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31 People Share The Best Money Advice They've Ever Gotten

Simple ways to save and smart ways to spend.

Kate Bubacz / BuzzFeed News

Everyone needs money, but everyone has different strategies for saving it and spending it.

So we asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share with us the best advice about money they'd ever gotten.

Here's what they shared:

1. Keep your three biggest expenses as low as you can.

Dean Mitchell / Getty Images

"Your three biggest expenses are (usually in this order): housing, transport, and food. Keep those as low as you happily can, and that will make the most significant difference to your spending. I do this by sharing housing, cooking at home, and not having a car. You can lower other expenses and that definitely helps, too (i.e. get store brand, a cheaper mobile phone contract, clothes, etc.) but housing, transport, and food are where lowering costs will make the biggest difference."


2. If you want to pay off multiple debts fast, try the Snowball method.

NBC / Via

"Basically, you commit to paying an extra amount ($100 in this example) every month until all your debt is paid off. Also, once an account is closed, you add that minimum payment to the power payment.

You start by making a power payment (to the principle only) to the account with lowest balance debt, each month, until it's paid off. Once it is, you take the $100 and the monthly payment for the balance that's now closed and apply that to the next lowest balance debt until it's paid off. Rinse and repeat.

Eventually your power payments are huge and those larger balance debts don't seem so scary. It also doesn't impact your monthly budget too much. I paid off all my debt (student loans, credit cards, and car loans) by the time I was 28 using this method. I heard about it when I was 25."


3. Round up on each bill and pay that amount.

"My dad always told me to round up your bills and pay a little extra, as it makes your next month's bill lower, leaves a good impression, and you won't miss the extra $5-$10."


4. Figure out what your monthly bills are going to be and then put that amount in savings throughout the month.

CBS / CItytv / Via

"I calculate what my bills are going to be for the month (car payment, rent, utility bills) then put half of that from each paycheck (I get paid bi-weekly) into savings so I know how much extra I have to work with. I also usually try to round up my bills and then I won't touch that extra money I put into my savings. For example, if my rent is $375 a month, I'll take out $200 a paycheck and keep the extra $25 I didn't use on rent as extra savings."


5. Use direct deposit to put money directly into an account that's just for bills.

@ohhcayohhcay / Via

"Where I work you can have your paycheck split into however many different bank accounts and however you'd like. So you can have a bank account solely for bills that never change, like house or car payments. If you automatically have your bill money put into one account then you know that whatever is deposited into your other account is 'leftover' money."


6. Every time you make a dollar, save a dime.

Catlane / Getty Images

"So, if you make $10, put a dollar into savings. My grandparents did this (starting in their 30s) and they now use it as retirement. And have been for the past 12 years. They have enough to live the rest of their lives, and then some."


7. Impose a 24-hour wait limit on purchases to prevent impulse shopping.

@gugenstuff / Via

"My biggest weakness with money is impulse shopping. When I’m feeling sad or stressed, or even when I’m feeling a burst of motivation, emotion is a huge money-spending impulse for me. I try my best to create a list of things I’ve been wanting, or even while I’m browsing through Target, I’ll make a list, and I have to wait 24 hours before I can buy it. The likelihood of me wanting after 24 hours is super slim."


8. Save all your pennies.

Swisshippo / Getty Images

"Get a giant jar, and put 'em all in there. It might not seem like much but at the end of the year you'd be surprised just how much they add up."


9. Think of a budget as you telling your money where to go, instead of wondering where it went.

Ktsimage / Getty Images

"A budget isn't restrictive. When you see how quickly the extra money adds up, you'll get excited to save."


10. Don't borrow from your 401K.

HBO / Via

"That money is protected from bankruptcy and garnishment, so even if other bills pile up, your retirement is protected. If you do take a loan against your 401K, you end up paying it back with current, after-tax income. And then later, in retirement when you take withdrawals to live on, it is taxed as income. So in essence, you pay taxes twice on that money. And if you take a straight withdrawal from that account before you are 59 1/2, you pay a 10% penalty AND taxes. So never consider that money as an option when you need money."


11. "If you are paid bi-weekly, saving $20 per pay period is $500 at the end of the year."

Bgwalker / Getty Images

"You'll hardly notice it."


12. When you first enter the work force, save as much money as possible.

Twitter: @lgbk44

"When you're first working and don't have a lot of bills, save as much as humanly possible. You won't miss the money you're saving because you never had it before. This applies to when you get a raise or move to a higher paying job."


13. If you save a little each week for something big, it'll give you time to decide if you really still want the thing.

Disney / Via

"Save a certain amount each week for whatever "big" item it is that you want to buy. That way, you're saving up for it and you have time to think about if you really want it or not! (By the the time the money is saved, I realize I'd prefer to either keep saving or get something else.)"


14. "I you can't buy two of it, you can't buy it at all."

Twitter: @offiicialkobe

"Simple way to not spend all your money."


15. "Put a dollar in a jar every day and never touch it."

16. Open a savings account at a totally different bank from all your other accounts to make it harder to transfer yourself money when you need it.

NBC / Universal Pictures / Via

"When trying to save money, we opened a bank account at a separate bank than our main one to put money into straight from our paychecks. That way we couldn’t easily transfer money into our main account if we were spending too much throughout the month. We had to work a lot harder to get it and therefore had time to think about how we got to this place (i.e. what did extra stuff had we bought that caused the issue)."


17. Plan in advance what you're going to spend on a night out and take out only that much cash.


"Take out cash whenever you plan on spending, at the time you are spending. For example, if you're going out for drinks, take out $60 (or what you plan on spending) at the ATM. Then you know you're only going to spend max $60, instead of drunkenly signing a receipt that has God only knows what kind of total on it."


18. Try the 50-20-30 budget method (50% on living expenses, 20% on financial goals, 30% on personal spending).

Twitter: @TheDreamGhoul

"Been on it for a couple of years, and I'll now be able to afford a house in another year or so. It's a wonderful feeling."


19. Maintain your financial independence in every possible way.

Azmanl / Getty Images

"Years ago I got married at a very young age. But before I did, my dad sat me down and explained how important it is for women to have their own money. Keep your own separate checking/savings account, have your own retirement savings, have credit in your own name, and make a will. Growing up, I didn't listen to a lot of his advice, but this particular bit I did, and I'm very thankful."


20. "Stash away every $5 bill you receive. You’ll have a lot saved after a few months."

Yuriy_kulik / Getty Images

21. "My mom told me to never buy a wallet that cost more than I carry in it, after I showed her my new Burberry wallet I just got."

@freecitygeekz / Via

22. Convert how much something costs into how long you'd have to work to earn it.

NBC / Via

"Growing up, my mom used to encourage me to convert the cost of things into the amount of work I would have to do to earn it (I had to take out the trash three times to buy that candy bar, etc.). I do the same thing now and it helps to put things into perspective. Do I really want to work an eight-hour day to afford those shoes? Probably not."


23. Become an expert bargain shopper.

Twitter: @CatherineLMK

"My mom taught me how to shop sales, clearance sections, and second hand. This alone saves me so much."


24. "Save up to nine months or more worth of expenses in case of emergency."

Julia_sudnitskaya / Getty Images

25. Don't not talk about money.

NBC / Via

It may not be an easy conversation, but it is always worth it in the end.


26. Invest in a retirement account as soon as possible.

AMC / Via

"See if your company has a 401K program and set a certain amount of your pre-tax income to go toward it. If you’re not taking an advantage of a matching program at your company, it’s like turning down free money from your boss for future you."


27. Never go to a grocery store when you’re hungry.

Fox / Via

"You’re more likely to spend more money that way. Also when you look at discounts, don’t look at the discount percentage. Look at the final price."


28. "Read Dave Ramsey's book, Total Money Makeover. His advice is solid."

29. Try to separate your feelings from your money.

Malerapaso / Getty Images

"Don't 'feel' money. It has a purpose, and there are many smart things you can do to manage it, but keep emotions separate from financial decisions. Best advice I ever got, and although it's tough sometimes, it's helped me make smart and informed decisions."


30. Ask for raises regularly.

Littlehenrabi / Getty Images

"You should be getting a basic cost-of-living increase every year, and (if you're good at your job) a bit of a bump every two years. Will the conversation be uncomfortable if you have to ask? Yes, probably. But bring your past performance appraisal(s), any emails you've gotten from colleagues that praise your work, and a list of your current responsibilities to make a case for yourself.

Studies show that if you value yourself enough to ask, your employer will consider your value higher, and say yes. And if they don't, time to move on. (Of course, don't do any of this if you're a terrible employee.)"


31. Map out your budget for the year and stagger bill payment.

Wutwhanfoto / Getty Images

"I made an honest-to-god budget map. Printed up twelve months of a calendar, and figured out what bills needed to be paid when. Then I'd stagger them so that I'd still have money after every week, instead of paying all of my bills at once and being broke for the rest of the month. Saved up $3,000 in eight months this way. Changed my life!"


Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

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