April 11, 2018

[Ep. 154] The Best Hacks for Your Wallet with Jim Wang

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I’m Jessica and I’m a money expert, speaker, Accredited Financial Counsellor Canada®, host of the More Money Podcast, and am currently writing my first book with HarperCollins Canada (2025).
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For this episode of the podcast, I talk with veteran personal finance blogger Jim Wang about how he was able to sell his first blog (Bargaineering) for 7-figures after having it for just 5 years, then we dive into some of the top wallet hacks that he now shares on his current website, Wallet Hacks.

First, let’s go back to the part where he shares that he was able to sell his first blog for a million dollars. There aren’t too many bloggers out there that I know who have been able to do this (aside from JD Roth of Get Rich Slowly), so this is pretty impressive. What’s even more impressive is how frickin’ humble Jim is! You would never know that he’s financially independent and pretty much just living that best life from talking to him. He just comes off as a normal guy who writes about money hacks for living at home. I guess he is, but he still, sold his blog for 7-figures, I still can’t get over that!

Anywho, after selling that blog, he started up a new one called Wallet Hacks, which as you can guess is all about tips, hacks, and strategies to optimize your dollars, be smart with your money, and become financially secure. Here are some of the hacks he shared with me in this episode.

The Secret Santa Hack

You may already know about doing a Secret Santa hack. It’s fairly popular in the office during the holidays (also in The Office, one of my favourite shows). This is something I’ve actually been able to take out of the workplace and integrate into my family life. All it requires is instead of buying gifts for everyone, you get assigned a person (in secret), buy them a gift, and then gift it to them on Christmas. Someone else is assigned you, and someone else is assigned that person, and so on.
My family has been doing this gift exchange for two years now, and I’ve got to say, it’s amazing. We don’t have any young kids in our family any more, which makes it easier, but it really is a big financial relief each Christmas. The holidays are expensive, even without gifts, so this is a huge lifesaver.

Amazon Hacks

Jim doesn’t just have one hack for Amazon.com, he has 16! But, if you’re Canadian, I can’t confirm if all the hacks work for Amazon.ca, but you never know. You can read about all 16 Amazon hacks on his website, but here are just a few of them:

  • If you’ve never used the app, download it, find a promo code like MARTH549N, and get $5 in credit.
  • Get $1 in credit for ebooks, digital videos, and more when you choose no-rush shipping.
  • Purchase from out-of-state third-party sellers to avoid sales tax.

Track Your Net Worth

This isn’t really a hack, but man is it a good thing to do. I’ve been tracking my net worth as well as my spending for over a year now, and it’s changed the game for me. Jim has been doing it for more than a decade, and he says it’s a big reason he’s been able to stay on track financially all these years. If you want to start tracking your net worth, here’s my free net worth spreadsheet to get started.

Get Credit Card Payment Notifications

Another thing Jim does to curb his spending is getting notifications or emails directly to his phone whenever he makes a credit card purchase. Not only does this help him know instantly if any fraudulent purchases are being made with his card, but it also reminds him of how much he’s spending. This is something I’m going to set up right now because the one thing I hate about using my credit card is it’s just way too easy to tap and pay and forget about what you just bought.

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