14 General Money-Saving Tips
Here is a list of general tips that can help you to save tens of thousands of dollars over the course of your day, week, month, and year. Read and start saving today!
1. Always have a goal in mind. By doing this, you can motivate yourself into saving more of your money. For example, if you make plans to save up for that vacation that you always wanted to take, it will make it much easier to have self-control, and not buy that article of clothing, or not go out to dinner that night, or to go to the movies with those friends of yours, because you know that every time you spend money, it will take that much longer to save up for that trip. This works with other things as well, including that car you want to have, the down payment you need to get that loan to build your dream house, or whatever ideas you can put into that brain of yours. Having a plan really does work! Getting a product such as Quicken Personal Finance Software, that allows you to manage and budget your money better, and see your money flow, will help you achieve your financial goals better.
2. Change your mindset from being debt-oriented to savings-oriented. This means that when you go to purchase something, think about doing it with a different attitude, where you value saving money, rather than going into debt to buy that product you think you really want. Also, when you go to purchase items, do it with money that you already saved; don't purchase items in a way that puts you into debt. You just have to learn to manage your personal finances better.
3. Make sure to set up a budget for yourself, and put some limits on how much you spend each day or week. That is, put yourself on an allowance and control your spending. Don’t spend more than that allotted amount. For example, if you have an allowance of $10 per day for lunch, don't go and spend $15 or $20, but make sure that you spend only within your allowed amount. You should also consider reading the book Managing Your Money for Dummies.
4. Make sure to set aside some money each and every week for savings, such as $50. This can add up to $2600/year, $26,000 per decade, and will add up to over $100k if you do this from 25-65 years of age. If you put your money into a fund or account that gathers compound interest, the amount will be more like $200k-$300k by the time you retire. There are many programs out there on the web that can help you build up your savings, and get ready for retirement. You might consider using a service like Debt-Proof Living as a money-management program that is dedicated to helping you pay off your debts while building up your savings. You might also consider getting some personal finance budget software that can help you manage and organize your personal finances quickly and easily, right from your computer.
5. Have the person with the lowest income hold the interest-bearing account. If you are married, and you have an interest-bearing savings account, put it in the name of the person in your partnership, either you or the other person, who makes the lowest income. That way, any interest income, for which you will have to pay taxes, will get charged the lowest tax rate from being in the lowest tax bracket between the two of you. This is just one of many ways in which you can lower your tax burden. There are literally hundreds of ways to lower your taxes, and all you need to do is put in a little effort and research on finding out what these ways are. The cost of purchasing a book on the subject can well be worth itself many times over.
6. Save your change! Whenever you pay for something in cash, save the change, and put it away in a jar or some other container. You will find that at the end of the month, you will most likely have more than $100. This amount can be put into a savings account, and if you do this each and every month, you will have saved up over $1000 in the course of the year by just saving your change.
7. Always pay your bills on time. Besides saving yourself the cost of late fees, you are actually improving your credit score by making your payments on time. If you think you might have trouble paying your bills on time, try setting up an automatic monthly payment plan with your credit card company, your utility providers, your cell phone provider, and any other company to which you regularly owe money. By setting this up, you will ensure that you don't have to ever pay any extra money in terms of late fees and interest charges. Many people end up being late to pay their credit card bills month after month, and end up paying hundreds of dollars each year that they didn't need to pay, if only they had set something up to pay their bills each month automatically, in case they forget.
8. Take advantage of matching-payment retirement accounts where you work. If your employer offers some kind of matching-payment retirement account, like a 401k, maximize it. For example, if your employer will put up 50 cents on the dollar for every dollar you put into a retirement account, up to $500 total per year, make sure you put at least $1000 per year in the account in order to get that extra $500 from your employer. To learn more about investing, you might consider getting a book on the subject - there are many books available these days.
9. Use a line of credit instead of a credit card. Instead of getting yourself one or more credit cards to have in case of an emergency, consider working with your bank or credit union to get a line of credit. Being in debt using a $2k or $10k line of credit at 6% interest rate will end up costing you a lot less in interest payments than being in debt with a credit card that has a 20%-25% interest rate. Another possibility is to work with a lending website, such as Quicken Loans or Lending Tree to get yourself a home equity line of credit.
10. Beware of credit card spending. If you do get a credit card, use it wisely. If you don't think you have control over your spending, then destroy your credit card immediately! Make sure to pay off the balance each month by the due date to avoid having to pay any interest charges, or late fees. If you are going to get a credit card, consider getting The Discover Card because they offer 1% cash back on most purchases, with 5% cash back at some locations. With a credit card like this, if you spend $2000 each month, and pay off the balance each month, you will, with a 1% cash back program, get $240 back per year, which is extra money in your pocket.
11. Loans should only be for appreciating assets, not depreciating assets. Borrowing money to pay for something that appreciates in value, such as real estate, will end up being a reward in itself, as the value increases with time, as you pay your debt off. Not only that, but you end up building equity on the real estate over time as well. On the other hand, borrowing money to pay for something that, when the debt is paid off, has so little value left that it is practically worthless, such as an automobile, is not wise. If you want to learn how to handle your money better, get out of debt, and stay out of debt, you might consider reading Dave Ramsey's Complete Guide to Money, Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover Workbook; and How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously.
Here's a few more general money-saving tips:
12. Get legal documents online instead of going to an attorney. There are many times in our life that we need some type of legal document for one reason or other. Whether it comes to creating a will, incorporating a business, getting copyright protection for your creation, getting real estate documents made, or whatever the case may be, you may want to consider getting your legal documents online instead of paying big money to go to an attorney. There are many websites online where you can do this, but we would recommend this website. Find these forms, fill in the blanks with your own information and criteria, and save yourself hundreds of dollars in legal fees.
13. Protect your computer and its data from the inevitable. When it comes to your computer, there are some things that you can do that can save your hard-earned money. By backing up your hard drive with an online backup provider, or by getting yourself an external hard drive to backup your computer's hard drive, you can ensure that all of your files, important documents, pictures, and software are all backed up in case that unforeseeable event known as a computer crash takes place. This saves you from having to purchase new software when that happens. Also, make sure that you back up your product keys to your software for when you need to re-install it all on that unforseeable day - this will save you from having to spend hundreds of dollars having to repurchase your software products keys for the programs you love to use.
Of course, you can try to ensure that your computer never crashes by taking care of it properly, and protecting your computer from the possibility of that kind of event happening. Getting a good software program that speeds up your computer and keeps it from crashing can go a long way towards protecting your computer from those things that can cause your computer to crash. This can help to protect the data on your computer and make your computer live longer. Programs like PC Health Boost or PC Matic can really save you from a massive headache.
14. Get your eyewear online. When you order your glasses or contact lenses online, you will always save yourself 25%-60% over the cost of buying them at a physical store. GlassesShop.com is a good place to look for eyeglasses and AC Lens is a good place to look for your contact lenses.
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