1. Don’t Pay Interest on Your Credit Card!

In an ideal world you wouldn’t carry any balances forward on your credit card. A great way to make that dream a reality is by doing a 0 balance transfer. Why may more interest than you have to? By transferring to a different card, you can get up to a year of Zero Interest, in which time you can hopefully pay the balance off.

2. Build Your Credit Score

Check your credit report for free once a year. Use your annual free credit report from the three credit reporting bureaus to look for inaccuracies or opportunities to raise your score. Credit scores are used by loan / mortgage providers, landlords, and others to determine what they’ll sell you, and at what price. 

3. Debt Consolidation

On a similar vein to not paying interest on your credit cards, why pay more interest than is necessary on your loans? There are many trusted professionals that are ranked A+ on the Business Better Bureau that can help consolidate your debt into one manageable payment. The advantage is that you will have a lower interest rate, which enables you to attack the balance head on.

4. Refinance Your Mortgage

Explore if you have the option to refinance your mortgage to a lower interest rate. On a 15-year $100,000 fixed-rate mortgage, lowering the rate from 7 percent to 6.5 percent can save you more than $5,000 in interest charges over the life of the loan.

5. Switch Banks

If you’re paying a monthly fee for your checking or savings account, Don’t! Banks know that people are too lazy to change bank accounts because they can’t be bothered switching over there bill payments etc. It’s much easier than you think! There are usually decent perks and gifts you can receive for signing up with a new bank too!

6. Start Saving Now!

Don’t just save money, save. There’s a difference between saving money and saving money for your future. So don’t just spend less, put the money you save into a savings account to plan for college expenses, retirement, or emergencies that can leave you financially better off.

7. Meet with a Financial Planner

Meeting with an experienced financial planner is one of smartest things you can do this year. Start saving for your retirement as early as possible. Few people get rich through their wages alone. It’s the miracle of compound interest, or earning interest on your interest over many years, that builds wealth. Because time is on their side, the youngest workers are in the best position to save for retirement

8. Get Term Life Insurance NEVER Whole Life

Whole life insurance is one of the greatest scams of all time. If you have a whole life insurance, it is a good idea to cancel it ASAP and get a 10 year term policy. Whole life insurance costs more because it’s designed to build cash value. But keep in mind that a life insurance policy shouldn’t be an investment or money-making scheme — it’s simply meant to provide security, protection and peace of mind for your family should the unthinkable happen.

It’s like Dave says in his book The Complete Guide to Money, “Life insurance has one job: It replaces your income when you die.”

There are far more productive and profitable ways to invest your money than using your life insurance plan. What sounds like more fun to you — investing in stock with a cutting-edge company or “investing” money in a plan that’s all based on whether or not you kick the bucket? We think the answer is pretty easy.

9. Do Not Lease or Finance a Vehicle

There is a reason the middle class are the middle class. They buy things they cant afford, which keeps them poor. If you invested the $500 a month you are spending on car payments each month rather than on the highest depreciating asset there is, you would be growing your wealth rather than decreasing it. Buy a three to five year old vehicle with cash. If you can’t afford to buy the car you want, start with a vehicle you can afford and sell it as soon as you have saved up enough to get into a nice reliable vehicle.

10. Shop Around for Car Insurance

Before renewing your existing auto insurance policy each year, check out the rates of competing companies. As the Geico commercial says, 15 minutes could save you 15%!

11. Do You Pay Too Much for Your Cell Phone Plan?

Do you really use that much data each month? If you do, why are you using that much? Be strict about using less data and more WiFi. Do you really need a new phone already?! All these questions come down to needs and wants. A good rule is If you can’t afford to pay off your credit card balance every month, then you can’t afford the nicest newest phone. DOWNGRADE and start saving!

12. Cut the Cable

Do you even watch conventional TV anymore? More and more people are getting by just fine with streaming over the internet. If you have nice parents, or a good friend, you can probably use their Netflix or Hulu login.

13. Get a Better Job

Sometimes you just need to make more money! Get some advice from someone you trust. Improve your resume and don’t let rejection get you down. The only failure is when you give up trying.

14. Stop Eating Out So Much

The reason you hear this tip so much is that it works! If buying lunch at work costs $5, but making lunch at home costs only $2.50, then in a year, you could afford to create a $500 emergency fund and still have money left over. Commit to eating out one less time each month. Save money without sacrificing your lifestyle by taking small steps to reduce your dining budget. Start off with reducing the amount you eat out by just once per month. Try inviting friends over instead of going out. The savings on alcohol alone are enormous!

15. Rent Out Unused Space in Your Home

If you own or rent your home, this still applies. Sub-letting (renting out a place your rent) is well within your rights. So if you are out of town visiting family or you are on vacation, sign up for a service like airbnb to start generating cash, you could literally makes thousands of extra dollars a month.

16. Razor Blades

How do you think Gillette can afford to pay for so many commercials? They are making huge profits on their overpriced blades! Gillette razor blades cost a lot, you could save hundreds of dollars a year by using a safety razor!