This category includes how to save money, save money tips, save money challenges, save money fast, save money at home, save money weekly plan, save money envelopes and much more.
Inflation and or recession has certainly increased the food costs, not by a couple of cents but at least by 40% increase. This can truly have a major impact on the grocery bill for everyone. The average American spends more than $2,000 on food each year.
That’s a lot of money and to imagine that amount is no longer sufficient, it truly makes a dent on the budget. This article are some of our favorite ways to try and reduce the rising grocery bill.
There is no clear cut method, but at least different small ways can combat that long grocery bill. The following 30 tips for saving money on food expenses will help you to better manage your food budget and reduce the need for constant trips to the grocery store. Whether you’re looking to tighten your budget, increase your savings, or reduce food-related expenses, there are numerous easy and effective ways to save money on your groceries and dining out. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the top strategies that can help you trim your food expenses quickly and without sacrificing quality. From smart shopping and meal planning to minimizing food waste and taking advantage of discounts, these methods are not only practical but can also lead to significant financial savings in a short period of time. So, let’s embark on this journey to discover the top easy ways to save money on food fast and unlock the potential for a healthier bank account while still enjoying delicious meals.
How to Create a Grocery List
The best way to create a grocery list, is to sit down in advance and plan out your meals. At stated in the article, you need to buy ingredients that last longer, that are cheaper and definitely that can be used in various meals.
TIP: one hack is to shop groceries online and adding food to the cart, it shows exactly how much the cost is. Many have had many unpleasant surprises at the checkout and find it hard to remove items. So now when you go into the store, have the app open, and now exactly what you are spending as the shopping cart app has a balance of what amount your groceries are.
- Compare prices of different brands
- Buy food in bulk and freeze it for later use
- Use coupons when shopping, but don’t forget to double-check
- Shop only when your grocery store has stocking days, as produce is discounted
- Shop at discount stores like Aldi or Costco, Walmart and offers discounts for buying in bulk
This is where the headache and where money is wasted. Meal preparing can surely cut your grocery bill and surprisingly, in most cases you tend to have more food that will last longer.
- Make your own food instead of buying it pre-made
- Cook from scratch, avoid pre-made meals or take-out options
- Eat leftovers for lunch the next day, or freeze them for later use
- Cook one pot meals, which means using one type of protein, starch
- Cook with cheaper cuts of meat and use vegetable substitutes like mushrooms or eggplant
- Make a meal plan for the week ahead of time, and then make a list of ingredients needed for those meals.
TIP: research different types of recipes that can be made by the same ingredients. Usually on the grocery store app, they have different meal ideas.
- Cut back on snacking, or at least find cheaper snacks that last
- Learn to cook one ingredient different ways. There is nothing like eating the same thing over and over again
- Do not snack on an empty stomach, that is a sure way to ruin your budget. Have filling meals prepared in advance.
- Totally cut back or reduce your intake of soda. Find different ways to flavor your water such, its much cheaper than drinking cans of soda
- Keep a list of your favorite recipes and make a meal plan for the week ahead of time so you know what ingredients you need to buy in advance (this will also help you avoid impulse buys)
Top Apps That Save Money on Groceries
FEATURED POST : 10 Apps that Save Money on Groceries
These Apps Will Save Money on Groceries, as prices are getting higher, honestly out of control, these Money Save Apps, will find a better deal, reduce your bill and help you with cheap meal prepping recipes.
Type of Food that Save Money
There no denying that some food categories are more expensive than others. This comes in the planning phase, where you will have to categorize your food such as vegetables, starch, meat, grains, etc.
TIP: shop around the app, for each food category and see which grocery items are on sale. The most budget friendly grocery list is the one that is the cheapest.
- Grow your own vegetables in your garden
- Buy food in season and locally grown produce
- Skip the meat altogether and go vegan or vegetarian
- Avoid processed foods and choose whole grains instead
- Choose fresh produce over processed foods because fresh produce is cheaper than processed foods like chips or cookies which contain more preservatives, chemicals and ingredients that you can’t pronounce
- Cook meals with ingredients that you already have at home to avoid buying new ingredients for every meal/dish that you make
How to Budget for Groceries
It seems that budgeting for groceries is truly for the skilled budgeter. It hardly case especially these days for a grocery bill to below the grocery budget.
TIP: use different apps to help you show smarter, especially your grocery store app. Research when the store reduces the prices for expensive items such as meat. Usually this either at the beginning to mid week. Do not buy meat on the weekend, prices tend to be more expensive.
- Eat out less often
- Sign up for rewards program with the store as well as their coupons program
- Leave your groceries in the cart and see how the prices change, this will show you the best days when to do your groceries and when discounts are applied to the different food categories
- Set aside some cash each week to put towards groceries, instead of using credit cards or debit cards that charge high interest rates on cash advances
- Buy produce that is in season and cheaper, such as citrus fruits in winter time or apples in summer time
As stated before, as food prices rises many people are battling to find different ways that can truly reduce the grocery bill. The surest way is to plant your own food and be more self sustainable, but majority of the people do not have the means or at the very least do not have land to produce their own food. Hopefully, this article showcased how other people are combating their food bills.
Managing personal finances is a task that is both essential and, at times, challenging. Crafting an effective personal budget is the cornerstone of financial stability and a key to achieving your financial goals.
Designing your finances requires one to be financially savvy and that requires various aspects such as research, budgeting, investing and truthfully, discipline. The form and process of budgeting have many components and thus making it challenging to maintain a successful working budget.
Below are some different types of budgeting methods, tips, and strategies that can be easily implemented. However, a budget is not just about tracking expenses; it’s a powerful tool for saving money quickly. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the strategies and tactics that can help you create a personal budget that not only keeps your spending in check but also accelerates your savings. From setting clear financial objectives and tracking your expenses to prioritizing savings and making frugal choices, these tips will equip you with the knowledge and skills to build a budget that can swiftly bolster your financial health. Whether you’re looking to build an emergency fund, pay off debt, or work towards a specific financial goal, a well-structured personal budget is the key to achieving those objectives with speed and efficiency. So, let’s dive into the world of personal budgets that save money fast and pave the way for a more financially secure future.
1. Actions Items
In order to successfully implement a budget, there are action items that one must conduct before choosing a budget that works for you.
Setting Budget Goals
You have to identify why you need to have a budget and state your objectives. Is the budget targeted for a long-term goal or short term, what purpose is it going to serve, are you paying the debt off, saving for a house and or boosting your saving or investments?
Know Your True Income
This is one of the questions many people have a hard time answering. How much is your gross and net income? This should be a starting point, as it clearly provides you with the disposable income you have. Additionally, this gives you a clearer picture of what your deductions are, knowing this information, will help immensely as you are able to adjust how much you are being taxed, which can ultimately increase your take home. The objective is to not overpay in taxes, therefore, it is best to consult a tax accountant and find ways that can decrease your taxes. NB: Tax evasion and implementing methodologies that reduce your taxes are NOT the same thing. Do not break the law, that is why a tax accountant will be instrumental in assisting you in finding LEGAL SOLUTIONS.
How Much Your Debt Is
This activity can be very stressful, especially when you have to itemize all your debt which can create a sense of being overwhelmed. Whether you itemize your debt by the lowest to highest interest rate, amount and or the number of payments, it is imperative to list all your debt and have an accurate amount of what you owe. This provides such a great blueprint, especially when you start paying off your debt, your action plan is halfway in motion.
For any goal to be successful, there have to be set realistic timeframes. Setting extremely demanding goals in a short amount of time is clearly the best way to sabotage your efforts, leading to being overwhelmed and failure. Know the exact amount of money you can allocate towards your debt each month. For a goal to be successful, it is best to follow a methodology that you can easily implement, such as S.M.A.R.T Goals
Specific identify your goal, for instance, payoff credit cards, then the student loans Measurable be able to track your progress and set your milestones. Attainable do not overstate your ability, as this may lead to disappointments. Set goals that you can achieve, such as payoff 1 credit card at a time. Realistic sometimes achieve your goal, you may need to think outside the box, such as getting another job or starting a side hustle, all these contribute to creating realistic goals Timely set dates, deadlines or milestones that allow you to succeed.
2. Time Budgets and Personal Budgets
This type of budget is based on a specific timeframe such as a week, month or year and the goals vary from each time period to the other. Below are some examples,
This can be associated with weekly allowances which may include transactions that more frequent than the others such as, gas, groceries or getting your nails done. Having a weekly budget allows you to have some spending money and most importantly use only what is allocated.
Creating this budget focuses on transactions that are paid monthly. The budget normally includes expenses such as car note, mortgage, utilities. These expenses tend to be fixed and are on a set due date. This makes it much easier to create a budget because they hardly have any new surprises in the way they are formatted.
Yearly budgets are expenses that are paid once a year and or quarterly and need advance budget planning and enough money allocated to achieve the goal. For instance, property taxes can fit into this category. Though some states pay property taxes more than once a year, it is surely a bill that you have to plan for. This bill is based on the value of your home, therefore, in some cases, it can increase over time. When you fail to adequately budget for this expense among others, this can surely, have a true financial burden which can lead to a tax lien.
Long Term (over a year)
Long term budgets are expenses that need more than a year of planning, funds allocation and or investing. Some of these expenses may be grouped either short or long term. When you define your expenses, it is best to accurately state your abilities. For instance, short term (though it may be longer than a year) can include expenses, such as saving for a down payment for a house or a wedding. Usually, some experts define short term objectives as five years or less.
Long term budgets are expenses that need funds allocation of least 5 years and more. These expenses include retirement and or saving for college. These expenses are well funded and increase in value if contributed consistently and for a long time. Every dollar counts, especially when setting up goals.
Due to the different types of time budgets, it is imperative that your planning and allocation process truly caters to all needs. The above-listed expenses in each category, are true expenses in any household and have to be carefully planned for. Regardless of your income level, we all have expenses that require true allocation management.
3. Cash Only
What is a Cash Budget, how does it help with budgeting, how do you plan it? These are the questions that need to be answered before applying this method.
What is a Cash Budget – this is a process where you only use cash for all your daily needs and if you run out of money, you DO NOT reallocate additional funds. A debit card can be used for this method, but this can really set you off if your debit card is attached to your savings or another account that has money in it.
How does it help with budgeting – the idea in any budgeting process is to stop excess spending and or incorrectly using your money. You already work so hard for your money, have multiple deductions, it only helps if your money works harder than you do. The most imperative aspect of this type of budgeting is to discipline spending habits by creating intended spending.
How Do You Plan for it – the best approach is to start small and then gradually increase your budgeting process. The first step is to identify expenses and or categories that you can easily pay with cash, such as groceries, lunch, transportation. Thereafter, you need to set a time-based approach such as, when you can withdraw your cash and how long the money should last. Tracking your progress is vitally important, therefore, constantly tallying your expenses is a big help.
TIP- use your debit cards, only if you are able to keep to your goal, as it may become hard to manage.
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4. The Envelope System
This method has the same setup as the cash budget but it is more detailed and can include a wide range of categories. All or most of your bills are paid through the envelope system.
How Do You Plan for it – the first step is to organize your expenses into categories, then allocating the funds to that category. For instance, your categories can include but not limited to, groceries, utilities, transportation and or clothing. Next step, is to aggregate the amount of each category that is going to last you till the next cash distribution in that category, for instance, you allocate funds into your envelopes every 15th of each month – that means no topping funds until the next due date, the 15th of next month.
How to Succeed – by tracking your expenses and carefully allocating the correct amount. Usually, budget shortages occur when there is a mismanagement. You may need to reallocate more funds in one category than the norm because it might be a necessity. For instance, utilities usually go up in summer months and that is reflected in your bills. You may try to eliminate some expenses and or reducing other categories such as clothing.
5. Bare Budget
This type of budget is only for bare necessities. It does not include any additional expenses such as luxuries, fun or social. As the theme continues, the first step is to always list your exact expenses.
When to Use it – bare budgeting is an extreme form of “money discipline” it does not allow any room other than what is required to survive. Usually, this form of budgeting is used when there is an aggressive goal and or limited timeframe, such as paying the debt off or saving for a down payment. Since it is extreme, it can be hard to maintain it in the long term.
Two forms of Bare Budget – personal finance is all about understanding and tracking where your money is being allocated. This is more enhanced with the Bare Budget, mainly because there are two forms, emergency budgeting or cutting back budgeting. Emergency budgeting is trimming your budget to only survival necessities such as food, shelter. Cutting Back Budgeting is when you still cut down expenses but also have room to allow some of “luxuries” such as entertainment, maybe one vacation per year. Of course, with cutting back budgeting, it should be planned in advance.
6. The Debt Free Budget
The above-listed requirements for the other budgets are the same for this one, listing your expenses first. The Debt-Free Budget supports the theory of saving first and not getting to debt.
How it Works – the success of this type of budget is to save first the required amount and then purchase what you need. If you cannot buy it with cash, you cannot afford it. This type of budgeting works well with gifts, vacations. At the beginning of the year, you can fund your budget in small increments, this really helps as the contributions are much smaller compared to last-minute payments.
How to Succeed – the main purpose of this budget is NOT TO GET INTO DEBT. Usually, the justification of expenses is a major driving force of getting into debt. For instance, if buying gifts or vacation, calculate the total cost, then divide into manageable installments.
7. Percentage Based Budget
This budget is framed and calculated from a percentage-based basis. You allocate a certain percentage for each main category, the idea behind it is that you cannot go above your set percentage. For instance:
Fifty percent – of your take-home goes toward needs and necessities such as shelter, food, utilities, debt repayment. It is better to have most of the allocation towards debt repayment and the reminder on other categories.
Thirty percent – of your take-home is spent on wants, such as clothing, eating out, hobbies. The idea behind this type of budget is to also enjoy life and not be so strict with money. Unfortunately, most have fallen short when it comes to this portion because needs and wants are ever-growing and usually accompanied by a rationale to go above the allocated percentage.
Twenty-Five Percent – this amount of money is allocated to start an emergency fund, savings, and retirement goals. This section is mainly based on creating a solid financial foundation.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Managing your finances and paying off your debt can seem like a never-ending process. The best method to eradicate debt or save for big expenses is to budget effectively. With the help of so many apps and tools, personal finance or budget management has become much simpler and there is no need for advanced accounting. Budgeting is more than just a financial exercise; it’s a powerful tool that can transform your financial health and help you achieve your financial goals.
The process of crafting and sticking to a budget not only provides a clear picture of your financial situation but also empowers you to make strategic decisions that can save you money. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into crucial budgeting tips that have the potential to put more money back in your pocket. These tips encompass a range of strategies, from tracking your expenses and setting financial goals to controlling discretionary spending and prioritizing savings. Whether you’re seeking to reduce debt, build an emergency fund, or simply improve your financial well-being, these insights will equip you with the knowledge and tools to make budgeting a transformative force in your financial life. So, let’s embark on this journey to discover the budgeting tips that can help you save money, take control of your finances, and work toward a more secure and prosperous financial future.
Know Your Income
There are a lot of people who do not know exactly what they earn. If you are an employee, your paycheck is divided into different categories, mostly gross income, and net income.
- Gross Income: this amount is before any taxes & deductions
- Taxes: any state, federal or any other form of taxes
- Deductions: any amount that does not include taxes, medicare/ social security/ 401(k)/ health benefits
- Net Income: this is what you take home.
Itemize Your Expenses
Monthly budget(ting) tips, can only be effective if you know what you are spending your money on. The best methodology is to go by your bank statement, from the past three months. This helps you to have an overview of where your money is going. Below are different types of expenses:
- Recurring Charge: this can be a monthly charge and includes subscription fees
- Needs: you need it for survival e.g shelter | food | work commuting fees | child care
- Wants: cable | excessive shopping | dining | social activities – basketball tickets
- Fixed Expenses: this may fall under needs, additional expenses include, car insurance | health care bill | debt repayment
The importance of itemizing your expenses is to have a full scope of what you own versus what you owe. Having a clear picture of your expenses is the first to creating a budget and managing your debt.
Categorize Your Expenses
Once you have itemized and totaled your expenses it is time to distribute your income. The best approach for simple budgeting tips is to divide your expenses into categories.
- Saving & Retirement: 401(k) | emergency fund | saving accounts
- Household Expenses: rent or mortgage | utilities | insurances | repairs | groceries
- Social Activities: cable bill | cell phone | streaming bill (Netflix) | dining | movies | gifts
- Debt Payment: student loans | car payments | credit card payment (and yes family members we owe money too)
This will give you detailed analytics of your finances by showcasing how much you are spending on each category. Health care expenses are usually covered from your paycheck, but if not then include them in your household expenses.
Personal Budget Tips
Now that you have categorized your expenses it time to implement personal budgeting tips. There are numerous budgeting tips, but the most important aspect is to implement tips that are useful and effective for you. Below are some tips
- Budget before the month begins – set aside money to operate and run your household for the month. Yes most of us are paid on a bi-weekly basis and cannot pay all our bills with one paycheck, then the best way to allocate expenses that will be paid by the 1st check such Household Expenses and use the 2nd check to cover the remaining bills
- Track Your Expenses – the period between the 1st and 2nd check is crucial, this when a lot of unnecessary spending happens. Be mindful of that debit card, it is so easy to keep swiping. The best approach is to all always write a list of what you want to buy, and then see if it fits your budget for that specific month.
- Due Dates – this is one powerful method you can implement. When you itemize your expenses also note when the bill is due. You can have all household expenses be due around the same time, this is will help in tracking and managing your bills. You do have the option of changing your due dates to fit your payday. Arrange your due date so that it more advantageous for you.
TIP – in accounting and finance, we have a saying, “Chase Your Receivables and Delay Your Payables”, the same principle is applicable when it comes to due dates.
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This is one of the biggest issues with budgeting, life happens and there are numerous things that can go wrong at the same time. Managing your budget becomes unbearable in these circumstances, this will be the reason why it is so important to boost your emergency fund as soon as possible. This should be the first part of your savings before investing or any other money distribution activities.
Borrow from Your Budget
Another way to keep your budget intact is to borrow from other categories. For instance, if you are are going to be in arrears in the household category, then it advisable to borrow from your social activities. Do everything to balance your monthly budget as this will help the bottom line.
Save For Big Expenses
The majority of consumer debt involves a credit card or loan financing of some kind. It is better to save and pay cash for goods, for instance, household furnishings, instead of taking a loan and have to pay a monthly payment associated with extremely high-interest rates, it better to sit on the floor or go to Goodwill get a couch. You work so hard for your money and it’s time to let your money work harder for you, getting a loan is not the best option, instead invest that money.
Automate Your Finances and Budget
There are many apps, tools, and banks that now offer free services to manage your money. Invest time in learning which is the best tool to use that fits your goals. The most effective method to automate your paycheck into your savings or other investment accounts before using your money.
Be Budget Friendly
It takes time to adjust and for your new budget to kick in, therefore, do not be so hard on yourself if you fall short in the upcoming months. This may require a lifestyle and mental change and that is never easy. Personal finance or budgeting techniques require action, discipline and accountability for you to see any improvements. If it’s overwhelming, just do one category and move on to the next one. Any action is better than any passive approach.
Let’s be honest, not everyone earns the same or have the same responsibilities. Budgeting needs are going to different if you earn 50k or 100k, there are many challenging factors that make budgeting difficult. A household can spend $100 a month on groceries and you spend $100 a week, the best approach is to create a budget that is realistic for you.
Creating a realistic budget not only helps your finances but creates a higher chance for you to become successful in your money managing capabilities. The sooner you start implementing these budgeting techniques, the faster you will reach your goals.
Top Budgeting Questions
What is a Good Budget?
A good budget should account for all your financial needs and wants. The best way is to first categorize all your expenses and then assign a maximum percentage for each category.
A good budget should have a goal or an objective, such as paying off debt, investments or college.
How Do Make a Personal Budget
The best way to make a successful personal budget is to first itemize all your expenses, second action would be to put all your expenses into categories. The third action would be assign a maximum percentage to each category and lastly it would be to maintain and manage your budget.
What are the Key Features of a Budget?
The most important key feature of a budget should have an objective or a goal. Once that has been established, it best to account, itemize and list all your expenses. These has been stressed over and over in this post, because knowing exactly what is in your budget is imperative.
How to Create a Family Budget?
Each family is different, therefore determine the needs and wants for each family member. Separate their requirements into categorize such as school supplies, medical, household expenses. Once that has been established it is best to find the best cost saving processes for each section and establish the maximum amount for each section
Is There a Free Budget App?
There are many different budgeting apps and each specialize in a specific aspect of budgeting. The best way to first establish your objective and match it to the different available budgeting apps such as:
MINT – updates and categorizes transactions, creating a picture of spending in real-time
YNAB – it focuses on zero based budget system, and users must make a plan for every dollar they earn.
EVERY DOLLAR – focuses on users that track their spending and plan for purchases.
POCKET GUARD – focuses on how much you have for spending.
GOOD BUDGET – this app focuses on the digital take on the popular envelope system in which you portion out your monthly income toward specific spending categories.
What is the Most Common Budgeting Mistakes?
The worst budgeting mistakes to make would be to not fully know how much you take home, as this usually leads to overspending. The next unrealistic mistake to make would be to not even make a budget at all. The best approach would be list your expenses and budget each category respectively.
How Should a Beginner Budget?
The best way for a beginner to start budgeting is to start with the current income and list all expenses. Have a set of goals listed such as paying of debt, saving or retirement.
TIP: once you have identified your expenses, it is best to find ways to reduce your expenses in each category such as:
- Groceries: try to shop with a list and buy generic products
- Credit Cards: try to refinance your balances for a cheaper rate
What are the Four Steps in Preparing a Budget?
The main four steps of preparing your personal budget includes:
INCOME – This is the most crucial aspect of what your take home is and how to quickly increase your income. There are many ways you can increase your take home from different side hustles
EXPENSES – Loose all your expenses and debts to the very least amount. This helps in getting a clearer picture. In addition to listing the amounts include the interest rate and target payoff dates. You can take it a step further by putting your expenses into categories.
BUDGET – There are so many types of personal budgets, the best is to analyze what works with your take home income, type of expense you have and additionally what your budgeting objectives are.
For instance, you may have to prioritize paying debt off first than investing for retirement. Examine your finance and chose your best option.
MANAGE – This is the most important aspect of you want your budgeting strategy to be effective. In this section you trim, adjust and implement strategies that serve your financial goals.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Saving money for significant life events, whether it’s a dream vacation, a wedding, a down payment on a home, or a major milestone like starting a family, is a journey that requires careful planning and financial discipline.
While these events can be exciting, they often come with substantial price tags, making it essential to create a financial strategy that allows you to save efficiently and reach your goals faster. In this guide, we will explore ten top ways to save money for big events. These strategies encompass a wide range of financial tips and techniques, from setting clear savings goals and creating a dedicated savings account to minimizing unnecessary expenses and maximizing your income.
Whether your dream event is on the horizon or still in the distant future, these insights will empower you to take charge of your financial future and make those significant life milestones a reality without unnecessary financial stress. This article will showcase how to save money for different events in your life. More frequently than ever, there are testimonies on how people have saved a large amount of retirement from modest earnings. This is so fascinating because you will encounter stories on how someone makes above six-figures and hardly making ends meet The differences in the two scenarios is the ability to implement effective methods on how to save money.
1. How to Save for Retirement
The idea of saving for retirement is sometimes an after-thought. The power of compounding interest has created modest earners into millionaires. The best-known figure who has used this method is Warren Buffet. Below are the best ways to save
- Participate in 401(k) – do not leave money on the table from your employer
- Contribute to Your in IRA – there is a maximum amount per year to contribute
- Tax Deferred – qualify for tax breaks (defer paying taxes until withdrawal)
- Reduce Your Brokerage – understand and reduce your brokerage fees
- Withdrawals – avoid early withdrawal because this creates additional penalties
- Automation – automate your savings and any amount is a good amount
- Diversification – invest in low index fund, it has great a diverse portfolio
- Dividend Stock – participate in dividend stock (some live off dividend income)
- Real Estate – convert a bedroom and rent on Airbnb and rent it as a corporate suit
2. How to Save Money for a Car
Down payment – put as much down payment as you can as this lowers the monthly payment
- Refinance – shop around for the cheapest interest rate
- Cash Car – better to save and pay cash for the car than a monthly payment
- Lease Owned – when it comes to money matters, it may be best to own or refinance to own than leasing.
3. How to Save Money for College
This is one of the most challenging aspect of debt management. Especially with the current job market where skill set or demand are rapidly changing. The best way to save money in college is to create habits that support money management skills. Below are some examples:
- Don’t buy new textbooks
- Don’t miss out on a scholarship
- Plan your meals & cut dining out
- Use college amenities e.g. Gym
- Opt for streaming service & cable
- Use student discounts when applicable
- Find a job that helps with tuition reimbursement
- Get a bank account designed for college student especially credit unions
- Sell your used books on Amazon / eBay you make more than your local bookstore
- Plan your courses in advance and get your books from the library or a previous edition instead of buying them
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4. How to Save Money for a House
This is one of the most pinnacle assets you will own, therefore, it is best to set time and do proper research before you purchase. Below are some best practices to follow:
- Refinance your mortgage for a cheaper interest rate
- Get rid of your PMI once your balance is below a certain balance
- Make an extra payment towards your principal as much as you can
- Borrow from your budget – you may want to cancel some wants and only
- Side Job – best to pick up extra side jobs to meet your goal, no job is too small
- Use 0% credit card to massively pay down your debt. This option is to curate borrowing money with no interest payment. Be mindful of the fine print and when you get charges for interest
- Retirement – you may want to reduce your contributions for some time and fund your down payment account
- Aim to save more than the required payment. Open a new bank account where you just save for your down payment and automate your savings
- Research and itemize all the cost for you to close your house such as inspections/ closing cost etc
- Maximize your savings – you may need to move to a cheaper house in order to save as much as you can
5. How to Save Money for a Wedding
Saving for a wedding is a big obstacle and can end up costing more than the original budget. The hardest part is paying back thousands of dollars way past the wedding. Try not to bring debt into a marriage. Below are some best ways to save for a wedding
- Sell as much as you can after the wedding
- Don’t invite the whole town – small and intimate
- Get married at the end of the season – prices are cheaper
- Use a venue that is the same as the ceremony and reception
- Don’t get married during the weekend – this creates big savings
- Use in-season flowers or fake ones (they look like the real flowers)
- Get your cake from the grocery store- yes they do wedding cakes
- Get your dress from the past season there are many clearances going on
- Shop during the most discounted times, such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday
- Be Bride Model – approach wedding companies and let them feature you as part of their brand. This allows you to get free stuff. (doing this you have to be savvy and plan way ahead)
6. How to Save Money for Social Activities
Part of life is enjoying and exploring new places through vacations, but this can clearly this can be costly if you are financing your excursions through credit card. There are numerous ways to enjoy outdoors, vacation or entertainment activities at a lower cost. Below are some examples
- Gifts – create a family spending or limit on gifts
- Newsletter – claim or request rebates or coupons from the company directly
- Rewards Cards – you can use your rewards points towards travel or concerts
- Arts & Culture – there are many museums where they offer low priced or free admissions
- Vacation / Travel – it is best to travel during the off-season as there are fewer people and rates are much lower
- Sign Up for Discount Apps – eg Groupon / LivingSocial / or set Google alerts for free activities in your neighborhoods
7. How to Save Money Questions
What Is Saving?
Saving is normally referred to as money set aside for long term keeping with a goal in mind such as investing. Usually, saving is defined as amount left over after expenses have been paid, but this can be defined in terms according to your finances.
How Do You Save Your Money?
The best way to save money is to create a budget and then aggressively payoff any outstanding debt. Debt is the most expensive expense and truly drains your savings.
What are Examples of Savings?
There are many variations and types of savings. The best type of saving is one that fits your budget and goals. Below are some types of saving
- basic savings account
- Investment account
- targeted date savings
What is The Purpose of Savings
The main purpose of saving is to have your money grow and set aside for any unexpected expenses or emergencies. Most people have various savings account targeted for various expenses, such as property taxes, vacations or colleges. This method helps in separating funds for each goal.
What are the Types of Saving?
There are different financial instruments that can be used as a savings tool. All are effective in their own specific way and importantly can be used for different goals. Below are some types of savings account:
SAVINGS ACCOUNT – this is the most basic account and does has little interest rates
HIGH YIELD SAVINGS ACCOUNT – usually this requires a set amount to even open the account, but interest rate is higher than a basic account.
MONEY MARKET ACCOUNTS – these tend to have similar functions of a savings account and the interest rates are higher. They have limited amount of times per month you can withdraw.
CERTIFICATE DEPOSIT – this type of account requires you to put money aside and commit it for a specified amount of time such as 6 months to years for a higher amount of interest.
What are the 3 Basic Reasons of Saving Money
There are many reasons to save money but the most 3 basic reasons of saving money includes:
PURCHASING POWER – The more you save the greater your purchasing power, this in clearly exercised when purchasing a home. The higher your down payment, the better your rates will be.
SECURITY – This is one of the most desired reasons of saving, having the ability to provide a security blanket for yourself and family, regardless of any emergencies that may arise such as losing a job, medical bills or other expenses.
WEALTH BUILDING – This is clearly the best way to accumulate wealth. A higher network is calculated by having more assets than expenses. The more savings at your disposal, the more disposable funds you have for investing.
What is The Best Savings Account to Open?
The best savings account is any account that has great interest rate. The best savings account to open is the one that meets your financial goals and has great offers. Each savings account is not created equal, therefore a through investigation is required.
How Much Should You Have in a Saving Account?
There are many different types of savings account and they come with different demands. For your most liquid savings account, it is best to have about six months worth of expenses. Thereafter, your other savings goals can be saved in different accounts such as retirement and or college funds.
What is Better Than Savings Account?
There are many financial instruments, but the ones that are better than a savings accounts, have a better interest rates and your money is still secure. Below are some examples where your money can earn slightly more than a basic savings account
- certificate deposit
- peer to peer lending
- high yields savings account
- or investments that have higher returns
Is it Better to Save than Invest?
It depends upon your goals. For instance, when do you need the money. If you do need the money as soon as possible, therefore, it is much better to invest than save as you earn a higher rate of return.
Success is an intentional act. You have to create your VISION, then plan out your GOALS. You will FAIL more than you will SUCCEED, but be careful not to stumble on stones and conclude that is where your journey ends.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Climbing both the corporate ladder and salary increment can be very difficult. The majority of the workforce that is in the Six Figure Range, usually have many years behind them. Honestly speaking, waiting for 15 years to get into the Six Figure Range was not an option for me.
It was difficult, discouraging, hard-work, mindset challenging – (a lot of 3 steps forward and 5 steps back) but through it all, I Was Determined!
After the degrees and comparison to the current market value, I quickly realized that to get into the six figure reach, I had to construct my own career and think outside the box.
Yes the degrees were great but I quickly realized that I had to be more specialized, well trained and become a subject expert in a particular subject for me to get the six figures because just my degrees were not enough.
The hard question was in what field should I invest in. Below are the steps and actions I took to reach my financial goal and yes, it was not straight forward, as much of life is not. There were many different factors to consider such as, if its a remote position, do I start at a low level, how much experience do I need to acquire before I get the job and most importantly how soon do I get to the six figure ranch. All factors considered, I choose the path with least resistance and it took 8 months of hard work to get the six figure increment.
I have 3 degrees, after my 2nd Masters, I was so thrilled to be part of the finance profession. I went through the normal interview process and was selected for the Senior Position. The department was centered around improving your skills and was surrounded by professional veterans in the industry who would constantly share their knowledge.
I was so happy in my position and wanted to grow with the company. There was an anniversary lunch for one of the Senior Managers, in her speech she stated that she had been with the company for 25 YEARS!! I was NOT patient to wait for 25 years for her position, I needed to find a way to get promoted, both position and salary. My conclusion, it was time to get a promotion as well as the salary. Below are the chain of events.
3. Inventory of My Skills
The first step was to take an inventory of all my skills, listed my degrees and the courses I took. I went through all my M.B.A & M.A.F.M courses, then listed all the courses that were relevant to the next position. The objective was to gain additional experience without changing jobs. For instance, if my next desired position was Senior Accountant, below is the framework I used
- Desired Job Title – Senior Accountant
- Department – Position in the Vice President’s office
- Relevant Degree Courses– Financial Analysis, Accounting and Wealth Management – current trend analysis, forecasting & budgeting, financial reporting, cost analysis etc
- Application – I highlighted how my degree courses that were an asset in the next position because the Position required that knowledge base
- Job Responsibility – I made a list of all the responsibilities that the new Position required. I googled similar positions and used the company’s internal job posting boards and made a list of the job descriptions and started to work on showcasing my qualifications & experiences
- Relevant Experience – I researched the different reports that the Comptroller did each month and focused on the ones that I knew I could do. I spent my time learning how to research, made presentations, understanding the data and creating the reports, tying it with the courses from my degrees. I would go to lunch with the current Comptroller and would subtly ask questions. My main goal was to understand the process and the blueprint of his job.
- Qualification – I had monthly meetings with my Senior Manager and when I was ready I asked if I could help the Comptroller (usually I would ask if she had 5 minutes on Friday and came with a list of questions, I was PROACTIVE) at the end of the month any Accounting department scrambles for time as they race to finish the reports, so my help was welcomed. I was in the door, in the Vice President’s office who manages a billion-dollar brand, and she knew my name!
- Results – after 3 months, my supervisor the Senior Manager received an email that the Vice President’s office would like for me to be in charge of the documents that we publish to the shareholders (these are SOX Documents since it’s a public company). I was now getting emails from the Vice President’s office to be included in their meetings!!
- Analysis – The good thing was I now had experience in the Vice President Office, Comptroller Office and contributed in Business Strategies. I was able to participate in Job Position Rotation – this allowed me to get more experience under my belt. My experience was now beyond current Job Position.
- Reality – I was thrilled for a short time, the work was becoming too much, as I was still in my old position with additional duties, my goal was to have a PAY INCREASE and NOT be overwhelmed with deadlines. This was becoming more than I could handle. I was practically now working in two departments, with two sets of deadlines, two supervisors BUT One Paycheck.
Related articles in increasing your bottom line:
- How to Grow Your Idea into an Income
- SMART Goals: How to Set Goals and Achieve Results
- Success -101 Steps Turning Dreams Into Reality and a Profitable Business
- Time Management – How to Find your Productive Time, Setting Goals, Managing To-do-list and Achieving Results
4. Six Figure Journey
I found out the Accounting and Finance departments worked hand-in-hand with Technology (as most departments do) The end users in Technology were not so familiar with Accounting Rules and Regulations and constantly needed their input. I researched top Consulting Firms in the world (Big Four), I found an entry point where I could get highly compensated and duties at a larger scale. For instance, JD Edwards-Oracle Software (for it to function for the Accounting or Finance department, it has to be customized. The customizations, happen in the IT Department)
Back to the Drawing Board
I started researching top compensating jobs in Accounting and Financial Firms, Internal & External Job Boards. I was able to get an outline of the top paying jobs in my industry and cross-industries. The new obstacle was to identify the skills needed to qualify for the six-figure positions. My Grad School Counselor provided great information and insight such as a list of courses, skills needed and different career paths. This information allowed me to find cheaper institutions to enroll in and get practical experiences.
This was the hardest part, it was 3 steps forward and 5 steps back. I was constantly fighting with my decision and always reminding myself of the goal. How could I go back to school yet I had 3 degrees? Everyone around me did not understand my decision and worst, did not support it. I had to create an environment to allow successful results, I took classes, before and after work, did my homework during lunchtime in my car. I acquired the necessary certifications. The Vice President’s Office offered me a promotion, which was just a change in title but the same compensation, I then decided to leave my job for a better PAYING ONE (hindsight – it was the best decision I made. I created a new career path and that lead me to start my own businesses)
Now that I had the skills, I studied my new Desired Job. I created a new email address and started to receive email alerts of the desired jobs. Below are some tips I applied:
- I compared the Desired Job at different companies
- Applied my educational, academic and professional knowledge to the Desired Position
- Made a list of what skills the hiring companies wanted (both practical and interpersonal)
- Researched white papers in my industry and case studies, current financial news, sources, regional and global business trends, threats strengths and opportunities, (SWOT), solution-based methodologies, project managing,
- Made a list of sample interview questions and created impactful answers based on the industry and my research
- I benchmarked my research with what the LinkedIn Recruiters, Big Four or Job Boards and other top financial firms were looking for my new set of skills (I had acquired the skill set, it was now a matter of packaging and presenting my qualifications, a simple resume was not enough)
After months of preparation I was now qualified, I had the skillset, understood the job requirements and could execute the processes and blueprint of the job. I now had a solid understanding of my Desired Job and I was able to build my new skills-set on top of my transferable skills from different spheres. I was now a well-rounded candidate and my resume clearly exhibited my accomplishments. TIP – I did not only sent my resume, I also included:
- Professional Portfolio
Case Study Analysis
Current Market Research and Business Strategies
I then reached out to recruiters, introduced myself and how I was qualified for the position. I sent them my Professional Package (that showcased how I resolve, manage and lead various projects)
5. The Six Figure Salary
Within a week I was able to secure interviews with many recruiters. I got interested in one particular company which is the Top Consulting Firm in the world. The interview process took 5 months, 7 interviews and it was always a conference setting of at least 4 people. I was glad that I took the time to study the industry, current market trends, and events. GUESS WHAT — I NAILED IT!!
After the last interview, before I left, they offered me a job and I negotiated a higher salary because I knew what I was worth. I was now a CONSULTANT, I traveled the world with this job, worked for Fortune 500 Companies, with great responsibilities and career growth.
It took a lot of work, failure, being discouraged, I had two Master’s Degrees and yet I was going back to school. My peers from my old job, would not understand why I would torture myself by going back to school. I had the qualifications to look for another job in the same industry, BUT I WANTED MORE and I ACHIEVED IT.
Success is an intentional act. You have to create your VISION, then plan out your GOALS. You will FAIL more than you will SUCCEED, but be careful not to stumble on stones and conclude that it is where your journey ends.
QUOTE OF THE DAY