The Best of the Bunch

The best of the bunch - money monkey

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The “Best of the Bunch” is a list of top tips, tricks, lifehacks, guidelines, principles and secrets on personal finance, saving money, spending money, investing, mindset, and health. While this list is useful for anyone, it is especially valuable for international civil servants working for the UN in Geneva. Whether you’re looking to optimize your finances, improve your physical and mental well-being, or simply live a more frugal and intentional life, we’ve got you covered.

Our comprehensive list is designed and constantly optimised to help you achieve your goals and unlock your full potential. So sit back, grab a banana, and let’s dive into our specially curated list.

Let’s live our best life.

  1. Happiness – There are 5 simple rules 1) Free your mind from hatred, 2) Free your mind from worries, 3) Live simply, 4) Give more and 5) Expect less
  2. Breathe – Focus on one thing at a time, one step at a time.
  3. Create a system – Instead of focusing on a goals, create a system that works for you and focus on improving the system (e.g. automate, make it efficient, reduce friction). You will reach your goals eventually.
  4. Be patient – 90% of finance are: Live below your means. Invest, diversified, with a 10+ year horizon. Expect and accept volatility.
  5. Best credit card in general – Get the UNFCU Elite Visa – Free airport lounge access, 1% cashback, no foreign transaction fees. This is simply the best USD denominated credit card.
  6. Best credit card in Switzerland – Get the Cashback American Express – 1% cashback. This is the best credit card to use within Switzerland or for purchases in CHF.
  7. High interest savings for CHFLa Mutuelle is the best place to store your emergency money in CHF – high-yield (1.35% in 2023), safe and can withdraw anytime.
  8. High interest savings for USDUNFCU shared certificates (“fixed-term deposits”) is the best place to save USD, offers high yields (4.25% in 2023) and protected up to USD250,000.
  9. Hassle-free shopping – Buy clothes from Free shipping. Free returns at the post office.
  10. Cheap electronics – For electronics and household goods, compare prices on but only buy from, or
  11. Cut your own hair – If you are a guy buy a wireless hair clipper and cut your own hair. You will save at least CHF360 each year.
  12. Stay hydrated – Bring a water bottle every time you go out. It’s cheaper and healthier to drink water.
  13. Stay healthy – Eat more vegetables, commit to regular exercise, manage stress and take your essential vitamins.
  14. Cheap dining – Sign up to The Fork and watch out of 50% deals on restaurants. Great opportunity to try new places while saving. Check out my other food/dining tips.
  15. Automate – Automatically send money to a brokerage account and invest in a globally diversified ETF (e.g. VT, VWRA). Stay invested as long as possible. Sit back, do nothing and watch your money grow.
  16. InvestOpen a brokerage account to buy ETFs. We use and highly recommend Interactive Brokers and TD Ameritrade.
  17. Build confidence – Confidence develops after successful repetition of any endeavor. But forgive yourself if things don’t work out.
  18. Skip life insurance – If you must buy life insurance, buy term life insurance and avoid the expensive investment-linked life insurance. It is better to invest it yourself.
  19. Read – Fall in love with reading. It is the cheapest way to learn from someone. Don’t like reading? Start with Blinkist.
  20. Presentations – The best method to prepare for a presentation – 1) Video yourself 2) Watch yourself 3) Improve one thing (e.g. slow down).
  21. Rest – Sleep at least 8 hours a day. Get rid of electronics from the bedroom, do the same rituals e.g. stretching so that your body knows it is time to sleep, always sleep at the same time.
  22. Failing is OK – Be gentle with your failures 1) Find one positive outcome, 2) learn one lesson, 3) make one plan to prevent it next time.
  23. Laugh more – Don’t take yourself too seriously, be able to let go of ego and laugh at yourself. Most important thing is to have fun in your life and laugh more. Life is too short.
  24. Embrace imperfection – Creation/innovation matters more than being perfect. Create, improve, iterate.
  25. Reset yourself – Clear your mind (mindfulness, gratitude, letting go). Clear your physical space (keep a minimalist and tidy space). Clear your digital space. Clear your social life (ditch people dragging you down).
  26. Compound – All the best returns in life operate under the “law of compound interest”: relationships, investments and reputation.
  27. Don’t give up – Most success in your life is due to consistency, not talent. 80% of life is just showing up no matter what. Repetition and discipline beat talent.
  28. Let go – Focus on the things you can control and let go of the rest. Worry about things you can’t control is a pure waste of time and energy.
  29. Reduce risk – “Investing is risky.” These are more risky: One 9-5 job, No growing assets, No passive income sources
  30. Use AI – Learn prompt engineering. This will 10x your ability to use ChatGPT. Don’t get left behind.
  31. Millionaire Habits – Watch what you consume, start investing, learn critical skills (sales, coding, marketing, communications), understand leverage, get comfortable with saying no, slow down and focus.
  32. Get a quick mentor – Find someone you admire or look up to and invite them out for lunch. You will get a whole lot of knowledge, connections and experience in 2 hours.
  33. Improve writing skills – Embrace “Free Writing”. Write non-stop within a set time limit without any pressure. It is OK to make mistakes. Just relax and keep writing until time is up.
  34. Get Cashback – Sign up with Rabattcorner and receive cashback while you shop!
  35. Transferring money from UNFCU – Sending money out of UNFCU is expensive but do it for free or minimal fees with this hack.
  36. Worst case budgeting – Round up expenses and round down income to the nearest CHF5, 10, 50, 100 etc. You will likely end up with net positive in your account.
  37. Progress over perfection – Focus on progress so you can keep moving forward. Perfection is an illusion.
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