Money Management Strategy – Basics, tips and tools

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Contents

The Best Free Money Management Tools

Table of Contents

Our Comprehensive Guide to the Best, Free Money Management Tools on the Web

The internet is littered with programs and courses that promise to make you a master trader if you’re just willing to stick with the routine and in many cases, pony up some cash. A lot of these programs come with a hefty price tag and from questionable sources which make deciding on where to invest your resources painstakingly difficult.

Luckily for you, we’ve gone through all of the best, free money management tools and compiled them here in this useful guide.

MT4 Order Plugin

Easy Order is a bundle of scripts that lets you plan your risk in a very intuitive manner based on your charts. It was published on Forex Factory forums back in 2020 by a talented MQL coder under a nickname of sangmane. Once you’ve applied the script on a chart, you can drag and drop TP and SL lines, and reverse calculate risk by percentage from a balance or by a fixed money amount according to the execution price, regardless of how many pips the SL is.

For example, you can define your intention to risk $150 from the market price (whatever it will be at the time of execution) while SL is set to a specific price. We know as the market breathes, the amount of pips will change from the execution entry price to SL level. Once you decide to execute, the script will calculate what should be the lot size that will determine a value of $150 from market execution price to the predefined Stop Loss order.

Easy Order is a visual and intuitive risk management tool for Metatrader 4

You set the SL and TP level via dragging and dropping lines on the chart. This tool is extremely intuitive and visual way to handle your trade while knowing the script will do the math for you as accurately as it can get.

You can set the script to prioritize by percentage from current balance, or by a fixed monetary value.

In 2020 this tool was revolutionary for MetaTrader 4 users. Only a few years later, by a fashionable delay Metaquotes made an effort and had presented visual drag and drop positions management tools. Yet, Easy Order still has a huge advantage for its agility for seamlessly risk calculating.

Money Management Excel Application

If you don’t want to use an Expert Advisor, you’re not using a Windows operating system, or you’re not using Metatrader 4, this independent Money Management excel sheet might be a great tool for you. It also doubles as a great trainer in the theory of money management.

It serves the same function as the previous tool, the only difference being you have to punch the numbers in yourself.

Playing with this simple calculator is highly recommended for new traders. It’s a great tool to get a sense of the numbers and to train the mind to apply risk management layers to every trade plan.

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Pips Calculator

This one should be pretty self-explanatory. It tells you how much each pip is worth.

Input the currency pair, asking price, position size, and the currency you’re account is trading in, and… voila, it tells you how much each pip is worth.

Pip Calculator on Babypips forums – Easy as for babies

High Impact Economic News Alert

Investing.com lets you create recurring alerts for economic news releases. So you can always be up to date when a major market driver is about to come which makes this one of the most important free money management tools.

You have to signup for a user at investing.com. It’s free and you can have your alert set as a push notification connected to your mobile device when the inveting.com application is installed and launched on your device. You can set the alerts as email or desktop notifications.

Prior to the release, you will receive the data published.

Investing.com Economic Calendar Alert, Giving you a heads up 15 minutes before time

Trendline Price Alert
https://www.mql5.com/en/market/product/38661

If you trade with diagonal trend lines, you’ll definitely want to be alerted once prices hit a trend line. But since you can never know exactly when a price hits a channel line, you can’t accurately define the price at which you wish to receive an alert for.

Having a trendline alert is the solution for you.

Once price hits the line you will receive an audio alert announcing the price hit.

Trendline Alert Tool

Tradingview Condition Price Alert

Here you can create conditioned alerts to be received by email, SMS or chrome desktop notifications.

You can utilize different combinations of alerts, from trendlines, joining lines, and other patterns.

Alerts can be received in the form of audio, SMS, email, or via a pop-up notification.

FxCraft – Money Management Expert

This tool allows you to manage your position even while it’s open. From the first and second targets, it allows you set from ahead, and to set when the stop-loss order eventually rolls to break even automatically.

Another great feature is a cancel level line. After setting it, when the price crosses it, pending orders will be canceled.

How to Calculate Forex Position Sizing/Lot Sizing
https://www.forexfactory.com/showthread.php?t=424695

One of the most important components in risk management is to understand position size which is defined by Lot size, this article will explain also how to consider risk in your local currency terms, understanding the calculation of position size/ lot size is crucial for risk management.

Knowing to plan your position sizing is a key element for your money management essential skills. If you know how much you want to risk and how many points you’re about to risk, the calculator will deliver the number of lots you should buy. Go to this thread on Forex Factory Forum to learn how to DIY your position sizing.

Bottom Line

All of these tools are great resources to add to your trading repertoire but as always, it comes down to the person using the tools to make sense of the numbers and to make sound investing decisions. You still need to do the bulk of the work, these tools just make it a little easier and efficient.

Options for people who don’t like to budget

Creating a budget may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Learn about the tools and techniques that can help simplify budgeting and help you reach your financial goals.

The material provided on this website is for informational use only and is not intended for financial, tax or investment advice. Bank of America and/or its affiliates, and Khan Academy, assume no liability for any loss or damage resulting from one’s reliance on the material provided. Please also note that such material is not updated regularly and that some of the information may not therefore be current. Consult with your own financial professional and tax advisor when making decisions regarding your financial situation.

OPTIONS FOR PEOPLE WHO DON’T LIKE TO BUDGET

Keeping a detailed budget

can be one of the best
ways to help you save

money and avoid overspending,

but not everyone has the time—

to sit down with a
spreadsheet on a regular basis.
You may have even
tried to keep a budget
BUDGET, EXPENSES
MORTGAGE $1200
ICE CREAM $20, COFFEE $40

before but it didn’t work out –
CAR LOAN $250, MOVIES $35,
CABLE BILL $60, ELECTRIC $110

you’re not alone.
HAIRCUT $60, GYM MEMBERSHIP $70
CAR INSURANCE $67, RESTAURANTS $21

Fortunately, there are some
ways you can manage your money

without a traditional spreadsheet.

Now, the most important
part of managing your money

is making sure your needs are covered.
MAKE SURE YOUR NEEDS ARE COVERED

This will require a bit of math,
but it doesn’t need to be complicated.
MORTGAGE $1200, UTILITIES $110
CAR PAYMENT $150, INSURANCE $90
TOTAL $1550

Start by figuring out all of
your regular monthly expenses.
MONTHLY BILLS

This will be your regular bills
like rent or mortgage payments,
MORTGAGE $1200

all your utilities, insurance payments
UTILITIES $110, INSURANCE $90

and any other loan or credit
card payments you make each month.
CAR LOAN $150, TOTAL $1550

Then, estimate your
other necessary expenses

ESTIMATED NECESSARY EXPENSES

like what you spend
per month on groceries
GROCERIES $110,

and transportation costs.
TRANSPORTATION COSTS $250
TOTAL $360

Add all these costs
up and you’ve got your baseline—
MONTHLY EXPENSES, TOTAL $1910

what you need to cover every month.

When it comes to
paying your regular bills,
MARCH, DUE, BILL DUE
CABLE BILL, LOCATION

setting up alerts on a calendar
ALERTS
FROM MARCH 05, 08:00AM TO

can help to remind you to pay
them a few days before they’re due.

Or to make it even easier, you can try
automating some of your payments.
AUTOMATED PAYMENTS
UTILITIES, CABLE, CAR LOAN

You can sign up for automatic
bill pay with your utility companies,
MORTGAGE

lenders, and in some
cases even with your landlord.

The amount you owe each month
BANK STATEMENT

will be automatically
withdrawn from your bank account—

or charged to your credit card.
CARD STATEMENT

Automating payments can save
you time and effort every month
PAID

and help make sure
your bills are paid on time,

just be sure you always have
enough money available in your account
BANK STATEMENT

to cover all of your
automatic withdrawals.

And if you use a credit card,
CREDIT CARD

make sure you can pay
the balance in full each month
CARD PAYMENT
BALANCE DUE, PAY IN FULL, PROCEED

in order to avoid paying
interest on those charges.

If you change your mind and decide
that automatic payments aren’t for you,
AUTOMATED PAYMENTS

you can always cancel
your scheduled payments

and go back to paying manually.
BILL PAY

Automatic payments
can also be a great way
STUDENT LOANS

to help you systematically
pay down debt
AUTOMATED PAYMENTS

if you set up extra
payments toward your loans

and they can
help you grow your savings
REPEATING TRANSFERS

if you set up regular
contributions to a savings account.

This can be especially helpful, if
you’ve had trouble saving in the past.
DECEMBER, JANUARY

To help yourself prioritize saving,
FEBRUARY, MARCH, APRIL

you can try thinking of saving
as a bill you have to pay to yourself.
ME

Even if it’s just a small amount,

making automatic payments to yourself

can help you build up an emergency
fund or a retirement account.

Once you’ve taken care
of your regular bills and savings,

you have a bit more
flexibility with what’s left.

But if you find yourself
overspending from month to month,
EMAIL, WARNING, LOW BALANCE

you might want to
try tracking your spending.
TRACKING YOUR SPENDING

One simple way of doing
this is using the “envelope method.”
ENVELOPE METHOD

While it might sound old-fashioned,

putting a set amount
of cash in envelopes

each month for different
purposes like groceries,
GROCERIES

transportation, dining out,
TRANSPORTATION, EATING OUT

and just general spending money
PURCHASES

can help you set limits
on what you spend.

So then, if you find
yourself spending more

than you had available
in any of your envelopes,

you might need to make
adjustments the following month.

Another way you can keep track
of your spending with little effort
CARD STATEMENT

is to use a single
debit or credit card
DEBIT CARD, CREDIT CARD

that can track and
categorize your expenses for you.
TRACK, CATEGORIZE

By keeping all of your
purchases on one card,

you’ll only have one monthly statement

that shows how much you’ve
spent and where you spent it.

So it can be easier to see
where you might be overspending

and how you might cut back.
LUNCH

Plus many banks now have online tools

that can categorize
your spending for you,

so you’ll be able to get an idea
of what you spent on different things

like entertainment,
groceries or dining out.

Many banks also offer account alerts
EMAIL, WARNING, LOW BALANCE

that will let you know when you’ve
reached certain spending limits.

If using a single
card is too limiting,
DEBIT CARD, CREDIT CARD 1,
CREDIT CARD 2

money management software or apps
MONEY MANAGEMENT APP
ACCOUNT, TRANSACTION, BALANCE

can help you link all of your accounts
DEBIT CARD, CREDIT CARD 1, CREDIT CARD 2
SAVINGS

and automatically track your
spending and saving for you.

Many of these have even more detailed

tools to help you
analyze your spending
DINING OUT

and they also have
alerts that can warn you
UNUSUAL SPENDING ON DINING OUT!

if you might be
overspending in one category.

if you feel like setting limits
on your spending is a challenge,

consider making one of
your goals a small reward to yourself.

Whether it’s a treat
at the end of a long week

or putting aside a little extra toward
a large purchase you really want,
BICYCLE

might help you feel more

motivated about managing your money—

as long as it doesn’t push
you into overspending.

While a detailed budget
can be a great motivational tool
INCOME, NECESSARY EXPENSES

to help you cut costs
and reach your savings goals,
DISCRETIONARY EXPENSES

it’s not the only answer.

As long as you pay
attention to the basics…

make sure your needs are covered;
MAKE SURE YOUR NEEDS ARE COVERED

manage your debts and savings;
MANAGE YOUR DEBTS AND SAVINGS

and avoid overspending,
AVOID OVERSPENDING

you’ll be setting the groundwork
for a more secure financial future.

OPTIONS FOR PEOPLE WHO DON’T LIKE TO BUDGET

Keeping a detailed budget

can be one of the best
ways to help you save

money and avoid overspending,

but not everyone has the time—

to sit down with a
spreadsheet on a regular basis.
You may have even
tried to keep a budget
BUDGET, EXPENSES
MORTGAGE $1200
ICE CREAM $20, COFFEE $40

before but it didn’t work out –
CAR LOAN $250, MOVIES $35,
CABLE BILL $60, ELECTRIC $110

you’re not alone.
HAIRCUT $60, GYM MEMBERSHIP $70
CAR INSURANCE $67, RESTAURANTS $21

Fortunately, there are some
ways you can manage your money

without a traditional spreadsheet.

Now, the most important
part of managing your money

is making sure your needs are covered.
MAKE SURE YOUR NEEDS ARE COVERED

This will require a bit of math,
but it doesn’t need to be complicated.
MORTGAGE $1200, UTILITIES $110
CAR PAYMENT $150, INSURANCE $90
TOTAL $1550

Start by figuring out all of
your regular monthly expenses.
MONTHLY BILLS

This will be your regular bills
like rent or mortgage payments,
MORTGAGE $1200

all your utilities, insurance payments
UTILITIES $110, INSURANCE $90

and any other loan or credit
card payments you make each month.
CAR LOAN $150, TOTAL $1550

Then, estimate your
other necessary expenses

ESTIMATED NECESSARY EXPENSES

like what you spend
per month on groceries
GROCERIES $110,

and transportation costs.
TRANSPORTATION COSTS $250
TOTAL $360

Add all these costs
up and you’ve got your baseline—
MONTHLY EXPENSES, TOTAL $1910

what you need to cover every month.

When it comes to
paying your regular bills,
MARCH, DUE, BILL DUE
CABLE BILL, LOCATION

setting up alerts on a calendar
ALERTS
FROM MARCH 05, 08:00AM TO

can help to remind you to pay
them a few days before they’re due.

Or to make it even easier, you can try
automating some of your payments.
AUTOMATED PAYMENTS
UTILITIES, CABLE, CAR LOAN

You can sign up for automatic
bill pay with your utility companies,
MORTGAGE

lenders, and in some
cases even with your landlord.

The amount you owe each month
BANK STATEMENT

will be automatically
withdrawn from your bank account—

or charged to your credit card.
CARD STATEMENT

Automating payments can save
you time and effort every month
PAID

and help make sure
your bills are paid on time,

just be sure you always have
enough money available in your account
BANK STATEMENT

to cover all of your
automatic withdrawals.

And if you use a credit card,
CREDIT CARD

make sure you can pay
the balance in full each month
CARD PAYMENT
BALANCE DUE, PAY IN FULL, PROCEED

in order to avoid paying
interest on those charges.

If you change your mind and decide
that automatic payments aren’t for you,
AUTOMATED PAYMENTS

you can always cancel
your scheduled payments

and go back to paying manually.
BILL PAY

Automatic payments
can also be a great way
STUDENT LOANS

to help you systematically
pay down debt
AUTOMATED PAYMENTS

if you set up extra
payments toward your loans

and they can
help you grow your savings
REPEATING TRANSFERS

if you set up regular
contributions to a savings account.

This can be especially helpful, if
you’ve had trouble saving in the past.
DECEMBER, JANUARY

To help yourself prioritize saving,
FEBRUARY, MARCH, APRIL

you can try thinking of saving
as a bill you have to pay to yourself.
ME

Even if it’s just a small amount,

making automatic payments to yourself

can help you build up an emergency
fund or a retirement account.

Once you’ve taken care
of your regular bills and savings,

you have a bit more
flexibility with what’s left.

But if you find yourself
overspending from month to month,
EMAIL, WARNING, LOW BALANCE

you might want to
try tracking your spending.
TRACKING YOUR SPENDING

One simple way of doing
this is using the “envelope method.”
ENVELOPE METHOD

While it might sound old-fashioned,

putting a set amount
of cash in envelopes

each month for different
purposes like groceries,
GROCERIES

transportation, dining out,
TRANSPORTATION, EATING OUT

and just general spending money
PURCHASES

can help you set limits
on what you spend.

So then, if you find
yourself spending more

than you had available
in any of your envelopes,

you might need to make
adjustments the following month.

Another way you can keep track
of your spending with little effort
CARD STATEMENT

is to use a single
debit or credit card
DEBIT CARD, CREDIT CARD

that can track and
categorize your expenses for you.
TRACK, CATEGORIZE

By keeping all of your
purchases on one card,

you’ll only have one monthly statement

that shows how much you’ve
spent and where you spent it.

So it can be easier to see
where you might be overspending

and how you might cut back.
LUNCH

Plus many banks now have online tools

that can categorize
your spending for you,

so you’ll be able to get an idea
of what you spent on different things

like entertainment,
groceries or dining out.

Many banks also offer account alerts
EMAIL, WARNING, LOW BALANCE

that will let you know when you’ve
reached certain spending limits.

If using a single
card is too limiting,
DEBIT CARD, CREDIT CARD 1,
CREDIT CARD 2

money management software or apps
MONEY MANAGEMENT APP
ACCOUNT, TRANSACTION, BALANCE

can help you link all of your accounts
DEBIT CARD, CREDIT CARD 1, CREDIT CARD 2
SAVINGS

and automatically track your
spending and saving for you.

Many of these have even more detailed

tools to help you
analyze your spending
DINING OUT

and they also have
alerts that can warn you
UNUSUAL SPENDING ON DINING OUT!

if you might be
overspending in one category.

if you feel like setting limits
on your spending is a challenge,

consider making one of
your goals a small reward to yourself.

Whether it’s a treat
at the end of a long week

or putting aside a little extra toward
a large purchase you really want,
BICYCLE

might help you feel more

motivated about managing your money—

as long as it doesn’t push
you into overspending.

While a detailed budget
can be a great motivational tool
INCOME, NECESSARY EXPENSES

to help you cut costs
and reach your savings goals,
DISCRETIONARY EXPENSES

it’s not the only answer.

As long as you pay
attention to the basics…

make sure your needs are covered;
MAKE SURE YOUR NEEDS ARE COVERED

manage your debts and savings;
MANAGE YOUR DEBTS AND SAVINGS

and avoid overspending,
AVOID OVERSPENDING

you’ll be setting the groundwork
for a more secure financial future.

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How to Manage Your Money | 18 Legit Personal Finance Tips

Money management and personal finance can be touchy subjects. Many people experience a lot of anxiety when they think about their financial lives, both as they are today and how they may look in the future. Maybe you didn’t start saving for retirement as early as you’d hoped or perhaps you didn’t get an emergency [. ]

Money management and personal finance can be touchy subjects. Many people experience a lot of anxiety when they think about their financial lives, both as they are today and how they may look in the future.

Maybe you didn’t start saving for retirement as early as you’d hoped or perhaps you didn’t get an emergency fund in place and ended up in debt. Whatever your circumstances, deciding to take control of your situation now is always the best choice.

You simply have to follow a few key steps and you’ll be well on your way.

How to Manage Your Money

There are three important money management levers, all of which you can control:

  • Making Money
  • Saving Money
  • Investing Money

While each of these is important, when you manage all of them well, you’re going to be making the most of your money and your time.

See, the sum is much greater than the parts. It’s like a formula, where the more things that you do right the more money you’ll be making and the faster you’ll reach financial freedom.

It’s also important to track everything using a simple free app like Personal Capital.

When you manage your money well, it’s like making money in your sleep.

Now let’s dive into how to manage your money well.

18 Money Management Tips to Improve Your Finances

Managing money and learning how to manage money is easier than you think. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are some of the most amazing money management tips to help you win on the personal finance front.

1. Make the Most of Your Full-Time Job

Even if you don’t like your full time job or dream of launching your own company, today it is the most immediate place where you can probably make more money.

The simple fact is most people are underpaid but they accept the amount of money they’re getting paid because they’re either afraid of getting fired if they ask or they don’t know how to get a raise.

You have the power. Don’t be afraid of your boss.

For many years employers had the upper hand and have been taking advantage of their employees, but this power dynamic has shifted and in many company’s and industries, employees now have the leverage.

There are too many open jobs in the economy right now to get filled and talent is in high demand. Don’t settle for the status quo.

Most people spend more time planning for their vacations each year than they do optimizing their careers. If you’re not making the most of it your full time job and making as much money as you can from it, you’re selling yourself short.

Figure out how much you should be getting paid by analyzing your current market rate for someone with your skills and experience by using websites like Indeed and Glassdoor.

You should also contact and build relationships with at least two recruiters in your industry.

Because recruiters live so close to the market they not only know what you should be getting paid, but they can also recommend additional skills you can develop (check out my post on best skills to learn), and potentially even recommend a new higher paying job or company.

2. Start A Side Hustle

Diversifying your income can be just as important as diversifying your investment portfolio. By starting a side hustle, you can bring cash in and give yourself additional financial security.

A side hustle is anything you do to make money outside of your full time job.

While you can side hustle doing anything, you’re more likely to have success if you start a side hustle you enjoy doing and one where you set your own fee and hours.

While it’s not bad to drive for Lyft or Uber, there are real limitations with these types of side hustles because you are limited by the hours you can drive in a day and how much you get paid is set by the company, not you.

Any side hustle where you manage your own time and decide what you can charge has the potential to make you more money.

Some of the best side hustles:

  • Blogging: Read my guide on how to start a blog with Bluehost and get my FREE 7 day blogging side hustle email course — where I share the step by step blueprint thousands of people have used to start a blog that makes money)
  • Online Surveys: While you can’t necessarily earn a living by doing online surveys, you can earn some quick cash by sharing your opinion. If you want to make a little extra money, checkout the best survey sites.
  • Becoming a virtual assistant: Sound interesting? Find out how to become a virtual assistant.
  • Start a YouTube channel: If you think you’re worth watching, here’s how much youtubers make.

For more side hustle ideas, check out our series on side hustle success stories.

To learn more about side hustling check out Chapter 10, More Money in Less Time: How to Launch A Profitable Side Hustle in my book Financial Freedom: A Proven Path to All The Money You Will Ever Need.

In the chapter I lay out a very detailed step by step strategy to picking, launching, and growing a side hustle.

3. Start Budgeting

There are two types of people: those who like budgeting and those who don’t. I’m in the latter camp. I’m definitely not a fan of budgeting.

I find that budgeting often reinforces a scarcity mindset where you spend so much time cutting back on the small purchases that often bring you the most joy.

You track every penny going in and going out and it just takes so much time. But if you’re the type of person who thinks they might be into budgeting, then you should learn how to budget.

Instead of budgeting I simply focus on optimizing my three biggest expenses, housing, transportation, and food.

The average American family spends almost 72% of their incomes on those three expense categories.

While small purchases like daily lattes, glasses of wine, or your Netflix subscription can add up, you’re going to be able to save the most amount of money where you spend the most money.

Through house hacking (a form of real estate investing), you can easily save 30% percent or more of your income. Your rent or mortgage is likely your biggest expense each month so reducing it as much as possible and investing the savings will add up quickly.

In addition to your housing expense, it almost always makes the most economic sense to buy a used car instead of a new one and investing the savings.

It’s also worth taking the time to reduce your food expenses and work hard to save money eating out.

There you have it: save on your homeownership, car ownership, and food. It’s the only budget you’ll ever need. Then instead of budgeting, you can spend your time going out and making more money.

4. Get Out of Debt

Whether its student loans, credit card, or mortgage debt, being in debt often keeps us up at night and is incredibly stressful.

But don’t worry a lot of people get out of debt every day and you can too. Also, all debt is not created equal.

To learn more check out my post on good debt vs bad debt, but the basics are pretty simple.

Managing debt is just a numbers game. Always pay down your debt with the highest interest rate first.

In almost all cases, credit card debt carries the highest interest rates, followed by private loans, student loans, and mortgages.

While there are many strategies for paying down your debt, like paying off your smallest balance first and then moving onto your next biggest debt (aka debt snowball) or paying down your biggest debt first (debt avalanche), these aren’t great debt repayment strategies because they don’t focus on saving you the most money.

Pay off Credit Card Debt

You save the most money by paying down your highest interest rate debt first, no matter what type of debt that it is.

Credit card debt is bad debt because the interest rates are typically so high, often 20%+ or more. Credit cards make financial institutions a lot of money because most people don’t pay off their debt each month, so the debt grows.

Take the Sting Out of Student Loans

Student loan debt is somewhere between good debt and bad debt depending on 1) the interest rate 2) if you’ve used student loans to fund a degree that helped you get a job or a more lucrative career.

If you haven’t yet taken out student loans, it’s worth thinking really hard about whether or not they’re worth it. If you’ve already taken out student loans and the interest rate if above 5% then you should consider student loan refinancing and other ways for you to reduce student loan debt.

There are many types of student loans, so it’s also important to figure out what types of student loans you have before refinancing.

Over the life of an average student loan, borrowers can save up to $20,000 if they choose to refinance. By refinancing your student loans, you can secure lower rates and consolidate your debt, making your payments more affordable and convenient at the same time.

Pay off Your Mortgage Debt

Mortgage loans are another popular form of debt. It’s very common when buying a home or investing in real estate to take out a mortgage from a bank or lender to help pay for the home.

Mortgage rates vary widely so it’s worth taking the time to shop for a good mortgage rate if you haven’t bought a home yet.

If you already have a mortgage, you might be wondering whether it makes sense to pay off your mortgage rate as quickly as possible.

In most cases, it probably makes sense to keep your mortgage and invest any additional money you have into the stock market, especially if your mortgage rate is low.

For five years I had a 2.3% mortgage rate even though I could have paid off my mortgage entirely, it was a better financial decision to keep using the banks’ money and investing my money in the stock market instead.

I ended up making over $100,000 on my investments because they grew over 10% each year (10% is a lot better than 2.3%).

Pay Off High-Interest Debt with a Personal Loan

If you’re plagued by high-interest credit card debt, paying it off with a personal loan can be a smart move. Not only will you get a fixed interest rate, but the finite nature of the loan also makes your payments predictable. Plus, you’ll know exactly how long it will take to wipe out your debt, and may even see a credit score boost after paying off your card.

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5. Build Passive Income

When it comes to making money, building a passive income lifestyle business is the holy grail. But there are a lot of myths about passive income ideas and a lot of shady products being sold online that promise to help you build passive income sources.

Is it actually possible to build passive income streams? Absolutely.

But does this mean that you can make money doing nothing? We’ll not exactly Most passive income businesses actually take quite a bit of time to set up, but if you find the right one, then the time investment is totally worth it.

Best Ways to Build a Passive Income

Other ways to build a passive income business include: starting any side hustle or business where instead of trading your own time for money, you broker other people’s time.

I call this becoming the “uber of your life,” because Uber doesn’t own or drive cars, they simply connect people who need a ride with people who will give you a ride.

They’re actually a connector between supply and demand. You can do this in any industry. For example, instead of walking dogs for a dog walking company where you’re going to be limited by both the hours you have in a day to walk dogs and your dog walking rates are set by a company like Wag.

Instead of walking dogs for someone else, start your own dog walking company and focus on getting clients, so you can hire other people to walk the dogs instead of always walking them yourself.

Then you can set your own rates and you’re not limited by the hours you have in a day because you can hire other people to walk the dogs.

6. Make Your Checking and Savings Accounts Work for You

As I’ve discussed before in a post on how to start investing, there is a direct relationship between the percentage of your income that you’re saving (your savings rate) and the number of years it takes you to retire early.

When you combine a high yield savings account and a high-interest checking account, you make sure that all of your money is always working for you instead of just sitting there.

If you are looking for great high-interest checking and savings accounts, check out Discover Bank at 1.60% APY. They offer free options that can help you make the most of your money. Discover Bank Review

If you need to build a cash nest egg, automating your savings makes it simple. Decide how much you want to add every month or paycheck and schedule a deposit to move the money every time, ensuring you won’t forget to pay yourself first.

7. Invest Early, Often, and As Much As You Can

While you can invest in literally anything, the three most dependable investment classes are:

The reason they’re the most dependable is that we have a lot of historical data about how they perform, and you’re able to control a number of the key variables to maximize your investment returns while minimizing your risk.

While I’m not going to get into too much detail here (if you want to dive deeper check out how to start investing and my investing strategy posts).

But the basics are simple and in fact, the best investment strategies are actually simple.

Invest in index funds, like VTSAX, which has low fees and incredible diversification. Instead of buying individual stocks, buy the entire stock market. Stick with what works.

Once you’ve settled on an investment strategy, the next step is to invest as much money as you can.

The more money you invest the faster and more your money can grow due to compounding.

Here’s a simple example of investing $100 if we keep it invested at 10 percent annual growth for forty years, without adding any more money to it. Just simply because of time the $100 has turned into $5,370 in forty years.

This chart originally appeared in the Financial Freedom book by Grant Sabatier.

If you haven’t started investing yet the most important step is to simply start today using one of the best investing apps, which allow you to invest your spare change automatically.

If you’ve already started investing then you should try to increase how much you’re investing every month by as much as you can.

One easy way is to increase your investment contribution amount 1% every 30 days by talking with your human resources department or 401(k) provider.

Trust me, you won’t notice the extra 1% and within a year you’ll be saving 12% more of your money.

If you prefer to think in terms of dollars instead of percentages, then try to invest an extra $50, $100, $1,000 or more each month over the next few months. Every dollar adds up.

Try Real Estate Crowdfunding

Until 2020, real estate investing was the domain of the wealthy. Now, thanks to the JOBS Act, anyone can get into the game with real estate crowdfunding.

If you’re looking for a portal and don’t have a lot to get started, consider trying Fundrise.

Fundrise provides access to eREITs and eFunds, a form of real estate portfolio with a level of diversification.

By using the money management tips above, you can gain control over your financial future. Try one (or several) of them today and see if you can’t get headed in the right direction.

8. Plan for Emergencies

If you own your home, house repairs like roof replacements can easily cost $10,000 or more, depending on where you live. Similarly, if an appliance like your refrigerator fails, getting another one usually can’t wait and can quickly set you back hundreds or more. This is why an emergency fund is crucial.

Even if you don’t own a home, that doesn’t mean there aren’t major costs on the horizon. Replacing your vehicle usually costs several thousand, if not tens of thousands. Home computers can be as expensive as a major appliance and are deemed necessities in many households.

If you have something big you can’t live without or face regular maintenance costs, make sure to plan for them. Break down the expense by how many months you usually have before it hits (you can look up average lifespans for most things online) and set the cash aside to make sure it’s there when you need it.

Prepare for Medical Emergencies

Even if you have insurance, a broken arm, head injury, heart attack, or similar medical emergency will still be expensive. Ideally, you need to maintain an emergency fund that can not only cover your portion of medical costs but also handle a few months of living expenses. That way, if you miss work, you can pay your bill and keep up with your bills until you heal.

If you do not have an in case of emergency binder yet, make one now!

9. Take Control of Your Credit

Your credit report and score play a massive role in your financial life. By monitoring your credit, including your score, you can make decisions that improve your situation, both today and in the future.

While there are tons of credit monitoring apps out there, Credit Sesame helps you keep an eye on your report and score for free. You’ll receive customized recommendations and access to helpful tools, empowering you to make better choices every day.

10. Optimize Your Taxes

The average American pays over 20% of their income to taxes, so finding ways to save money on your taxes can really add up over time.

While you might think taxes are boring, it’s definitely worth learning the basics of tax optimization because it can not only save you money, but it also gives you more money to invest.

You don’t have to become an expert on tax laws, but it’s worth taking the time to really understand your own taxes each year, even if you’re using a service like H&R Block, TaxAct, or using an accountant, getting to know your own tax situation at a detailed level is an important step in managing your money well.

Over time as you do your taxes each year it gets easier to spot where you can save money next year, what new deductions you can take, and more.

Also, if you’re a side hustler you should consider launching an LLC so you have more opportunities to deduct your side hustle expenses from your taxes.

A big benefit of launching any lifestyle type of business is that you can actually reduce your tax bill in many ways as your business gets more integrated with your life.

11. Get Cheaper Car Insurance

Many people don’t reevaluate their car insurance regularly, and they pay a penalty for not taking a look. For example, if you recently paid off a car, you might not need full coverage anymore, presenting an opportunity to save, even if you don’t change carriers.

However, doing a little comparison shopping is always wise. You can get quotes from competitors for absolutely nothing, and might discover an option that costs much less than what your current provider charges.

If you don’t put a lot of miles on your car each year, you very well could be overpaying simply because most traditional insurance isn’t ideal for incredibly low mileage drivers. For those who barely take their car out of park, Metromile, a pay-per-mile option, could help you save a ton.

12. Get Life Insurance

No matter what stage of life you are in, life insurance should be viewed as a must. Otherwise, you saddle your loved ones with your expenses if you pass away, or leave them unsupported if you are the primary breadwinner.

If you want to compare life insurance options, check out our instant quoter below.

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