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Mrs. Dow Jones gives 5 tips for making the most of your money


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Like any kind of anxiety, financial anxiety subsides when you have a plan and feel ready for whatever the economy throws at you. Financial influencer Haley Sacks, aka Mrs. Dow Jones, has made it her life’s mission to educate and empower people on how to handle their money. Sacks and her company, Finance Is Cool, wrap the fundamentals of personal finance advice in memes, videos, blog posts, and more to reach a younger, more online audience. She’s also partnered with Ritholtz CFP®s to create financial education courses around money management for moms.

CNBC Select spoke with Sacks about how people can make the most of their finances no matter what the broader economic situation looks like.

Tip 1: Maximize whatever you can

According to Sacks, the best financial move to take is to “maximize whatever you can”  by making sure all of your accounts earn you money.

“We don’t want to leave any stone unturned,” she says. “You want to make sure that your money is working hard for you.”

With interest rates still rising, you can quickly grow your savings. Currently, some of the best high-yield savings accounts recommended by CNBC Select offer APYs north of 5%, allowing you to boost your savings even in today’s uncertain economic environment.

Finally, it may be a good idea to earn on your credit card spending as well. If you’re responsible with credit cards — meaning you avoid interest by paying off your balance in full each billing cycle — you can earn hundreds of dollars in value every year with the right rewards card.

Find the best savings account for youHelp your money grow by finding the savings account that offers the best rates and features for you with CNBC Select’s savings account comparison tool.

Tip 2: Review how you’re spending money

In a high-inflation environment where a carton of eggs feels like a luxury purchase, it’s crucial to stay on top of your budget. Sacks suggests reviewing how you’re spending money and cutting down anything unnecessary, such as subscriptions for services you’re not currently using. Regular small charges might seem insignificant on their own. However, they have the upsetting tendency of adding up quickly when you’re not looking. 

Additionally, note how you’re spending money on necessities. You can’t avoid buying groceries, and food prices unfortunately remain high. But you can blunt the pain of an expensive grocery bill by switching to more affordable brands and tweaking your shopping habits.

“Little things like making a list before you go and making sure that you stick to that will help you stay in line and make sure that you’re hitting your financial goals,” Sacks says.

On top of that, you can put some money back in your pocket by using one of CNBC Select’s favorite cash-back credit cards on everyday purchases. Determine where you spend the most and look for a card that rewards you for this type of spending. 

For instance, some cards earn outstanding rates at grocery stores, which would be great for those who have a large family and are purchasing lots of food. Or, if you’re a commuter, you may benefit from a card that earns gas rewards.

Tip 3: Have an emergency fund

If you don’t have an emergency fund with three to six months‘ worth of living expenses, it’s time to build one. 

During times of economic uncertainty, it’s imperative you have enough money saved to support yourself for whatever life throws at you. From getting laid off to paying unexpected medical bills to leaving a bad relationship, this money will help stop a bad situation from getting worse.

“It gives you the security and option to get out of situations that are not serving you,” Sacks explains.

CNBC Select recommends you park your emergency fund in a high-yield savings account. This way, you can easily access the money if you need it urgently — and let it grow when you don’t. 

Tip 4: Don’t let fear be your financial advisor

If you’re investing, you should “never let fear be your financial advisor,” Sacks says.

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and allow the economic news cycle to influence your decisions. But remember that investing is a long-term play. You want to stay grounded, stick to the plan and not let emotions dictate financial decisions.

“[If you] look at the history of how the S&P 500 has performed over the last 100 years, you see that it goes up and down,” Sacks says. “But over time, it’s trending upwards, and it’s giving you those returns that allow you to turn your money into wealth.”

Taking direct control of your investments has become easier — and more popular — than ever thanks to the explosion of investing apps. CNBC Select’s favorite investing apps let anyone from complete beginners to seasoned investors have access to the wealth-building potential of the market at nearly anytime.

Tip 5: Automate everything

Finally, Sacks recommends automating as much of your financial life as possible.

“Automation is the number one secret to financial success,” she says. 

Go through your financial apps and profiles and see what you can automate. For example, you can set up regular deposits to your savings and investment accounts. It’s also helpful to use automatic credit card payments to cover the full statement balance and ensure you never pay interest or fall behind on your card bills. 

Automating these processes means you only have to make the smart financial decision once, instead of facing a never-ending bombardment of choices.

“Willpower is finite,” Sacks says. “We only have a certain amount of it every day. So you don’t want to rely on willpower to make your financial goals come true.”

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Bottom line

Uncertainty can be scary and anxiety-inducing — especially when it comes to your financial life. While no one can predict what awaits the U.S. economy with absolute certainty, you can take steps to keep your financial life on track whatever happens. 

Make the most of rising interest rates and financial products available to you. Review your spending and prepare for emergencies. And perhaps most importantly, don’t allow anxiety to affect your financial goals. The economy will always experience ups and downs, so the best thing you can do to beat the blues is to set a plan and stick to it.

Catch up on CNBC Select’s in-depth coverage of credit cardsbanking and money, and follow us on TikTokFacebookInstagram and Twitter to stay up to date.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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