When you buy something with cash (bills) take the change you get and store it away, I was saving 50 dollars a month just with toonies. I also had pennies, nickels and dimes to roll. Every little bit helps.
Your best money saving tips here, please
One thing I like about being wise with spending your money--it allows you to have *more* things!!!!
Recently we sold our house in NJ because it was impossible to manage, and we were loosing money, which is not the object of real estate investments, LOL.
The house we purchased two years ago, is a *smaller* house than what we could afford. We never *stretch* to make a purchase.
When we bought a huge 59" big screen tv three years ago, they had 0 interest 0 payments for one full year. So we took the four thou cash, put it in money market, and let it *earn* interest for that whole year. Then we took it out 15 days before the end of the year and paid it off. *Voila* We had earned a few hundred.
I would recommend the above method ONLY if you can discipline yourself to either save the money during the year, or if you're like we did and have cash on hand to pay. Otherwise, if the loan is not paid in full by the end of the year, interest accrues from the beginning of the purchase usually at some outrageous rate.
Keep those tips coming Class
Buy a good used car (the average new car will lose 50% of it's value in the first year or two).
Finance rates are down now - but NEVER finance for over 3 years. If you can lease it through a business, might be the way to go.
If you own it - pay the sucker off! Then, drive it. If your payments have been $400 per month, and you drive it ONE year paid off, you'll save $400 x 12 = over $4,800 saved. A whopping down payment on your next car. My daughter finally discovered this and she's still driving her paid-for Camry for 4 years free. $4,000 x 4 = $16,000 saved.
If you have credit cards - pay them off. We finally got in that position about two years ago, have credit cards which gain air miles when used. We use credit cards to buy about everything, pay them off, travel free. No interest paid.
If possible, pay extra on long term loans - the amount of interest saved is significant.
If you carry your own health insurance, make sure to shop around at least every 2 years......those 2 or 3 price hikes per year are astounding! Of course, this only works if your semi-young & healthy. If neither of these, it would be well to keep what you've got.
Accountants here can explain the principle of major money growth on IRA's. Invest in long term growth stock/bonds - and leave it alone each year. Put the max in - and you'll be a millionaire by the time you retire. I think that's one of my biggest regrets.....not investing in an IRA every year.
When ever I MAKE my self do it. And stick to it. I always save a lot of money when I write down exactly what I need , and exactly what I want then cross off the list the things I can do with out. When I follow that rule
I spend Nothing.
If your single, you can always eat at the buffets during happy hour.
Some lounges have some pretty good appatizers. All you have to do is buy one drink. I am giggling.
Some of my tips...
Always buy quality stuff. If you don't have the money learn to wait until you do. If you buy half-assed stuff it breaks or wears out and you end up having to buy it again costing you more than if you bought something good. Plus when you buy good stuff you feel good..lol
Make sure you have lots of food you like to eat and can prepare quickly in your freezer or fridge. Otherwise you will order in or eat out all the time.
Watch alcohol consumption especially when you eat out. Usually drinking triples the price of eating out and it is not only sheer stupidity to drink and drive but very costly if you get caught. Which reminds me, being a good, safe driver can save lots of money and headaches.
Don't waste money on the latest technology toys, especially ones that might go very obsolete quickly (ie. laserdisk, betamax, etc)
Keep an eye on friends who are like to sponge off of you.. (lol)
Remember that sometimes it is fun to waste money. Cheap people are no fun and we could all die tomorrow. Responsibility and balance.
Agree- responsibility with balance.
Waiting, the car scenario you mentioned is exactly what I'm doing--driving a free car. It's a 95 but driving it free for a few years has allowed me to save a whopping down payment on an SUV (which I need now with the car seat thingy).--and which I plan to buy in the summer when gas guzzling cars are cheaper.
Hubby bought a brand new car in 98, I bought mine used. I've spent about $600 TOTAL on repairs--he's spent almost $6,000! (And HIS was under warranty. As soon as the odometer rolled to 70,001 the damn transmission DROPPED!) [8>]
The other key to saving money with cars is to properly maintain them. Oil changes every 3,000 miles, fluid changes, etc etc can really eliminate larger expenses. Rotate your tires, check the air pressure in them every month or so. Make sure you have a good alignment and your tires are not wearing unevenly!
If you like to rent movies, and you have a DVD player, try http://www.netflix.com you can rent all the DVDs you want, and no late fees for a monthly price of $20. Especially if you are the type to bring them back to Blockbuster late.
Make your own baby food, if you have little ones. I never gave my twelve y.o. canned/bottled food. Always made my own. Some of the easiest to make are:
You can make large portions at once--I use the little portion cups they sell at Sam's club and portion them out and then freeze them. Perfect for one serving.
I buy SOME of my daughter's clothing in the boy's section. At Target, typically the boy's clothes are 20% less than the girl's clothes, and what the hell difference does it make when you're buying a solid color t-shirt???
My girlfriend has four little girls--I recommended she take them to the local beauty college where a wash, cut and style is $6.50! (On this one I splurge, my kid likes to go to a 'salon,' LOL)
Waiting, you're right about the credit cards with air miles. I mentioned earlier in the thread how we bought the Big Screen TV--but I forgot. 15 days before the end of the interest free term, we called and put it on our Delta Amex sky miles, which was offering double miles that month! (8,000 miles woohoo). Then when we got the bill, we paid the credit card bill in full. So we actually got the sucker 0 payments 0 interest for 14 months, plus it pushed us over the edge to get a free ticket.
Vacation wise, we own a time share in Los Cabos at a Golf Resort. this was a good deal for us because at the thime they were giving free golf for a lifetime!!! Which hubby golfs every day on vacation and greens fees in Cabo are around $150. So it worked out to be a good deal for us. We got a membership in the time share trade thingy, so we go to Palm Springs once a year for a week for like $79 bucks/week and stay in a five star resort with sep. bedrooms for the kids. (A good thing!)
REALLY do your homework on the time share thing though. We researched it for three years before we bought. Otherwise you will be making an impulse purchase that is probably pretty overpriced.
Here is one we belong to http://www.tradingplaces.com check out the last minute specials page.
Here's another one. http://www.epicresorts.com/specials.cfm
Note 3 days 2 nights plus two rounds of golf at Hilton Head are $89 bucks. TOTAL.
Caveat: when you go on specials from Epic resorts, you have to listen to a one-hour sales presentation. This didn't bother us, as we used it in our investigative process. Like I said, we looked for three years--South Carolina, Palm Springs, etc before we bought in Cabo San Lucas Mexico.
Email me if you want more info on the time share thingy....
Just be a tight arse.
Scab off people.
Resuse your teabags.
We've been members of RCI timeshare for about 20 yrs now. Rooked into the first one....bought a little more intelligently another week later on. When you have kids, a 2/3 bedroom condo for a week a year is great. However, one thing we didn't think about was the yearly maintainance fees, which tend to go up every other year. *sigh*
On saving money.....I do auto window tinting - and homes/businesses also. It's a wonderful product, sold & installed it for over 25 years now. In your home, you can expect an 8% or better lowering of your heat & air conditioning bills by have window film (tint) installed. A good film will come with a minimum of 30 yr warranty.
Any film with aluminum in it & a full warranty from manufacturer will be pretty good. I've used Llumar for over 10 yrs now - great company & film. I've used others, but Llumar seems to keep it's original color better than other films. It will cut 99.9% ultraviolet rays, about 1/2 heat & glare. Got carpet in front of your window? It will save it from fading, and it can be done in shades light enough, no one will ever notice that there's anything applied to the glass.
It'll also take the chill off your glass. Sometimes the cold air assumed to be from caulking leaks around your windows is actually the chill from the glass itself. Film pretty much cures that.
As for repelling heat......if you get afternoon sun, you can expect 8 - 10 degrees difference with film....as long as the film has aluminum dispersed within in. (You can't see the aluminum).
Best brands: Llumar, Maddigo, SunGard. Top grades only with aluminum - they all have cheap grades too. If you can buy it on the open market, it's crap. Sorry, almost always have to buy through a dealer. Caution - it's the biggest pain in the rear you'll ever regret if you try to install it yourself without experience. Trust me, I've wasted more film than I ever want to remember!
Oh! and window film looks good too.
stepping down from my soapbox......waiting
I don't know how your business is set up, but it seems to me that if you and your husband own it, you can set up a Self Employment Pension (SEP). In an IRA, you can put in 2K each. In an SEP, you can put in about 13% of your net income.
Our mom and dad taught us to make extra payments on our house to save on the interest. Today, I think that is a bad idea. Here's why. The bank charges you 7%. If you have extra money put it in a good mutual fund that averages over 12% in the long run.
I would further suggest that if you have a lot of equity in your house, to refinance it and put the extra money in a mutual fund. If you don't have discipline and would blow the money on luxuries, then don't do what I am suggesting.
I'm guessing you're referring to a Simple IRA (which works as a company retirement plan) - we have that, and are trying to make up for lost time. We can go up to so much per year, then, in the end, put so much of a percentage of profit (tax free) into the retirement plan.) We have to include our employees also, so we offer them paid health ins. or retirement plan. At 20 yrs. old, guess which they prefer? And I concur.
Good point on the mutual funds, larc. I'm just learning about them slowly. I'm waiting to see how much pain I'm in from taxes before visiting my stock broker, lol. His motto is "diversify, diversify,...."
As for stocks/funds, etc., ......one thing not to forget....good land tends to be a good investment also. Even *swamp land* in the South is drained - and a WalMart plopped down on it.