What would you prefer more of: cash or Facebook memes? If it’s the former, I have good news for you. In the amount of time you spend tweeting and sharing and insta’ing during your work break, you could be pumping up your wealth instead! (And by “work break,” I mean anytime between 9-5 when you’re “working.”)
We all need a brain break from the office at times. Instead of spending it aimless scrolling through social media or online shopping, rock your wallet in 30 minutes or less by accomplishing these seven financial wins (and then get back to work!):
Track Your Net Worth
This is one of the best things you can do to really wrap your head around money. List all your assets on one side of a spreadsheet (savings accounts, investments, retirement accounts) and all your liabilities on the other (credit card debt, loans, mortgages), then subtract the two and voila! Your net worth! Take 5 minutes every month to update this, and you’ll be surprised how much better you are with your money going forward. Awareness makes all the difference in the world!
Make a List of All Your Credit Cards
Similar to tracking your net worth, putting all of your credit card information down in one easy-to-access spot will make your financial life 10x easier. On that same spreadsheet where your net worth is, add a tab and list all of the names of the credit cards you have, and then next to that list out their due dates, amounts owed, interest rate, and monthly minimum payments.
Then, figure out a game plan to best destroy them all! You can use the Debt Snowball strategy by paying off the smaller balances first and harnessing the emotional wins along the way, or you can go with the Debt Avalanche route of paying off the cards with the highest interest rates first to best maximize your payments. In either case, you can’t have a plan without knowing all your credit card details!
Not in any debt? Congrats! It’s still worth capturing this information to have quick access to it. But here’s an extra credit assignment for you: Make a list of where all your credit cards are *connected* to online! That way when you need to replace one later, you’ll save gobs of time in figuring it all out.
Pick One Bill and Negotiate a Lower Rate
When was the last time you called up your cable company or your cell phone provider? How about your car insurance company? The average person sets it and forgets it, and ends up paying a hefty premium for it. Don’t be average! Pick one provider to call up on your lunch break and simply ask them how you can lower your bill. Then set a calendar item to do it again in 6 months. You can literally save hundreds of dollars a year – if not thousands – by making a few quick phone calls.
Get a Life Insurance Quote
While many companies aren’t exactly quick with this stuff, and you may need a couple of lunch breaks to pull this off, Haven Life stands out from the pack allowing anyone to get an instant quote – and decision – entirely online. And this is perfect because as important as life insurance coverage is, especially if you have dependents, ain’t nobody got time for a long wait. Take a few minutes, get a quote or calculate your needs, and get your family covered. Because at the end of the day, this protection isn’t for you – it’s for them. And you want to preserve as much of your hard earned money as you can for them.
Calculate Your Bare Minimum Budget
What’s the least amount of money you need every month to survive? Do you know? If not, take a few minutes to calculate it as it’s a pretty empowering number to know. Once you have an idea of the minimum you need to pay the bills, you quickly realize just how far off it is to your current expenses. If that doesn’t bother you, then keep on going! If it does, however, then use this to help motivate you to make some changes and get it more in line. Living off less not only frees up more money to be applied to what’s important to you, but also gives you more options in life. Such as the ability to switch to a more rewarding job that may pay less, or taking time off to pursue hobbies like traveling. In either case, you need to know where you stand.
Did you know that right now the United States, federal agencies and other organizations collectively hold more than $58 billion in unclaimed cash and benefits? Which equates to about $186 per U.S. resident? When you’re feeling lucky one day, head to missingmoney.com and start a search to see if any of it is owed to you. Perhaps you have uncashed checks from years gone by, or forgotten insurance policies, bonds, dividends, or even utility deposits. If you don’t get lucky searching your own name, try your loved ones and give them a nice surprise.
Find a Fun Financial Blog
Contrary to popular belief, personal finances don’t have to be so serious all the time. With the advent of blogging and social media, there are a slew of interesting people sharing their tips and ideas on how to better plump up your wallet. And the best part is that they share real-life experiences and numbers, which is a lot more relatable than theory talk and generalities. No matter what your age or position in life is, there is a blog out there that you can relate to. Here’s a quick list of some of my favorites if it helps.
Dedicate one work lunch break a week to checking off these items, and then get right back to sharing your life away on social media… only this time, with more money in your pockets. #MicDrop
J. Money is the founder of Rockstar Finance and the voice behind Budgets Are $exy, a personal finance blog that won’t put you to sleep.