– Evaluate where you are living and consider moving to a lower cost of living area
– Look for ways to make your life easier and eliminate pain points
– Create a giving plan and give back to charities and organizations
– Find a different grocery store or take advantage of sales to save on groceries
– Shop more frequently to avoid wasting food and overspending
– Romanticize your life by making meals at home more special and creating spa-like experiences at home
If you want to reach financial freedom, knowing how to save money is crucial. Today, Mindy and Kyle deliver some special tips that will help you save on housing, food, travel, and other common money categories in 2024!
In this final episode of our four-part money tips series, we’re looking to help you improve your quality of life while saving money. Do you pay a premium to live in an expensive city that you don’t have time to explore? Perhaps it’s time to pack up and move to an area with a lower cost of living. Instead, scratch your itch to see the world by using credit cards to travel for FREE!
Is your monthly grocery bill getting out of control? Choose a cheaper store, take advantage of sales, or do “mini” shops that help you eliminate waste. Finally, do you spend a fortune on things like eating out or going to the spa? Learn how you can recreate these experiences at home for a fraction of the cost!
Hello and welcome to the BiggerPockets Money Podcast. This is our final episode of 24 Money Tips in 2024, and with me to share these final tips is my wonderful, amazing, fantastic, fabulous, delightful co-host, Kyle Mast.
Oh, was that too much?
Probably, but people should know that it was even more impressive that you did that whole phrase in one take on a podcast. There’s no way I would be able to do that. That was not edited. She did that straight.
That’s because you are wonderful, amazing, fantastic, fabulous and delightful, Kyle.
Okay. Yeah. Mindy, these have been so much fun. These episodes have been fun to share all these different tips. And I hope our listeners are really getting value here as we sink into the new year.
Mindy, what’s our number one tip for today?
This one is a big one that’s going to make you think: evaluate where you are living. Not only your actual apartment or house, but also your city, your state, your country.
Are you giving your city more than you’re getting out of it? I know too many people who are living in New York City, paying New York City rent, New York City bills, but not living a New York City life.
Listen, you can sit inside your New York City apartment doing nothing, but it feels a whole lot like sitting inside your apartment anywhere else in the country doing nothing.
So really think about it. Are you utilizing all the things that your city has to offer? Are you utilizing all the things your state has to offer? And if not, either change that and start taking advantage of what’s near you or move so you can start taking advantage of a lower cost of living space or more things that appeal to you as a person.
Oh, I love that one. That’s so good. State taxes are so different in different states, and then with the advent of more and more remote work, it just makes a lot of sense to at least look at this for you and your family.
Next one: look for ways to make your life easier.
I love this one. What are your pain points and what can you do about it?
One of my favorite quotes when I’m doing goal setting or planning retreats is one by Tim Ferriss, and I think it was in his first book, The 4-Hour Workweek, but he uses it all the time; “What would this look like if it were easy?”
So look at the pain points in your life. What is causing you stress? What would it look like if it were easy? Just ask that question; what do you need to do to make it easy? Do you hate mowing the lawn? What would it look like if that was easy? Do you hire someone to do it? Do you have a robotic lawnmower, which are awesome, by the way? What are these things that you can look into to make certain pain points in your life easier?
And these can be really good uses of your finances. And it doesn’t have to be big spends. It can be small spends depending on where you’re at in your financial journey. But you can make a big impact in your happiness, in the quality of life by making certain unenjoyable things especially easier.
I love that. We took out our lawn and replaced it with rocks. We live in a desert, we don’t need a lawn. Problem solved.
And we hired a cleaning person because I hate to clean and I like having a clean house. And it made my life easier, and that is such a great tip.
All right, this one is really personal for me: put together a giving plan.
One of the comments that we got after being on the Ramit Sethi show was that he should have encouraged us to be giving more. So this isn’t something that we’ve actually traditionally done an enormous amount of in our lives, and that’s something that we’re changing, my husband and I, in 2024. We’re putting together a giving plan so that we have a specific amount that we are giving this year to different charities and different organizations that we want to support.
If you find yourself in a great financial position, put together a giving plan and give back.
That’s a really cool one. And I would add to it too, even if you’re not in what you would call a really great financial position, a giving plan can be $10 a month. It can be anything, but the intentionality of it and the habit that it builds will create something that is a part of you that when you do have more resources, you know how to give well because you’ve trained yourself in good habits during that entire time.
Next one: after housing and transportation, groceries are often the next largest spending line item that you have a decent amount of control over. There’s several different ways you can go here, but find a different grocery store.
Oh my goodness. We went on vacation to Florida and I got to shop at Aldi’s. I live on the West Coast in Oregon, we do not have Aldi’s. And I was thrilled. I want that store in Oregon. But that’s a side step.
Shop different sales. You know, if something’s on sale, if the chicken’s on sale, the pork’s on sale, the tofu, whatever is your jam, buy something that’s on sale and look for ways to be creative with it and make different recipes with that. You can save a lot by just shopping sales.
Even if you’re a big Costco person; just walking down the aisles and looking for the sales at Costco, and stocking up on those things and then using those with specific recipes.
Another tip along with this that kind of came out in an episode a while back, I heard on The Money Show, was to grocery shop a little bit more often. And sometimes that seems counterintuitive because you feel like you might impulse buy more, but what it does, it also allows you to know that you don’t have to buy so much at one time. You don’t have to buy so much produce, you don’t have to buy so many things. You know you’re going to be back to the store. And sometimes that can actually help your budget, knowing that you can just spend a little bit this time for these next few days or for this week, and then you’ll be back to the store again, rather than trying to spend so much and some of it going bad and wasting money on that.
I love that tip. Possibly my most favorite tip in this whole thing.
And we don’t have Aldi’s in Colorado either. Hey, Aldi, come west.
All right. Romanticize your life.
If you’ve decided you want to cut back on things like eating out, why not make dinners at home even better? There’s nothing to stop you from setting the table, lighting candles and really indulging in small steps.
If you’ve decided you want to do spa days at home instead of paying an exorbitant amount of money out, really set the mood with music, aroma and ambiance.
You can do a lot of these things that you do out inside and still get a very similar experience. You just have to plan a little bit ahead.
Next one: spend some time and learn to play the credit card airfare points game.
And this goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyways: don’t do this if you can’t manage your credit well and if you have a hard time paying off credit cards. This is for people that will pay off a credit card completely each month.
It can be a little intimidating at first, but it can be thousands and thousands of dollars in free travel if you do it right over time.
This is a hobby of mine. There are people that do it way more intensely than I do, but just to give you an idea, I looked at my spreadsheet and I currently have 40 credit cards that are open. You don’t have to go this crazy. We have different LLCs and I totally take advantage of having multiple businesses to be able to play this game.
But to give you another idea, we had a family reunion in Florida and I basically told my siblings and my parents about the Southwest Companion Pass, and all of them, except my parents, I think all of my siblings, were able to get a Southwest Companion Pass to be able to fly their families to Florida. I have siblings on both coasts. And the savings was probably in the $5,000 to $10,000 range in airfare between all of us coming out there.
So just think about … You can do baby steps into that. One website I would recommend is travelfreely.com. It’s a great website to get you just started, and you can go as deep as you want or stay as simple as you want.
I love this next one so much, Kyle. Figure out your enough.
Dictionary.com defines ‘enough’ as, “Adequate for the want or need, sufficient for the purpose or to satisfy desire.” What do you want and how much do you need to be happy?
And I’m talking about money, investments, time with your family. Whatever it is that you want or need, you will have an amount that is enough. And then once you have enough, you don’t need more than.
So figure out, in every aspect of your life, what does enough look like?
All right. This has been so much fun. We are so excited for everything that’s coming up in 2024, and we’re always eager to hear from you. You can email me, [email protected]. You can email Kyle, [email protected].
Can they email you?
They can. Go for it. Yeah. Thanks for asking.
After I share your email address. Although really you’re not that hard to find.
And if you have any life-changing tips that we missed, please share them with us in our Facebook group, which is found at facebook.com/groups/bpmoney.
All right, huge thanks to my partner, Kyle Mast, for sharing all of these tips with me throughout this entire month. And huge thanks to you for listening, and we will see you next week.
If you enjoyed today’s episode, please give us a five star review on Spotify or Apple. And if you’re looking for even more money content, feel free to visit our YouTube channel at youtube.com/biggerpocketsmoney.
BiggerPockets Money was created by Mindy Jensen and Scott Trench; produced by Kailyn Bennett; editing by Exodus Media; copywriting by Nate Weintraub.
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Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.
Property Chomp’s Take:
special experience. It’s all about creating a luxurious and enjoyable atmosphere in your own home.
For example, instead of going out to a fancy restaurant, why not try cooking a gourmet meal at home? Set the table with your best china, light some candles, and put on some soft music. You can create a romantic and elegant dining experience without spending a fortune.
Similarly, if you enjoy going to the spa but find it expensive, you can recreate that experience at home. Fill your bathroom with soothing scents, play relaxing music, and pamper yourself with a homemade face mask or a bubble bath. You can still indulge in self-care and relaxation without breaking the bank.
The key is to think creatively and find ways to make your everyday experiences more special. By doing so, you can save money while still enjoying the things you love.
Finally, let’s talk about travel. Many people dream of exploring different parts of the world, but the cost of travel can be a major deterrent. However, there are ways to travel for free or at a significantly reduced cost.
One method is to use credit card rewards to earn free flights, hotel stays, or other travel perks. By strategically using credit cards and taking advantage of sign-up bonuses and rewards programs, you can save a substantial amount on your travel expenses.
Another option is to consider house-sitting or house-swapping. There are websites and apps that connect homeowners who are looking for someone to look after their homes while they’re away with travelers who are looking for affordable accommodations. This can be a great way to explore new places without spending a fortune on hotels.
Additionally, consider traveling during off-peak seasons or booking last-minute deals. Prices tend to be lower during these times, and you can often find great deals on flights and accommodations.
In conclusion, if you want to reach financial freedom, knowing how to save money is crucial. By evaluating where you live, finding ways to make your life easier, putting together a giving plan, and making smart choices in areas such as housing, food, and travel, you can save money while still enjoying a high quality of life. Remember, it’s all about being creative and finding ways to make your everyday experiences more special. So start implementing these tips in 2024 and watch your savings grow!