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5 Ways You Can Save Big Money Starting Now

5 Ways You Can Save Big Money Starting Now

If you need to save big money starting now, you can’t waste time on questionable tactics that give small results. Nor can you waste time on strategies that depend on other people (for example, looking for coupons and sales). Here are 5 rock-solid methods that are within your control and actually work.

Here are 5 rock-solid methods that are within your control and actually work.

1. Stop money leaks

Eliminate the money leaking out of your bank account by tracking every penny you earn, and every penny you spend. Most people who do this are shocked by how much money they burn on things that don’t fit in with their goals for their money. Additionally, tracking how much you earn allows you to compare your spending to earnings, and ensure that you’re living within your means.  Seeing the numbers in black and white will prevent you from lying to yourself about how much you’re spending on frivolous items, and allow you to see a crystal clear picture of where you can improve.

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Additionally, tracking how much you earn allows you to compare your spending to earnings, and ensure that you’re living within your means. Seeing the numbers in black and white will prevent you from lying to yourself about how much you’re spending on frivolous items, and allow you to see a crystal clear picture of where you can improve.

2. Spread the word

Boost your willpower to stick with your money-saving plans by sharing them with everyone you know. For example, if you’re going to save money by skipping your daily Starbucks coffee, tell people. You can share the news in person, or via social media. Use whatever method of sharing is most convenient for you. Social scientists have proven that we want to be seen as consistent and truthful – so the very fact that you’ve told people what you’re going to do will increase the odds that you’ll follow through and do what you said you would.  And who knows, you might just inspire your friends and family to do as you’re doing, and improve their own financial positions too!

Social scientists have proven that we want to be seen as consistent and truthful – so the very fact that you’ve told people what you’re going to do will increase the odds that you’ll follow through and do what you said you would.  And who knows, you might just inspire your friends and family to do as you’re doing, and improve their own financial positions too!

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3. Use the right tools

If you’re great with computers, you can set up a spreadsheet to track your spending and expenses. Or, use a budgeting app that’s ready-made for you. If you like a simple solution to budgeting, get back to basics with a foolproof notebook, pen, and calculator to track everything and add it all up. Any of these methods will work to help you save big money. If you love technology, embrace it and use it. If not, there’s nothing wrong with sticking to the old-fashioned (but effective) basics.

If you like a simple solution to budgeting, get back to basics with a foolproof notebook, pen, and calculator to track everything and add it all up. Any of these methods will work to help you save big money. If you love technology, embrace it and use it. If not, there’s nothing wrong with sticking to the old-fashioned (but effective) basics.

4. Avoid impulse buying

Impulse buying is a huge cause of unnecessary spending, and you can stop this habit dead in its tracks with a tried and true tool, the shopping list. It’s not novel or sexy, but it works.

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Make a list of exactly what you need to buy when heading to the grocery store or mall. This will help you to stay focused on buying only the items you actually need, and avoid being caught up in the excitement of purchasing things you can do without.

5. Make a plan

You need to plan where you want your money to go. Having a crystal clear picture of where you want your money to go will help you to stay on course, as opposed to getting sidetracked by the latest thing vying for your money.

You’ll spend less cash on things that aren’t important to you, have more money available for the things you need, save tons of money over the long haul, and reach your financial goals faster.

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Make a plan, save big money, and change your finances forever

If you incorporate these simple tips into your day to day life, you’re sure to see a difference in the health and wealth of your bank account.  There’s no better time than now to take action.

So what are you waiting for?  Stop your money leaks, spread the word about what you’re trying to accomplish, use the right tools, avoid impulse buying, and make a plan for your money.  You’ll be glad you did.

Featured photo credit: www.traviscu.org via traviscu.org

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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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