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5 Tips To Save More Money

5 Tips To Save More Money

Money is something we need to survive in this world. Having money doesn’t necessarily equate to being rich, but it can be a part of the journey. Due to these volatile economic times and rising inflation rates, the cost of living has skyrocketed and has made survival more difficult than ever before. We cannot sustain our lives while making minimum wage, so other avenues to making money must always be implanted in your mind. Regardless of the income you make, there are always ways to save if finances are managed wisely. Saving is a matter of making calculations, planning, and preparing.

1. Set Reasonable Limits

Impulse buying has plagued our spending habits for years. If you know you’re about to get paid, don’t spend the money before you receive it. Calculate the percentages of what needs to go towards living expenses and make sure everything is paid on time. Once you begin to get behind on payments, life can become difficult to navigate, and you can feel like you’re on a downward slope. Combat these problems by preventing them from happening with mindful spending.

We don’t need a lot to be happy in this life. The necessities are food, clothing, transportation costs (public transit, automobile maintenance, gas), and shelter. Once those things are paid for, everything else is a luxury that too many of us take for granted every day. And being able to have those luxuries is a blessing, but don’t use them as an excuse to splurge.

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Ask yourself this question before spending money on items you want but don’t need: will my future self be happy with this purchase that I’m about to make? If the initial answer is no, you are doing yourself a favor and decreasing stress levels and anxiety by refusing to put yourself in a turbulent situation. Have a purpose for every dollar you make. Stop falling into the trap of buying useless products due to propaganda and advertising. Show some constraint and your life will start changing.

2. Invest In Yourself

Whenever you get a check, a certain percentage of that check should be treated like it’s radioactive. This money shouldn’t be touched unless there are exigent circumstances that need to be ameliorated.

Deposit the money in a high-interest savings account, a TFSA (tax-free savings account), or invest it in an RESP (registered education savings plan) if you plan to attend an academic institution in the future — or if you might have children that will. Another good investment is an RSP (retirement savings plan), which ensures money is safely secured for your future. Both these options of an RESP and RSP are long-term investments. They enable stability and help you build a stronger financial portfolio.

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Having a social life is necessary to maintain your health and wellbeing. Common activities are going to various events, dining out, and seeing movies. All of these variables can leave a hole in your pocket if they’re frequented too much. Your friends will understand if you sit out on certain social functions. And if they don’t understand, then they aren’t your friends and you should extricate yourself from them immediately. Use this time that you would normally spend with your friends to educate yourself and discover new things. You may end up having a revelation that causes you to invest money and start making more of it.

The greatest ideas are created by the imagination in times of reflection and solitude. Be a little bit more selfish and really appreciate your alone time, because there will be moments in your life that it won’t be apparent. Taking out this time for yourself really allows you to evaluate your life and prevents you from spending money on products you don’t need.

Don’t forget that health is your biggest investment, so don’t cut back on spending that pertains to your health. You won’t be able to enjoy the beauty of life without maintaining good health, so be adamant and diligent when the expenditure pertains to your health. Cutting corners in spending will only hurt you in the long term. Short-term fixes tend to exacerbate the problems that were already present.

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3. Develop A Fiancial Plan

Having professional help is definitely a bonus, but you don’t necessarily need expert advice to manage your money effectively. Start by tracking your spending habits. Write down daily expenses and look back on what’s costing you the most money. If it isn’t health related, food, clothing, or shelter, then you are splurging on something that must be stopped. These habits can be very difficult to break, but you must remind yourself that saving money is more important than giving in to your foolish desires. Everyone makes mistakes when it comes to spending money, the key is to minimize those mistakes by setting objectives and being conscious.

Save your receipts so you can write down your spending patterns for each day of the week. Figure out what needs to be changed and what can remain. There are always methods to improve our spending habits.

4. Treat Yourself

You deserve to reward yourself after successfully launching a new financial plan. Either buy small items that add up to something large or one luxury item that you desire. Having a purpose for every dollar is important, but living life is a more satisfying alternative. Knowing your financial standpoint will allow you to track your spending on treating yourself, so you won’t be coaxed into going overboard.

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5. Smart Individuals Make Money Work For Them

Yes, you must have some type of occupation to accumulate an income. But that doesn’t mean you’re subjected to what you do for money. This is only the inception to expand your horizons to greater things. The reason why affluent people maintain their wealth is due to their meticulously crafted management.

They don’t spend nearly as much time trying to make money as the average person would do. They devote the majority of their time to figuring out, learning, and discovering how to manage their money better so it works for them. They are focused on ROI (return of investment) instead of fixating their minds on how much money they can make. It’s all about what you decide to put in that determines the value of the return you receive. It’s these little, minute details that separate the wealthy from the poor. They have designed a methodology that works for them instead of against. Time is money, but if the clock is working against you, then how you expect to turn a profit? Making money work for you is all about putting time on your side. Making more than you spend is the key to strategically saving.

Featured photo credit: VIKTOR HANACEK via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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