Category: Money saving

How To Actually Save Money With Money Saving Tips

You’ve researched tips on how to save money, and have even followed the advice on many of these lists.

But more than likely, you don’t have any more money at the end of the month than you did before. If you’re determined to build up that savings account, here’s how to use those money-saving tips to create a substantial savings account.

To do this, you first need to have a savings account. I have a separate online savings account that is different from my local bank, to make the money a little harder to get to. (It usually takes 2-3 business days to transfer money electronically).

Determine in advance that you are not going to withdraw funds from this account except in extreme emergencies (and no, a good deal on a new suit is not an emergency). Next, you need to keep track of how much money you’ve saved each week.

This will help in two ways: first, it will keep you motivated to find more ways to save even more money, and second, it will give you an amount each week that you would have normally spent, but didn’t.

Finally, once a week, transfer that final “saved” amount over to your savings account. If you think about it, this is money that you would normally have spent and won’t miss.

Here are 5 examples of money-saving tips and how much these can add up over the course of one year.

1. Drink water at restaurants

Sure, we’d save a lot more if we didn’t go out to eat at all, but we’ve had plenty of evenings where we decided at the last minute that we were too tired to cook and went out to eat instead. Instead of ordering a drink, choose water.

For a family of 4, drinks add around $10 per meal (don’t forget tip and tax). If you do this only twice a month, that’s $20 you can put into your savings account for a total of $240 a year.

2. Leftover dinner night

Once a week determine to eat leftovers. Or, if you typically don’t have any, make one night a week soup and sandwich night or another equally frugal dinner. So each time you serve a frugal dinner, consider that money you’ve saved.

A typical dinner costs a family of four $15. Even if you only consider each frugal dinner as a savings of only half that, or $7.50, that’s $30 a month you can put away into your savings account for an annual total of $360.

3. If you use loans, apply at reputable services only

If you need some extra cash to take you over some unexpected expenses, you can always opt for short-term online loans even if you have bad credit. Just make sure you are applying for a loan from a trusted loan company. And, of course, pay them back on time.

4. Air dry laundry as much as possible

If you’ve never air-dried laundry, try it for a month and then note the difference in your electric bill. I have a family of 6, so our electric bill dropped by $150.

But even if you have a smaller family and save only $50 a month, just make sure to put that $50 you would have paid into your savings account for a total of savings of $600 per year. (You do not need a clothesline or hassle with clothespins. I have a portable hanging rack and hang everything with hangars. Jeans can be hung by using the two notches in the belt loops).

5. Coupons

If you use coupons, whenever you go grocery shopping, look at the bottom of your receipt for the total amount saved in coupons. (Not the total amount saved with a grocery store savings card, just the coupons alone).

Depending on how savvy you are with coupons, this figure is typically between $5 to $25. Use this figure as an amount you would have spent if you weren’t so frugal, and determine to put that amount into your savings.

At $10 per grocery trip once a week, that’s another $40 a month to put into your savings account for a total of $480 per year.

6. Treats

If you like to treat yourself to a morning cup of coffee/breakfast on the go/soda refills at local convenience stores, you know the cost of this can add up over time.

If this is your “treat” and you don’t want to give this up, how about just cutting down. If you buy 2 fewer gourmet coffees a week (at $3 a cup), that’s $6 a week or $24 a month you can put into your savings account. Annual savings? $288.

The problem with money-saving tips is that no one really notices the extra money gained from using them. So the trick is to keep track of the money you saved, and then actually saving it. I recommend transferring “saved money” once a week.

It’s easier to transfer $24 or $32 dollars, but if your monthly savings totaled $174, it’s very difficult to part with that much money at once, and it will feel like another bill. Also, keep in mind that electronic transfers are limited to 6 per month.

Note that I only listed 5 money savings tips, but just on these 5 tips alone, you can have a savings account balance of $1968 by the end of one year. Add interest, and you’ll have $2000 that was painless to save that you typically spent every year anyways.

Top 10 Money Saving Behaviors to Use when You’re in College

Paying for college can seem like an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be if you do some college planning.

Here are 10 tips to make the most of your money:

1) Don’t buy a car

Some parents think buying a car for their child is a great high school graduation gift. However, insurance rates are very high, even for college students, and the risk of theft is high on campuses.

2) Don’t take your vehicle to school

There is almost never any free parking on campus for students. Even when you pay for a permit, it’s hard to find convenient places to park.

3) Live on campus

When you live on-campus, you go to the dining hall for meals, walk to classes and save on transportation time and costs. Plus, your on-campus living experience can help you get a job as a resident assistant, which will save you housing costs in your junior and senior years.

4) Use public transportation

The city which the college is located in typically has free or reduced fare bus services. Colleges also run shuttles to popular area attractions. Many colleges have restaurants and shopping within walking distance as well. There is no serious need for a vehicle.

5) Don’t shop for college items.

The best rule for moving in is to only take what you can carry. The basics for college include clothes, bedding, and a computer. Everything else can be brought later as the need arises.

6) Skip the haircuts

No one really cares what you look like in college and one of the first things you can give up is expensive haircuts. Sure, you might want to clean up for a job interview, but if you’re not working, you don’t have to be spending extra on this area.

7) Take the bus

Greyhound and other bus companies offer great deals to college students. You can save hundreds of dollars traveling by bus. It’s safer and cleaner than you think since many fellow college students take the bus too.

8) Don’t drink alcohol

If you’re under 21, you can end up spending several hundred dollars in court costs and fines for violating underage drinking laws.

9) Apply for scholarships after you’re in college

Most college students think scholarship opportunities end after they get admitted but plenty of colleges and companies offer scholarships for students in school.

10) Use subsidized loans to earn money

If you receive a subsidized federal loan, you don’t pay interest on it while you are in college. That is 4 years of 0% interest. If you have leftover money, put it in a money market account to earn upwards of 2% back.

Money Saving Tips for the Holidays

Ever wondered how you can still give gifts during the holiday season in spite of the economic downturn nowadays?

There are actually various ways you can consider to stretch your money for that much awaited season of giving:

1) Set Up a Plan.

Creating a Christmas budget can effectively help you stretch your money. Doing so will help you evaluate and identify the budget you need to set aside for various Christmas categories like charitable donations, Christmas gifts, decorations, entertaining, and a whole lot more.

2) Make a List.

Shopping minus a Christmas list spells disaster. When you shop with a specific list, you get to buy only those items that fit within your budget. The more specific your list is, the better.

List down the people you intend to give gifts and have an idea or two as to what you will be having for them. Buy only those that are on your list but be sure you include purchasing extra things such as wrapping papers, decorations, or stocking stuffers.

3) Go for Sales.

Normally, shopping malls normally offer mall-wide sales or Black Friday sales during the holidays. Shopping during sales can really help you save a lot of money.

However, you have to understand that just like you, there are hundreds and thousands of shoppers who also believe holiday sales are practical, thus you might end up getting early or fighting the crowd just to shop.

4) Shop Online.

There are already various websites these days where you can shop with just a few clicks. One is thru E-bay. You can find lots of great items, brand new or second-hand, that can be great gift ideas for the holidays. Also, try to pay a visit to video game stores that provide you with good deals on toys for kids.

5) Be Creative.

Make Something out of your Own. You can save a lot from your shopping money if you try to be creative and do some personal stuff to give to special people during the Christmas season.

All you need is a creative mind and the right materials. Doing personalized Christmas presents does not only help you save money but also, these gifts can be great mementos that your special someone will truly treasure because of that personal touch.

When it comes to finding the right gifts to your loved ones, who says you need to shell out much of your hard-earned money?

As long as you know how to shop and save, Christmas shopping is never that financially-burdening after all.

5 Money Saving Tips for the Financial Newbie

After creating thousands and thousands of dollars in gambling debt, I tend to spend most of my money paying collectors. Of course, I could apply for $ 1000 loan online and get temporary relief. However, I have found a few simple ways to keep a few extra bucks lying around in case of a mini-crisis, and perhaps they will help you as well.

1) The Piggy Bank

Yes, I have a piggy bank. It’s not actually shaped like a pig, and when I first got it I thought it was the stupidest thing I ever saw. It’s a change jar from Avon that counts the change for you as you put it in. My grandmother gave it to me because she’s an Avon buying addict. I started with the change in the bottom of my purse and the change from my boyfriend’s wallet, and after about five or six months, I have nearly $100 in this change jar, which to some wouldn’t seem like a big deal, but if my glasses break or I have to pay a parking ticket unexpectedly, I have $100 that I would have normally lost in the couch cushions or under the seat in the car, and it took zero time and almost no thought to save it. It’s just one way to trick yourself into saving a little bit of money.

2) The Savings Account

This is the classic way to save some money. I must admit, I’m not fantastic about keeping my paws out of my savings account. Sometimes I just set up payments with too many people and have to take a little bit of money out, but I always make a point to keep trying to add money to it, and I never let it get to zero. My biggest tip would be to take a percentage of your paycheck that you can reasonably afford and put that into your savings account.

If you have direct deposit, having automatic transfers set up a couple of days after payday is a good way to have some money set aside in savings without even thinking about it. Hopefully, as I do, you will forget the money is in there most of the time and not add it to your available funds. That’s really the only successful way to maintain a savings account. You can also consider putting your money into a money market account for a slightly higher interest rate, but transfers for a money market account are usually more limited, and for someone who is a complete newbie at saving money, the savings account may be a simpler way to start out.

3) The PayPal Account

Do you write for Associated Content or sell things on E-Bay? If you are utilizing a PayPal account for any reason, then leaving some money in your PayPal account is another good way to have a bit of a rainy day fund. PayPal offers a debit card connected to your PayPal account for access to your funds, or you could just go without if you don’t want to have such easy access to that money. It’s another way to have money somewhere besides your checking account where it’s safe.

4) The Secured Credit Card

If you have fantastic credit, then, first of all, you probably know too much about saving money to even be reading this article, and you also would have little need for an overnight loan or secured credit card. However, for those with just plain pitiful credit, a secured card is not only a good way to save some money, but it’s also a good way to start improving your credit. With a secured card, you are able to pick your limit usually beginning at a minimum of $200 to $300 and depending on the card going up into the thousands.

You put down a deposit on the card, like a security deposit, and the amount of the deposit is your credit limit. The credit card company then puts that deposit into something similar to a savings account or money market account where it accrues a small amount of interest while you build your credit. In looking for a secured credit card though, it’s best to shop around and get all the details you can. Some companies charge an application fee and activation fees that will eat up almost your entire limit before you even get a chance to use the card.

Also, it’s a definite must to make sure that the company reports to the credit bureaus, and that they don’t report that they are a secured card, otherwise, the main benefit of the card isn’t there, which is to help you build or rebuild credit.

5) The Fast Food Demon

I know what it means to just want some fast food, but it is a definite culprit when it comes to not only gain a lot of weight (trust me) but when it comes to wasting money. If you really need a cheeseburger and fries, it is simple enough to cook one up at home yourself and put some fries in the oven. If you eat one fast food meal a day on your lunch break, then you’re spending perhaps $5-$10 a day, depending on where you go, for one meal. That’s $150-$300 a month for one person for one meal a day. Do yourself a financial favor and pack a lunch. If you take the time to figure out how much you actually spend on fast food every money, then you can decide on a limit, a real dollar amount, on how much you spend on fast food each week or month. The money that you save can go into your savings account.

It all seems like very simple advice, but for those with bad or no credit and very little financial knowledge having something to fall back on in a time of crisis can be a real challenge. Without a high credit limit, reputation with a bank or any investment accounts, it can be scary when the car decides to become a lemon and you only have $500 in your savings account. The best advice I can give is to just keep thinking of ways to spread your money around and to always save something out of each paycheck, even if it’s $5 because you never know when you might need it.