Saving is essential to every aspect of personal finance. We all know what to do, we just have a hard time doing it. Here you will find a collection of ideas, some hard and some easy on helping you attain your savings goal.
Discretionary Dollar Saving
- That’s not worth my time
- You are losing money if you factor in your time
- Time is money
So let’s explore this notion of your time and its value. Think of time in two categories, working and non-working time.
Rewards points are certainly not new. Nearly every major credit card, bank or airline has their own form of currency called miles, rewards, points or something else. Companies “reward” you to build customer loyalty and return business for simply using their company’s credit card or purchasing their company’s product. However, with some forethought and a few minor changes in your habits, you can convert your rewards points into cash.
Spend a Dollar to Save a Penny
Let’s be clear here. Spending a dollar to make a fraction of a dollar isn’t usually a good strategy. However, if you already must purchase a product why not benefit a little from it.
We do our best to maximize our rewards and usually end up with about $1000 a year in cash. We put this bonus in our replacement fund which we use each year for trips and vacations. Not a bad starting point.
Paper litters nearly every aspect of our life. Not only is paper a nuisance, but for every piece of paper you decide to keep, you have to organize, store and manage it. What a waste of time and resources.
Is your desk covered with neat (or messy) stacks of paper? Do you find it frustrating to find documents in a file cabinet? Tired of having stacks of mail and paper clutter your life? Are you interested in simplifying your life and spending more time doing the things you love?
Here are just a few reasons to work towards eliminating the endless stream of paper.
This simple question not always has a simple answer.
Are you spending extra time and money purchasing things you could be borrowing instead? Here are a few things to consider before you hit the store next time.
Benefits of Borrowing:
Test Drive Products for Free
Would you dream of buying a car without a test drive? I know I wouldn’t. A major benefit of borrowing is that you get to try before you buy. And if you do end up needing to purchase this item (perhaps rarer than you may think), you will be informed with hands on experiences on what features you like or don’t like.
Pick The Best First
Set yourself up for success and sell your best items first. This means items with the highest profit and that are the easiest to ship or transport. These are usually books, electronics and other consumer goods.
Price to Sell Fast
You have already decided you wouldn’t mind shedding these items, so don’t let price get in the way. It’s easy to get hung up on what a “deal” the buyer is getting. After all, you paid -insert your price here- and it has the -insert some feature here-. The past is the past, so don’t get hung up on the other guy. (Yes, he is probably getting a good deal). Good deals are what drive sales. The fact is, if it wasn’t such a good deal the buyer wouldn’t be knocking at your door. Make your item a great deal and don’t look back.
1. Use Online banking
Some smaller banks are still catching up but the larger banks have done a great job of giving you all the tools you need online. If you aren’t using online banking then tracking your expenses will be much more difficult and may require far too much time and effort.
The biggest drawback to going cashless is the problem of uninformed merchants charging minimums or transaction fees. So are you tired of getting nickel and dimed as you go to use your credit or check cards?
If you are still unclear on the different types of debit/check cards, be sure to read Credit or Debit? Plastic Explained first.
Merchants see credit transactions as an additional cost. In general store owners pay between 1-3% per transaction to process your card. They also have a fixed transaction cost ranging from .15 cents to .45 cents. Different accounts have their own prices, but that’s generally the structure.
We all need garbage service. But the real question is, How Much Do We Need?
The Irony of Trash Service
Every family has different waste needs and your local prices may vary, but the bottom line is the less trash you produce the less you will spend on garbage service. The irony is that we are paying someone to get rid of things that are of no value to us. Most household expenses are for things that bring us something of value such as water, power, insurance, telephone etc. They all provide us with a service that we have determined is important to us.
The irony with trash service, is that we aren’t getting anything, except the ability to get rid of things!
A while back we downsized our trash bin. Initially, we were concerned with the amount of trash we had, and that it would be too much for this small can. After all, our new can is only a 35 gallon trashcan! Also free with many trash services are recycle bins. In our area, these are free and are huge! They are the largest residential roller size.
You might have a good idea about how your cards work, but it seems there is still a whole lot of confusion on what types of plastics are out there. Your bank sends you a card, but what does it really do?
Credit Card - Most Widely Understood.
This is not your money. You simply sign and present this card when you purchase something. You can use it interest free for about 30 days, then you must pay it off, or make minimum payments plus interest.
So you are ready to start funding your replacement fund. Now what?
Finding Items to Shed
Here are a few ways to surface and identify items that you can sell.
1. Inventory Your Emotional Baggage
What item would you never dream of selling? Are you held back by emotional reasons? What are these emotions costing you? Now of course there are things worth keeping simply for emotional sake, but what if it is something you know you will never actually use again? Can you justify having this item take up space in your life? Maybe you can, maybe you can’t.
One way to let go, is to take a photo of the item with sentimental value. Take 10 photos if that helps. Save the photos somewhere safe, and shed that item. Next time you feel like bringing back those memories, view the photos. You will find you get nearly the same emotional reaction to a set of photos, as the actual item. Not to mention, photos are a lot easier to organize, backup and save!