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Top 10 Ways to Save Money

save money

There is an old adage that states “it takes money to make money.” Interestingly, that can apply to saving money as well.

It may sound counter-intuitive—spending money to save money—but splurging on certain items can actually provide a little extra cash. In other words, there is a time and a place to spend and a time and a place to save. By knowing the difference, you can spend your money more wisely, and actually save more.

1. Value Your Time

save time

This wise old saying proves to be true in many ways. Our time is equivalent to money because whether we receive a salary or hourly wage, we are being paid for the use of our time. The work we can do in the workday hours is valuable enough to merit pay. The things we can do with our free time can be of equal value. By using our free time wisely we can invest in new ventures, we can better plan for a more efficient and successful future, and we can grow and develop our skills to increase the monetary value of our time. Manage your time at work and at home responsibly, it is yours to spend and can do you a lot of good if you know how to use it well.

2. Do It Yourself

DIY

If you can do it yourself, give it a shot! This tip actually connects to the previous tip because outsourcing some jobs, such as yard work or cleaning, might be financially responsible in the long run since it will give you back a lot of time. Likewise, there are some tasks that should be left for the pros, like home maintenance, improvements, or car repairs, that you aren’t familiar with at all. You don’t want to waste more time and money in the long term trying and failing to do certain things yourself.

But there are other tasks you can learn to effectively do yourself and save money. By cleaning for just 20 minutes every day you can keep your whole house clean with minimal time and effort and without needing to hire cleaners. If you need to get a gift for someone you can make it by learning to knit or sew. You can replace a tire on your car by watching youtube tutorials. Not only will you potentially save money by doing things yourself, but you can learn some great new skills as well.

3. Always Be Learning

education

Improving yourself either with additional education or other worthwhile self-improvements can help you earn more money in the long run. You can do this by learning to do more things yourself, like car and home repairs. You can take on new hobbies and passions. Or you could get a library card and start hitting the books! You can even further your education by going back to school or taking some specific classes in your field of interest. Improving your knowledge and your skills should be a life-long endeavor. Just be sure to weight ROI (return on investment) when considering class tuitions.

4. Take Advantage of Sales and Coupons

sales

That really expensive TV or shirt you’ve had your eye on might be going on sale soon. Check the website and coupon catalogs for your favorite stores every once in a while to stay in the loop when it comes to sales and discounts. Some stores even have notifications you can get whenever they have sales going on so you can be one of the first people to know. Keep your eye out and be patient enough to wait so that you can buy what you need and want when it’s on sale.

Sifting through the clearance racks is also a great way to find what you need on sale. There are also thrift shops you can learn to shop at. There are plenty of resources today that offer great coupons! Coupons may seem like you’re not saving a lot, but it really adds up over time.

5. Food

food

Budgeting your food properly is one of the most important items on our list of top 10 ways to save money. The amount you spend on food can really add up and cause financial burdens. Work out a budget to determine how much you can spend each month on food. Strive to eat at home as much as possible, and save eating at your favorite restaurant for special occasions. Prepare your meals throughout the week so you can bring food to work or school.

6. Shop at the Dollar Store

dollar store

The Dollar Shop is a great place to find inexpensive items. Buy these great items at the dollar store and save money:

  • Seasonal Decorations
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • 2 for 1 Greeting Cards
  • Socks
  • Hair Accessories
  • Tupperware
  • Party Supplies
  • Movie Candy
  • Tissues

7. Buy in Bulk

costco

Some groceries and home items are really good to buy in bulk. Often times, buying in bulk will save you money in the long run. Here are some great items you might want to consider buying in bulk:

  • Office Supplies
  • Light Bulbs
  • Toothpaste
  • Trash Bags
  • Dishwasher Detergent
  • Dry Rice
  • Dry Beans
  • Dry Pasta
  • Oatmeal
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Toilet Paper
  • Soap

8. Learn When to Say Yes or No

decisions

Look at your own situation and decide what is worth spending money on and what isn’t. Understand that some expenses are necessary, others are superfluous, and some can pay you back with worthwhile investments. You’ll have to learn better how to say yes to some things and no to others.

9. Create a Budget

budget

Creating a budget is very important and plays a major key in household finances. If you don’t work out a budget, then you will have a hard time saving money. Budgeting is how you visualize your finances and better understand how much you can and can’t spend. Creating a budget is one of the top ways to save money. Start creating a budget today so you can start saving money now!

10. Have an Emergency Fund

emergency

Sometimes life throws curve-balls at you and unexpected expenses happen. It’s important to have emergency funds for these types of situations. Having emergency funds will really help you save money in the long run because when sudden expenses come up, you’ll be ready.

We hope you have enjoyed our 10 ways to save money. Thanks for reading!

Successfully Creating a Budget – Part 1

A budget is necessary to build wealth, eliminate debt and cut your expenses. Many people find that creating a budget can be a very stressful task, but it doesn’t have to be.

A simple way to describe a budget is to ensure you do not spend more than you make. It is very easy to overspend if you don’t know what your expenses are. As you are preparing, consider the following tips and tricks when creating a budget:

Determine Your Assets

It’s time to identify how much money you have available. At this stage, it’s important to look at your income, and all your bank accounts. Make sure you understand the interest rate you’re paying, along with any expenses associated with the accounts. If you don’t know how much money you have available, you will not be able to have a successful budget plan.

Calculate Your Income

It’s important to understand how much you have coming in on a monthly basis. When learning how to create a monthly budget, it is really important to determine your income accurately. At this stage, you will determine your monthly income. If your job hours vary and you can never be sure how much you’ll make in thirty days, look through your past pay checks and figure out a minimum that you can reliably expect to receive. Make sure you are calculating your budget with correct numbers. If you list that you make more than you actually do, it will negatively affect your budget.

Identify Your Recurring Payments

The next step to a good budget is to understand what recurring payments you owe. It is important to know all of your recurring payments when creating a budget. Make a list of the payments you have, such as:

  • Mortgage
  • Credit cards
  • Car Payment
  • Student Loan
  • Utilities

Include the total amount owed, minimum monthly payment and interest rate. By listing your minimum payments, you begin to see a picture of your financial health.

Calculate Your Net Worth

Now that you have an idea of your average income and average payments you can determine your net worth. At this stage, subtract what you have (assets in accounts) from what you owe (payments) and the result is your net worth. Ideally, your budget should allow you to end up worth more than you owe.

Determine Your Monthly Expenses

Now that you have an idea of your net worth and your average monthly income, you are ready to determine your recurring monthly expenses. For this stage keep your receipts, utility bills, gas, food, and any other expenses over a one month period. Divide the bills into categories that make sense for you. For example:

Utilities-$250
Household-$125
Entertainment-$50

In our next blog entry, we’ll discuss the next steps toward establishing a workable budget, and some tips and tricks to help you whittle away some payments and pay off your debts faster than you ever thought possible. We hope you have learned a lot on how to create a budget.

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