Monday, May 19, 2008

Ok, who exctly is this for???

How to Save $451 a Month was a headline article on the yahoo home page this morning. I read it, as I do most financial articles, looking for something I may not have thought of. Well, I didn't find anything at all. It was mostly insulting, since it obviously assumes that the average reader has an above average income.

The first premiss of the article, if you are 30 you need to save $448 a month at 8% to be able to retire in 35 years. While I can't dispute the numbers I can say that I am not investing a quarter of my income every month. My expenses just won't allow for that. Maybe if you made 6 figures you could set aside that much but if you only bring in $450 a week it's kind of hard.

The second point is maximize your deductions to save $219 per month on your income taxes. Basically, adding more exemptions to boost your take home pay. You could even take advanced EIC payments if you qualify. Unless of course you are self employed...

Third, bring a lunch & save $100. If you aren't already bringing a lunch & making your own coffee this is a good tip. If you eat leftovers for your lunch instead of having to buy special lunch stuff you can save even more.

Fourth, the author suggests skipping 1 dinner & a movie every month to save $80. I can say that $80 is a lot more than I would spend on dinner & a movie, unless we were taking the 4 of us to a nice sit down dinner & an evening movie. But we usually just go to a movie & that's an afternoon show & very rarely do we go out & spend more than $40 on the both of us to eat. Also, if we skipped 1 a month we wouldn't have any at all. We don't even go monthly, we do try to do something with the kids but right now our "entertainment money" goes to the baseball snack stand!

Fifth, save $28 on health care using a flex spending account. Sure I'd love to but I can't just go to the bank and open one yet. If you employer offers this benefit TAKE IT! This along with the CVS extra care bucks/card would be FANTASTIC!!! Hey would they let me use flex to pay for my Wii Fit???? I look at it as a replacement for gym membership... LOL!

Sixth, save $10 on Auto Insurance by increasing your deductible from $250 to $1000. Honestly, when we were just confronted with this option my attitude was "it's only $10 extra a month" we'll take it! After all it would take more than a year to save the difference, if you don't have access to the $1000 you would be better off paying the difference.

Seventh, save $8 on maintaining your car. Keep it tuned & tires inflated. Well a tune up may help gas mileage but it will cost you money too...

The last $6 came from switching your prescriptions to generic. My health insurance demands this unless there is a valid reason to not use a generic.

I'm sure I'd do better if I just saved all my change from the grocery shopping & expense of daily living. My bank account is set to "Round up" and move the change into my savings account and I have a large jar for my coins. Which I do anyways I just don't think that it amounts to $448 a month.

I guess I'm waiting for the article that addresses those of us who already have cut the fat, where do you trim from???

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