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Save Money This Week

Save Money This Week

    The Simple Dollar gives 10 suggestions that will help you save money this week. I tend to spend more time thinking about how to save money then actually saving money. The idea behind these tips is to get you to start saving money ASAP. The Simple Dollar recommends trying these money saving tips for a week and seeing if any of them mesh well with your lifestyle:

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    1. Prepare and eat every meal you can at home.
    Instead of getting take out, spend this week preparing and eating meals at home. They don’t have to be anything complex, just foods you know how to prepare. You can prepare them in advance if you’d like or simply toss something together when you get home, but prepare them and eat them at home all week long.

    2. Drive the speed limit.
    Instead of dropping the pedal to the floor to save a few minutes, set your car’s cruise control and go the speed limit. You’ll cut down on your gas mileage a significant amount.

    3. Buy generics at the grocery store.
    Most people instinctively choose the non-generic name brand item, even though in many cases they’re roughly equivalent in quality. This week, buy the cheaper generics to make a point of seeing which ones you like and which ones you don’t. You’ll have a nice low grocery bill this time – and perhaps a lower bill every time in the future.

    4. Entertain yourself with things you already own.
    Instead of buying a DVD or a book or renting a movie, find something already on your shelf and enjoy it instead. Got a hobby? Spend some time maintaining what you already have instead of buying more.

    Head over to the Simple Dollar for the rest of the tips. Do any of you have any money saving tips that can be started today? Let us know in the comments.

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    Ten Ways to Save Money This Week – [The Simple Dollar]

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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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