5 Frugal Living Myths That Are Keeping You Poor
Everywhere you turn, people offer personal finance advice that is supposed to make your life better.
That’s nice if those tips are actually true.
Unfortunately, not all frugal living and personal finance tips are created equal. Here are 5 myths that will keep you poor.
Myth #1: Good Deals Save You Money
FOMO. Ever heard of it? It stands for: Fear of Missing Out.
Marketers love it.
They tell you this incredible deal is going away, and if you don’t act now, then you will miss out forever.
Or, at least until next time.
Is that deal really good?
Will it save you money?
Not really because you have to spend money in the first place.
We all love a good deal, but when you are presented with a discount, be sure to think your purchase through.
Is it something you need so badly you would purchase it without the discount?
Is it in the budget?
Will it bring joy to your life?
Does it solve a problem you have?
Not all discounts are the same, so think before you buy.
If You Must Buy, Let Capital One Shopping Find Great Deals
If you need to make an online purchase, then it pays to look for the best deal so you can actually save money.
Capital One Shopping is an internet browser extension that automatically applies promo codes to your online orders (such as at Amazon, Walmart.com, as well as 1,000+ other online retailers).
It takes seconds to add to your browser, and from that point on, you save money without lifting a finger.
For example, when you’re checking out from Amazon, Capital One Shopping automatically tracks down active coupon codes to knock-down your price.
This browser extension saves you both time and money because Capital One Shopping does all of the bargain hunting for you.
Add this money-saving gem to your arsenal to effortlessly keep more money in your pocket.
Myth #2: Don’t Use Credit Cards
I know, I know. Some debt-free gurus say never to use credit cards.
My standard answer has been: You can tell me what to do when you pay my bills.
Those gurus have a point:
When you carry balances on your credit cards, you rack up small interest charges each month that add up over the course of a year or two or four.
That’s not good.
Credit cards, especially rewards cards, have a place in your financial strategy.
They can be a wonderful tool when you are intentional and disciplined with your money because you earn a percentage back for every dollar you spend, usually around 1 to 2%.
The key to making credit cards work for you is to pair a great rewards card with a plan only to charge items that you can safely pay off when the statement arrives in your mailbox.
This means you save for major purchases before buying them.
When you have the money in the bank, make your purchases on a credit card to score some rewards, and pay the bill when you get it.
Used properly, credit cards can earn you hundreds of dollars a year in rewards, and this is sweet when you are going to buy the stuff anyway.
How to Earn Cash Every Time You Swipe Your Credit Card
Getting a rewards card is relatively easy.
Trying to find the right one for you, well, that can be a little more difficult.
Credit Land does all the research for you so you can compare rewards cards.
Do you want a cash-back rewards card? A gas rewards card? A travel rewards card? One with a good sign-up bonus?
No matter what kind of rewards card you are looking for, Credit Land’s ratings will help your decision.
Myth #3: I Don’t Earn Enough To Save
I am guilty of once believing that I didn’t make enough money to save any.
That thinking led me to push financial freedom off into an undefined future where one day I would have enough.
What about you? Are you in the same boat?
If so, let me tell you that “one day” has arrived.
You do earn enough money to save if you know the right places to look.
Here are some strategies to free up some of your cash so you can save:
- Save on coffee: We’re not saying stop drinking coffee, but maybe make it at home a few times a week. Buy reusable filters for your K-cup coffeemaker to save money each time.
- Save on groceries: We all have to eat, but we all don’t have to pay retail. Download Ibotta, the No. 1 grocery-saving app, connect to your favorite grocers, add the cash-back offers you want, submit a photo of your receipt or link loyalty cards, and then wait for the cash to be deposited into your linked account.
- Save on gas: With gas prices hovering where they are, it sure would be nice to pay less. You can with Upside, a cash-back app that will earn you discounts when you pay at the pump. Download the Upside app (add promo code AFF20 to get a 20-cent cash-back bonus), link a debit/credit card, look for nearby gas discounts, claim your offer, get your gas, check in on the app, and get cash back.
- Save on purchases: With the free Capital One Shopping browser extension, you can save money when you shop online. Download the free browser extension, and it will automatically look for active promo codes and apply them at checkout. Use it on Amazon for comparison shopping to see if you are getting the product at a price you like.
- Save on subscriptions: With all the streaming options we have, it can be hard to remember which ones we pay for, especially if you start binge-watching all four seasons of The Crown on Netflix and forget all about Disney+, Hulu, Spotify, Paramount+, The Peacock, and, well, you get the idea. Trim is a service that finds and cancels old or unused subscriptions, which can save hundreds each year. Please note that Trim takes payment immediately. For example, if Trim saves you $10/month, they will request their 15% fee ($40) right away. But you keep 100% of the savings after that. Try Trim today.
- Save on insurance: Protecting your vehicle, home, or possessions (if you live in an apartment) is important, which is why we pay for insurance. To make sure you never pay more than you should, it’s important to do comparison shopping every year. Insurify uses patented AI technology to compare plans and find the right plan for you. Use Insurify’s free service and find out in seconds how much you can save on your auto and home insurance.
Free Workshop – Join our free Simplify Money Workshop
The *only* way to save money is to spend less than you earn. That means you need to decrease your expenses or increase your income.
We want to help you do both.
Join our FREE Simplify Money Workshop to learn the fundamentals of growing wealth. Because when you can spend less than you earn, your money has no choice but to grow. You will build your savings and pay down debt.
What’s more? We’ve got a bunch of free money-hacks to share with you:
- Hacks to lower your monthly bills
- Hacks to spend less on debt
- Hacks to start investing
- Hacks to increase your income by $20/month (with no extra effort)
This workshop has everything you need to accomplish the cardinal rule of personal finance: keep your income over your expenses.
Join our free 5-day Simplify Money Workshop, and start growing your wealth today.
Myth #4: Savings Account Interest Is Too Little To Matter
How do the words “free money” sound to you?
In a sense, the interest a bank pays you when you deposit your money is “free money.”
While the interest payments made to you will not break the bank, something is better than nothing, and it adds up.
When you have money, there are a few options you have: Spend, save, or invest.
Spending depletes your cash, and investing puts some of your cash at a small risk.
When you save and get paid interest, you grow your cash.
Not all banks offer the same interest rates, so look for a high-yield savings account to maximize your savings.
Open a CIT Savings Builder Account
Want to set yourself up for savings success?
Make it easy! The CIT Savings Builder high-yield savings account is the perfect tool to kick-start your savings journey.
You only need a $100 opening deposit, which is great when you’re just starting.
And here’s the kicker: If you deposit at least $100 every month, you’ll earn the top-tier interest rate on your account balance.
See the banner below for the current top APY tier.
Pro Tip: Set up an automatic monthly transfer to your CIT Savings Builder account to make regular saving a no-brainer.
Myth #5: You Need Lots Of Money To Invest In Stocks
There was a time if you wanted to invest, then you needed thousands of dollars.
You also had to find a financial adviser and travel to an office.
Thankfully, that time is not today when all you need is a smartphone or an employer that offers a retirement plan.
Thanks to technology and the ability to buy fractions of a share, anyone can become part of the investor class by downloading an app on their phones, setting up an account, and linking a debit/credit card.
Depending upon the app, you can make lump-sum investments, or you can round up purchases and have the excess go into your investment account.
Say you spent $12.50 on lunch.
The purchase would be rounded up to $13, and 50 cents gets deposited into your investment account.
Another way to invest with not much money is to see if your employer offers a retirement plan, like a 401(k).
You can choose how much to invest each pay period, and sometimes your employer will add some money into your retirement plan, too.
Grow Your Money with Acorns
“From acorns, mighty oaks do grow.”
That’s the premise of the popular app, Acorns: Invest your spare change and watch your money grow over time.
Acorns wants to help everyday folks invest.
You can invest little money, save automatically, and earn rewards with a checking account.
If you want a hands-off investment tool, then download Acorns and turn a little cash into more.
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*Capital One Shopping compensates us when you get the Capital One Shopping extension using the links we provided*