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5 proven ways to make more money

No, selling clothes on Poshmark doesn’t count.

📸: Pinterest

It’s so hard to find good financial tips for women online. Sure, financial advice is gender-free. But everyone just assumes we can all pay our bills, become debt-free, and make more money by selling our clothes on Poshmark. *sigh*

Tbh, selling old clothes isn’t bad advice (we’ve done it!) But it won’t move the needle on your high-ticket goals. Like your dream vacation, or your future home. 

Today, we’ll cover 5 of our favorite smart money moves -- aka real financial tips for women who want real tips on how to save more, and make that money. 

We've got some tricks to get that money flowing.

1. Set up your 401k + IRA, ASAP!

This is always our #1 bet for any money goal, big or small, because the long-term benefits for you (and your wallet) are PRICELESS.

Your 401k and IRA are retirement accounts that either: 

  • your employer sets up 4 you (401k) or 
  • you set up yourself (IRA)

Since they’re retirement accounts, you’re probably thinking… “Ugh, that’s decades away. I don’t need to put money away for it right now, I have so much else going on! I’ll worry about it later.”

And you don’t even realize you’re missing out!

Here’s why we love 401k + IRAs so much:

  1. the tax deductions and tax benefits are amazing

Depending on which account you set up, you either pay less taxes now, or less taxes later. Either way, you save on taxes! (and less taxes = more money in your wallet)

  1. the power of compounding interest

Compounding interest is pure magic. If you ever had to open an investing or savings account with your bank (or financial institution), this might sound familiar. 

You add a little bit of money to your account every month, and you get a small percentage back (usually 0-1% interest for savings) but when investing the average growth is 7%. When was the last time you got a 7% or more raise? Not often right, and that is out-of-your-control.

In the beginning, your account probably doesn’t have much to begin with. So the “return on investment” (aka cash you make) isn’t that high. 

But over a period of time, this amount will double, triple, etc. And the earlier you start, the more money you make. 

The longer your money has to grow, the more it can snowball into massive proportions. (and we do mean MASSIVE).

If you start adding as little as $50 in a 401k or IRA account every month when you’re 20, you’ll be well into the 6-figure mark when you’re ready to retire. (that’s over $100K btw)

Trippy, right? And 100% worth it to start today. Calculate your numbers here.

2. Change your exemptions on your paycheck from 0 to 1

When we're talking about taxes:

Exemptions and withholding allowances are the same thing. 

The number of exemptions you enter determines how much of your income gets withheld for taxes.

0 = you want the most amount of tax withheld so you don’t have to owe money – and you will likely get a tax refund in April (safest bet)

1 = you want the least amount of tax withheld so you have more in your paycheck – and you will likely pay the government in April 

It is really up to you how you want to do it. 

If you realllllllyy need money right now, and you are in a bind, you can change it from 0 to 1. You get more money today, and (hopefully) you have deductions to make up for any taxes you might owe in April.

Just keep in mind: if you aren’t withholding enough money for your taxes, you can get penalized. And that’s never good. After all, who wants to pay even more than they need to? Nope!

3. Refinance your mortgage or student loans

Women hold two-thirds of the student loan debt, so of course we had to include this in our list of financial tips for women!

Rates are soooo low right now. If your mortgage or student loan interest rate is more than 4%, you could save on your monthly payment by resetting the rate to something lower (and more digestible for your wallet).

But be warned: Watch out for upfront fees required to do this! And the sometimes bigger required monthly payments. Sometimes the juice isn't worth the squeeze.

Want to learn more about refinancing your mortgage? We did a full breakdown here.

4. Open a credit card with cash back or points

Our top two favorites? Cash back and rewards points!

  • Cash back cards are exactly that: the more you spend on your card, the more money you get back at the end of the month or year (usually up to 5% of how much you spent).
  • With rewards credit cards, instead of getting money, you get points that can be used as cash to buy whatever perk your credit card is connected to: travel, retail store, etc. 

Most blogs with financial tips for women might avoid credit cards as a money-making tool. Truth is, they have amazing perks! 

And if you’re not using them all up, then today is a great time to start. I mean, we have “friends with benefits”… Why can’t spending have benefits, too? ;)

(PS. Just remember you gotta pay it ALL off at the end of every month! Otherwise you end up paying more than you bargained for, and those benefits won’t be as… well, as beneficial to you & your wallet.)

5. Move to a low-tax state

If you are truly up for anythinggggg, you might want to consider moving to a low-tax state, especially now when work from home is more accepted!

These are the best places to live: 

  • Florida 0% 
  • Nevada 0%
  • South Dakota 0%
  • Texas 0%
  • Tennessee 0%
  • Washington 0%
  • Wyoming 0%

(technically Alaska is 0% too, but we don't think that one is worth the move hehe… but go for it, if you don’t mind the long winters!)

And the worst places to live: 

  • Hawaii 11%
  • California 13%
  • New York 9% (New York City 13%)
  • New Jersey 11%
  • Washington DC 9%
  • Oregon 10%
  • Minnesota 10%

Is anyone else surprised that the Big Apple is THE most expensive? *eye roll* 

There’s lots of city gals in our Penny family who would never move.

Buuuut some of us would rather live somewhere cheaper, save money, and have more cash to splurge on mini-getaways instead of giving it all away to the government. ;)

If you want to explore more city/state tax rates, click here.

Want more financial tips for women?

At Penny Finance, we like to make things as easy as possible. We’ve done the work for you, now it’s your turn! Pick ONE step and do it. Your wallet will be grateful you did.

Ready to make smart money moves? 

Start with the money maker quiz

Want more money #inspo? 

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