The road to wealth is 99% psychology, and 1% math. A list of twenty 'hacks' like “Don't go to Starbucks” is not going to help, since you fight these impulses repeatedly, and human will is limited.
It is better to focus on the few, one-time changes that will have big results for the rest of your life. You will keep more of what you make and lose less of it to banks.
These are the changes I made in my life that had big effects on my wealth. Now I keep more of the money I make, banks pay me to use them, and I don't waste time worrying about petty fees and charges.
Task 1: No more monthly or ATM fees, or Foreign Customer Service Reps (Takes 20 minutes)
You are losing a huge amount of money by banking with Chase, Wells Fargo, or Bank of America. They are terrible when it comes to charging fees and customer service. Here are two better options:
My best pick:
Charles Schwab: Your ATM fees are reimbursed from anywhere in the world. No more looking for Chase ATMs, no more ATM fees, period. And their customer service? One time, I was broke in the Philippines, and a Schwab representative by the name of Bill Carpenter justgaveme $25.
Ally Bank:Ally only covers domestic ATM fees but they have higher interest rates and a simpler website. Both Ally and Schwab have great customer service And no monthly fees.
Task 2: Discover What your Credit Score is, and Why it is (10 minutes)
Credit Karmawill give you your credit score with a breakdown the factors that affect your credit score, and updates every week. Being able to see all my accounts in one place has saved me hours, and watching my debt go down has made it ten times easier to pay.
Credit Karma will detect all of your debt and credit lines just like a credit agency. You can link your accounts and your credit, savings and debt will be tracked automatically. Visualizing your progress in this way is the single most motivating thing I have ever had to building wealth.
Task 3: Better Interest Rates, Better Rewards(40 minutes)
If you don't have a credit card, get one. I use the BarclayCard Arrival World Mastercard for 2.2% rewards on all purchases. If you have bad credit and need to transfer a balance, I recommend the BarclayCard Ring.
I have looked through hundreds of credit cards and listed the best for you depending on your needs, and compared them to cards you probably already have here. While it will not actually take 40 minutes to apply for a better credit card, understanding how credit works is essential to your wealth, and should not be overlooked.
All of these tasks require minimal effort and will allow you to keep much more of your hard earned wealth. While the reason why the first task is helpful is pretty obvious, the importance of credit and opening credit cards is not as obvious, but actually has big consequences on your long-term financial future that many do not realize. I will explain what credit is and why it is important get more of it as soon as possible in the next article.