Your paycheck is the ticket to growing your net worth.
One paycheck may seem small but taken together, over your career, you’ll make over a million dollars. The key is how you use that paycheck.
Are you on track for retirement? Spoiler alert: Chances are if you are unsure if your future retirement is fully funded, it’s probably not. (It’s hard to do so it takes some effort.)
Oh and, you probably won’t win the Mega Millions lottery cash prize this year either (even if you buy a ticket.)
If you are behind on investing for retirement and worried you’ll never be able to retire, you can catch up by making some simple money moves.
You might also want to read How To Effortlessly Increase Your Net Worth
The key is to take actions, however small.
Tiny money moves can translate into huge progress when taken together. Just like one paycheck may not seem to matter, one money move may not move the needle to increase your net worth. But a series of small money moves can help you achieve financial independence.
While you don’t have to do ALL of the moves I’ve listed below, pick a few to make this month. Join my husband, Jay and I in making 12 Tiny Money Tweaks this month. Need ideas? Here you go.
Here are 37 ideas to grow your net worth this month:
1. Increase your 401(k) payroll deduction by an amount you won’t notice much (such as 1% or a specific dollar amount.)
2. Look at your credit card statement and review your transactions for mistakes.
3. Set up an aggregator to track your budget. Your bank may have one such as Keybank’s Hello Wallet. Try Personal Capital or Mint.com.
4. Bring your lunch instead of buying lunch.
6. Cancel a recurring expense you don’t use anymore (such as Pandora or the gym.)
7. Look up the interest rate on your credit cards.
8. Pay an extra payment on a credit card with the highest interest rate.
9. Set up a systematic investment to a mutual fund or investment account (over and above your retirement account.) Choose an amount you are sure to be able to sustain even if its 25 bucks.
10. Perform some kind of maintenance on your vehicle.
11. Go through your freezer and cupboard to plan meals from your freezer.
12. Open a Health Savings Account or add to the one you have.
13. Watch a DVD from your movie collection instead of renting or buying or going out to the movies.
14. Have friends over for a potluck dinner and play a game instead of going out to dinner.
15. Sell something you don’t use anymore on your neighborhood Facebook page, Craig’s list or Ebay.
16. Rideshare or take public transportation for a day (or twice a week like me.)
17. Set up an automatic payment to your credit card for over the minimum to make sure you never miss a payment.
18. Set up a money binder for your budget and financial statements. Put the 12 Tiny Tweaks challenge tracker in the binder and write down your habit changes.
19. Shop a consignment store, yard sale and estate sales for a household furniture item you need.
20. Pick one day and don’t spend any money – no cash, debit card or credit card.
21. Have a “no spend” entertainment night, date night or family night – make dinner, take in an art gallery, watch a movie or play games at home.
22. Take the vitamins and supplements you have. Check out your stock for expiration dates. Set them out or put them by day in a pill box to use up.
23. Renew your library card and pick out a book to read or listen to on audio.
24. Go through your bathroom cabinet and take inventory of your toiletry items. Use your shampoos, conditioners, etc. that you have tucked away in your cabinet.
25. Transfer your balance from a high-interest credit card to a zero percent introductory offer and pay it off before the rate increase.
26. Review your credit card reward points and plan to use them for your vacation this year – free airline flight or hotel.
27. Invest your spare change. Use a service like Acorns which reviews your credit card transactions and rounds up your purchase and invests the difference.
28. Work out with the DVDs you have in your cupboard (Jane Fonda anyone?) or download a free fitness app like Nike Training Club to get in shape.
29. Prevent illness and increase your wellness by using your health insurance to get all the free preventive care services such as your annual physical exam with blood work to track your vitals, breast cancer exam, colonoscopy, and others!
30. Sign up for your free wellness plan at work.
31. Check your employee benefits to see if your plan has a set number of free counseling services through your employee assistance program. Some services they offer are stress reduction, family counseling, beating depression and substance abuse. They may also offer free financial planning or financial guidance.
32. Earn extra money by turning a hobby into a business. Pick something you already like to do. If you are an animal lover, pick something like a pet sitting package in your neighborhood. Feed the cat, walk the dog, water the plants, and park your car in their driveway while they are away.
32. Spend time in prayer and meditation. Try an 800-year-old prayer/meditation called the Rosary or sit in quiet contemplation and relaxation. Improve your health and your mental outlook this way.
33. Improve your investing acumen. Read about money on Forbes.com or Marketwatch.com. Pick up some solid investing books such as [name them.]
34. Set up a recurring appointment on your calendar every 3 months to remind yourself to increase your automatic savings plans by a smidgeon (or as much as you can.)
35. Write out a list of all your debts with the highest interest rate first. Then use the Avalanche Method to get out of debt by paying extra on the debt with the highest rate first. When that is paid off, take the entire amount (regular payment + extra payment) and pay that on #2 until you are debt free.
36. Set up a savings account for irregular (not monthly) but regular expenses such as birthday presents, holidays, and car maintenance. (Aka a Sinking Fund.)
37. Subscribe to my updates (if you haven’t already) and implement the tips I send out every week!
Pick a few easy ones to implement and make some positive changes this month. Your future self will love you for it.
Download my Tiny Tweaks Tracker form below (and get my updates) to record what actions you took!