For many working adults, this is an ideal time to explore a few money hacks that can take the pressure off of personal finances. Whether people are aiming to lower their monthly cash outflow by refinancing education debt, holding off on new investments until the market bottoms out, or finally making efforts to use coupons to reduce grocery expenses, there are plenty of effective tactics that offer worthwhile savings and don’t entail undue sacrifice.
For investing enthusiasts who seek secure harbors for their precious savings and retirement accounts during a lackluster economy, real estate, and precious metals are often a wise choice. Both have a long history of delivering solid performance during otherwise dismal financial situations. What are the top five money and investing hacks that almost anyone can use? They include three techniques for simple savings and two for intrepid investing. Here are the pertinent details.
Adjust Monthly Spending
Step one for the vast majority of working adults is to fine-tune their budgets. Budget adjusting is a money skill that is part art and part science. The most basic approach is lowering monthly expenses by any logical means necessary. For many working adults who owe money on their education loans, refinancing can be a powerful weapon in the war on spending. Fortunately, you can refinance one or more student loans and come out of the process with a single obligation, one monthly payment, and usually more favorable terms and interest rates. Refinancing a college or grad school loan is actually a simple, all-online affair. Plus, applicants who complete the refinancing arrangement can sometimes lower their monthly expenses by a significant amount within a few business days.
Consider Putting Traditional Investments on Hold
When cash is in short supply, and the securities markets are in a freefall, it can be a smart play to sit on the sidelines for a few months and watch for a bottom to appear. Until it becomes apparent that the bearishness is reaching exhaustion, consider halting any new purchases of securities. Even top Wall Street brokers use the go to cash tactic in situations where market price action is stuck in neutral or in a continual declining phase. There’s wisdom in postponing activity, particularly when nearly every economic indicator is flashing red.
If you hold long-term portfolios in retirement accounts, it’s usually not wise to liquidate them. Instead, simply put a freeze on new additions to any portfolio, retirement or otherwise. Once your gut tells you that markets have bottomed out, wait to see what the institutional bargain hunters do. If they begin to buy in large volumes across the board, that can be a sign that the down cycle has exhausted itself and is about to turn around.
Get Serious About Couponing
For all sorts of reasons, some consumers dislike the idea of using coupons. However, coupons can be an essential part of strategic shopping and have the potential to cut grocery and household item spending by as much as 10 percent. To leverage the full extent of coupon shopping, combine the tactic with careful meal planning, eating more meals at home, avoiding fast food, and using one or more coupon apps to maximize savings.
Gold and Real Estate
Precious metals and real estate are two exceptions to the go to cash strategy for large numbers of investors. People who use dollar-cost-averaging (DCA) to acquire gold often achieve an effective hedge against inflation and troubled economic times. DCA refers to the simple technique of investing the same dollar amount into gold on a monthly basis. Even small purchases can be a wise way to offset the harsh effects of record-level consumer inflation. Real estate is similar to gold in many ways because it typically serves as a safe harbor in financial crises. Nowadays, it’s not necessary to purchase entire properties. Interested investors can buy fractional real estate shares and acquire small amounts of property over a long period of time. Real estate investment trusts (REITs) tend to rise in popularity whenever the equities markets lose value.