I just read an article on MSN Money about ways to save $1000. This article talks about seven painless moves you can make to save. Here is my take on these seven moves...
Seven Ways to Save- Some ways are better than others.
Way #1- Stop eating out so damned much!
In the MSN article, the first way to save is by looking for discounted dinner entrees. Yes, this is a good way to save at the restaurant, but there is still a better way. Don't eat at the restaurant! If you are traveling out of town on business and need to get something to eat (as long as you're not entertaining your clients) you could go to a local grocery and get a large prepared salad, something to drink and a desert. Go to the deli and get something that is already prepared, or have them make you something special. If it's towards the end of the day, you can probably get a discount on the pre-made stuff. A salad, chicken wrap, eclair, and a soda all for around $10 bucks- and no tip. Besides, it won't make you as fat!
Way #2- Stop buying stuff you don't need
Good idea. Here's a better one. Sleep on it before buying it. Why would anyone have unopened and unused items (maybe you already bought one and just forgot?) Unless its canned food, you've probably purchased it on impulse.
Anything that you THINK you need deserves at least a night or two of going without it. If after a couple of days of thinking about it you still feel the same way, then go out and get it. Think of the time you'll save yourself by not having to back and return something that you didn't need or really want in the first place!
Way #3- Get a deal at the grocer
As long as you're not just buying stuff because you got a good deal on it, this is a good idea. It is a great idea to ask the clerk about additional coupons for things that you are on your grocery list. Oh yeah, make a list! This alone will help you stick to your budget and not buy on impulse.
Another good way to save at the grocery store? Buy the store brand instead of the name brand. Although you might have coupons on the name brand, oftentimes the store brand is still less.
Way #4- When was the last time you went to the library?
Best idea in this article so far! Your local library is a huge public resource that is largely undiscovered. For the price of admission, you would be hard pressed to find a better selection or value.
Way #5- Consolidate your techno service
Depending on where you live, this is easier said than done. If the cost in your area is high and the services limited, you might be able to rely on your local library for internet access. If you do have cable, phone, and internet services that can be bundled without a loss of features, then consolidating them is a good idea.
In my area, cable television and internet are provided by the same carrier who also provides VOIP, but I prefer Vonage because of the many features that it offers that the cable guy doesn't (yet, anyway). So, my cable tv and internet are bundled, but I pay for my three phone lines (two phone and one fax) seperately.
Way #6- Lawn care and alarm service?
The article goes on to say that after you're done making deals with your cable guy, you should negotiate with your lawn care guy and your alarm company guy. Whoa, hang on a second. If you're taking steps like clipping coupons to save a little money, dontcha think that maybe paying someone to cut your grass and clip your bushes is a little outside of your price range? I can understand the alarm thing if you live in a high crime unpoliced forest. But if you have neighbors (that you like and are not afraid that they might be over to steal from you when you're not there, or worse, when you are!) then maybe you could each watch out for the other? Do you have a cell phone that can call 911? Do you have any sharp things that you could stick in an intruder? Maybe you could get some mace or pepper spray. They make pepper spray that when used on grizzly bears will make them think twice about attacking you, maybe it would work good on your local bad guy too?
Way #7- The big Cash Stash
Where do you get this 'stash money' and why not stash it now to make savings easier now? Get it by doing steps 1 through 6 and take the savings and put it in a high yielding account like ING DIRECT. If you don't have an account there, then click on the square at the top of this page that says ING DIRECT on it, it's on the top left hand side. Be sure to tell 'em that the Colonel sent ya'!
Way #8- Read the advise and articles on the Money Blog Network!
No, the MSN article didn't mention this way to save, but it sure should have! Although I'm not in the network (I'd really like to be, just not sure how to get initiated, any body know how?), the information shared here is as good as, if not better than, any that you can pay for!
You can help me expand this list of ways to save money by leaving a comment telling about ways that you have found to save money! How big can this list get? Let's see!
Saturday, February 16
Friday, February 15
Have you filed your 2007 income taxes yet? I'm planning on getting my done this weekend. I'm surveying readers today to see how many people have filed already. If you wouldn't mind selecting either 'yes' or 'no' after clicking here.
I'll post the results here next week. Thanks for participating!
Thursday, February 14
If you go to Oprah's web site before 8/7c on 2/14/08 and scroll down towards the bottom of the page, you'll find a link to Women and Money, a free e-book by Suze Orman. Note that you should right click on the link and then 'save as' to your desktop. Trying to open it from the website will likely result in shear frustration!
If anyone has read this and would like to comment, please do! I'll right a report once I've finished reading it.
Here's another link to the website;
Suicide, Lies, Debt: A Suburban Nightmare
Wednesday, February 13
Just in case you haven't had enough yet, here is some more information about the economic stimulus package from the Office of the Speaker Nancy Pelosi, released on February 7th. Here is an excerpt:
Today, the House will complete action and send to the White House bipartisan economic stimulus legislation (H.R. 5140) to help hardworking Americans who are struggling with the high costs of gas, health care and groceries, and to jumpstart our slowing economy and create jobs here at home.
• Put hundreds of dollars into the hands of more than 130 million American families including seniors and disabled veterans who will spend it immediately to reinvigorate the economy;
• Build on the child tax credit by offering a one-time rebate of $300 per child;
• Expand financing opportunities for Americans in danger of losing their homes because of the mortgage crisis;
• Promote small business investment in plants and equipment; and
• Help create 500,000 jobs by the end of the year.
Getting this bipartisan bill done quickly is a victory for the American people that will inject confidence and consumer demand, promote economic growth, and create jobs. We will take additional action to help American workers and help our economy recover and grow.
I wonder how things might be today had the government decided to do this BEFORE we were in trouble? Apparently, The Speaker is pleased at how quickly they were abler to get this bipartisan bill done, why couldn't they have done it sooner? How many families would have had some relief from the high price of everything if they had?
You can download a copy of the fact sheet by clicking here
Tuesday, February 12
The 139th Carnival of Personal Finance is brought to us this week by My Dollar Plan . Be sure to visit this great new personal finance blog! Here are a couple of my favorite posts from this weeks carnival:
- Struggling on a Six Figure Income over at Free Money Finance. Isn't the old adage that the more you make the more that you spend? Is this whats happening here?
- Seven things women wished men knew about money is posted at beingfrugal.net. Super feedback! I'm sure this hits home for many of us! Thanks!
- 15 Ways to Establish and Improve your Credit History and FICO Score posted by Jeremy at Generation X Finance. Some good, common sense tips that are sure fire to help!
- The Pursuit of Perfection and What Happens Next, and from one Pats fan to another, I know you pain!
- Alison at This Wasn't in the Plan talks about checks and balances and my credit card, and how budgeting is easier using a credit card over cash.
- IRS Agent Answers Tax Questions
- Organize and Prepare: Do your taxes quickly
- Guide to Couponing
- Deal or No Deal: Gambling with math
- 2007 Tax Information
Many thanks to My Dollar Plan for hosting this weeks carnival! Keep up the great posts!
Monday, February 11
If you could steal a whole lot of money without risk of going to jail, would you? What if you could borrow the money, and if things didn't work out the way you planned, you just walk away? What if you were to borrower the money KNOWING that if it didn't work out the way you planned, you'd just walk away? What if you bought a house with this money, and things didn't work out the way you planned and the value of the house dropped. Why not just give the house back to the people that you borrowed the money from? Okay, so its not worth what you owe, but hey, at least you're giving it back, right? After all, its not like your going to jail!
This is exactly what millions of people are doing right now, today, with your money! But wait you say, nobody took any money from me! Well, consider this...
You get money, you put it in the bank. The bank pays you interest. To do so, they lend it to others, charge them more than what they pay you. Your money, and the other depositors money, is used to fund loans. Many of them mortgages. Many of those have gone bad. Very bad.
Banks financed loans without verifying income (ability to repay) or giving much concern to the current value of the property that they were taking as collateral. The lender and the borrower were playing a game, speculating on the the rising value of the housing market, with your money!
Now, those deals have gone bad. Instead of paying you a decent interest rate for your deposit, instead of getting paid back money for the loan, the bank is getting a house that was never worth what they loaned for it to begin with.
So, how is this like stealing and not going to jail? I borrow $800,000 from you, promise to pay you back, even give you collateral to back the deal. After a while, I find that I made a poor investment with the money that you loaned me. Now, instead of you getting paid back the $800,000 plus interest, I give you the collateral that was pledged, which is now worth seventy-five cents on the dollar. My bad investment has caused you to lose over $200,000 plus interest! You get left with the loss, and a piece of real estate to try and sell in a terrible market. I walk away without consequence. Now, don't you feel like you were just robbed?
Read this article on money.cnn.com about how people are sending lenders the keys to their homes.