10 money habits that will have a very high rate of return — If you want to be better with money, read this:

3 min readOct 6, 2023

1) Negotiate better rates
• Use student, military, or senior discounts whenever possible
• Call service providers like internet, phone, and insurance to request lower rates
• Threaten to cancel memberships or subscriptions that won’t offer discounts

2) Limit impulse purchases
• Stick to a grocery list and meal plan when shopping
• Unsubscribe from email lists that trigger impulse buys
• Give yourself a 24-hour waiting period for bigger purchases
• Use cash for discretionary spending to feel the impact of purchases

3) Avoid lifestyle inflation
• Focus on value purchases that serve a purpose
• Continue living like a student even as income rises
• Maintain used cars, appliances, and other possessions
• Delay major purchases like new cars or home ownership

4) Set a realistic budget and stick to it
• Track all expenses to understand spending habits
• Use budgeting apps or spreadsheets to stay on track
• Create a reasonable budget for necessities and discretionary spending
• Identify areas where spending could be reduced (e.g. eating out, subscriptions, entertainment)

5) Increase income streams
• Ask for a raise or promotion at a current job
• Get a side gig or freelance work in addition to a regular job
• Participate in the gig economy through Uber, TaskRabbit, etc.
• Monetize hobbies or skills (e.g. sell art, offer tutoring services)

6) Invest wisely
• Open a Roth IRA and contribute the max each year ($6,000)
• Contribute to a 401k or other tax-advantaged retirement account
• Research low-cost index funds and ETFs for solid returns over time
• Use a robo-advisor like Betterment or Wealthfront for easy investing

7) Travel and eat out less
• Cook affordable meals at home as much as possible
• Bring lunch to work rather than eat out with coworkers
• Explore free local attractions and activities over faraway vacations
• Use public transit or budget airlines rather than Uber or expensive flights

8) Minimize housing costs
• Live at home with parents or relatives if possible
• Get roommates to split costs for rent, utilities, wifi
• Consider relocating to a less expensive area or smaller space

9) Automate savings
• Split direct deposits so a portion goes straight to savings
• Set up automatic transfers from checking to savings accounts
• Use a percentage of each paycheck rather than a fixed dollar amount
• Sign up for your employer’s 401k plan and contribute at least enough to get the full match

10) Let time do the work
• Make saving automatic with direct deposit allocations
• Invest windfalls like tax refunds rather than spend them
• Start early and maximize compound interest over decades
• Be consistent and patient — small amounts add up over years

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I write TheFinanceNewsletter.com for 50,000 subscribers. My expertise comes from real-world knowledge, sharpened by 15 years working on Wall Street and Banking.