Ways to save money by spending more

Saving money by spending more sounds contradictory. But what if it’s true though?

Frugal living is has always been a popular lifestyle choice, both among the financially independent, as well as for those living paycheck to paycheck.

However, often times choosing to pinch pennies only gives us the illusion of saving money.

Truth be told, there are certain situations where spending more actually leads to serious savings in the long run.

Here are some examples where you could actually save money on common household expenses by spending more.

1. Choosing to spend on quality ingredients

Cooking at home is well known to be a huge money saver.

However, some people can take it to the extreme and choose quantity over quality.

A common situation is buying food on sale, that’s about to expire. Or, buying fruits and vegetables likely to go bad soon, but for that very reason grocery stores sell them for cheap.

To save money, it’s often tempting to choose the (so much) less expensive option!

Problem is, low quality ingredients could potentially lead to health problems. Which in return, leads to spending money. Since medicine and doctors aren’t cheap, you’re probably better off spending more in quality!

2. Spending more on quality appliances / tools / gadgets etc.

Say you need to buy an air conditioner. Or a coffee maker, since your old one broke down because you’ve used it every single day for years!

saving money

If you’ve ever shopped around for.. anything, you must have noticed the huge price difference between different brands.

Now, not all costly items are worth buying. On the contrary, often times it’s just the brand that’s expensive.

However, it is also true that energy efficient appliances cost a lot more than less efficient ones. Just as, low quality gadgets are usually cheaper because they often break down when you lest expect it (or, as proven by Murphy’s law, when you need them most).

In order to save money on utility bills in the long run, you might want to opt for appliances and devices that consume less energy.

On the same note, it’s always worth paying for quality. This way, you won’t have to fork out a serious chunk of money whenever your “new” purchase needs to be replaced.

3. Spending money on quality clothes, shoes & accessories

This might be considered splurging but truth is, quality does last longer.

Although some shoes and clothes can be both qualitative and cheap, other items that complete your wardrobe could wear out after only a few weeks.

What do you do if you find a hole in your shoes? You probably should buy a new pair…

As a result, instead of saving money, you actually spend a lot more by buying the same product multiple times.

4. Hiring help

When you have an electrical wiring problem, do you usually call your cousin Jimmy to fix it for free?

That might be a good plan, if Jimmy was an actual electrician! ‘Cause if he doesn’t know what he’s doing, you might end up with even bigger problems!

Often times, we try to save money by fixing things ourselves. It works in some cases (and can save a pretty penny as well), but hiring an expert when you have a serious problem to fix is probably a good investment!

5. Investing in home improvements

Big or small, certain home improvements can save some serious money along the way!

Adding insulation can turn out to be a costly investment, but do you know how much money you can save on your utility bills in the long run? At least few hundred bucks a year!

Other small investments might seem useless, especially if you’re stressed out about spending money.

However, faucet aerators can help save on your water bill. Energy efficient light bulbs, like LED (light emitting diode) or CFL (compact fluorescent lamp), can help save money on electricity. They’re both small expenses, considering how much money you could save in the long run!

Looking to save money by spending less doesn’t make you stingy.

It’s only natural to look for ways to curb your spending, especially if you’re aiming to become a financially responsible person.

Often times, the more expensive option might be the smart thing to do.

Author bio: Adriana is an experienced web content writer, passionate about everything personal finance. She blogs about the topic over at moneyjourneytoday.com, where she covers everything from saving money and frugal living tips, to real estate and investing.

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How Much Money You Should Save

So many of us are wondering about this important financial questions of how much money we should be saving. It’s an important question to have the answer to, but the answer is not so simple. When it comes to how much money you should save, each person’s circumstances, goals and worldviews are different, which makes it difficult to give a one size fits all answer. Many suggest saving 10 % of your monthly income, but for some that will prove to be too difficult and for others, they have the ability to stock away a little bit more. There are a few guidelines that can help us to put things into perspective and decide what a good savings rate would be for ourselves despite what Mr Jones down the road is saving.

savings

The first thought to ponder on, is what are you saving for? There are so many different reasons to be saving money. You may be interested in a short term saving, to be able to afford your annual vacation. The amount you should be saving for this can be worked out quite easily, based on the cost of the vacation and how long you have to go before you’re required to make the bookings.

Perhaps you’re thinking bigger than just your annual vacation and you want to have some sort of nest egg for the unexpected emergencies, or a “rainy day? fund. On top of all this you may be thinking about saving for your retirement too, which when it boils down to how much you should be saving, has a lot of other factors that come into play.

So once you know what you want to save for, it puts your monthly savings into perspective. Now, you don’t only have to be saving for one certain thing. You could have a short term savings, a savings cushion and be saving toward your retirement all at the same time, and that is probably the best thing that we should all be doing! Covering ourselves and providing our families with financial security the whole way.

The second thing that impacts on the amount that we should be saving each month, centers on the stage of life that we are in. If you are in your 20’s, saving for your golden years, then you have room to play with and you won’t need to be putting away huge amounts of cash each month. As the years go on, and the closer you get to retirement age, you can increase your monthly contributions. But if you started focusing on your retirement later on in life, and it’s around the corner from your, then if you can manage it, your monthly savings should be as high as you can manage, in order for you to be able to maintain the standard of living that you’re used to, when you’re no longer earning.

Be smart about your savings, and whatever you decide, make sure that you are putting something away each month without exception!

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Traveling for a Fraction of the Norm

When you have decided to take your personal finances into your own hands, it is time to analyze every aspect of your life. Sometimes, analyzing what seems like should be simply an effortless, fun affair, is where you will find the greatest opportunities for cost-savings. Take vacation for example.

In your previous life, you may have been happy to sign up with a travel agency or tour guide. Spending a few thousand dollars on a ten day trip might not have bothered you. But now that you have decided to take your financial well-being into your own hands, you need to get a grip on where your money is going.

Traveling for a Fraction

You can still travel while holding yourself accountable for your expenses. You just need to get a little wiser about the way that you spend money. By using sites like Orbitz, you will be able to get the same great flights, awesome rental car, and amazing hotel room as you can get through a travel agency. What you miss out on, is the terrible prices- for shame!

If you are smart, you will not just settle there. By utilizing a new service by Groupon you can find even better deals that was not is available on Orbitz alone. By using Groupon’s Coupons you can find 50% off your beach hotel bookings and up to $150 off as well.

When you book through a travel agency they may very well be trying to find you the best deal possible. But we can guarantee they are trying to find themselves the best deal possible. Sometimes, this happens to line up mutually beneficially, just perfect. Most times however, tour agencies are just looking to make a buck off of their “clients.” Do yourself a favor and do a little homework before buying a ticket- that way you will still have the freedom to travel again some day in the future.

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10 Ways to Save Money

Securing your financial future starts with saving. Whether your goals are to meet your family’s needs, save for a better retirement, or buy a bigger house or faster car, saving is the most important way to ensure your meet your personal finance goals. And contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t have to be hard. According to Money & Career Cheat Sheet, as long as you are making some money, you should be saving some.

Check out these 10 simple ways to save money:

1. Record your expenses

The very first step to saving is knowing how much you spend. For a whole month, keep track of every transaction you make. This means trying to record everything you buy, from a newspaper to a cup of coffee. After gathering the information, make groups of different categories, such as your mortgage, services like gas and electricity, groceries, and so on.

2. Manage your debt

Before setting your budget, it’s important to determine how much debt you have and begin repaying it before you can start saving. Once you are finished paying back the loan, you could continue to put the same amount of money aside for your savings fund.

Save Money

3. Create a budget

Now that you’re clear on how much you spend monthly, build a budget to plan and help control your spending. In the budget ensure that you put some money away for emergencies, and remember to include a place for expenses that don’t occur monthly, such as car services, or home reparations.

4. Plan on saving money

Try to allocate at least 10% of your net income towards saving. If you find that with your current budget this is not possible, then you should probably cut back on more expenses if possible.

5. Set saving goals

To make it easier to start, set for yourself some achievable saving goals – both long term and short term. For the short terms goals, you could put money away to buy a new computer, bike, or car, and for your long term goals, maybe plan for your kid’s college education, retirement, or a remodeling of the house. Take time to think about what’s most important to you and what you want your money to achieve and make your goals real by writing them down.

6. Use price comparison tools

Price comparison tools are available online and will let you if there are lower prices for the item you intend to purchase available elsewhere. Sites such as Price Grabber and Shopzilla can help you save tons of dollars on many items.

7. Decide on the priorities

Different people have different priorities when it comes to saving, so you need to determine which goals are the most important to you and save accordingly.

8. Different investment and saving strategies

For your short term goals you probably want to use a regular savings account, but for your long term goals you could consider other options, such as mutual funds and stocks. Although it’s best to speak to a financial advisor before making any decisions.

9. Automatic transfers and direct debits

Automatically transferring money from your main account to your savings account makes it less likely for you to spend money, because you will never see it in your account and will make it easier to achieve your saving goals.

10. Watch the savings grow

Make a point of checking on your progress monthly. This will not only help you to stick to your saving plan but also identify loopholes in the plan and allow you to make adjustments accordingly.

About the author: Michael Peggs is the founder of Marccx Media, a digital marketing agency specializing in SEO and Content Marketing. Before Marcxx, Peggs worked at Google in business development, forming digital media and advertising partnerships. He is also a blogger and podcaster, hosting the iTunes Top 10 New & Noteworthy podcast You University – The Personal Branding Podcast.

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Handy Tips to Manage Your Personal Finance

In the recent economic downturn, almost all individuals are experiencing various financial hardships like job loss and wage reduction and thus, are struggling hard to manage the finances. In lieu of doing so, this large number of individual is incessantly falling into debt and getting compelled to pursue debt settlement or debt consolidation. Although both are two effective ways to eliminate debt, but require charges and fees for services. So to avoid the cost and going through the hassle of debt management program, it is best to stay from debt by following a few simple personal finance tips.

Create a budget

The pillar of personal finance tips is budgeting. So form a practical and reasonable budget, including all the sources of your income as well as expenses. When compiling a list of income, include all the major sources, such as wages from a job, alimony, child support and others. On the other hand, when compiling a list of expenses, include all your monthly bills and obligations. Then equate the income against the expenses to see if the latter is higher than the former. If so, cut down on the unnecessary expenses, like satellite or cable connection, subscription to expensive magazines, going to movie theatre, dining out and others. Then the money saved should be contributed towards meeting the daily expenses and debts.

personal finance

Manage your debt

Make a list of all the debts owed and payments to be made. When listing the debts, prioritize them. Pay off the smallest balance on debt first while paying minimum on the largest balances. Once the smallest balance is paid, move on to the next slightly larger smallest balance on debt. This is popularly known as debt snowball method. Another major debt reduction method is debt avalanche where debtors can pay off the largest interest debt first while paying minimum on the smallest interest debt.

Indulge in investment

Now when your finances are under control after creating a budget and managing debts, look for an option to invest your additional income. There are several different types of investments, one being related to the financial market like stocks, bonds and indices, and the other being related to assets which appreciate in value.

Set up an emergency account

Have you ever thought why so many people in the U.S. are increasingly falling into debt? The primary reason is not having an emergency account. It is important for all individuals to put aside some amount for a rainy day, especially when there is no security to your income and health. The money you put aside should be used only during the time of emergency, anything from health related problems to car repair.

Do not exhaust the limits

Be careful while using your credit cards. Do not use your credit cards unnecessarily and exhaust the limits. Avoid doing impulsive shopping with cards. Only buy things that you cannot do without and you can pay cash for. If necessary, cut up all the cards, except keeping one for emergency purposes. Or do not carry cards all the time with. Leave them at home and keep in a secret place.

Thus, it is to be concluded by saying that following the above mentioned personal finance tips you will be able to manage your finance with a very little or no effort and will be able to stay away from debts.

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Money saving tips – Eliminate debt and enjoy a financially secured future

Facing debt problems? Do you save money every month? Well, you actually don’t do so and this is why you have fallen into the debt trap. If you are too tempted to buy the lovely dress you’ve seen but do not have money, then you’ll definitely be swiping your credit cards. The worst part is that you fail to pay off the outstanding balance on time and thus, have to pay high interest on it. Even if you may not earn much, you should develop the habit of saving as soon as you get your first job. A sensible person will definitely save some money from his income every month so that he can have a secured future. If you have outstanding debt, you may use your savings to repay it. Thus, by saving your valuable money, you will be able to enjoy a financially secured life.

Some money saving tips for a debt free life

If you have accumulated huge debt, then this has probably happened since you do not know how to manage your money efficiently. You will have to understand the importance of dollars and try to eradicate every unnecessary expense that you make. Read on to know some money saving tips so that you can reduce debt problems soon.

1) Keep only the money you will need in your wallet

Do you carry extra cash in your wallet? Well, if you love to shop for the latest items that has arrived in the market, then you should keep only the exact amount you’ll need. This way, you will not be able to spend even a single penny without need. Besides this, it is advised that you do not keep even one credit card in their wallet. This is because since you love to buy new items, you’ll be swiping your credit cards for sure and may incur debt when you do not have money.

Money saving tips

2) Good budget is needed to know your affordability

Are you spending your hard-earned bucks lavishly? If so, then drafting a good budget is essential for you. Budgeting is very important in order to deal with your finances efficiently. With the help of a budget, you’ll know how much money you can spend for daily expenses and how much you’ll be able to save for future. If you’re having some debts, then you should work towards paying them off fast. This way, you’ll be able to save money and come out of debt.

3) Differentiation is essential between needs and wants

Do you have the habit of buying almost every item you see around? If yes, then you probably do not know the difference between your needs and wants. Your necessities are the items that you use regularly. On the other hand, your wants are the luxuries that you wish to buy for a better life. Try to part with your wants for the time-being so that you can save more and have a secured future. If you’re having outstanding debts, then you should pay them off at first before you spend money in purchasing your luxurious items.

4) Keep some money in the savings fund every month

Are you saving a certain percentage of your salary every month? If yes, then you do not need to worry about your future. In case you aren’t doing so yet, then you must start keeping some money in the savings fund. This way, you’ll be able to accumulate a lot of money with time. If you have some debts, then you may use some of your savings to get rid of them. However, you should never use all your savings to repay debt.

Saving money is very important so that you can have a secured life. So, if your financial condition is tight now, you should still try your best to save every possible dollar you really can. Thus, follow these money savings tips to stay away from debt and have a better future.

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Benefits of personal financial planning

Personal finance involves different aspects like – budgeting, saving, investing, insurance for making your financial life healthy. It’s very essential for you to learn about managing your finances in such a way that it will help you make your financial life secure.

Here are some benefits of personal finances which will click your mind to think about :

1) Evaluate your financial condition

First of all you need to evaluate your current financial condition by which you can get an idea of your financial goals. List the income and expenses and manage them on monthly basis.

personal finance tips

2) Make a budget

The main pillar of personal finance is budgeting. Make a So practical and reasonable budget, which includes your all your income sources as well as your expenses. While listing your income sources, your must include all the major sources like – salary, alimony, child support etc. On the other hand, While listing your expenses, you must include all your monthly bills and obligations. Then equate the income against the expenses to analyze the result and cut down some unnecessary expenses like – cable connection, subscription of expensive magazines, going outside of a movie , dining out etc. if necessary. Then contribute the saved money towards the daily expenses and debts.

3) Earn profit from investment plans

With the help of right financial planning, you will come to know the proper way to invest and get maximum profit. You can invest in stock, bonds, real estate, forex etc. but real estate is the most beneficial among them because real estate investment is a booming market.

4) Decrease the impact of emergencies

You’ll have to create an emergency account to help your loved one’s in their financial emergencies. If you will maintain an emergency account, you’ll not have to go outside to borrow money from others. However, handling your finances ensures that you can survive from these emergencies all by yourself.

5) Make a better future

Good financial planning safeguards your future against any unforeseen situations. As planning involves saving almost 10 % of what you earn every month, you save enough to meet any emergency. Thus, you do not have to go into debt incase a financial emergency arises. Financial planning also give you some importance to retirement planning. It will ensure that you have a better retired life and you do not have to worry much about your expenses. You are to contribute towards a retirement plan so that your after retirement years are safe and you are financially secured.

6) Maintain your debt

First, make a list of all the debts owed and payments you have to make and prioritize them while listing. Pay off the smallest balance on debt first and once it is paid, then move on to the higher level. This is called debt snowball method which is very popular among people.

I hope the above tips will help you to manage your finances and live a healthy financial life.

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