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Boost your bank account in the new year

Boost your bank account in the new year
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The start of a new year is a great time to evaluate your money habits and identify places where you can boost your income or decrease your spending. While the process can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re drowning in bills, you’ve got this – and we’ve got your back. We rounded up a wide assortment of great tips for all aspects of your financial life so that you can turn your dream of saving money into a reality. Believe it or not, just a few simple tweaks can help you get (and keep) more money in your pocket in 2020.

Ask for a raise

Ask for a raise
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But first, be prepared to make a strong case. “Keep track of your professional achievements and how your work positively contributes to your organisation,” says Stefanie O’Connell Rodriguez, a personal finance expert and the author of The Broke and Beautiful Life. “The more specific you are and the more metrics, examples and anecdotes you can bring to the negotiation table, the easier it will be to build your confidence and support your ask.” It may also help to research how much your coworkers are making.

Here are 14 careers that could make you a millionaire before you retire. 

Buy gift cards at a discount, and sell ones you don’t want

Buy gift cards at a discount, and sell ones you don’t want
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Most of us have at least a few old, unwanted gift cards stashed away in a drawer. Leaving them unused is like throwing away money. Instead, turn them into cash by selling them online. Many of the sites that buy gift cards also sell those cards at a discounted price. This is a great way to save money on gift cards for yourself or others.

Here are 25 more things in your house that could be worth money. 

Shop through sites that offer cashback rewards

Shop through sites that offer cashback rewards
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Meghan Fox, a savings expert, suggests users maximise their savings by buying discounted gift cards and then using those cards at a site that pays cash back. Check out sites such as Cashrewards and PricePal which offer cashback rewards for purchases at a variety of retailers and websites.

Use social media for positive motivation

Use social media for positive motivation
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“Follow financially savvy young professionals instead of, say, travellers,” says Brian Walsh, a certified financial planner at SoFi. “They will inspire you to stick to your goals rather than keeping up with the Joneses.”

Declutter and make money on Facebook Marketplace

Declutter and make money on Facebook Marketplace
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Go through your closet, apartment, garage or storage unit, and sell things you no longer wear or need on Facebook Marketplace. “I have sold several thousand dollars worth of stuff to declutter our house!” says Deb Liu, Vice President of Marketplace and Commerce at Facebook. “I [also] get the kids involved. We’ve sold some of their games and toys. It’s a win-win: They think they’re earning money for even more toys, and I get to teach them about math and budgeting!”

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Cash in on special-event items you won’t use again

Cash in on special-event items you won’t use again
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Lindsey Nickel, a wedding planner at Lovely Day Events, suggests newlyweds help recoup some of their wedding expenses by selling items they used at their event. “These items are very wedding-specific and probably won’t be used again,” she says. “So instead of taking up storage, I tell them to sell them on sites like Facebook Marketplace and help out the next bride instead. Ask your professional photographer for the big day to take high-quality pics of the items.”

Take advantage of price matching

Take advantage of price matching
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This can help you avoid a lot of driving around or wasting time shopping at a bunch of different sites. But be sure to read the store policies carefully. Some will only price-match the items at brick-and-mortar stores (not websites) or stores within a certain geographic location.

Become a preferred shopper

Become a preferred shopper
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Sign up for retailers’ email promotions and follow them on social media. You will often get access to special coupons, sales and discount promotions. That said, it’s a good idea to create a special email address for these promotional emails to keep them from swamping your primary inbox.

Carpool

Carpool
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Carpooling can save you thousands of dollars each year on petrol and vehicle expenses, in addition to helping you decrease the stress and anxiety of commuting.

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– The Reader’s Digest team