- Personal Finance
5 Money Saving Tips
Money makes the world go 'round. It puts food on our plates and helps secure our future. It's not healthy to be a slave to money; but being smart with our money gives us more freedom to live our lives the way we want to. Here are some tips to stay afloat.
1. Pay down Credit Cards first.
No one needs to tell you credit card debt is expensive. It seems like a no brainer, but it is imperative that you pay down this type of debt first. I encourage you to call your credit card company and attempt to lower your APR. That could save you hundreds a year with just a two percent reduction. Call a rep, ask nicely, and they will give you the best rate they can!
As always set aside a portion of your income for savings. This should be put toward this debt.
2. Drink more water.
This is a great tip. An adult is supposed to consume eight glasses a day. You save money by choosing it over a caloric beverage most venues will try to sell you.
Everyone knows water is good for you but you should have access to water at all times. Bring a bottle with you to work or school. Here are some specific benefits/facts:
- 60% of your body is comprised of water (your brain tissue is 75% water).
- Water's primary functions are digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.
- Without enough water your brain and your muscles will experience fatigue.
- Water makes your skin look better and younger.
- Water helps relieve stress and reduces kidney stones.
3. Tackle your reccuring expenses.
Do you need every monthly service you currently subscribe to? Instead of eliminating them are there cheaper alternatives? Do you find yourself not even using something you no longer have time for?
It's easy to fall into the trap of buying too much. Here are some adjustments I have made to my monthly bills.
- Home phone service? If you have a cell phone you can do without a home phone service. It just isn't needed anymore.
- Cable TV service? Do you find yourself watching most of your TV on the internet? Everyday I suspect more people will watch their television streamed through internet service. You can also call your cable and/or internet service provider and ask if you can speak to retention. Comcast for example will allow you to revisit your promotional rates after you have paid in full every six months! $100+ into your wallet for making the call.
- Cell phone? Virgin Mobile has been charging users $25/month instead of $60/month for comparative plans (now $35 for those that aren't grandfathered in). Service quality is good. Their phones lag a little bit behind a premium carrier but you pay double for it.
- Check your car insurance to see if you have the discounts you could have! Sometimes all it takes is a call to their rep and they will walk you through things you may have missed.
- Downsize on subscriptions. Maybe you can deal with 2 discs at a time with netflix instead of 3.
4. Invest in a Roth IRA.
You are allowed to put up $5000 a year into Roth IRA's if you have earned income in the same tax year. Money invested in a Roth IRA is tax free when you collect it for retirement. If money is tight attempt to save $200 or $250 a month, set it aside and when you have $1000 take a look at Vanguard or Trowe Price's Mutual Funds. You can choose an area you think is comfortable and invest. These funds will appreciate with inflation and historically grow your money at about 8-10% a year.
5. Say no to impulse buys.
Whenever you are about to buy something expensive you might be best writing it down and waiting a week or two. When you revisit the product a week or so later, the desire to purchase it may have abided saving you potentially a great sum.
It may also help to visualize handing the amount in cash over for the product.
More money saving tips:
You aren't alone in the fight to save money. If you are in debt or striving to build a nest egg for the future of your children, just keep reading through the financial blogs and the wealth of information out there.
If you are interested I've linked literature on saving money at Amazon to the right and eBay below.