Sat Apr 11 13:20:05 PDT 2015

Need Some Cash? - Five Unique Money Saving Tactics

Another ex-Associated Content article....and possibly one that will save you many $$$$s!

The economy is not booming yet you want to improve your finances. Here are five simple tactics which can make you over $1000 per year.

Times are tight. The price of gas and food are higher than in recent years. There is a prospect of increased taxes on the horizon. The financial markets are recuperating from their recent dalliance with irrational lending practices. Now is a time when many people are taking a look at their outgoings and figuring where they can cut back. Here are five suggestions, any of which has the potential to save you hundreds of dollars per year.

Coffee Shops. If you regularly frequent Starbucks, or any swanky coffee or tea shop, here is a tip which you may find interesting. Once a week, take your own tea bag to Starbucks and ask for a Grande of hot water rather than a latte. The clerk will very likely charge you nothing, hot water after all is not on the menu, and you will be able to brew your own designer tea at a fraction of the usual Starbucks price. You will rapidly recover from the shock of saving several dollars at a stroke, even if you did have to provide your own tea bag, and the guilt of obtaining something for nothing will wear off rapidly when you realize that you are still proudly promoting one of your favorite businesses (through the writing on the cup that you will be provided with) and that you will be back in the near future anyway for a coffee, and Starbucks will be able to make their usual margins on that visit. However, if you adjust one Starbucks visit per week in this way, you will save yourself approximately $100 per year.

Pay in cash and keep track of your change. When you pay for items, it always slows the flow of money down a little if you need to count out the greenbacks. So use cash. Keep track of how much money there is in your wallet or purse and keep the change to make a deposit to your savings account on a weekly basis. Some items will need to be purchased by check, and you may find that your bank will set up a 'keep the change' program whereby each of your checks is rounded up to the nearest dollar and the surplus sent to a savings account. You will find that you do not notice the additional outgoing, and indeed that outgoings are slowed if you make an effort to switch from plastic to cash, and the savings deposits will quickly add up. For example if you make an average of 3 purchases a day, and deposit on average $1.50 to your savings account per day as a result, you will save $500 per year by following this suggestion.

Give yourself a cool off period before any significant purchase. Just like the mandatory cool off period after a car purchase in some states, take a moment or two to think about any discretionary purchase. A discretionary purchase would be something that you do not absolutely need like food, utilities, housing. If you can discipline yourself to always postpone discretionary purchases for a week you will often find that your impulse changes and you move past the desire to buy the latest supermarket checkout magazine or plastic toy for the children. If you cut out even a weekly two dollar purchase in this way you will save over $100 per year. And do not stop at your impulse buys of the moment; don't pay for the impulse purchases of the past either, even giving up the cable channels that you never use can save you one hundred dollars per year.

Just do it (yourself, that is). Take a look at the various places that you are paying other people to do things for you. If you frequent fast food restaurants you are paying people to prepare food. Exchange a few greasy meals for healthy fruit and salad from the local store. You will pay less as a result, because you are supplying the labor, and you will likely have healthier food. The same applies to gardening, cleaning, car washing, car servicing, pet grooming, and all the other places in your life that you pay others to work for you. You will not only save money, the physical exercise will do you good too. Say you save yourself ten dollars per month on car washing; and you will gain at least $100 per year, if you just do it yourself.

Give up the memberships that you no longer use. If you are a member of an organization but no longer participate in its activity, now is the time to draw the line and make the decision that your subconscious has already made. Giving up a health club membership that is costing you 'just a dollar a day', when you never visit the club, will save you over $300 per year. If you need the exercise go for a run or wash your car!

If you follow these simple tactics you can easily save yourself more than $1000 per year. You will not find this challenging or particularly difficult, instead you will gain self respect and greater control over your finances. And remember, when it comes to spending that savings account money at the end of the year, your best bet will be purchasing assets that appreciate over time.

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Posted by ZFS | Permanent link | File under: finance, general
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