less maintenance, and costs less to operate than its predecessor. There’s a valid reason why a 1993 Camry is listed on Craigslist for $800,
It might be expensive to buy a car. But, you should consider 3-5-year-old models from brands with a reputation for longevity, such as Toyota or Honda,
Make sure you negotiate the best deal possible when buying a home, pay down your mortgage at an accelerated rate and convert your ex-homes into rental units. Your mortgage-free home will be yours, and you won’t have to live in anything but a shed.
Upcycling and repurposing old items not only saves money but also reduces landfill waste. While saving the planet, you are also being smart financially.
Conversely, holding onto too much useless junk out of sentimentality or merely because you don’t want to give it up can be unhealthy. When your home is cluttered, your mind is also weighed down. You can end up suffering from either mental or physical side effects as a result.
It’s time to throw out everything you don’t use, like clothes you wore 20 pounds ago, and scraps of paper you keep.
The same applies to hoarding money.
In order to avoid going broke, some people hoard money. They may have the best of intentions, but their approach is seriously flawed.
You will never become richer by hoarding money; it is just one of the habits that will make you poorer. It’s important to make your money work for you if you want to become rich. Don’t hoard it. Invest it instead.
Online micro-investment platforms allow you to invest $10 and earn 20% returns within a year. But, with a few thousand dollars, you can expect a decent return.
10. Using credit cards to earn points.
The idea of earning rewards on credit cards may seem like a good reason to spend money. The risk is, however, that you may overindulge.
In order to keep spending money without control, many financial institutions offer cashback rewards. In addition to earning points, you are also accruing debt with the credit card.
There’s no doubt that this is one of the biggest money hacks that keeps you poor and shackled to debt. As a result, if you use credit cards for points, you might end up spending money on things you don’t need.
What are money hacks?
A money hack is a quick way to increase your wallet balance without investing much effort. From saving cash in a piggy bank to making your morning coffee at home, there are countless money hacks you can use.
Is there a way I can get free money right now?
Today, you can get free money in dozens of ways. Sign up for an UberEats or DoorDash gig if you need money quickly. A small fee can be charged to get paid now, allowing you to get money quickly.
Signing up for a free service or redeeming rebates you’ve earned are other ways to get free money these days.
What are some ways that I can stay safe online using free money hacks?
If you want a free money hack, always do your research and do not provide your banking information or credit card number. Generally, you don’t have to provide much information to earn free money other than your name, email address, and mailing address. You should avoid companies that request money upfront or want more personal information.
Why do some money hacks don’t work?
There is no such thing as a universal money-saving tip. You can save money by using a number of money hacks, but there are many that are not helpful. For little savings, they monopolize your valuable time.