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6 Luxurious Timesaving Services That Are Cheaper Than You Think

6 Luxurious Timesaving Services That Are Cheaper Than You Think

    It must be great to be rich. After all, it’s a lot easier to be productive when you can pay someone to do all the menial things on your to-do list. But these perks aren’t restricted to trust fund kids. Some of the timesaving services that seem the most luxurious are surprisingly affordable, meaning you can boost your productive hours each day without crippling your cash flow.

    Time is money…so why not spend a little cash to reclaim precious hours in your day? Here are some common services that seem indulgent but are cheaper than you might have thought.

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    1. Valet Parking

    The Problem: You want to go out to dinner, but after you spend 30 minutes trying to find a place to park your car, you’ve missed your reservation.

    The Solution: Valet parking seems like an indulgence (and a drain on your wallet.) The thing is, a ton of restaurants offer free valet parking, saving you time and keeping you from shelling out quarters for the parking meter. Make reservations at a place with free valet parking, and you’ll make a good impression on your dining companions, and be a lot less stressed out.

    2. Personal Assistant

    The Problem: You. Are. Swamped. But you don’t have the budget to hire another employee, and your personal life is just as frenetic as your professional life.

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    The Solution: A virtual personal assistant. Your employer would definitely frown on you outsourcing your job to a virtual assistant, but if you are self-employed or need an assistant for purely personal reasons, hiring a virtual personal assistant is a great way to get items checked off your to-do list. Rates vary by company/individual, but can be as low as $1 an hour…and plenty of companies offer free trial periods as well.

    3. Grocery Delivery

    The Problem: Driving to the store takes time. Picking out your purchases takes time. Clipping coupons (if you’re into that sort of thing) takes a lot of time. And let’s not forget the drudgery of waiting in line behind the old lady who’s buying cat food with a combination of pocket change and personal checks.

    The Solution: Okay, no one’s gonna give you free groceries (unless it’s a charity org.) But, plenty of delivery services offer free shipping on your first order, low flat rate shipping, and competitive rates on their grocery items, so it doesn’t really cost you anything extra to shop online. Peapod, for example, offers free shipping for the first two months you use the service. Most services offer automated shipping as well, so you can have a constant stream of staples delivered to you at regular intervals.

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    4. Personal Accounting/Tax Prep

    The Problem: You don’t want to have to manage your own money, but you don’t have enough dough to pay someone to do it for you.

    The Solution: More like solutions. Free programs like GnuCash can help you track your spending year-round. H&R Block offers FREE audit support and representation from an enrolled agent when you file your taxes with them. The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Programs offer free tax help for taxpayers who qualify. The VITA Program offers free tax help to low- to moderate-income (generally, $49,000 and below) people who cannot prepare their own tax returns.

    5. Laundry Service

    The Problem: You hate doing laundry almost as much as you hate shelling out the dough for detergent and the coin-op laundry. And nothing bugs you more than spending a precious weekend afternoon washing and folding.

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    The Solution: Dry cleaning is definitely expensive, but washing the rest of your clothes can be surprisingly affordable. Rates vary by geographic location, but can be as low as 79 cents per pound. If you don’t have a home washing machine to begin with, laundry service might be a good choice for you.

    As an added bonus, a lot of places that offer wash and fold services will also throw in free repairs for whatever you bring in, whether its a missing button or a fallen hem. And let’s be honest: those are the kinds of repairs you’re just gonna keep putting off.

    6. House Cleaners/Maids

    The Problem: Your house is starting to look like an audition tape for Hoarders. But to make a dent in the cleaning, you’d need to dedicate a whole month’s worth of weekends.

    The Solution: Maid companies can be a little pricey, so you might want to try advertise on Craigslist or in your local paper. You can try having different providers bid like contractors for who gets the privilege of working for you. Also keep your eyes peeled for deals on sites like LivingSocial or Groupon, where there are occasionally deep discounts on maid services.

    What “luxury” time-saving services are you most likely to splurge on? Tell us in the comments below!

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    Published on November 20, 2018

    The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind

    The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind

    The truth is, there are many “money saving guides” online, but most don’t cover the root issue for not saving.

    Once I’d discovered a few key factors that allowed me to save 10k in one year, I realized why most articles couldn’t help me. The problem is that even with the right strategies you can still fail to save money. You need to have the right systems in place and the right mindset.

    In this guide, I’ll cover the best ways to save money — practical yet powerful steps you can take to start saving more. It won’t be easy but with hard work, I’m confident you’ll be able to save more money–even if you’re an impulsive spender.

    Why Your Past Prevents You from Saving Money

    Are you constantly thinking about your financial mistakes?

    If so, these thoughts are holding you back from saving.

    I get it, you wish you could go back in time to avoid your financial downfalls. But dwelling over your past will only rob you from your future. Instead, reflect on your mistakes and ask yourself what lessons you can learn from them.

    It wasn’t easy for me to accept that I had accumulated thousands of dollars in credit card debt. Once I did, I started heading in the right direction. Embrace your past failures and use them as an opportunity to set new financial goals.

    For example, after accepting that you’re thousands of dollars in debt create a plan to be debt free in a year or two. This way when you’ll be at peace even when you get negative thoughts about your finances. Now you can focus more time on saving and less on your past financial mistakes.

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    How to Effortlessly Track Your Spending

    Stop manually tracking your spending.

    Leverage powerful analytic tools such as Personal Capital and these money management apps to do the work for you. This tool has worked for me and has kept me motivated to why I’m saving in the first place. Once you login to your Personal Capital dashboard, you’re able to view your net worth.

    When I’d first signed up with Personal Capital, I had a negative net worth, but this motivated me to save more. With this tool, you can also view your spending patterns, expenses, and how much money you’re saving.

    Use your net worth as your north star to saving more. Whenever you experience financial setbacks, view how far you’ve come along. Saving money is only half the battle, being consistent is the other half.

    The Truth on Why You Keep Failing

    Saving money isn’t sexy. If it was, wouldn’t everyone be doing it?

    Some people are natural savers, but most are impulsive spenders. Instead of denying that you’re an impulsive spender, embrace it.

    Don’t try to save 60 to 70% of your income if this means you’ll live a miserable life. Saving money isn’t a race but a marathon. You’re saving for retirement and for large purchases.

    If you’re currently having a hard time saving, start spending more money on nice things. This may sound counterintuitive but hear me out. Wouldn’t it be better to save $200 each month for 12 months instead of $500 for 3 months?

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    Most people run into trouble because they create budgets that set them up for failure. This system won’t work for those who are frugal, but chances are they don’t need help saving. This system is for those who can’t save money and need to be rewarded for their hard work.

    Only because you’re buying nice things doesn’t mean that you’ll save less. Here are some rules you should have in place:

    1. Save more than 50% of your available money (after expenses)
    2. Only buy nice things after saving
    3. Automate your savings with automatic bank transfers

    These are the same rules that helped me save thousands each year while buying the latest iPhone. Focus only on items that are important to you. Remember, you can afford anything but not everything.

    How to Foolproof Yourself out of Debt

    Personal finance is a game. On one end, you’re earning money; and on the to other, you’re saving. But what ends up counting in the end isn’t how much you earn but how much you save. Research shows that about 60% of Americans spend more than they save.[1]

    So how can you separate yourself from the 60%?

    By not accumulating more debt. This way you’ll have more money to save and avoid having more financial obligations. A great way to stop accumulating debt is using cash to pay for all your transactions.

    This will be challenging, depending on how reliant you are with your credit card, but it’s worth the effort. Not only will you stop accruing debt, but you’ll also be more conscious with what you buy.

    For example, you’ll think twice about purchasing a new $200 headphone despite having the cash to buy them. According to a poll conducted by The CreditCards.com, 5 out of 6 Americans are impulsive spenders.[2]

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    Telling yourself that you’ll have the discipline to not buy things won’t cut it. This is equal to having junk food in your fridge while trying to eat healthy–it’s only a matter of time before you slip. By using cash to make your purchases, you’ll spend less and save more.

    A Proven Formula to Skyrocket Your Savings

    Having proven systems in place to help you save more is important, but they’re not the best way to save money.

    You can search for dozens of ways to save money, but there’ll always be a limit. Instead of spending the majority of your effort saving, look for ways to increase your income. The truth is that once you have the right systems in place, saving is easy.

    What’s challenging is earning more money. There are many routes you can take to achieve this. For example, you can work long and hard at your current job to earn a raise. But there’s one problem–you’re depending on someone else to give you a raise.

    Your company will have to have the budget, and you’ll have to know how to toot your own horn to get this raise. This isn’t to say that earning a raise is impossible, but things are better when you’re in control right? That’s why building a side-hustle is the best way to increase your income.

    Think of your side-hustle as a part-time job doing something you enjoy. You can sell items on eBay for a profit, or design websites for small businesses. Building a side-hustle will be on the hardest things you’ll do, be too stubborn to quit.

    During the early stages, you won’t be making money and that’s okay. Since you already have a source of income, you won’t be dependent on your side-hustle to pay for your expenses. Depending on how much time you invest in your side-hustle, it can one day replace your current income.

    Whatever route you take, focus more on earning and save as much as possible. You have more control than you give yourself credit for.

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    Transform Yourself into a Saving Money Machine

    Saving money isn’t complicated but it’s one of the hardest things you’ll do.

    By learning from your mistakes and rewarding yourself after saving you’ll save more. What would you do with an extra $200 or $500 each month? To some, this is life-changing money that can improve the quality of their lives.

    The truth is saving money is an art. Save too much and you’ll quit, but save too little and you’ll pay for the consequences in the future. Saving money takes effort and having the right systems in place.

    Imagine if you’d started saving an extra $100 this next month? Or, saved $20K in one year? Although it’s hard to imagine, this can be your reality if you follow the principles covered in this guide.

    Take a moment to brainstorm which goals you’d be able to reach if you had extra money each month. Use these goals as motivation to help you stay on track on your journey to saving more. If I was able to save thousands of dollars with little guidance, imagine what you’ll be able to do.

    What are you waiting for? Go and start saving money, the sky is your limit.

    Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

    Reference

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