Radical money hacks could save you thousands
The Frugalwoods are a money saving power couple whose dream is to retire at age 33 and live on a ranch in rural Vermont.
How do they plan to do this? By spending less, living simply, and saving 70% of their income.
‘We’re more focused on one another and on the strength of our relationship than we are on external consumption,’ they said.
This plan is totally Clark Smart! Check out their top tips for how they are on track to reach their goal — and ways you can do the same.
8 tips to retire early
1. Start saving NOW.
Compound interest really is your best friend, as long as you’re on the saving side. The sooner you start, the better it is! A dollar saved in your 20s is worth twice a dollar saved in your 30s, and a dollar saved in your 20s is FOUR TIMES a dollar saved in your 50s. The best rule of thumb? Always save at least a dime of every dollar you make.
Read more: Pay off student loan debt or save for retirement? You can do both!
2. Eat at home every day.
Food is one of those expenses that can absolutely ‘eat up’ your budget. But, there are some ways you can significantly reduce the cost of food. Opting to eat at home instead of eating out is a big one! Learn how to actually cook and make meals at home here.
In addition, you can save LOTS of money by shopping for food at Aldi and Costco.
3. Stop buying new clothes.
Clothing is another expense that can go crazy when not left in check. But, there are ways to spend significantly less on clothes. Check out these 9 tricks to slash spending on clothes.
4. Use hand-me-downs or buy used.
Though it’s tempting to buy everything new, taking advantage of hand-me-downs and buying used at yard sales or Goodwill can save you a bunch! Check out these 9 items to always buy used.
5. Brown bag your lunch.
A key trick to make this work is to make your lunches Sunday night so you don’t scramble on Monday morning to put lunches together. This can save a ton! According to a Visa survey, you can save nearly $1,000 a year by deciding to brown bag your lunch. Here’s how.
6. Track your money.
Knowing where you are and how to get where you want to go is a big key to achieving your financials goals. Utilizing your mobile phone to help you save can be a big help in tracking – and saving you money. But, if you want to keep it simple, the old fashioned envelope system works just as good.
7. Get rid of cable.
According to eMarketer, by 2018, one in five U.S. households will not subscribe to cable or satellite TV. With so many alternatives to cable, you can’t go wrong cutting the cord. In fact, you can probably cut your cable bill in half! Here’s how.
In addition, you can also take the steps to lower your existing bills.
8. Use lower cost mobile phone providers.
The mobile phone industry is going through massive changes. As providers fight for business and technology improves, prices are driven down. But, surprisingly, a majority of people haven’t shopped for phone providers in a while – even though they would save big if they did!
If you haven’t switched cell phone carriers in a while, now is the time to get a deal.
Bonus tip: The #1 influence on your financial future
As Clark Howard has said in the past, the greatest factor for whether or not you end up secure financially or insecure financially is how much of your paycheck goes to housing expenses. In the past, America has been prone to getting bigger and better housing, but this hasn’t served us so well. When you think about how much money gets tied up in a mortgage over time, and once you realize you could be spending two to three times the original price of the house due to interest, this can be sickening!
Luckily, people are starting to wake up to the fact that housing has such a big impact on our financial future, and opting to buy smaller whenever popular. That’s one of several reasons why the tiny house movement has become so popular.