Wednesday, October 10, 2007


  • If your savings time frame is very long, such as for retirement, you may want to structure your monthly savings so that they grow larger later in life when you will (hopefully) have more income coming in. On the other hand, money invested while you are young will have more time to compound. Start when you are in your teens!
  • Consider setting up an automatic weekly or monthly transfer from your checking account to your savings account. With many banks, this can be accomplished online.
  • Make sure you don't buy unnecessary things. For example, lets say you buy an exercise machine that's on "sale". You might think its a good deal, but after a few weeks, you will most probably just leave it sitting in the corner.
  • Stop buying newspapers, movies, books and magazines. Borrow from the public library.
  • Cook more, eat out less. Use less salt, less sugar and less oil when cooking to stay healthy and avoid health issues and medical bills.
  • If unexpected expenses cause you to deviate from your budget from time to time, cut unnecessary expenses before you cut money from your savings goals. Other than the bare necessities, your savings goals should be your top priority.
  • For those who have cars, saving money on gas can contribute to your effort considerably. Consider getting rid of the car altogether if you can. Another option is to avoid maintaining multiple cars. Failing that, drive less and shop around for insurance even before you buy a car. See "How to save Gas".
  • If unexpected circumstances render you unable to meet your savings goals, reassess them and figure out which ones you can delay or cut out. Get back on your program as soon as you can.
  • For very important or very large savings goals (such as a down payment on a house or saving for your kids’ college tuition), consider opening up a separate account. You’ll be able to keep better track of that particular goal, and you’ll be less tempted to dip into it.
  • If you receive unexpected cash, put all or most of it into your savings, but continue to set aside your regularly scheduled amount as well. You’ll simply reach your savings goals sooner.
  • As you satisfy the payment of a car loan, or your mortgage, you will have extra money. Set aside that money into savings. This way, the money you used to pay to somebody else now goes to you.
  • Use a piggy bank or jar for your coins. Coins and change may look insignificant but when accumulated over time they can help you save. Some banks now offer free coin counting machines. When you redeem your coins, ask to be paid by check so you won't be tempted to spend your new-found cash.
  • Don't save money solely for the purpose of spending. Setting some amount aside for emergencies can keep you out of a lot of trouble. Decide on some number of months' worth of salary as a cushion, and make a point to replace this stash anytime you must use it.
  • Interest on debts, especially high interest rates on credit cards, is a huge, unnecessary expense. If you are in debt, pay off your loans right away to get out from under that debt as fast as you can.
  • One option to get started saving is to find out what your take-home pay per hour is (net pay divided by hours worked) and save the "change" from each hour. For example, if you worked 120 hours per 15 days and your check is 4,000.00 you would be making 33.00 "take-home" per hour. Save at least 5-10% of that paycheck, and you have saved all the "change" per hour.
  • If you need to have credit cards but you don't want the temptation of having them available to use day-to-day, there is this method: put the credit card in a Tupperware box with water and store in your freezer. Thaw your card only when you really need to use it. Your card will not be damaged by freezing and forcing yourself to use cash will greatly help your budgeting.
  • Save pop cans when you get done drinking them and recycle. Some places pay money for cans to recycle.
  • Reduce your long distance phone bills. There are a lot of options for phone service these days, including internet-based providers. Shop around and see if you could save money.
some warnings
  • Never loan cash you cannot afford to lose.
  • Never borrow money that you cannot repay.
  • Do not go out "window shopping" with any money on you. You will only be tempted to spend money you cannot afford to lose. Shop instead, only to a predetermined shopping list.
  • When window shopping, learn how to talk yourself out of buying. Nitpick and scrutinize to get past your first impression of a tempting item. In very tempting situations, give it a whole day to think on. Most desires will fade in attraction when you're not under pressure.
  • Be sure to keep track of automatic deductions from your paycheck and any automatic transfers you set up. Sometimes mistakes happen, and if you’re not paying attention, you might not get all your money.
  • Don't buy something that would put you in debt or is unnecessary.