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10 Saving Tricks You Haven’t Tried Yet

10 Saving Tricks You Haven’t Tried Yet

It seems like we can never have enough of cash. Most of us are in the perpetual state of needing more than we earn. Most often, it appears we are actually earning less than what we need. But the reality is quite different. It’s not that we don’t earn enough, it’s actually we don’t save enough. We’re eager to spend as soon as we get our paycheck and thus, how much we earn, we readily spend all of them. The end result is,  we find it difficult to afford things we need the most and often, we might end up turning to loans to save ourselves.

But all of this continual despair and hardship can be avoided. It just takes a bit of self-discipline and wisdom. With proper planning and wise spending, we won’t have much difficulty in making ends meet. Below are the 10 unique and rather unusual saving tricks, often looked over by most of us, which can helps us save a few dollars each month.

1. Partner with someone frugal.

The truth is that not all of us are very wise in terms of making financial decisions. But we could make up for our shortcomings by seeking out a significant other who’s frugal and has a financial head on their shoulders. This is one of the great saving tricks. They help us make better decisions while spending money and keep the balance between earnings and expenditures. One could even focus solely on earning and leave all the works of financial management on the partner’s shoulders.

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2. Unplug.

The plan to execute this trick is quite simple. Unplug just about everything when you are not using it. This includes lights, laptops, coolers, fans, heaters and other such electronic items. This way we can save a significant amount of energy. And, saving valuable energy doesn’t mean we are only contributing to mother earth but also to ourselves. As energy bills make up a significant chunk of our expenditure, with this way, we can spare ourselves a dime or two.

3. Buy fewer clothes.

This one might seem rather silly of the saving tricks. But clothes do make up a significant portion of our expenditures. Moreover, in the case of most adults, they do not actually need to buy more clothes as they already have a fair possession of attires. People often wear only a fewer set of clothes among the ones they possess and rest remain hanging in the closet more often than not. So one could do with buying fewer clothes. For this, going a year without buying clothes could be a good idea.

4. Become good friends with your neighbors.

Well, it’s always good to be friends with more people and more so with one’s neighbors. This way, one doesn’t always need to buy new goods even if they’re required just for a while or even just for once. One can not only turn to their neighbors for help when something is needed at the crucial moment but also look up to them for those things one needs once in a blue moon. This way, a significant amount of unnecessary expenditures can be avoided.

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5. Save your time.

They say time is money and rightfully so. One could save a little bit of time across their activities and add up those moments to do more, leading to some more cash. By saving time, we can use it to do other jobs to make more cash. Time can be saved by avoiding unnecessary chores, which is of course for a person to decide himself/herself, by spending less time on social media, increasing speed at reading and many other ways. By doing works quicker and avoiding waste of time, life can be made significantly more productive. So, search for the moments you can steal every time you’re at work.

6. Graduate sooner.

Normally, bachelor courses are four years long. But one could take more courses in a year so that the program can be completed even within three years. This way, the tuition fees for the courses can’t be reduced as they need to be paid anyway. However, extra annual fees for accommodation, food, libraries and other annual college fees can be avoided. Moreover, you could even avoid potential tuition hikes by paying the fees early. It’s quite challenging but you could save thousands of dollars with this trick.

7. Go shopping at late hours and at sales.

Go shopping at closing hours, just when the owner is about to call it a day. You can bargain and get a few more things at the same price. Furthermore, with late night shopping, you can avoid bustling crowds and won’t need to go through lines at the checkout. And, along the way, you can have your pick of the bargains and markdowns that would otherwise be put out for the next day. This way, you can spare a considerable portion of your monthly budget.

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8. Go vegetarian.

Generally, vegetarian food items are less expensive than even the cheapest varieties of meat. Moreover, vegetarian diets have proven to help reduce the risks of various health hazards, thus avoiding the potentially high medical expenses. So consider going vegetarian and see how much you can save by doing without flesh. Going vegetarian has several benefits, one being that it saves you a considerable share of your budget.

9. Go to bed earlier.

You may be wondering how something like this made the cut. But this one has huge potential, although it is more likely to have never struck more of us than not. The idea is that, going to bed early means we don’t have to use electricity at late hours of the day. We can work with daylight, if we can make up for going to bed early by waking up early in the morning as well. This way, extra expenses which would have to be used for paying electricity bills can be avoided.

10. Buy cheaper versions of goods.

Everyone knows that buying items at a cheaper price will surely help reduce expenses. There’s nothing to fancy about with this idea. But what I’m trying to suggest is that a lot of times, we could do all fine by turning to lesser known brands, which are also the cheaper ones. Let us take the example of Finecoffeeclub. They basically provide coffee capsules to fit Nespresso machines, but at about two-third of the cost of the Nespresso brand. So if you are looking to regularly save money and you are a coffee drinker, this is a great way to go. This is just an example. Most often, prices are inflated just because of the brand name, with not much difference in terms of quality. So this could help you solve a lot of your financial woes.

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Featured photo credit: Tips on saving money via stockrockandroll.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Published on May 7, 2019

How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

When it comes to stocks, I bet you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.

Everyone who’s not a financial expert has been there. I’ve been there. But, time is passing and you need to be crystal clear with how you’re investing for your retirement.

Otherwise, it’s back to work until you can afford not to. So, how can you invest for retirement when you’re not a financial expert?

You take the time to learn the fundamentals well. If you do, you can grow your wealth and retire happy. The best part is that you don’t need to be a financial expert to make smart investment decisions.

Here’s how to invest for retirement the smart and stress-free way:

1. Know Clearly Why You Invest

Odds are you already know why should invest for retirement.

But, maybe you know the wrong reasons. It’s time you get clear on why you’d like to retire. Here are some questions to help you get started:

  • Will you spend more time with your family?
  • What does retirement mean to you?
  • Are you looking to launch that business you’ve been holding off for years?

Everyone wants to retire but not for the same reasons. Once you’re clear for why retirement is important for you, you’ll focus on making it happen.

Investing in the stock market allows you to take advantage of compound interest.[1] All this means is that your money earns money on top of its interest. A reason why investment in the stock market is one of the best ways to plan for retirement.

2. Figure out When to Invest

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”– Chinese Proverb

It’s true if you’d had started investing when you were 10 years old, you’d have a lot more money than you do today.

The reality is that most people don’t start investing until it’s too late. So, if you’re currently waiting for the perfect time to start an investment, it would be today. Open your calendar and block out 2 to 3 hours to choose how you’ll invest for retirement.

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A quick way to get a snapshot of where you stand is to use Personal Capital. Input all your personal information and spend some time setting your retirement goals. Once completed, you’ll know where you stand with your retirement.

Having a savings account for retirement isn’t planning for retirement. Why? Your money loses value when you factor in US inflation.[2]

3. Evaluate Your Risk Tolerance to Create the Perfect Portfolio

Investing your money well depends on your emotions.

Why?

Because when the market drops most people panic and withdraw their money. On average, the US stock market yields an annual 6% to 7% ROI (return on your investment.) But, this won’t happen if you’re worried about short-term loses.

Before you invest your next dollar, know your risk tolerance.[3] Your risk tolerance determines the number of risky and safe investments you’d have.

Regardless of your investing style, you need to view investing for retirement as a long term game. Know that some years you’ll lose money but recoup this in the long-term.

Avoid watching market-related new. Also, create a double authentication to log in your investment account. This way you’re less likely to withdraw your money.

4. Open a Reliable Retirement Account

Depending on your circumstance, you may need to open a new brokerage account. This is the account is where you’ll invest your money.

If you’re currently working for a company, odds are that they offer a 410K investing account. If so, here’s where you’ll invest most of your money. The only problem with this is that you’re limited to the stock options that are available.

You do have the option to open a separate IRA (individual retirement account.) Here are some of the best brokers:

  1. Vanguard
  2. TD Ameritrade
  3. Charles Schwab

5. Challenge Yourself to Invest Consistently

Committing to invest for retirement is hard, but continuing to do so is harder.

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Once you’ve started investment for your retirement, you run at risk from stopping. Often you’ll want to contribute less, so you’d have more money in your pocket.

That’s why it’s important that you create a budget that allows you to invest each month. If you’re working for a company, you can set a percentage for the amount you’d like to contribute each month. Most people by default contribute 1% but aim to contribute 10% to 15%.

Be the judge for how much you can afford to contribute after covering important expenses. To stay motivated, use Personal Capital to view your net worth.

A benefit to contributing money to your retirement account is not taxed. For example, if you earn $100 and invest 10%, you’d contribute $10, then get taxed on the remaining $90. As of 2019, the most you’re able to contribute towards your 401K is 19K but this can change.

6. Consider Where to Invest Your Money

The most common way to invest your money is in stocks, but it’s not the only way. Here are other ways to invest:

Robo Advisors

Robo-advisors[4] are fancy algorithms that’ll choose the best investments for you. Sites like Wealthfront make it easy for first-time investors to invest their money. You’d input information about yourself and set your risk tolerance.

Then, set your monthly contribution amount and your robo-advisor would do the rest. Robo-advisors charge a fee to manage your money, but less than regular advisors.

Bonds

Think of bonds as “IOUs” to whomever you buy them from.

Essentially, you’re lending money and charging interest. Like stocks, not all bonds are equal. Some will be riskier than others depending on their rating.

Here are the different types of bond categories:[5]

  1. Treasury bonds
  2. Government bonds
  3. Corporate bonds
  4. Foreign bonds
  5. Mortgage-backed bonds
  6. Municipal bonds

Mutual Funds

Picture a group of people dumping all their money in a jar that’s managed by a professional. This is how mutual funds work. The fund manager manages the money looking to earn capital gains (interest.)

One of the best types of mutual funds is index funds. Since these funds don’t try to beat the market and instead follow it, they need less research. Because of this they often charge the lowest fees and yield the best long-term results.

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Real Estate

Yes, buying a home is an investment when done correctly.

Imagine buying a home and using it as a rental property. After repairing it, you receive a monthly surplus check of $100 to $200.

This may not sound like a lot, but repeat this process enough times and you’d earn a large amount of passive income. That’s why real estate is one of the best investments to not only retire but become wealthy.

But, it requires a lot of money to start and you should expect losing money along the way as you learn the process.

Savings Accounts

Your money can still grow in a savings account. Nowadays most online banks offer a 2% annual return. Although the average inflation is higher your money will be available when you need it.

7. Master Disincline to Dodge Short Success

Investing for retirement is a long-term strategy. That’s why you need to master delayed gratification. All this means is delaying short-term pleasure for something bigger in the future. Research shows that those who have delayed gratification are more successful.[6]

So how can you master delayed gratification?

By building your discipline.

Think back to what retirement means to you. A clear purpose will help you avoid withdrawing your money during a market downturn. It’ll help you contribute more towards retirement when you’d want to waste it instead.

Your journey towards retirement will be long, so reward yourself along the way. Choose a reward that’s relevant and meaningful, so that you reinforce positive behavior. For example, after contributing more towards retirement, treat yourself to dinner.

8. Aggressively Invest on This One Investment

I’ve mentioned several types of investments but haven’t covered the most important one.

It sounds cliche but here’s why you’re your best investment towards retirement. The more you know, the more money you’ll be able to make. The more good habits you adopt, the more secure your retirement will be.

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More importantly, investing in yourself is an investment that no one can take away. There’s no market downturn nor tragic circumstance that’ll wipe your knowledge and experience.

But, how can you invest yourself?

Reading books, blogs, and anything that’ll help you learn new topics daily. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks on your commute to/from work.

Save money to buy courses and hire coaches. I used to believe hiring coaches was a waste of money when I could learn the subject alone.

But, coaches see your blind spots and hold you accountable. Hiring the right coach will help you achieve your goals faster than you would’ve alone.

Retire Happy with Excess Money

The key to a secure financial future doesn’t only belong to financial experts.

It’s possible for you and I. What if you were able to retire earlier than most people and weren’t a financial planner? What if you were able to focus on what you enjoy doing the most while your money was working hard for you?

I know this sounds impossible now, but the truth is you’re capable of taking charge of your retirement. I’m not a financial expert but I’ve learned how to invest my money by reading books and learning from others.

Investing your money is scary. So start small and invest a small amount of your money with a robo-advisor. Feel your money drop and rise for a month or two. Then, invest more and keep this up until you’re aggressively saving for retirement.

One day, you’ll wake up with a net worth you’re proud of – confident about your retirement. You now know a few strategies you can use to invest in your retirement. Will you take action to retire happy?

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Featured photo credit: Matthew Bennett via unsplash.com

Reference

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