They say that money doesn’t buy happiness, but, to some extent, it does. If you don’t even have enough money to buy food, shelter and other basic necessities, it is clear that you will feel very miserable. Studies have shown that happiness and satisfaction in life tend to increase as people earn more money, but only up to a point. If you are looking for financial independence, these tips are for you.

For a person, a suitable correlation between happiness and income is around an annual salary of $ 26,000-40,000 dollars. For households with families, they would reach $ 50,000-75,000.

So this means that money will make you happier, up to a point. And to feel really free and financially satisfied, it is important that you save some of the money that you are generating. Being in debt doesn’t feel good at all.

This brings us to the ultimate 6-word financial freedom rule: Spend less than you earn.

Tips to save money and have more financial independence

This rule of spending less is pretty simple, but most people don’t stick to it. This simple rule of thumb is all you need to know about personal finance to break free from the traps that many fall into. However, there are many other tips and tricks to make your financial life less stressful. Here we share some of them.

1. Use cash

Instead of loading things onto credit cards or debit cards, use cash for non-bill expenses, like eating out, fueling up, or shopping. Paying cash makes spending more real, and there’s an added bonus to knowing when you’re running out of cash, rather than spending more than you earn.

2. Small weekly savings transfers

It is a relatively small transfer of your weekly earnings that you can hardly notice. For example, you could automatically deduct 15 or 20% of your weekly or biweekly earnings towards your savings, to be collecting money throughout the year.

3. Stay home

Going out makes you more likely to spend money unnecessarily . You eat in restaurants, you go to the mall, you stop at a store to buy sandwiches. It’s hard to avoid spending when you’re out and about. Instead, you better stay home and find forms of free entertainment. This is also a great way to bond with your family.

4. Avoid catalogs

Or email advertisements from companies trying to sell you things. Sales announcements or great new products make it very tempting to buy something you don’t need. Better avoid the catalogs and emails that reach you, and then you will spend less

5. Keep a 30-day list

If you have an urge to buy something you definitely don’t need, add it to a 30-day list. Your priority is to buy the things you do need first; everything else appears on the list, with the date it was added to that list. When the 30 days have passed, you can buy it, but really the urgent need to buy it is more likely to disappear and then you will have the opportunity to evaluate it more calmly.

6. Cooking at home

Yes, it may sound more difficult than eating out, but it doesn’t really have to be. Make a simple stir fry with frozen vegetables and boneless chicken. Make a homemade pizza with ready-made dough, a little sauce, cheese, and vegetables. Spice up anything and put it in the oven while you cook some brown rice. Not only is it much cheaper than eating out, it is also healthier.

7. Exercise

Staying healthy is the best way to avoid expensive medical bills later.

8. Use the envelope system

It’s based on the same idea of using cash for your expenses , but it also adds an envelope system to divide your spending money into categories. Your “non-billing” categories could be something like: groceries, gasoline and miscellaneous expenses, and so on.

9. Talk to your partner weekly

It is important that you and your partner are on the same page. You should both have the same financial goals, and from there you should agree on a general spending plan and impulse buying policy that doesn’t bring either of you wanting to strangle the other. Make sure both of you know what bills have been paid, what your balances are, etc. A weekly talk of just 20 minutes can accomplish that. The comunication is the key.

10. Exercise at home

Some may not agree on this, but you can do what works best for you. One way that you could save a lot of money is to exercise at home and put together your own routines instead of spending at a gym, since many times we don’t really need them.

11. The spreadsheet crawler

There are certain expensive programs that do amazing things with your financial information. There are even some free ones, on your desktop or online, that can do all sorts of things. The problem is that the truth is neither necessary nor important. All you want is a way to easily track your money, without further details, and a way to access it online to view it from anywhere.

A very good way to do this is through Google Docs and Sheets. By creating a simple spreadsheet you can track your bank accounts. This allows you to see the date of each transaction, the title and amount, a small field for notes, and a running balance. What else do you need? That simple can be.

12. Pay savings and debts, first of all

When you go to pay your bills, the first ones you have to pay are your savings transfer and your debt payments. Otherwise, if you pay them last, you will most likely be short of money. But if you pay them first, you are ensuring that you can still pay your rent or mortgage, utilities, groceries and gas so that you can reduce your expenses.

13. Cut the cable TV

It may not be a great savings, but it adds up. Since many times what appears on television is not relevant or interesting to us, many times we find ourselves paying for a service that we do not use much of the time. Instead, look for things online that you know you are going to enjoy, and that are free. There is a huge amount of content on the internet.

14. Invest

Compound interest has been called the eighth wonder of the world. Long-term investing is one of the most proven and efficient ways to break free financially. Services like Vanguard make it much easier and cheaper than ever to invest in index funds and mutual funds.

15. Get rid of unused items

By getting rid of all the excess stuff in your home, you not only make your life much simpler and more peaceful, but you make it more difficult to buy things that disrupt the order again. Once you’ve simplified your home, you won’t want to go back.

16. Lend and borrow

Give your friends and family books, clothes, and toys that you no longer need. And when you need something, send an email asking if anyone has it. They will most likely give it to you for free if they no longer use it.

17. Barter

Bartering is a lost art, but many people will take your services or goods instead of money, especially if they are friends or if they at least know each other. Get in the habit of bartering, and you will find yourself saving a great deal of money.

18. Use online savings

If you want financial freedom , there are many popular online banks that you can use. This is convenient not only because you earn twice the interest of a regular savings account, but also because if you don’t have an ATM account, withdrawing money is not as easy, making it less likely that you will impulsively withdraw it. .

19. Try to give gifts sparingly.

Giving gifts to people is one of the most wonderful traditions, as it shows generosity and affection. Until it is marketed. So it is really expensive. Instead, try to give the gift of spending time with someone. Try giving them something that you have baked or prepared yourself. Try to do them favors that they would appreciate. It doesn’t have to be expensive for you to be generous.

20. Teach your kids about advertising, saving, making money, and giving gifts.

If you have children, educating them about money will save you a lot of money in the long run. If they know how deceptive advertising influences them, they are less likely to beg you for the latest toys. If they know about saving and making money, they will respect the money you make that you are trying to save. If they know that giving gifts isn’t about spending a lot of money, they won’t necessarily want expensive things.

Bonus tip: find happiness in life, not spending

Many times people buy things because they think (unconsciously perhaps) that it will bring them happiness. They simply MUST have the last cell phone or shoe or car. It is so much fun! And yet, you buy those things, and you are only happy for a day or two at the most. Then you just need to buy more. It is an endless cycle. Instead, learn to love life. Find joy in nature! In the people around you! By doing something you love! In exercise and meditation! There are so many things in life that make us happy, there is no need to spend.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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