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Learn These 10 Easy Skills Now And You Can Save A Lot of Money

Learn These 10 Easy Skills Now And You Can Save A Lot of Money

There are certain things that we have to pay other individuals to perform for us. From the dentist to certain construction tasks, it would be less stressful and wiser to consult an expert. However, for certain tasks, like an article of clothing that is damaged or dog grooming that we can perform ourselves and save a ton of money in the process. This not only makes you a wiser individual economically, it allows you to also be more self-sufficient in a time of rising costs and the environmental impact certain acts have. Today, we will talk about 10 easy to learn skills that you need to acquire today to save you money in the future.

1. Website Design

This is by far my most favourite tip to give. Not only because I’m currently working on advancing my programming knowledge, but also because it has both money saving and money making qualities. Squarespace is a website design website I make use of and a separate website for my domain costs. Even with a working knowledge of HTML and CSS, I use Squarespace because I simply love their templates I can tinker with. With Squarespace alone I am paying $120 a year, that’s $10 a month. For those who can program their own website, they are able to make it uniquely their own and can even offer their skills to other people as a way of making money. Code Academy is a great place to start and you’ll need to work toward learning HTML/CSS and Javascript.

2. Cooking

preparing food

    Some reports attest that the average American eats out twice a week, spending on average $10 each visit. Totalling close to $1000 a year when you add in taxes, and almost an additional 50% of that when you factor in taxes. In summary, that is what equates to a round-trip international plane ticket, going down your gullet. While I am not recommending you to stop eating out all together, I still spend the average a year on eating out, if not more, I do recommend you take up the skill of cooking if you are looking to save money. With the numerous recipe applications, articles, and websites out there, cooking is more accessible and easier than you think. With the money you’ll be saving, cooking your own meals every now and then will grow on you.

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    3. Dog Grooming

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      There are certain upkeep costs that require the intervention of a vet when it comes to pets. However, there are many individuals who pay for dog grooming to ensure that nails are kept trimmed or even polished! With some services costing between $20 and $50 a visit, you are simply throwing money into the litter pan with dog grooming costs. Instead, learn to do some of these things yourself. From giving your dog a luxurious bath to keeping up their mane, you will be saving between $300 and $600 a year. Plus, it’ll allow you to connect with Fido.

      4. Clothing Repair

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        Oh no, there’s a rip in your pants. What are you likely to do? Chances are high that you’ll either throw the pants out or do the “frugal” option of taking them to the tailor. But when you think about it, is having someone else repair your pants really frugal when you have two working hands of your own. No it is not, and there are various resources online and show you how to make small repairs to clothing mishaps, preventing you from having to make a trip to your tailor or the local shopping mall. With the average tailor visit costing between $10 and $30, you’ll save $120 to $360 a year repairing on our own.

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        5. Cutting Hair

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          Salon costs are heavily weighed especially on gender. Granted, a woman may request a couple of more additions to their hair bill, including some styling here and there, but for the most part, women pay more in any situation. Depending on the size and location of the city you live in, especially as reported in this Huffington Post article from May of last year, you can find yourself spending between $900 and $3000 on average for maintaining that gorgeous mane of yours. That’s outrageous, and you may want to look into how to give or allow a family member to give you a small trim between less frequent visits. The other hair cost, hair products, can also be reduced as well. Guys, I’m looking out for you all as well (how to trim your own beard and how to cut your own hair).

          6. Walking

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            Taking your car everywhere, even when you have no where to go and just want to go for a ride on a nice Saturday afternoon can cost you in the long run in wasted gas. Instead, look into walking to more places if you live in a neighbourhood that would make this possible. Even if you don’t, if you are on break at work, walk around the city instead of driving to your lunchtime errands. If you do live in a walkable neighbourhood, consider forgoing your car all together. Learning how to tackle your city like a true city person will allow you to let go one of the biggest expenses of all. Forgoing your car results in saving almost $3000 a year.

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            7. Preparing Taxes

            Preparing your own taxes can be so stressful that individuals are willing to shell out on average $261 a year to have someone else do it. While in complicating situations, for example the case of freelancers, it is wise to consult a bit of help. However, if you are a run of the mill taxed American, you will probably find that preparing your own taxes is wiser for you in the end.

            8. Negotiating

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              There are certain countries where a majority of your purchases are set in stone, in other countries negotiating is the way to go. However, in the United States, many of the services that we feel are set in stone can actually be negotiated upon. Chances are, in our society, you’ll find things marked with a price tag, but you can definitely find ways to negotiate in the form of discounts. You aren’t haggling or being a penny pincher by asking if places have discounts for students or other groups you are qualified under. If you have enough proof, your chances of getting some unadvertised percentage off can save you a ton in the long run. All you have to do is learn the art of speaking up.

              9. Car Maintenance

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                As mentioned before, walking can be a great way to save almost $3000 if you forgo your car all together. However, if you are like most Americans and can’t let the keys go, there are ways to save on things like car maintenance. Certain things, like changing a tire or keeping up with your car’s oil are simple and quick tasks you can perform yourself with the right tools and know-how. Maintaining your car yourself, without the need to go to a dealership aside from larger issues and inspections will save you hundreds in the end of the year.

                10. Stay-cationing

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                  Paying hundreds of dollars for transportation, hundreds more for lodging, and eating out are all the components of an expensive but great vacation. However, very few people fail to look at what is to offer in their own backyards (~50 mi). Living in Northern Virginia alone, if I want city fun I can go to Washington D.C, if I want nature, i can go to the numerous national parks, including Great Falls, to take in the scenery. Make use of websites like Yelp or your city or state’s official website. They can offer insight into various activities available to you to enjoy.

                  Grand Total of Savings: ~$3500 – $6000 a year.

                  With the tips outlined in this article, you can find yourself saving a ton of money that can be applied toward a certain item or trip you have been only wishing to partake in for the longest. Let us know in the comments below what you’d spend your personal grand total of savings on.

                  Featured photo credit: 120 Hours via 120hours.com

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                  Published on July 4, 2018

                  Top 10 Recommendations on Money Management Apps

                  Top 10 Recommendations on Money Management Apps

                  Don’t want to overspend your budget, swipe your credit card too many times, and feel like a financial mess? Instead of beating yourself up for the bad financial decisions you’ve ever made, create a new plan!

                  The solution is simple, save more and spend less. But, we all know it’s easier said than done.

                  One problem is finding quality apps that save you time and money, and aren’t just hype.

                  Luckily, there’re many great money management apps available at your fingertips. Here are 10 reliable money management apps that can help you save money, and crush debt.

                  1. Personal Capital

                    When was the last time you’ve tracked your net worth? Probably months ago or maybe never. Personal Capital allows you to easily track your net worth and plan for retirement.

                    Here are some of its main features:

                    • Sync many investment accounts, and expenses (mortgage, credit cards, etc.) in one place
                    • Discover hidden fees and how much they’re affecting your retirement plan
                    • Wealth management for investors requiring a long-term strategy

                    With Personal you’re free to track your expenses and net worth.

                    Available for: iOS and Android

                    2. Mint

                      If your smartphone could only install a few apps, Mint would be one of them. Why? Because Mint tracks all your balances and bills in one place.

                      Here are some of its main features:

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                      • Effortlessly track all your bills and balances in one dashboard
                      • Categorized expenses to understand where you spend your money
                      • Uncover hidden fees, and determine your investment style with sophisticated retirement tools.

                      Feel at ease with managing your money by a reputable company that isn’t going anywhere.

                      Available for: iOS and Android

                      3. YNAB

                        Everyone needs a budget, there’s no way around it. YNAB (You Need A Budget) is an easy to use app that will change the way you think about money. Their motto is to “give every dollar a job”, and you’ll quickly discover why.

                        Here are some of its main features:

                        • Easily sync all bank accounts in one place
                        • Visually see your debt paying progress with eye-catching charts and notifications
                        • Customized categories setting saving goals

                        The best part about YNAB is the community that comes along with it. You can hop on the YNAB forum to receive support, listen to the YNAB Podcast or stay tuned for their weekly videos.

                        Available for: iOS and Android

                        4. Wealthfront

                          Albert Einstein once said “compound interest is the eight wonder in the world”, and for a very good reason. The problem is, most people are scared or unwilling to learn the basics of investing. This is why Wealthfront is the perfect solution for the hands-off investors.

                          Here are some of its main features:

                          • Variety of investment account options including IRA, Roth IRA, and more
                          • Your portfolio composed of 7 different asset classes
                          • Automatically rebalanced portfolio
                          • Daily tax loss harvesting

                          Wealthfront is perfect for people requiring investment guidance, or prefer a hands-off solution.

                          Available for: iOS and Android

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                          5. Clarity Money

                            If you’re staying on top of your budget but want to take your finances to the next level, Clarity Money can help you. Clarity Money helps you stay under budget and build a personalized savings plan.

                            Here are some of its main features:

                            • Easily cancel subscriptions with one click
                            • Synchronize bank accounts fast
                            • Transfer money effortlessly between different accounts

                            Clarity Money isn’t an app that does it all. But, it does make transferring money and canceling subscriptions fast and efficient.

                            Available for: iOS and Android

                            6. Acorns

                              What if there was a way to quickly gain confidence in investing your money, without too much risk? There is, and Acorns is your solution. With Acorns’s technology, you’re able to make investments as small as $5.

                              Here are some of its main features:

                              • Automatic contribution option
                              • Customized portfolio tailored to your needs
                              • Low management fees ranging from $1-$2 per month

                              Stop wasting dollars on expensive coffee. Instead, invest them towards a brighter financial future.

                              Available for: iOS and Android

                              7. Albert

                                Do you budget by only subtracting your expenses from your income? If so, how would you discover any overpayments or extra money you could save? This is where Albert shines, and it does it all free.

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                                Here are some of its main features:

                                • Receive notifications for overpayments, hidden fees, and low balances
                                • An Automatic budget that’s built around your spending and income
                                • Easily track debt and set new financial goals

                                While Albert does offer a paid option, most of its core features are FREE. So, what better option to save?

                                Available for: iOS

                                8. Prism

                                  Have you recently forgot to pay a bill because life got in the way? Prism automatically tracks your bills and syncs your bank accounts in one place.

                                  Here are some of its main features:

                                  • View all your account balances in one glance
                                  • Bill due dates are automatically pulled and tracked
                                  • Receive early reminders for upcoming bills

                                  If your budget is on “fleek” but can’t seem to stay on top of your bills, Prism is your go-to app.

                                  Available for: iOS, Android, Windows, Amazon

                                  9. Mvelopes

                                    Remember hearing about people using envelopes to budget their money? Well, Mvelopes is the new envelope system for this generation. Easily create monthly budgets and track your saving goals.

                                    Here are some of its main features:

                                    • Connect unlimited bank accounts
                                    • Real-time budgeting with auto transaction syncing
                                    • Low monthly $4 fee or $40 annual

                                    Mvelopes can help you crush debt, save more, and help you stop overspending. With its low monthly fee, it’s worth a try.

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                                    Available for: iOS and Android

                                    10. Wallaby

                                      Most people don’t have time to track their credit card’s changing rewards and interest rates. Because of this, you need help reaping the most of your credit card’s rewards. Wallaby is the app that will help you do just that.

                                      Here are some of its main features:

                                      • Automatic recommendations for the best credit card to use for each transaction
                                      • A friendly user interface, displaying credit cards with their corresponding images
                                      • Free to use

                                      If you’re using the same credit card to make your purchases, you may be leaving money on the table. Give Wallaby a try if you’re ready to maximize your credit card’s rewards.

                                      Available for: iOS and Android

                                      Take control of your finances and experience financial freedom

                                      Picture yourself staying on budget and saving more money than you’d ever imagined.

                                      It took hard work and dedication but you’d finally learned how to manage your money. You have to start taking control of your spending and saving habits.

                                      You now have a list of reliable apps that can help you build better money habits, what are you waiting for?

                                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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