10 Ways to Increase Your Net Worth This Month
Isn’t this the weirdest time of the year? February is over; we’re in March…not quite spring, not quite winter, and many of us are just “holding out” until summer. When there is nothing to do but stay cooped up inside, why not start a new venture, side hustle, or put away extra dollars? In fact, all of my ventures were started or concocted right around this time every year. Today I’m going to be giving you ten easy ways to increase your net worth this month and exactly how to do them:
Increase your 401k contributions
By far the easiest on this list is increasing your 401k contributions. With just one simple click of a button, you could be on your way to saving more and as a by product, increasing your net worth. How do you do it?
Here’s how: 401k contributions can usually only be made or changed at work. Why? Your intranet system at your workplace may have a portal that can only be accessed from your work computer. Each system differs depending on your company. You first need to login to your portal to access your 401k contributions page. From there, you may see something like 3%, 5%, or maybe even 7% that you are currently deducting from your paycheck. All you need to do is switch that number to a higher percentage. I recommend trying to put away 10% of your earnings into your 401k. You type in the new amount, submit, and wait to see the change within your next few pay cycles. Warning: This will decrease your amount of take-home pay!
File Your Taxes!
File taxes? Increase in net worth? Well, yeah. To some, that seems like an oxymoron but if you are one of the lucky individuals who get a refund on your taxes, cherish those dollars coming back your way. How do you do it?
Here’s how: Sign up for TurboTax! Turbotax is the premiere system of filing your taxes if you have an uncomplicated tax situation. Uncomplicated means you have only one income and don’t have many businesses or deductions you need to account for. TurboTax is cheap, easy, and thorough when it comes to filing. When you do receive your return, save or invest it!
Start a Roth IRA
Maxed out your 401k this year? Looking for another way to save? Start a Roth IRA. A Roth IRA is a post-tax investment vehicle that lets you pull out your earnings in retirement entirely tax-free. Sound good? I think so too.
Here’s how: You can start a Roth IRA at multiple places. It can be your bank, a mutual fund company, or an online brokerage. I recommend an online brokerage company like T.D. Ameritrade, Etrade, or Schwab. If you want a mutual fund company, try Vanguard, they have the industry's lowest cost funds. All you do is go to the “open an account” section. When they ask your account type, select Roth IRA. You will need to choose your investment and link your bank account.
Shop for Car Insurance
Comfortable with the same old same old car insurance? Don’t sit on your hands - your car insurance could be one massive expense that you have just gotten so used to paying that you don’t look for another option. Shop it today!
Here’s how: First things first, know how much you pay - look at your bill or credit card to get the exact dollar amount. Next, shop the big three when it comes to car insurance (esurance, geico, progressive). Get a quote today from them all - make sure your coverage matches before switching. Less coverage always equals cheaper insurance.
Shop for Homeowner’s/Renter’s Insurance
Homeowner’s insurance is something you probably had done once - when you bought your home. Homeowner's insurance can vary greatly and when bundled with your car, can save you tons of money!
Here’s how: Look at how much you’re paying and who your provider is - are you bundling home and auto? If you aren’t, you may want to start getting quotes from big providers or if you use an insurance agent for your homeowners, ask for them to provide you quotes for both. Bundling is always cheaper.
Start a Rewards Gas Card
If you have a car, you need gas. Gas is one expense that we always hear people complain about but only think of it when we have a quarter of a tank. When you pull up to any old gas station, you may be losing hundreds of dollars a year in savings.
Here’s how: Gas companies do a great job at having rewards cards that allow you to accrue points from purchasing gas or convenience store items. The more gas you buy from a company, the better the rewards or reduction in cost. Getting a gas rewards card is free, and it could save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars. The only trade-off is that you have to fill your car up at their stations consistently.
Download Your Grocery Store’s App
I think I’m late to the game on the grocery store app, but when I downloaded it, it was like a whole new world! A grocery store app can track your behavior which then tells you the foods you are most likely to purchase and the discounts from the food you already get. Instead of sifting through all the coupons and discounts, it’s right there on your app.
Here’s how: All you need to do is download your favorite grocery’s store app and browse for commonly purchased items. Once you find something you like you can add it to your cart so that when you check out, the cashier can scan your coupon. From there, it will have saved items, so you don’t have to re-do this process every time you want to head to the grocery store.
Everyone has jumped on the Marie Kondo method of ridding yourself of your junk and only keeping items that bring you joy. I know every finance article states to sell stuff, but it is much more than that - once you get organized, you are less likely to miss payments or make silly financial mistakes - saving you money.
Here’s how: Start with your wallet. Is there any junk in there? Cards you don’t need? M&Ms even? If so, clean out your wallet and only keep rewards cards and credit cards you use and like. You may even find gift cards that you have forgotten about. Getting rid of and chopping up old credit cards that are out of use will help you feel more comfortable in your day-to-day finances.
Create a Saving’s Challenge
Savings challenges are great ways to infuse more cash into your savings account or investment accounts. Why? They have an end date. Sometimes when we do things indefinitely, it stops us from going any further. Examples of this are eating healthier, losing weight, or starting a side hustle. If we don’t create start and stop dates, we get overwhelmed and don’t do them. Having a defined number of days will help you reach your savings goals.
Here’s how: First, establish a time frame and a dollar amount. Want to do a savings challenge for a week and save $500 more dollars? Great! Start with that. Instead of going out to dinner every night - you stay at home and save yourself moolah. This way, you will complete what you started.
Booze seems to be everyone’s friend after a long, hard day at work, except for your wallet. Drinking kills your income. It can bond us together but also really ruin any financial goals we may be going after. Quitting booze can help you save during dinners and on the weekends allowing for more money for you and the end of the month.
Here’s how: Just like the savings challenge, set an end date. This is not something you may want to do forever. Just watch at the end of the month your dollars pile up and your net worth increase instead of your waistline.