Each week I lose weight, I am buying a gift card. This helps me to save "cash" toward achieving my goal and I am able to make the purchase. If any hiccups should come along, I can't spend the $$ (i.e., if car breaks down I don't use my Macy's gift card at Meinike).
When I started using coupons, I was discouraged that I couldn't use a coupon for every item bought. Then I realized that some items were actually less w/o a coupon which led me to a secret of true savings.
I've worked for a very wealthy man for over 24 years! He STILL uses coupons, believe it or not. That said, I started seeking his advice and the advice of others, like Dave Ramsey and Clark Howard. As a result, I am totally DEBT FREE and have almost a quarter of a million dollars in the bank. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS GET SMART & GET CHEAP!
I am not saving money until I pay off all debt because the ratio of money earned on money saved (interest) to money spent (finance charges) is very skewed in favor of the creditors. And the absolute best way I have learned to find money to pay off debt is to write out a monthly budget WITH my husband so we are both on the same page. It's working like a charm and we are not feeling deprived. Sort of like the lifestyle change with SparkPeople.
I found out two key things about shopping Amazon.com - they don't charge sales tax (at least for CA residents) and if you purchase more than $25 you get free shipping. They don't always have the best price, but if they come close consider a 10% reduction in price by avoiding CA sales taxes. Check for your state on their site.
Keep 2 running monthly totals ---one for debt & one for savings. Use a notebook, ledger, spreadsheet, or money-managing software (such as Quicken) to record your totals on the last day of each month. Your goal should be to have less debt & more savings every single month. It is so motivating to see savings/investments grow and/or debt go down. Once I started to do this, it inspired me to put as much as possible into savings each month and/or pay more.... (click title for more info)
My DW didn't like using coupons, so I cut out a number of items from different stores and took them to Walmart for its Price Match policy.
I have two different saving accounts in two different banks. One is used by my company to deposit my salary and the other one is the one I had for ever, the original one. Every payday I log in into internet banking and the first thing I do is to "PAY MYSELF" by transferring an already set amount of money into my original savings account that I will use for summer trips. That way whatever is left in my "salary account" I use it to pay the bills. It keeps me motivated and focus.
According to MONEY magazine (Dec 2010) the average interest yield on savings is now at .2% ---yes that is a decimal point in front of the 2. By searching online, you can find better deals. Sallie Mae Bank now offers 1.4% (that's 7 X .2). The average money market yield is now .04% , yet you can earn 1.5% in a short term bond fund. If you mix the best long & short term rates, you can do even better. If you put ...(continued)
ALWAYS SAY YES to offers for "A free week" or "A free trial period" or "A free day pass" at a fitness center, gym or club!! Those offers are a fantastic chance to shake up your workout, freshen up your exercise routine and try different pieces of cardio or weight equipment you might not have known about. Even if you have to endure a sales pitch and have no intention to join that gym, it's a small price to pay for some otherwise FREE "zing" in your fitness routine!
Set a good savings example for children by giving them "savings" gifts. Savings bonds come in various denominations so you should be able to find something you can afford. Bonds are especially good gifts if you live far from the recipient & don't know sizes or preferences. They can be mailed, but make a copy for your records in case bonds are lost in the mail. Other good "savings" gifts are CDs or a deposit to a 529 college fund or other bank account. A promise to match a.... (continued)
I print out my grocery coupons from both the MyPoints and Inbox Dollars sites. They carry the same as coupons.com and sometimes extras. You earn 10 MyPoints for each of their coupons, or 10 cents towards rewards on Inbox Dollars. They really add up and you get extra rewards in addtion to the grocery savings.
To save more money, open several savings or money-market accounts. If you have a specific purpose for an account, you are apt to save more, so give each one a name reflecting its goal. They could be "Bahama Trip 2011," "Johnny's education 2018," "Retirement 2030," "2010 Holidays," ---or whatever you've set for your savings goals. Search online for the best APYs (annual percentage yields) to get the most from your savings.... (click title for more info)
Every year before the holidays I cash in my jar(s) of change. Anything that ends up in the couch cushions, car cup holder or washing machine goes in a jar until its time to go Christmas shopping. I usually save over $100 with this method that has become a tradition.
I use the "reverse search" on the internet with the person's yard sale address to call them and ask if they have items I'm interested in buying. This saves time and gas going to sales I won't find anything at that I want, & it gets me early to sales where I am interested.
That title goes against generally-accepted wisdom ---but hear me out. Say you need to shell out a large amount of money (say $10,000 for example) & you want to pay cash so there will be no credit card bills or finance charges. Instead charge it to your cash-back credit card. WIth 1% cash back, you'll get $100 back. In addition, your $10,000 can earn interest for an extra month until the credit card bill arrives. Interest rates are low now, but even at 1% you will...... (click title for more info.)
Every Friday, after I get paid, I take out $40 cash and put half in one envelope, half in the other. Once I get a good amount, I'm going to research the banks and find the best interest rate on CDs. Then I'll invest them both - but with different expiration dates.
If you are in a relationship where both of you are bringing in income, try to live as though one of you has been laid off. Take one of your salaries for the entire month and put it right into savings. Try living off of just one of your incomes, even just for one month!
We have an account where we put an initial deposit of $200, and now put $20 from every paycheck. This account is specifically for co-pays or deductibles. That way if we have an unexpected doctor's visit, prescription, or have to make an insurance claim, it doesn't affect our weekly budget.
I use the nutrition tracker, and SP's meal plans. If you do the same, or plan your own meals using the nutrition tracker, use Print Grocery list, and copy and paste it into a spreadsheet to edit and organize the list to your liking. Great for staying on track when shopping and saving!
Just spread out a single layer evenly on a plate and microwave for 5-20 seconds. Start out at 5 seconds and increase in 5 second intervals until you get to know how strong your microwave is. Let it cool down and it will be as fresh and crunchy as new! Super easy solution to not wasting food!
I come form a middle-class family of 7 people. We know what penny-pinching is, but the best thing I ever did was save my change. I opened up a savings account specifically for it. Since I vowed to never take it out, it can only build.