Growing money is somewhat akin to an art form. How you do it is completely up to you.
Budgeting, app use, investing, surveys, etc. are all part of the money growing game.
Below are 73 of our most highly regarded money habits we think all people should have a go at. Let us know if you agree.
Money habits don’t always have to be so strenuous or serious.
In fact, there’s a way to make money while watching commercials while waiting for the game, while in a cab to an event, and even while waiting in line at the post office.
Online surveys are a quick, easy, and often a fun way to make some extra cash to help grow your savings. That’s where SurveyJunkie comes in.
When you sign up with SurveyJunkie, you get paid to provide your opinions about certain items, so companies can ultimately design better products.
Boost your savings by earning more monthly.
2. Learn How to Use What You Have
To earn more monthly and develop smart money habits, you need to learn how to use what you already have.
This can be as simple as repurposing an item or renting out a space you’re not currently using.
Everyone knows about Airbnb by now. But have you actually considered renting out a room, floor or property that you’re not using?
You can make quite a significant amount of cash if you know how to spruce up a property and then list it for maximum reach.
To get started with Airbnb, all you need to do is sign up for free.
3. Get Free Financial Help
There’s no shame in getting financial help, especially if it’s free! In fact, getting help from an experienced source is simply a smart money habit.
Hiring someone to help you with your finances can be quite expensive. So, instead, consider downloading Long Game.
Long Game Savings is a savings account with cash, crypto rewards, and slot games that can help you get back on the right financial path.
It’s essentially financial help on your phone for free!
4. Get Motivated
Whether it’s saving money, making money, or even something as difficult as losing weight, you need to get motivated about what you want to achieve so that you can overcome any mental barriers you may have placed between yourself and your goals.
An interesting way to illustrate this is with HealthyWage, a platform that turns your personal weight loss challenge into potential cash prizes.
Success stories and cash won are evidence on the HealthyWage site of how well the system works.
Find your health cheer squat today and find the motivation you need to save money by losing pounds.
5. Save Money When Filling Up on Gas
A good money habit is to save whenever you can. Think about how much money you spend on gas and food.
What if you didn’t have to spend as much as you do? What if you could save each time you filled up your vehicle or bought something to eat?
Download the GetUpside app and find gas stations, restaurants and grocery stores with unbeatable deals.
Not to mention that their cashback rebates can save you up to 25 cents per gallon on gas. Never pay full price for gas again!
6. Stay Healthy
This one is perhaps less directly to do with money saving and more to do with having the time to spend that money with the people you love.
Just exercising a few times a week would also show a great accomplishment.
The app Sweatcoin is in fact known for paying people to exercise! So, with this motivation and good cheer, why not try to stay as fit as possible?
7. Find Cheaper Options
We’ve all shopped around for cheaper subscriptions, Comcast bills, and car insurance policies before. It’s a sensible money habit; why spend more if you don’t have to?
Save money by seeking out cheaper options on things you already have and use with the help of a pro app– Trim.
When you download the Trim app, it analyzes your accounts to find recurring subscriptions and also compares prices on current bills, letting you know about cheaper options.
Learn more about Trim by reading our Trim Personal Finance Bot Review 2019.
8. Think About Your Car Use
This tip can go one of two ways depending on if you have a car or not. If you don’t have a car, it’ll save you a ton of gas money and go easy on the environment.
Plus, if you don’t have a car but need to use one for more than just a quick ride, you can always rent out a car using Turo. It allows you to rent from individual owners, often at prices far below car rental services which you might find at airports.
9. Save Money Shopping Online
One of the best types of money habits to develop is the ability to look for deals in your everyday actions. For instance, if you shop online you should be saving money.
Swagbucks is a great money saving app for online shoppers.
You can then redeem those points for gift cards from thousands of retailers — such as Amazon, Target or Walmart — or get PayPal cash. You’re getting paid to shop, which is the same as saving the money you’re spending.
10. Invest Small at First
Are you interested in investing to grow your money, but don’t really know how to go about it? That’s quite alright — there’s literally an app for that!
It’s an amazing way to start saving without thinking about it too much. The app even fives you a $5 bonus when you sign up for Acorns.
11. Earn Rewards by Downloading a Mobile App
Downloaded a few money saving mobile apps is the current definition of good money management habits.
There’s simply no need to pay more when a free app can get you the same thing for less.
Then, you can redeem your points for rewards at top brands like Uber, Amazon, Starbucks, Lyft, Asos, Netflix, and more.
12. Save Energy and the Environment
Would you like to save your energy and the environment at the same time?
OhmConnect is an ingenious app that sends a notification whenever there is an energy spike in your neighborhood.
If you avoid using that energy for the next few hours, then OhmConnect pays you the difference between what you were projected to pay and what you actually paid.
Brilliant money saving and environment-friendly app!
13. Use Mobile Coupons for Moneyback
A lot of smart money habits these days are focused on mobile technology. Your cellphone — and the apps on it — can help you save money.
One of the best mobile money saving apps is Ibotta, a free mobile coupon and cashback shopping app compatible with most iOS and Android devices.
When you sign up with Ibotta, you have the opportunity to earn cash back on select products by performing easy tasks, purchasing the product then providing proof of purchase like a receipt.
14. Choose an Affordable Provider
Tired of crazy cell phone bill prices?
Republic Wireless provides flexible, no contract plans starting at just $15. Data is at $5 per GB.
15. Minimize Bank Fees
The dread of in-person banking shouldn’t deter you from making healthy money habits your goal. You don’t even need to go into a bank to haggle — there’s an app which will do it for you.
That’s why apps like Cushion are so impressive and necessary. This is a simple app that gets your bank and credit card fees refunded.
The Cushion bot securely connects to the credit cards and bank accounts you most frequently use. Then, the bot — named Fee Fighter — will surface any bank fees that it finds and will request your permission to fight them on your behalf.
Within 24 hours, the bot haggles with your bank and sends you a refund.
16. Get Rewarded for Shopping Both In-Store and Online
Mobile apps have come so far. If you’re not using at least one, preferable many, mobile apps to save money while you shop, then you’re essentially just tossing money away for no reason.
You earn reward points — called kicks — that you can then redeem for a wide range of gift cards to popular stores near you. So far, Shopkick users have earned $78 million in free gift cards!
17. Get a Free Phone
Looking for a free cellphone? SimplyCellphones may be the answer!
The company offers a free or subsidized cell phone to those who meet their requirements.
Designed to help those in need, the program is bringing phones to people all across the country.
18. Use a 401(k) Management App
For anyone with good money management habits, thinking of the future is a necessary step in preparing finances for success. This is especially true concerning preparing for retirement.
For example, Blooom manages any 401(k), no matter where the account is held or where the account holder works.
19. Find the Best Loan for You
Applying for a loan can be a pretty confusing and daunting experience. That’s where LendEDU comes in.
LendEDU can help you with student loan refinancing, private student loads, personal loans, and credit cards issues.
If you need to refinance, why not do it with a professional who can show you the best options for your unique situation?
Want to make a difference in how products are being made? Want to earn some extra money while doing so?
If so, then InboxDollars is for you.
Inbox Dollars is a survey app that trades you cash for your honest opinion. It’s easy and doesn’t take long!
21. Get Baby and Family Items for Free
For a lot of families, especially those with babies in the house, it can seem like the easiest thing to do to run to the store to pick up extra diapers or baby-safe shampoo.
And, while that might be the fastest way, it isn’t necessarily the cheapest. Sometimes it is a good money habit to look for cheaper ways of buying or doing things.
For example, when you join the Everyday Family community, you automatically get access to a wide range of family resources.
One such resource is their Free Baby Stuff section which gives free samples, coupons, and offers from top brands.
Sign up and get access to a ton of money saving free printable grocery coupons you can use at stores near you! You don’t know what you can get for free until you try it.
22. Get a Free Credit Score
If you’ve tried to get your credit score, you’ll know that most services charge you an arm and a leg to find out your own score.
Instead, Credit Sesame gives you your credit score for free in about 90 seconds. You can also see a credit report card, check for errors, and potentially boost your overall score.
Getting a free credit score is a smart money move.
23. Get Cashback Online
Are you an avid online shopper? If so, take a page from the good money habits playbook and use apps to get cashback on your purchases.
A money saving app for online shopping is Ebates, which offers up to 40 percent cash back at over 2,500 stores.
Shopping at your favorite online stores through the Ebates app is arguably one of the easiest ways to make cashback money while shopping.
They offer a check or PayPal payments which are given to you every quarter.
24. Build a Real Estate Investment Portfolio
Again, another way to grow your savings is to invest. Investing in rental properties in particular may be a good way to earn passive income.
Roofstock is a great way to achieve this. Offering a fully-online purchasing experience, this platform changes the way that real estate investors buy and sell properties.
Roofstock is a fully-online platform where you can buy and sell single-family homes to convert into rentals or renovate and sell for a quick profit.
You can search available properties to quickly compare purchase prices, neighborhoods, and potential returns on investments.
You’ll have access to a host of tools and resources to help you navigate an online purchasing process, as well as a team of real estate investment experts that can help you on your investing journey.
25. Spend Money on What You Believe In
It has diverse portfolio choices, including socially responsible options that align with your beliefs, clear pricing of $0 minimum and fees, and unfettered access to certified financial planners for all clients, regardless of how much money you have.
In fact, Wealthsimple will manage your first $10,000 for free for one year when you sign up.
26. Invest for the Long-Term
If you’re thinking about increasing your savings and wondering about your money habits, consider starting out with an investment app which will help you in the long run.
When you invest with Fundrise, you choose investments that are not traded on a public exchange. Instead, they’re for those with more of a long-term outlook.
You also have the option to try it out for 90 days to see if it’s the right fit for you. If it’s not, then Fundrise gives you your money back at the original amount!
27. Don’t Ignore Your Student Loans
Good money management habits are the backbone of boosting any savings plan.
If you’re saddled with a student loan that is making even the word “savings” laughable, then Credible is for you.
If you’re hoping to get a better interest rate or lower your payment for your student loan debt, one of the best things you can do is to refinance it. Don’t just ignore it.
Credible is a student loan marketplace which allows borrowers to shop around for student loan refinancing and private student loans, as well as personal loans.
Credible allows you to fill out a single form, compares multiple lenders at once for you and finds you the best possible rates and terms for your student loan.
28. Set Up Recurring Auto-Transfers
A smart way to save more money is to set up automatic transfers. Set up auto-transfers so that a certain amount of cash is tucked away out of sight each week or month.
Pretty soon, you’ll have quite a bit saved up. Even better is that the money goes to savings, which means you can’t just blow the entire amount even if you’re tempted to do so.
29. Shop with a Plan
Never go into a store unarmed — with a shopping list, of course! Shopping without a list can lead to impulse buying, overspending, and massively exceeding any budgetary constraints.
So, before shopping, plan out what you want to buy. Get specific, have a rough idea of how much you’re looking to spend, and make a detailed list.
The hard part is sticking to the list, but even so, you’ll probably have a better time of reducing the impulse buying and therefore saving money in the long term.
30. Wait Before you Buy
People say that patience is a virtue, and that really applies to purchases. Before purchasing something you see and want — whether in-store or online — wait a bit first.
If you still want it after time has passed, then look for the cheapest options of getting it available. For example, consider waiting until the next holiday sale.
31. Generic Brands are Best
Usually, generic brands are best. There’s no need to be fancy and get designer brands or specialty goods when the generic options usually have the exact same ingredients.
Don’t believe me? The next time you buy toothpaste or shampoo or whatever, compare the ingredients of a generic brand and a more expensive brand.
They’re probably very similar if not the exact same, meaning you’re paying for the name, only. That’s not such a smart money habit in our book.
32. Save Money by Substituting
What is the most important thing to you? Make sure that you spend the most in the areas which truly bring you a lot of joy.
For areas which are less important or that you don’t feel strongly about, consider economizing or finding less-expensive alternatives.
There’s no need to spend more money than necessary on things which you don’t hold in high regard.
33. Create a Budget
Budgeting may not be the sexiest or the most hilarious experience, but it is necessary to help you grow your money, so you can move toward financial freedom.
Creating a budget is all about making sure you’re not spending beyond your means, setting goals and identifying weak points which you should look out for.
Budgeting is a good money management habit that can greatly benefit everyone trying to save and grow their money.
34. Pay Yourself First
Recently, “pay yourself first” is a phrase that has been floating around the internet and championed by financial gurus.
It means putting your money towards savings first when you get your paycheck, then living off the rest. If you do it in the reverse, then you risk not saving enough to hit your goals.
Paying yourself first is a good money habit that can help you reach your goals and grow the money you’re saving — progressing evenly until your goals are met.
35. Put Savings in Savings
All too often, people who are trying to save money may leave large sums of money in their checking account or their wallet. That’s not a good money habit.
Instead, make sure the money you save is going toward saving by placing it into a savings account. When you do that, you’re less likely to spend it via impulse buy.
36. Translate Thriftiness into Savings
Imagine you went to the store and bought a box of last-chance fruits and veggies at a drastically reduced price. You ended up saving $25!
Place $25 into your savings account. This makes the savings you won into something tangible. It conditions your savings win into a heathy money habit.
37. Horde Bonus Money
Throughout life, there are always moments where we get a sudden, unexpected influx of cash. Maybe it’s a graduation present, a work bonus, or even a holiday gift.
And, while the dream vacation you’ve always wanted may be so tempting, hold off. Instead, make the smart money decision and save most if not all of it.
Just think of it like this: Instead of getting that dream vacation, now you’ll have to save and have a strict budget for a few less months or years!
38. Gather Spare Change
Coins are annoying to carry around and that’s a fact. But, even more annoying is not getting the worth of the coins.
Instead, have a jar in your home that can act as a piggy bank. Then, once a year take the jar to a bank or coin-sorting machine at your local grocery store and get the money you deserve.
Over a year of saving the amount can add up to quite a lot!
39. Go Lean (A Little Bit)
To save more money, consider going lean in at least one category of your life. However, don’t go lean in every category as it might feel like you don’t have any wiggle room at all.
To go lean, see which area has some overlap and cut out one or more of the options. For example, if you ride a bike to work, then you may not need a gym membership.
40. Choose Your Splurges
Saving money is all about choosing what things in your life are important enough to spend money on. Maybe that’s weekend meals with friends, maybe it’s buying a wealth of ingredients for elaborate meals.
The point is that if you have a preferred way to spend your money, then try to minimize your spending in other areas related to it.
If you like to go out with friends on the weekend, then stay in during the week and try to minimize spending.
If you love cooking elaborate meals, have people over and ask them to bring some ingredients.
41. Track Your Financial Progress
Take a moment each month to reflect upon the progress you’ve made. Calculate how much debt you’ve paid off or how far along you are on making a down payment or planning a trip.
Saving a bit every day or week may seem small on that day, but if you look at it from month to month, you’ll start to see positive trends which add up big time.
Congratulate yourself on the positive money habits you’ve acquired throughout the year!
42. Try a Simple Budget
If you find yourself not logging into your financial apps or not wanting to spend the time breaking down each person into a category, then perhaps try a simple budget.
It could even be as simple as “save X amount this month,” without any frills or subcategories whatsoever. The goal is to avoid decision fatigue around tracking your financials.
43. Use Indecision as a Decision
When wondering if you should buy something, the answer should always be “yes, definitely.” Whether that answer is prompted by need (toilet paper) or want (chocolate bar), isn’t the question.
If you ask yourself, “do I want this chocolate bar?” and you answer “Hmmmm…” then there’s a problem. If the answer isn’t a strong yes, then make your indecision count as a no.
44. Cook In More Often
One of the best healthy money habits is to cook at home as much as possible. This saves you money in so many ways.
First, you don’t need to spend money on transportation to the restaurant. Second, the ingredients you use to cook — especially if they are mostly generic — are usually always cheaper than a restaurant meal of the same ingredients.
Not only does cooking from home save you money, but it’s generally healthier too. Talk about a healthy money habit!
45. Understand Your Habits
Did you just spend way too much money when you’re trying to save? It’s happened to all of us.
The important thing to do is to ask yourself why it happened. If you had a particularly stressful day at work, is this your way of coping?
Working to understand why our shopping habits are the way they are can save us a lot of time, energy and money. When you know why you’re feeling pulled to shop without need, then you may be able to stop.
46. Minimize Credit Card Use
Credit cards are essentially the magic wand which allows you to spend beyond your means. While credit card use is probably not unavoidable, it is however able to be minimized.
Do not buy items you don’t really need with a credit card. It may seem like a good system, but in fact it’s actually a very slippery slope.
If you’re not careful, spending can go beyond a tiny bit of debt and verge into the full-blown debt which is awfully hard to come away from unscathed. So, when possible opt away from a credit card.
47. Spend Less than You Earn
Perhaps the best piece of money habit advice out there is to spend less than you earn. It sounds deceptively simple, right?
Yet, in practice, things are often more difficult than they appear. The part “than you earn” is often replaced with “than you could get.”
This idea that you can get more and more money, usually via credit cards, is what sinks so many people as they try to save. Instead, try to truly spend less money than you have coming in, with no credit card in sight.
48. Don’t Overspend on Gifts
Holidays are commercialized so that you feel bad for not getting the loved ones in your life the newest, brightest of everything.
When, in reality, often homemade gifts — such as sugar cookies — are much more coveted.
So, when the holiday season comes around again, or you have to bring a gift to a celebration, go for the heartfelt approach, rather than the brand name approach, and save yourself a lot of money!
49. Open Your Bills
This may seem like a funny thing to point out, but many people just don’t open their bills. Whether you’re coming in the front door and put the bill to the side or you see it and decide not to open it for whatever reason, the fact remains that many people don’t end up opening their bills.
It’s debatable whether this is a smart money habit, or just a necessity, but you need to open your bills. Any anxiety you feel about seeing the numbers will not go away if you don’t open it!
Quite the opposite. The only way to get rid of that anxiety is by confronting the numbers and getting a better grasp of your situation.
50. Be Wary of Extended Warranties
Here’s a helpful money habit you should know. Items may come with options to extend warranty, essentially saying that if you pay a certain amount then if something happens to the item it’ll be covered under the warranty.
However, depending on the quality of the item, you may not need the warranty.
Or, if you purchase the warranty then it may put the total price of the item close to a new one, which is then the option you should go with.
51. Save for Retirement
Financial habits really shine through whenever you ask someone about their retirement savings plan. Many people, especially those in their low-30s and below, simply don’t have one.
These days, the world of start-ups and freelancing often come without 401(k) plans. Instead, you need to save a part of each paycheck towards your goal (usually at least 10 percent).
It’s never too late to start saving and it’s really advantageous to start as early as you can. Saving now, for the future, is a necessary financial step and a good money management habit to have.
52. Keep a Thin Wallet
A good money habit and overall brilliant life hack is to carry a thin wallet. That means no credit cards or big bills.
Without hundreds or thousands of dollars at your disposal, going shopping becomes much simpler.
You’ll need to buy what you went for in the first place, and then you’ll have a minimum amount from which to splurge, if you so choose.
This is a great method for anyone that has been persuaded to buy something they didn’t need by a sales associate or saw something they just “had to have” in one of their favorite shops. Don’t go in your favorite shops and carry a light wallet!
53. Know Your Investing Limits
Before any sort of investing, you should decide at which point it is time to cut your losses or take your profits.
You need this exit strategy mostly so things don’t go too far in the negative direction. Knowing your limits and deciding on that exit strategy before is a smart move.
54. Plan Meals Out
Grocery shopping can be just as dangerous as any other kind of shopping. That’s why you need to plan your meals out ahead of time, make a list, and then stick to it.
This keeps you from wandering down a “forbidden aisle” where there’s nothing from your list there, although there are a lot of your “favorite” treats and temptations.
Consult your list and stay strong!
55. Review Your Credit Card Statements
Whether due to machine error or human error, mistakes do get made on credit card statements. That’s why it’s important that you know what should be represented on your statement and what would stand out as incorrect.
Letting a slip up in a charge on your credit card isn’t really something you want to overlook. This is just a good money management habit to get into.
56. Raise with a Raise
Did you just get a raise? Congratulations!
Now increase your 401(k) contribution to keep up with the raise! You’ll thank us later when your retirement saving goes better than expected.
57. Maintain Your Car
Cars are quite expensive. As such, when they break down or something is wrong with them they can be quite a money sink to fix.
Instead, properly maintain your car. Paying that small amount to keep your car up and running will most likely save you massive headaches and bills later on.
You’ll also reduce the risk of more costly issues down the road.
58. Pay on Time
Do you know what happens when you don’t pay a bill on time?
You might get a late fee. Over time, those fees can become worse and even compound.
In this day and age, there are a million ways to pay on time, from one-click apps to alarms that will remind you to do it. So, with all this assistance, there’s no excuse for late payments.
59. Leverage Good Debt
Yes, not all debt is the bad kind. A positive money habit is to purchase things that have the possibility of increasing in value or providing a path to a higher income in the future.
By getting into this kind of debt, you’re planning the long game of finances. Just make sure that whatever you are buying has a significant chance of increase.
60. Say “No” to the Lottery
The lottery is a huge sink of money. There’s no reason to ever buy a lottery ticket.
The entire purpose of the lottery is to rake in money while only very, very, very few people ever benefit. This might be why the lottery is known as the “Stupid Tax.”
61. Be Wary of Payday Loan Coverage
If you experience a temporary financial shortfall, one of the worst things you can do is to use a payday loan to cover it.
Instead, work to eliminate monthly shortfalls by using a budget and maintaining an emergency fund.
62. Additional Retirement Income
For many, when they think of retirement, they think of Social Security. Yet, relying on SS as your primary source of retirement income is not a great money habit.
A lot can change between now and the time you may need it. It is always better to have some sort of back up in case of the worst-case scenario.
63. Don’t Float Checks
In the “old days” when it would take a few days to process checks, floating a check before payday usually ended alright. Today however, banking is so much faster, with almost near-instantaneous processing speeds.
These speeds make the art of the check float a dangerous game with serious banking and fee repercussions. Instead, just wait a few days then buy whatever it was that you wanted, as long as you still want it.
64. Let FOMO Go
FOMO, the “fear of missing out,” is basically when we compare ourselves to others and what they have to what we have. Generally, FOMO is never a good time.
There’s always something that never aligns right. Viewing someone else, everyone else and drawing comparisons only ever ends with people trying to emulate those they see by buying the newest, most expensive, most exclusive thing that that person has.
Just let it go and let others live their lives while you live yours. If you let the envy and jealousy melt away, then you won’t feel like you’re missing out.
65. Keep Your Car for at Least 10 Years
Did you know that cars can lose up to half of their value by the time they are three years old? So, whether you buy a new or used car, make sure to keep it around for at least ten years, if possible.
After a decade, the cost per use of the car would be quite good and the buy would have been worth it.
66. Comparison Shop
There are so many online apps which can compare product prices for you. Not to mention you can easily find most anything with a quick Google search.
If you pay full price for an item, then you really have no one to blame but yourself. Always comparison shop so you don’t get swindled by a high price!
67. Plan for Your Child’s Future
This is someone you definitely need to consider, probably before or the first few years after their birth.
Because, if you didn’t know, raising a child is expensive, not to mention college is even more so.
You need to budget, create subcategories, make plans and create savings funds, the whole shebang.
68. Leave Emergency Money for Emergencies
It may seem like a great idea to dip into your emergency fund for an emergency vacation, but in reality, it will be much better to leave the emergency funds where they belong so that in the case of a real emergency, you’ll be prepared.
69. Hold Yourself (and Others) Accountable
Saving can be difficult. Hold yourself and others accountable in order to maximum the chances you all will reach your goals.
70. Be Realistic
Whether it’s setting goals for how much you’ll save each month or estimating how much you’ll need for groceries and rent, be realistic. If you’re not sure, then stay conservative so you don’t overwhelm yourself.
71. Keep Some Flexibility
Especially when you’re first creating a budget, leave a miscellaneous category with some allocated funds for when you realize you’ve way underestimated how much you’d need.
That way, your budget won’t be blown to smithereens.
72. Negotiate Bills
There are many bills, such as insurance payments, banking payments, etc. which can actually be made cheaper if you negotiate.
While there are numerous apps for that very thing, it is also a god idea to take the lead and negotiate on your own behalf with whoever it is you’re speaking to.
73. Conserve Utilities
You can: turn off lights when not in use, turn off electronics when not in use, use windows and fans instead of air-conditioning, wash your clothes in cold water, and unplug electronics when you’re not using them.
What smart money habits have you developed to improve your finances and save more money? Let us know in the comments below!
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