Not everyone realizes it, but Reddit can be an excellent source of financial advice. There are lots of subreddits dedicated to personal finance, and the most useful comments usually get voted to the top. If you’d like to get better with money, read on for the smartest financial decisions we could find on Reddit.
You won’t find the usual tips, like saving money every month or paying off credit card debt, on this list. Those are great recommendations, but we specifically looked for financial decisions that don’t get talked about so often.
1. Avoid relationships with big spenders
The two main factors in your financial success are how much you spend and how much you earn. If you spend all or most of your earnings, you won’t be able to save much money.
Quite a few Redditors have gone over ways they live below their means. The one that really stood out was a decision to avoid relationships, including friendships and romantic relationships, with people who spend a lot of money.
To clarify, relationships between spenders and savers can work, provided the differences aren’t too extreme. But with big spenders, it’s going to be tough. When your friends or significant other always want to do something expensive, that can rub off on you. It’s much easier to stick to your spending plan when the people you’re closest to aren’t pulling you in the opposite direction.
2. Don’t have children until you can afford them
When you have children, life gets a lot more expensive. In fact, recent data shows that it now costs $300,000 to raise a child in the United States. It’s a huge financial commitment, and one that lasts for decades.
Redditors recommend you wait to have children until you’re in a good financial position. Things don’t need to be perfect, and there’s certainly more to parenting than how much money you spend. But being in a comfortable place with money will make your job as a new parent easier and cut down on financial stress.
3. Plan for hidden costs
Lots of expenses come with hidden costs. These are extra costs that aren’t part of the purchase price, so people often fail to plan for them. There have been several great examples on Reddit of hidden costs to plan for.
Homes are a big one. Some home buyers only look at how much their mortgage payments will cost to decide if they can afford a home. They don’t consider all the other expenses of home ownership, including repairs, maintenance, property taxes, and homeowners insurance.
Vacations are another example of people underestimating how much they’ll spend. Some travelers base their budgets on the cost of just their flights and hotels. But you also need to plan for other costs along the way, such as eating out and paying for rideshares or taxis to get around.
4. Invest in your health
“Invest in yourself” is popular financial advice. Normally, it refers to improving your skills and knowledge.
A good variation on this idea is to invest in your health. Medical issues can be costly, and they’re even one of the most common causes of bankruptcy. If you live a healthy lifestyle, you can reduce your risk of this.
Many Redditors invest in their health by purchasing nutritious foods and staying away from harmful products, such as cigarettes and junk food. There were also multiple Redditors who mentioned spending on high-quality shoes. Even though shoes can be expensive, it’s well worth spending enough for a comfortable pair. Your feet, and the rest of your body, wil thank you for it.
5. Spend more while buying less
Some Redditors have found that taking a minimalist approach has helped them save money. Instead of buying lots of mediocre products, they buy a smaller number of quality products that are going to last.
Take your wardrobe as an example. You’d pick out some versatile, well-made items that you can combine into different outfit combinations. These may cost more individually, but you’ll likely spend less over the long haul than you would buying cheap, poorly made clothes. You can use this same approach in other aspects of your life, as well.
Personal finance subreddits can provide lots of smart and unique ideas. Those five are the best that we found, and they’re all decisions that can be a big help for you financially.