7 Financial Hacks Everyone Should Know About

financial hacksJust before the Enron scandal broke, the company's CEO immediately put his money into annuities—in his wife's name.

Why? Because those assets are creditor-protected, so they can't be seized (in this case, by the government).

This is just one example of many—remember the 14% tax rate Mitt Romney paid on his $13 million income?—illustrating how extremely wealthy people get the most from their money. And most of them do it legally.

Much of their success comes from knowing where to find loopholes in the financial system—"hacks," if you will. While we would never recommend any illegal or dishonest money moves (seriously, don't break the law!), there are a handful of legal personal finance hacks that are available to all of us—like these seven incredibly useful, low-profile tricks.

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  • fishhead202

    Mortgage interest can’t be deducted?

    • duckduckgoose

      Yes, you can deduct mortgage interest paid.

      • Don

        Only up to the appraised value of the home. If your home’s worth 200k with a 180k 1st and the HELOC or 2nd mtg is 50k (total 230k), you cannot deduct the interest on the 30k.

  • Lauren

    My husband and I pay our auto insurance once a year. Actually, it is due this month. Sometimes we get lucky and get a little money back from taxes to help with it but towards the end of the year, we start setting the money aside to cover the amount. We save quite a bit of money doing this and I recommend it to people who are able to do it.

    • duckduckgoose

      Some auto insurance companies like Mercury Insurance offer auto insurance discounts for people who have bachelor degrees in certain fields. For example, my wife and I have bachelor’s degrees in computer science (Only one person on the policy needs to have a degree). Make a photo copy of your degree, mail it to your Mercury insurance agent/broker, Mercury will apply a 10% discount to your auto policy. Quick, easy, and you save a bit of cash.

  • Krystal

    Nothing new here…if you haven’t heard of the 0% credit card switcharoo, then you must have been living in a cave for the last 15 years. Pa-leez, Learnvest…

  • Jennifer

    Many credit unions offer low-rate credit cards with no balance transfer fees — this can be a good way to pay debts off faster.

  • duckduckgoose

    Literally nothing new here.. 529 accounts, 0% interest credit cards, I mean come on is this amateaur hour? Everyone living in or around the middle class knows about these “hacks”, this stuff isn’t new. Talk about transfering assets in to Family Limited Partnerships for asset protection, talk about chosing to receive stock options rather than shares to avoid paying taxes up front until the options are exercised, talk about the tax benefits of owning rental property (27.5 year depreciation of the value of the structure, and the benefits for paying interest on the mortgage, plus management fees, plus hoa dues, plus maintenance fees), how about opening a business (LLC) which is easier and cheaper than people think and take advantage of the tax benefits of writting off business related expenses…. The list of things a person could do is endless but this article is weak at best.