Monday, August 27, 2007

Secrets of Successful Savers and other tips found in older magazine articles A Series #5

Simple Ways to Save - It takes just one dollar at a time by Chrystle Fielder, Woman's Day 2/19/02

This article offers some ideas to keep more of what you make.

1. Establish a saving habit with $0.75 a day. - Principle is 3 banks 1 saving, 1 investing, 1 offering/charity.

2. Don't discount small change - spend only paper currency & save your change.  This works, I have a glass wine jug that it goes in.  I also started setting aside coins that were minted in "special" years anniversary, births, graduations, I will scrapbook a few once I've completed the collecting, but for now it creates a pile of "untouchable" change!

3. Open a separate savings account for special occasions - Know you have a trip to make or big party to plan for, divide up what you'll need & start setting it aside in a special account for only that purpose, kind of like Christmas accounts.

4. Save first and enjoy what's left. This only works if you aren't negative into your living expenses...

5. Track your paper trail - basically track your spending, keep all your receipts & find where you are spending needlessly, or where you need to make cuts.

6. Give cash a chance - only have so much on hand & try to force yourself to not go over.

7. Stop spending money on things that fall in value. - Ok, but food & household things are hardly investment items!  I guess I do this by not buying the most expensive items available, sure I could spend $100 on a pair of shoes, but I'd have to go through 10 cheap pairs to equal it.

8. Use coupons the right way - Save the money you save using them, makes sense, if you have the ability.  If you are using them to be able to stretch your food budget this won't work!

9. Save on long distance - I think cell phones have eliminated this for lots of people.  Only a few in the stone ages (like me) are with out & have to rely on our phone company!

10. Don't go car shopping in person - research what you want & what to expect for cost.  With Kelly Blue Book you can go in with dealer costs, trade ins & what features are worth.

11. Rotate your balance to lower interest on credit cards.  If you can take advantage of 0% interest offers, then pay as much of the debt down as possible before the term expires.  When I do pay interest on a card (we have a couple we are paying down) I try to add the finance charges + the minimum payment and make that my minimum payment then pay what I can over that.

12. Save big by paying off your debt. It's the interest game, if you are getting less interest than you are paying out (in most cases it's a huge difference) using savings to pay off the higher interest debts makes financial sense.  It's a matter of what is comfortable for you though.  I know I feel better when I have a cushion in the bank.

13. Let the kids do the shopping. This only works if your kids are older!  If I let the Prince & Princess loose on the store with our budget we'd have frosted animal cookies & oreos, maybe some bread & milk!  I do try to take them once in a while so they see just how it all works.  They still seem to think that I'll just run out at 9PM for a snack because they don't want to eat anything left, don't know where they got it from, we've never done it for them!

14. Once a week go over checkbook issues with your spouse.  I wish.  I have tried the weekly sit down, asking what he paid, how much he paid, where the receipts are... sometimes you just have to accept your reality & try to make that work!

15. Set savings goals you can comfortably accomplish. I like the idea of making it a game.  Maybe we'll figure one out!

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