These money saving tips are sure ways to build wealth. We all earn money, but the secret to success is learning to save much more than we spend.
It is estimated that 34 percent of Americans set financial goals, but only 8 percent achieve them as published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology. That is unfortunate. I suspect that the goals set are unrealistic.
Another report by the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that Americans currently save only 4.2 percent of their income. I've explained throughout this web site that one must save 10 to 20 percent of one's income to become financially independent.
There are many Americans who save close to half of their take-home pay. Those are the lucky people who will have adequate savings and security in their retirement. They did the things described below.
By the way, I had the advantage of having frugal parents who taught me that many of the things that we buy are eventually sold at a rummage or garage sale for less than 5 percent of the purchase price. For that reason, I will only discuss money saving tips that I have used routinely.
Keep your hands clean. Wash them often, particularly before and after handling food and each time you use the bathroom. Viruses and bacteria tend to collect on unwashed hands. You will save on medical bills with this basic sanitation advice.
Keep a notebook in your car and in your kitchen to write
down any money saving tips that come to mind or that you hear on the radio or
TV. Chances are that you will not remember them later.
Exercise more. Go for walks and workout regularly. The benefits will easily outweigh any energy that you expend. Learn to avoid laziness.
Have nice clothes, but take care of them. I routinely change clothes as soon as I get home so that my best clothes will remain as fresh and new as possible.
If you are in the habit of picking up a coffee during the day or on your way to work, skip it. Replace it with a much less expensive coffee made at home. A $2 coffee each work day would cost about $500 per year.
Give up any expensive habits such as cigarettes or alcohol.
Pack your lunch. It is likely to be better for you than that which is available at restaurants. Be creative.
Buy in bulk at Costco or Sam's Club.
Start a garden if you have the space to do so. It can also
provide some exercise as well as a hobby.
Always shop with a list and stick to it. Stop and think about anything that you are tempted to buy that is not on your list. You can always go back to the item after giving it some thought.
Make extra family meals or casseroles when making the first one. It will make it easier to avoid expensive take-out meals on busy nights.
Invite friends over for dinner and camaraderie, particularly if they are likely to reciprocate. That will be much less expensive than going out to dinner.
Pack sandwiches and drinks for a road trip or flight.
I don't clip coupons to use at the grocery store and I often get behind someone who does. However, I applaud their use as a way to save, as long as the food is healthy and eaten.
Always, and I mean always, take advantage of an employer's retirement plan - particularly if matching funds are available. Matching funds means "free money". If a retirement fund is not available, set up an IRA.
Cancel the premium package on your cable or satellite TV, unless you use it often. It may be less expensive to rent a movie. Also, if your 2-year contract has expired, call your provider and tell them that you are considering changing to another provider. They will offer you a reduced rate for, at least, a year.
Use the online bill paying service at your bank. It saves
money on stamps and printing checks.
It is always possible to decrease vacation spending. Be creative. It may be more memorable.
Buy a used car and avoid that big first year depreciation. See Used Car Buying Checklist.
Use CFL's (compact fluorescent lamps). They use two-thirds less energy. Also, remember to turn off lights when leaving a room. My daughters failed to do this so often that I installed motion detector lights in the basement and garage.
Install a programmable thermostat to regulate the temperature according to a schedule that you set. You could save 10 to 20 percent of your heating and cooling costs.
Employ the "One Day" or "Thirty Day" Rule. I know that the number one objective of retail businesses is to separate me from my money so that they can make a profit. That is fine as I believe in capitalism. But, I can deflect their efforts by employing these rules.
The "One Day" rule is very simple and effective. I
tell the person who is trying to sell something to me that I must "sleep
on it". They, invariably, accept that.
The "Thirty Day" rule is similarly effective. If it is a good deal now, it will be a good deal in 30 days. If a promotion will end, invoke the "One Day" rule.
Credit card or debit transactions are faster than cash dealings. But, I am impressed with people who have had credit card problems in the past and have chosen to deal in cash only. If it is not possible to pay the entire balance on a credit card bill, do not use the credit card.
Call your credit card bank and tell them that you are considering switching to another bank. They are likely to reduce your interest rate. A $5,000 balance and a 5 percent rate decrease is a savings of $250.
Don't spend a lot of money entertaining your children, particularly younger ones. There are many ways to provide entertainment. Remember, their number one objective is to be with their creative parents.
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FINANCIAL SECURITY IN RETIREMENT