Personal Finance : Thirteen Smart Money Tips That Could Change Your Life

1. A dollar is a dollar is a dollar. Why worry about spending $1,000 on coffee every year when you don’t even try to negotiate on things that could save you tens of thousands, like a home purchase or interest rate? — Alex Benke, CFP®, Product Manager

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2. Adopt a rescue dog. Smart money isn’t always about how much you’re spending, but the value it brings to your life. For example, I still spend the same amount every month, but by cutting back on dining out to pay for dog care, I’ve created a more enriching experience for myself. — Catherine New, Content Manager

3. Routines, routines, routines. Everything is a subscription, so that when I do shop it’s an event and I can easily track it. — Jon Stein, Founder and CEO

4. A budget has changed my life. It’s always a work in progress, but holding myself accountable has made a huge difference. — Katherine Buck, Marketing and Community Manager

5. Create a ‘fun jar’ when you’re budgeting — and you have to spend it every month. Think of it as a good reward and counter-balance to budgeting elsewhere. –Yuriy Goldman, Lead Engineer

6. Always invest your money — don’t let it sit idle. If you are working hard for your money, your money should work hard for you. — Alfredo Zhou, Software Engineer

7. Learn the ins and outs of your miles and points programs. As long as you’re on top of it — and pay off the balance every month — you can make a profit. — Brandon McFadden, Product Associate

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8. Know your market value. Ask for raises and network to keep your job options open. — Dan Egan, Director of Investing & Behavioral Finance

9. I have a budget of $24 per day for food, or $168 per week (hey, I don’t buy groceries). I usually spend less than that, so I keep a running total of my surplus and use it for fun expenses. — Adam Langsner, Software Engineer

10. Accept that you’re going to make mistakes. Even if you overspent today, simply decide that you’re going to do better tomorrow and stay on track. — Sarah Kaufman, Growth Manager

11. Mint’s graph of Net Worth Over Time is really helpful. I added all of my accounts into Mint, and now I try hard to keep that graph going up a little bit more each month. — Andrew Glenn, VP Core Systems

12. I track all our expenses every month in an old-school spreadsheet. I go through it with my wife every month so we’re both on the same page and we both have a good idea of where we stand. — AJ Kramer, Operations Associate
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13. Pay your credit card every week. It’s easy to do online and protects you from spending money you don’t have. — Elizabeth Derby, Product Marketing Associate

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