How to Save More Money For Retirement
Saving and Useful Websites
My husband and I found ourselves in early retirement. We always planned to retire early but in today's economy we began to question all our needs and ways we could earn and save extra money any way we could. I evaluated where I was and began to dig in for more saving ideas. I am sure he found this saying somewhere but my dad used to tell me" take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves" I have never forgotten that. I keep a jar and put all our loose change in it and sometimes have almost $100. Some of the deals we have always used and others new. I find new sites everyday!
Big lots is a great place for discounts on gardening tools, wrapping paper, house goods, etc. Now that I am over 55 I get 10% back on Tuesdays and also have a frequent shoppers card.Many stores are now offering discounts to 50-65 year old on certain days of the week. Ross is 55+ on Tues. Discounts can also be found at Good Will on line, Good Will and Habitat for Humanity homes resale shops..I have found great auctions for the popular longaberger baskets at Goodwill on line.
I have found many useful things for myself and my home in these stores. "One man's trash is another man's treasure".
I used to think nothing of getting a coke or coffee or stopping for a fast food lunch on driving trips but now I realize our cost savings and have learned to pack a lunch in a matter of minutes. I always keep a power bar and thermos of water in the car for those hungry moments.
Auto clubs like AAA may seem expensive but they offer many discounts along with a lot of help with planning travel. I especially like using side-step.com to compare airline prices. The website checks all the other obvious sites so its like one stop shopping. You can always mention your AAA membership for a discount or upgrade on a room in a hotel.
Another competitive website is AARP. They also offer many store discounts and auto club membership. You can get up to 20% off of eye care and eyeglasses as well as other medical discounts.
Another sight with great daily discounts on high end products at reduced prices is One Kings Lane. I like szul.com and ice.com for awesome jewelry at low prices.is a great website for maternity and children's clothing. Zulilly
Use LCD or better LED lights and save energy. Turn off appliances and computers when not in use. Get programmable thermostats and use them. If you do have an irrigation system water deep but less often and buy the program to shut the system down if it rains.
Forget dry cleaning . Most clothes can be hand washed and gently wrung out or dried on a towel. Manufacturers still put dry cleaning only on most clothes except cotton. It is really not necessary .They are protecting themselves of course there are exceptions, your high end wool coat and men's suits and dressy dresses. Protect your dresses from perspiration with dress shields found at amazon or target.
For consumer comparison on products go to consumer search.com and save money instead of paying for a subscription to consumer reports. Bankrate.com gives you the best interest rate on home interest rate, best credit cards and top CD and savings at various banks around the country. I like this site and use it often. I also have two different savings accounts and use both but keep my money in the one with the highest interest.
I have found through trial and error that most investing information can be found free on the Internet. Learn the basics and then use great websites like Forbes, Kiplinger's and even yahoo finance and MSN finance. Don't buy finance magazines at the store. Get a $10 subscription or borrow from a friend or library.
Stay on top of you email and keep organized. Go through several every day to keep mail from piling up.
Budgeting is a cinch at The Mint, free through the Motley Fool. Keep all your finances in one place and see where your money is going. Link investing and bank accounts easily with the help of this website. You can even sign up for cell phone reminders of bills due each month .
Try to save MORE than !0% of your salary and put away 3 to 6 months of your salary for emergencies. Always use the highest deductible you can with insurance. You may never need that insurance.
When you find something you like on sale now get it for the next holiday. Deals are especially big right after Christmas and other major holidays. This is the time to stock up on cards and wrapping paper. You can use the funny pages as wrapping paper too.
If you put down shelf paper go to a local paint or wallpaper store. They often sell there discontinued paper for pennies and it makes beautiful thick shelf paper, good for wrapping paper also.
Find something torn or soiled in a store ? Talk to the manager about an extra discount. This has worked for me on many occasions.
As the weather gets warmer don't forget to plant your favorite herbs and tomatoes. So much tastier and cheaper that the grocery store. Roadside stands have great produce as do flea markets, farmer's markets often carry plants and even Christmas trees and Aldi's discount grocers is actually owned by the same owner as Trader Joe's . Give it try for some good deals on food and other items. Better yet plant your own garden this spring. Lettuce can be grown far into the fall season. We have an aerogarden found at target, amazon or walmart. I save money all winter on fresh basil and other herbs.
My sister-in-law just taught me a new coupon tip. She goes to her computer and goes to Coupon Mom and looks at all the ads at her local stores. She prints out a grocery list that she can check what she needs and then she looks at the website to see which items have a coupon available. The website tells her what paper the coupon is in or how to print. Not so bad!!!!! Coupons can be found inexpensively by having your paper delivered Sunday only.
Recently I have had a lot of success finding great deals on Groupon and Social Steals and Daily Deals. These kind of city wide deals are popping up all over the web. Watch for them daily. I was able to purchase 2 facials for half price and treat my daughter.
One last tip. It is so easy to put a little flower pot on your porch and fill it with herbs and even tomatoes, so much cheaper and fresher herbs and tomatoes.
There is a new iPhone app found in many major cities called scout mob. It lists many great discounts for restaurants, bakeries, etc.
Saving on Gas and Prescriptions
Gas prices are going up tremendously. In our location we get extra bonus points with our local grocery store card to be used for cents down at the pump. Joining a warehouse club such as Costco will provide you with savings on gas especially when you spend the extra $25 to get a higher rated membership that comes with points back on purchases to be redeemed in February. You can share your membership with family and friends if you use the same address. We also use the American Express Costco card for money back points. It is the only credit card that offers cash back at a warehouse club. If you are not sure you want to join get a one day pass and give it a try. These are great places for discount prescriptions, no membership necessary. Online websites are another good choice for discount prescriptions such as drugstore.com, medco, caremark . See if your health care plan is associated with RX Outreach, or Xubex among others to save on you medicine.
I have learned to combine all my trips to save in gas. I never leave my car idling and try to keep the tires rotated and at the correct pressure. Rotate your tires every 10,000 miles to help your tires wear evenly and save on tire purchases. Also don't carry extra baggage in your trunk or you will learn as the airlines have that you will spend more on gas per pound.There is also an online website for finding the lowest gas price in your area, gasbuddy.com .The Cheapskate.com on CNET also has gas bargains with maps to you local gas stations
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If you have a pet I did some research and found that Costco's puppy chow is rated one of the best. A neat inexpensive treat for your puppy is to feel a Kong, dog toy with banana, dog food and peanut butter, freeze it and when you are running out and leaving her you have a healthy, inexpensive, long lasting treat. My daughter travels quite a bit and we got a puppy car seat at a discount online store. She now loves her carseat. She sits up high and can see out the window. My daughter no longer has a pet in her lap while driving and I sleep better.
Food Costs and Movie
We have become very proficient at making romantic dinners at home and actually enjoy it more knowing we are saving maybe hundreds of dollars for a family vacation down the road. When you do go out go to Restaurant.com first and purchase a discount coupon for your dinner first.
I try to go to the grocery store as little as possible and use discount points for spending over $100 from my community savings book often sold at schools or even Barnes and Noble. The less I am at the grocery store the less tempted I am to purchase something I might be able to save on or use something else as a substitute. Movies can be rented for $1.00 at your local Red Box often near your drugstore or grocery store. This saves a good bit more than HBO or Cinemax movie subscription service.
We are now thinking about canceling cable and using Netflix and Amazon Prime or Hulu.
Saving With Credit Cards
We have 2 cash back cards and rotate them according to the categories offering the best money back for the month. I especially like American express blue cash and Discover card for gift cards for graduates, birthday's and holidays. You can get gift cards for less than face value. Of course always pay your credit card in full each month. Mine are on auto draft. Otherwise you are likely to see your savings lost in fees and a lower credit score. I often shop from my cards websites to earn extra cash back. Sign up for all reward cards at your favorite stores and don't ever let rebate's go. If an appliances break before their time don't just throw it away. Call customer service and go to the top of the line. Be kind and complimentary but let the store know how disappointed you are in the problem. Not only will you possibly get your problem solved but you may be sent some free samples and coupons.
Good luck on your savings journey. It takes will power and a dedication to save. You have to have a strong desire to increase your savings and your income.
If you fail don't give up. Pick yourself up and keep going, you will eventually find success as you endure and grow in saving knowledge.
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