100 Personal Finance Tips To Help You Build Wealth

Personal Finance Tips

Financial planning is an extensive exercise. It is also a lifelong endeavor. Such planning is not just about being conscious of every financial decision and having some level of familiarity with the basic strategies. Budgeting and investing are just two of the more popular and definitely integral components of financial planning. Equally important are financial motivation, increasing income and keeping debts in check, planning for retirement and executing it properly, knowing the credit history or score and exploring possibilities to make the most of it. Here are a hundred finance tips to help you build wealth.

Basics of Financial Planning

Table of Contents

  1. It is imperative to have a financial calendar. All the significant financial commitments including dates or deadlines must find a place on this calendar. You may use an app for this.
  1. A budget is the starting point of financial planning. It should factor in all variables and fixed elements, including your immediate and long term financial goals.
  1. Budgets have no significance if there is no fiscal accountability. Financial jurisprudence should be exercised throughout the year, else fiscal accountability is difficult to achieve.
  1. Be familiar with the rates of interest on your loans, credit cards and any that you accrue on your accounts, if at all.
  1. Know your net worth and monitor it. The key to building wealth is to constantly improve the net worth. This includes cash at hand, all your fixed or movable but valuable assets and secured investments.
  1. Review your financial plan every three months, including your budget, fiscal accountability and net worth.



  1. Have a monthly budget. This should be inclusive of all mandatory expenses and some routine discretionary expenses.
  1. Keep aside a discretionary fund that you may or may not use every month. This fund must find a place in your monthly budget.
  1. A budget should not be about expenses first and then savings. You can prioritize your savings or investments and then plan your expenses.
  1. Saving money is quintessential for a budget to work. Use coupons and explore apps to find ways to save money on compulsory purchases.
  1. You should always try to avoid paying the full price or the listed retail price. Explore everything from promotional codes to bulk purchases where relevant to save money.
  1. Cancel any subscription you have that you do not need or are unlikely to make the most of. This includes the gym membership that you do not utilize.
  1. If you have overdraft protection, getting rid of it will waive off the fee. Such fees may not seem like much initially but when you add all these minor recurring expenses and add them up, they amount to a substantial sum in a few years.
  1. Automate all your scheduled payments and fund transfers, more importantly the contributions to your savings. This will eliminate discretion and avert procrastination.
  1. Limit your use of credit cards and lines of credit. Start using cash or a debit card to keep your expenses in check. Living beyond the means comes easy when one uses credit all the time.
  1. One minute every day and you can review all your expenses and savings in the last twenty four hours. This ritual can help you adhere to the budget and make you proactive with your pursuit for wealth.
  1. Try to practice the 50/30/20 financial mantra or go for an even better one. The 50/30/20 rule is simple. Half of all your income should be for needs including utilities and groceries. Thirty percent should be for what you want. One fifth should be saved, including retirement account and emergency fund. If you do not have any debt then you must be saving the entirety of this remaining amount.
  1. Ponder for ten seconds before you decide to buy something. Ask yourself if you truly need it and then take a step accordingly.
  1. Create a rainy day fund or a surprise account. This is not the emergency fund. It should have a few hundred or a few thousand dollars for stuff you need from time to time.
  1. Save money for expensive items and wait till you have the entire sum needed. You may not even want to buy the item by that time and hence save the amount.
  1. Get more social to save more but of course not at a fancy place. Parties at home are cheaper and much more fun.
  1. If you have more than one account, name them so you can motivate yourself and stick to the budget.


Financial Motivation

  1. Motivation is the key to successful financial planning and more importantly staying the course. Create vision boards illustrating your financial plan.
  1. Create visual cues to keep yourself motivated. Place your financial apps where you can see them every time you turn on a device.
  1. Financial goals should not be vague. Be as specific as you can or you will not be motivated.
  1. Use positive phrases when you deal with money, even when you are thinking.
  1. Stay busy to avoid temptation or to keep them in check.
  1. Short term objectives provide immediate motivation.
  1. Long term objectives provide context for the short term goals.
  1. Use visualized goals to avoid impulsive financial decisions.
  1. Avoid negative thoughts about your finances. Criticize the plan, review it and change it but do not think it is imposing or unendurable.
  1. Exercise for physical and financial motivation. A healthy body and relaxed mind is an ideal combo for financial jurisprudence.
  1. Appreciate what you already have and you will find the financial motivation to keep going.
  1. Accountability itself is a motivation. Use it to your advantage and not as a shackle that weighs you down.
  1. Visualize your future avatar, communicate with yourself at various times down the line and keep pumping yourself up.


Increase Income

  1. Explore all your skills. Grab an opportunity to make whatever extra money you can.
  1. Hustle if you have to using the available time and the resources at your disposal.
  1. Learn a new skill or hone the one you had that is rusty now. Use it for a part time income.
  1. Upgrade your skills you can earn more money in the profession you are in. Aim for growth.
  1. Find a suitable mentor if you are unable to find a way to increase your income.
  1. Always try to make the most of the interviews and negotiations in particular. Do not agree to a poor salary when you can bag more.
  1. Use unemployment benefits. There is no shame and should be no sense of embarrassment to seek help for something that is beyond your control. Benefits are paid for by taxpayers. You have paid tax before and shall pay again when you get employed.
  1. Negotiate better raises during appraisals. Do not use personal objectives or financial goals as the foundation. Use the needs of the company and how you can help to argue your case in favor of a better increment.


Debt Management

  1. Always keep your debt in check, regardless of your circumstances.
  1. Begin with smaller loans. They are manageable debts.
  1. Avoid taking up a substantial loan when you have little or no history of debt management.
  1. Do not use credit or get into a debt when you can do without it.
  1. Wait and watch if you need an item before you purchase it using any available credit.
  1. Live within your means and you shall be able to live free of debt.
  1. Spend what you have, not what you may have and hence are getting indebted in the process.
  1. Do not fall for click bait offers, limited time sales and offers in newsletters. Unsubscribe if you cannot resist.
  1. Sales are helpful when you buy essentials. They are a debt trap when you buy non-essentials.
  1. Avoid using credit cards everywhere.
  1. Stop carrying credit cards with you unless you have to for a predetermined reason.
  1. Treat every loan with care. The monthly repayment is not your only commitment.
  1. Any debt that has other expenses involved other than the obvious repayment is not worthwhile.
  1. Do not try to live up to the expectations of others and end up in debt.
  1. Stay away from installments for your credit card payments if you do not see the larger picture where you lose.
  1. Avoid unsecured short term loans with high rates of interest. They are obvious debt traps.
  1. Whenever you are out shopping, reduce an item or two that you had wanted to buy. See if you can do that or get rid of something else that you had thought you needed.
  1. Avoid cosigning a loan. Do not serve as a collateral or guarantor either.
  1. Try to make the most of available student aid. Get familiar with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
  1. Avoid private loans. Prefer federal loans.
  1. Student loans have different kinds of terms. Compare them and choose what works best for you. Consider different repayment options.
  1. Buy a car when you can afford it, not just the installment every month but the additional expenses too.
  1. Buy a house when you are ready for it. The mortgage is a substantial commitment, so are dozens of other new expenses throughout the year.
  1. Do not always prioritize cost over quality. Paying less at times means you will be spending more in the short or long term and hence you will be vulnerable to debt due to excessive expenditure.
  1. Always assess cost vis-à-vis work. If something is worthwhile, then it should pay for itself in no time. Otherwise, it is like a debt that you will have to keep paying for over a substantial period of time.
  1. Avoid investing in things. Invest in experience instead. You will have more fun and save more money.
  1. Shop alone as it is the best way to stay within a preset budget. It also helps people to avoid impulsive or encouraged buying.


Retirement Planning

  1. Start your retirement planning now, regardless of age.
  1. Retirement planning is not just about saving. It is also about investing.
  1. Do not use your retirement fund, come what may.
  1. Contribute to 401k. It should not be the only retirement fund but definitely the first.
  1. Invest in Roth IRA. This enables you to avail tax free income after retirement.
  1. Consider different types of insurance. They are a sound financial strategy for anyone.
  1. Do not stay confined to life insurance. Consider disability insurance too.
  1. Keep all your important documents safe and sorted in one place. Have backups so you have a contingency plan.
  1. If you get a raise and start earning more money, your savings should go up.
  1. Do not increase your expenses when you get a raise, unless the needs are greater.
  1. Keep wants and discretion in check when you plan for retirement.
  1. Retirement planning is a perennial strategy but in a subtle manner.
  1. Retirement planning becomes priority as you turn forty. It can no longer be of nominal significance.


Credit Management

  1. Always check your credit history, know the score and follow the annual report closely.
  1. Do not use more than thirty percent of your credit worthiness or available credit usage.
  1. Use a secured credit card if you have bad credit.
  1. Do not have checking and savings accounts at the same bank.
  1. Consider credit unions if you do not have another bank nearby.
  1. You should not access your savings unless absolutely needed.
  1. Report incorrect entries in your credit history and get the score rectified.
  1. Consider appointing a credit repair specialist to get in accurate entries deleted from your credit report.
  1. Improve your credit score in due course of time.


Investment Strategy

  1. Save money every month and then invest once in a while.
  1. It is not necessary to start investing when you have a lot of money. Small savings can also be used as investments.
  1. Do not get embroiled in too many fees when you invest any money.
  1. Choose where you wish to invest. Have a diverse portfolio but not for the same of it. Understand every vertical you wish to step into.
  1. Try to go for investments that offer compounded returns.
  1. Be aware of taxes applicable on investments and their returns.
  1. Review your investment strategy every year, not sooner or later.
  1. Appoint a financial adviser if you need.

If you’ve enjoyed this list we highly recommend you read Porch.com’s  Finances – Not The Monster Under The Bed You Might Thinkwhich contains some excellent tips too.


Steven Millstein

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