In this article we discuss the 10 best money saving tips according to experts. If you want to skip our detailed analysis of these tips, go directly to the 5 Best Money Saving Tips According to Experts.
Saving money has become an uphill task for many average Americans amid flat wages, rising rents, astronomical healthcare costs, and increasing bills associated with other living expenses like food, transport, and clean drinking water. According to data released by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly earnings of people on private payrolls in the goods-producing sector increased by a meagre 23 cents between May 2020 and March 2021, much like the rest of the industries across the country.
Even though flat wages are a big part of the overall savings problem, sky-high rents also represent an equal, if not larger, stake in the issue. A study by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies in 2020 found that American households with incomes between $30,000 and $75,000, a typical renter household in the US, were paying more than 30% of their income on rent. Among the lower income households, this number was over 50%, highlighting perhaps the heaviest burden that an average citizen in the US carried on their shoulders every month.
In addition to these issues, ridiculous healthcare costs and the increase in other living expenses over the years have also hit American savings. However, one factor that most academic inquiries into the savings problem barely touch is the attitude to saving itself. Surprisingly, and in addition to the problems highlighted above, one of the leading reasons why Americans are struggling to save money is the absence of long-term planning. A survey by Bankrate in 2019 found that 21% of American adults do not set aside any part of their annual income for savings.
This number has not improved much over the past few years, coming in at over 20% since 2016, according to Greg McBride, the chief financial analyst at Bankrate. Some of this is explained by the generation gap, with older households, aged 55 and above, more likely than other age groups to be saving more than 10 percent of their annual income. Millennials and Gen Xers, however, are not saving any money at all, the survey has found, partly due to the rise in student debts and the cost of essentials.
In this bleak environment, it has become even more important to save up for the future. As the COVID-19 crisis demonstrated, savings can be a great source of comfort in times of extreme stress. However, smart planning is needed to actively make savings work. Some of the useful tips in this regard are discussed below. Even as some Americans came out of the pandemic with a big chunk missing from their savings accounts, some others actually ended up saving a lot, more because of the virus lockdowns than anything else.
These savings are now being used for a variety of purposes, including retail investments in the stock market that are pitching novice investors against established financial institutions. The entire hedge fund industry is feeling the reverberations of the changing financial landscape. Its reputation has been tarnished in the last decade, during which its hedged returns couldn’t keep up with the unhedged returns of the market indices. On the other hand, Insider Monkey’s research was able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by more than 124 percentage points since March 2017. Between March 2017 and February 26th 2021 our monthly newsletter’s stock picks returned 197.2%, vs. 72.4% for the SPY. Our stock picks outperformed the market by more than 124 percentage points (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that significantly underperformed the market. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 and they lost 13% through November 16th. That’s why we believe hedge fund sentiment is an extremely useful indicator that investors should pay attention to. You can subscribe to our free newsletter on our homepage to receive our stories in your inbox.
With this context in mind, here is our list of the 10 best money saving tips according to experts.
Best Money Saving Tips According to Experts
10. Identity Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Everyone is different and there is hardly ever a tip that has worked well across the board. One exception does, however, stand out. It is prudent to step back and ascertain strengths and weaknesses before coming up with a savings plan that is best suited to individual needs and conditions, no matter how obvious this might sound. For example, an individual that needs a savings account for an emergency fund cannot hope to accumulate a healthy interest on these funds, since savings accounts usually offer low interest rates. For someone looking for quick bucks, the stock market might be a better option, where riskier investments have the potential to pay more handsome returns.
For example, investing in index funds, like exchange traded funds (ETFs) or mutual funds, that track the performance of popular market indexes and invest accordingly, can help turn a small amount of money into a large one within a short span of time. Some of the more popular options in this regard are the Bridgeway Small Cap Value Fund (NASDAQ: BRSVX) and SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY). Bridgeway Small Cap Value Fund (NASDAQ: BRSVX) is a Texas-based fund with year-to-date returns of over 37% while SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) is software-related ETF with a year-to-date total daily return of close to 4.5%.
A popular stock on the Bridgeway Small Cap Value Fund (NASDAQ: BRSVX) portfolio is Veritiv Corporation (NYSE: VRTV), an Atlanta-based company that provides packaging and hygiene products. SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) holds stakes in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), the California-based technology company that has crossed over $2 trillion in market capitalization and is set to soar higher according to the consensus rating among market experts. Bridgeway Small Cap Value Fund (NASDAQ: BRSVX) and SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) are therefore one of the better stock options for those who want the best money saving tips according to experts.
9. Practice a Balancing Act
It is difficult to implement the simplest of decisions when it comes to savings. A realistic target that can be set in this regard is finding the perfect balance between spending and saving, thereby putting a number on the savings dilemma that can afterwards be used for planning related to other aspects of the savings strategy. This balancing act is the first step towards the adoption of a new lifestyle that prioritizes investments in the future, no matter how small or insignificant they might seem. It takes grit and a whole lot of discipline to find this balancing act and even though it might seem difficult at first, once you get into the groove, it gets easier to the point where it takes no effort at all.
A smart strategy that can help with practicing overall balance is investments in Roth IRA, a retirement account that offers tax-related benefits based on time and age requirements and withdrawal rules. Billionaire Ken Fisher, of Fisher Asset Management, has made a fortune by investing in dividend stocks that can be used for Roth IRA payments. Some of the top stocks on his portfolio in this context include Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX). Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) is a New York-based pharmaceutical company with a forward dividend yield of over 4% while Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) is a California-based energy corporation with an impressive dividend history stretching back over three decades.
At the end of the first quarter of 2021, 65 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $2 billion in Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), up from 63 in the preceding quarter worth $1.8 billion. Out of the hedge funds being tracked by Insider Monkey, Nebraska-based investment firm Berkshire Hathaway is a leading shareholder in Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) with 23.6 million shares worth more than $2.4 billion. Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) therefore also make it to the list of better stock options for those who want the best money saving tips according to experts.
8. Start Small
Mindsets are important and can be the first barriers in the way of success when starting out on a new endeavor. Cleansing the mind of negative thoughts and focusing on the task ahead is an effective tool that can be used by people who are looking to save money but are dissuaded from doing so by the apparent short-term insignificance of the whole thing. Change takes time. Warren Buffett, perhaps one of the most successful people in the world over the past few decades who has made his fortune in the stock market, purchased his first ever shares when he was just eleven years-old, turning a small six-dollar profit when he sold them later. Start small when you start your savings and the benefits will reveal themselves in time.
Some helpful advice related to this can be found at Mr Money Mustache, a blog that offering free tips related to savings. The creator of the blog is active on internet platform Reddit, making frequent posts on a financial independence group. The blog has helped people save by inspiring them to quit smoking and eat healthy, thereby eliminating two large sources of spending, cigarettes and fast food, from their lives. Companies that sell these items, like McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE: MCD) and British American Tobacco p.l.c. (NYSE: BTI), are some of the largest corporations in the world because consumers cannot seem to get enough. McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE: MCD) sells burgers and British American Tobacco p.l.c. (NYSE: BTI) sells nicotine products.
At the end of the first quarter of 2021, 67 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $3.7 billion in McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE: MCD), up from 62 in the preceding quarter worth $2.8 billion. Out of the hedge funds being tracked by Insider Monkey, Bermuda-based investment firm Orbis Investment Management is a leading shareholder in British American Tobacco p.l.c. (NYSE: BTI) with 20.8 million shares worth more than $806 million. McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE: MCD) and British American Tobacco p.l.c. (NYSE: BTI) also make it to the list of better stock options for those who want the best money saving tips according to experts.
7. Invest in Stocks
Investments in dividend stocks are a reliable savings vehicle that has the twin benefit of regular dividend payouts as well as the option of cashing out of the stock altogether if need be. There are plenty of famous investors who have made millions from just dividend payouts alone over the years and who can help select the right options for new interested parties. The ebb and flow of the stock market also helps investors stay informed of the happenings in the business world in general. Price fluctuation provides an implicit incentive for savings and keeps the mind fresh for the absorption of new ideas, aiding in the development of a business-like mind in people not naturally keen on the subject.
A good option for beginner investors is investments in stocks that are cheap but have explosive growth potential. United Microelectronics Corporation (NYSE: UMC) and MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) are solid options for this strategy. United Microelectronics Corporation (NYSE: UMC) is a Chinese microelectronics manufacturer while MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) is a Las Vegas-based entertainment company. Rising chip prices are set to benefit United Microelectronics Corporation (NYSE: UMC) this year as MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) looks to capitalize on early gains form the post-pandemic economic recovery.
At the end of the first quarter of 2021, 11 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $173 million in United Microelectronics Corporation (NYSE: UMC), down from 12 in the preceding quarter worth $190 million. Out of the hedge funds being tracked by Insider Monkey, New York-based investment firm Corvex Capital is a leading shareholder in MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) with 15.6 million shares worth more than $595 million. United Microelectronics Corporation (NYSE: UMC) and MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) slide into the list of better stock options for those who want the best money saving tips according to experts.
6. Shift to Cash
The rise of online banking and mobile payments, coupled with the advances made in fintech over the past few years, have given a new meaning to the idea of cashless societies. With the convenience that comes with making payments at a single touch, there is also the temptation to spend on things that one might not necessarily need. In such a scenario, paying with cash helps the mind appreciate the value of the transaction in a personal context and encourages or discourages certain purchase decisions. Cash also helps in making the mind more attune to the sort of spending and savings numbers that would otherwise be missed when a computer is doing all the calculations for you.
Cash also solves the credit card problem. According to research by MagnifyMoney, a New York-based website that offers financial advice, US-based consumers spent more than $100 billion in credit card fees and interest in 2018, with the overall credit card debt ballooning to more than $1 trillion. Companies like Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE: MA) and Visa Inc. (NYSE: V), who facilitate transactions through credit cards, have registered record growth as the average American accumulates debt and struggles to pay it off. Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE: MA) is a payments firm based out of New York while Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) operates from California.
At the end of the first quarter of 2021, 151 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $17 billion in Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE: MA), down from 154 in the preceding quarter worth $17.9 billion. Out of the hedge funds being tracked by Insider Monkey, Washington-based investment firm Fisher Asset Management is a leading shareholder in Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) with 22.8 million shares worth more than $4.8 billion. Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE: MA) and Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) also make an appearance on the list of stock options for those who want the best money saving tips according to experts.
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Disclose. None. 10 Best Money Saving Tips According to Experts is originally published on Insider Monkey.