- Personal Finance
Frugal Living Expenses
What if I Want to Save My Money?
We live in a time when people want to save money but often barely make ends meet, and they are certainly more reluctant to spend. Small businesses are hurting, restaurants and various types of entertainment industries are complaining of less income. Many people are laid off. We are being told we need $250,000 when we retire just to cover medical expenses and bad news seems to crop up daily that makes you think twice about how you manage your money. So, what are some good saving money tips?
There are many saving money ideas that you can utilize. First, I would recommend a software program like Quicken or Money to keep track of your expenditures, plus you can keep track of several accounts. I keep the checking, savings and retirement accounts in Quicken. Reconcile you accounts monthly. Try to save a little money monthly, even if it is only 5% in your 401K or savings account.
I also play a few little tricks since we are on a fixed income to make life run a little smoother. For instance, you can set up any deposit or bill to be automatically deposited or deducted on any account at a date of your choosing. I have all my regular monthly deposits set up, and my bills that are the same amount each month are entered automatically.
I transfer to my money market account $100 each mouth for car insurance. We pay car insurance semi-annually when the insurance is it due, I write the check after transferring the money back into my checking. I also deposit money for house taxes and insurance into savings each month, so we have enough to pay at the end of the year.
Buy a Little Red Car
Buy a Car Online
Another thing I have read more about lately is to buying a car on line. I despise walking into car dealerships as you know you are there for hours, playing games, talking to the salesman’s’ boss and so forth. Many dealerships have 2 sales teams, the ones in the showrooms and ones that negotiate over the internet. Since the traditional sales staff is paid mostly by commission they have an incentive to get as much money as possible out of your wallet.
Internet salespeople get paid by salary, plus a bonus for the number of cars they sell which motivates them to move more cars quickly. They will send you quotes, help with financing if necessary and will set up a test drive. You are not feeling that pressure that happens in the showrooms.
Best Banking is Free Checking
Some bank and credit unions still have free checking. Many banks are tacking on fees to make up for lost revenue after a rule that went into effect July 1st requiring banks to have customers opt in to get overdraft protection. That doesn’t always take away your free checking but you need to watch carefully that you are not paying extra fees. Find a free checking account at community banks or credit unions. Some even pay 3% - 4% interest as long as you make 10-15 debit card purchases.
Need to Rent a Formal Dress?
How about a formal or prom dress? You can easily spend hundreds of dollars for bridesmaid dresses or prom dresses. Try Rent the Runaway, a web site started by two Harvard grads that rents designer dresses from more than 40 big name designers.
For instance, a $1250 Herve Leger rents for $125, and a $440 Badgley Mischka rents for $50. They ship two sized automatically and they tack on a $5 insurance fee. They clean them after each wearing and retire them after they are worn 10-15 times. The site just added 5000 items to satisfy demand.
- Decline collision insurance for cars more than 10 years old.
- Purchase a policy with a higher deductible (e. g. $500-$1000)
- Eliminate rental reimbursement and towing coverage if you already have roadside assistance through AAA or another company.
- Lower the payment for the uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage
- Eliminate medical payments coverage if you are covered under personal health care insurance and PIP if you don't live in one of the 12 states requiring that coverage
- Keep you driving record spotless if possible. Safe drivers pay less for insurance.
Insurance - Life, Auto, Home
Paying insurance premiums annually saves money. Monthly payments usually have some fee tacked on. Paying monthly, quarterly or semiannually results is what is called “fractional premiums.” The annual interest charge maybe 9.5% to 29.7% according to insurance broker AccuQuote (which is a life insruance company), but the fractional premiums apply to all types of insurance. Typically insurances don’t disclose these fractional payments but you can figure in out yourself with the right calculator.
There are some generally promoted discounts by most auto insurance companies particularly for safety features. Ask your agent about:
- New cars less than 3 years old
- Cars with low theft statistics
- Cars with safety features such as airbags, anti-theft devices and anti-lock breaks
- Covering the care under the same insurance homeowners or other insurance from the same company
Doctor Visit - How to Bargain
Frequently health care is a problem financially, and we sure have to no way to know where we are headed with Obamacare. Your doctor is aware that your current insurance won’t pay for some services or portions of services. You have nothing to lose by asking your doctor for a discount on those services. You can offer to pay for some services up front or maybe set up a payment plan. You can always talk with the office manager instead of the doctor if that makes you uncomfortable. You have nothing to lose by asking.
How To Save Money By Eliminating 10 Things You Don't Need
Man and Dog
More Ways to Save Money
We all love to go on vacations and sometimes you can work out a swap of homes with someone at a destination you would like to visit. You might have an old college friend, an army buddy or a family member that would swap houses briefly, so you each could visit anther city at a more affordable price.
Pet bills can be another problem as they tend to be very expensive. As a responsible pet owner check your pet for lumps each week as it only takes a few minutes. If you do this regularly you will immediately notice something out of the ordinary. You may pick up small growths, tumors, lumps or bumps that are easily treated when found early. Check you pet’s teeth periodically as well.
Do you want to start a college fund while your child is young? Check out upromise.com and sign up for rebates on everyday purchases. The money will accumulate in an account until you invest it in a 529 college savings plan or high-yield savings account. It will accumulate through the years without a lot of financial sacrifice on your part.
Save Money On Groceries
Great Books on Making Money
Save More Money
There are ways to save money on groceries. Try to go to the grocery store no more than once a week to avoid buying those extras that you may not need. Don’t go to the store when you are hungry. If you don’t mind cutting out coupons and checking ads, stock up when things are on sales, and use those coupons. You can save a lot of money monthly even though this takes a little effort. It is worth it as maybe that saving will buy you a night out on the town.
Saving money makes you feel more secure in a world that feels anything but secure at this time. You can build a little nest egg in case you get laid off. You can also plan for big purchases by managing your money more carefully. If you have any unexpected repair it feels good to know the money is in the bank. If you are able to save, the peace of mind is worth the effort.
How have you tried to save money?
What changes have you made this year to save money?
© 2010 Pamela Oglesby