Everyone wants to manage their finances, have good credit, and save up a bit. And if for people who don’t have a financial advisor (i.e. almost everyone), Two Cents at Lifehacker is a popular site for financial advice. They compiled a list of some popular tips that could help you manage your money in 2020.

Check out these 8 ideas that might help you hack your finances.

8. When to Use a Savings Account

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When thinking about where to put your money, I often get questions about which high yield savings account is better. They're all so low it really doesn't move the needle.⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Cash under the mattress obviously isn't a good way to go.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ And your primary residence is more of a forced savings account than a great investment. The math in this example doesn't even account for the COSTS of homeownership (maintenance, insurance, mortgage interest, etc). When you account for those, you get a negative return. Note this only refers to your "primary residence". If you buy investment real estate, a property where you're getting an income stream, it changes the math dramatically in your favor.⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ But index funds are still king. Buying and holding index funds is the most efficient and effective way to build massive wealth.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ When I talk about index fund returns, I often hear "That's not realistic! What about inflation?!" And for sure, that's an important factor. A million bucks in 40 years from now won't be able to buy as much as it would today.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ But if you account for inflation, the math is even more ugly for everything but index funds. Assuming inflation of 3% per year, your $120,000 invested under your mattress would be worth only $68,316 today. Your savings account would barely have held it's value at $135,980. Your house would barely outpace inflation being worth $165,246. But your index fund investment, after accounting for 3% of inflation would still be worth $962,447. Almost a million bucks. And almost SIX TIMES MORE than the EXACT SAME amount of money invested in your primary residence.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ One last caveat: While an S&P 500 index fund is great, I personally think it's a better strategy to invest in a TARGET DATE INDEX FUND. That has the S&P 500 index fund inside of it and is better diversified⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ As always, reminding you to build wealth by following the two PFC rules: 1.) Live below your means and 2.) Invest early and often.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ – Jeremy⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ #interestrates #savingsaccount #investing #growth #rate #investingtips #debtfreecommunity #stockmarket #indexfunds #inflation #savings #save #invest

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If you live paycheck to paycheck it’s hard to follow financial advice that applies to people with more stability. But once you get a little cushion going, keep only the minimum in your checking account. Move the rest into a savings account, and make sure it has high interest.

You’ll make money off what you keep in savings and feel less tempted to splurge when the time comes.

7. Pay Cash or Credit at the Gas Pump

It’s no secret that card skimmers still prey on debit card users at the gas pump. If you must use your debit card, go inside and pay from there.

6. Use Your Credit Card Points

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We hope you all had a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Things have been a little slow over here and will probably continue to be so while we enjoy this holiday break with family ❤️ . Today I wanted to hop on and share the cards my mom and I signed up for in 2019! . Alex’s Credit Cards . ? Amex Marriott Bonvoy- This card is no longer available. When SPG and Marriott merged, this card got the axe. I signed up for it right before then and earned 75,000 points. . ? Southwest Premier Biz- My husband got this card back in May. He got 60,000 points. . ? Southwest Plus- My husband got this card in May as well when they offered a limited time bonus of 60,000 points. After meeting the minimum spend on both Southwest cards he got the Southwest Companion Pass ??. . ? Amex Marriott Bonvoy Biz- I signed up for this card in September while they offering a limited time bonus of 100,000 points. . ? Capital One Venture- My husband opened this card in November for a bonus of 50,000 points. . . . Pam’s Credit Cards . ? Delta Gold Card-My husband opened this one for 70,000 Skymiles. . ? Amex Green- My husband also opened this one for 35,000 Membership Reward Points. . ? Upgraded my Amex Bonvoy to the Bonvoy Brilliant Card- I upgraded my card after I got an email offering 100,000 points. . It’s been a slow year for me as I work to get under Chase 5/24. I’ve never had any of the Chase Ultimate Reward cards and am so close to being able to qualify for them ????. …. As you can see our husband’s cards count towards our points total. We travel hack in two player mode so we can get even more points! What cards have you opened this year?

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It’s tempting to “save” credit card rewards or points until the right moment, but they can actually lose value over time. Use them as soon as you’re able to because credit card companies sometimes drop or change partners, making it hard for you to get what you want later on.

5. Don’t Use a Credit Card with Venmo

Venmo can help you split bills with friends or roommates in a hassle-free way. That convenience is great, but make sure you don’t use a credit card with it because you’ll pay a 3% fee every time. If, for example, you’re splitting rent, 3% of hundreds of dollars every month is no chump change.

4. Use a Credit Card to Buy Flights

First off, credit cards offer more protection in case of fraudulent charges. Secondly, they offer additional insurance that can protect you in case of a delay or other travel mishap. Third, some cards have other specific benefits having to do with travel (although you should check with yours before you expect anything in particular).

3. Don’t Wait on Equifax

Millions of people were affected by Equifax’s 2017 data breach, but the company’s $31 million fund is not going to pay those whose information was compromised (SUCH A SCAM). That’s because $31 million divided by $125 (what they said they would pay out) is 248,000 people – and a lot more people than that are owed money. Most people will see significantly less, or no money at all.

2. Do NOT Spend Money That Accidentally Ends up in Your Bank Account

Banks make mistakes, including occasionally depositing money into the wrong bank account by accident. If that happens to you, resist the urge to splurge and let the bank know about the extra cash immediately. Spending the money will almost certainly cause legal problems for you, so do the right thing here.

1. Make Sure Your Credit Is Good Enough

Everyone wants to have an 850 credit score, but it’s practically impossible. A score of 740 or higher is good enough to unlock many benefits without the added stress. Here is one area where good enough is definitely where you should aim.

 

It may not be easy to adhere to every single tip here, but even implementing one or two of these is bound to help out.

Do you have any financial tips? Let us know!