If you’re not rich you are probably well aware that the economy is past slow. With an uncertain future ahead you need to save more now than ever. The realistic news is the business you currently work for may not be around in six months. So what do you do?
Go into survival mode. Worst case scenario the economy won’t affect you and you have extra money saved. Having extra money doesn’t sound too bad to me. The bad news is you may want to save that money you were going to use for that third car or the money for the widescreen television for a game room.
1. Cut your electric bill – Turn off fans, lights, and any power source that you aren’t using. Turn off your water heater for the day if you are going to use it.
2. See if you can trim money off your phone bill. Have cell phones? Look at your bill to see if you can get a lower rate. Can you save money on your phone bill? Most of the home plans are all inclusive to keep up with the cell phone’s plans. Maybe you don’t need both phones.
3. Cable – Can you cut your cable bill? What do you really watch and how often. Maybe you don’t need all the boxes you have. Would the satellite be cheaper?
4. Internet – Can you use less 3G and mobile data? Can you combine packages and get one bill for less money? Is changing your usage a good idea?
5. Save on water and electric by doing less laundry, or do all the laundry in one day and leave your water heater off. Make sure your dishwasher is fully loaded or wash the dishes by hand.
6. Use less gas in your vehicle. Combine trips out. Get enough groceries to last for a week or two. Slow your vehicle down. Shut your vehicle off instead of letting it idle for long periods of time. Go the shortest distance to a destination. Carpool when you can.
7. Groceries – Instead of buying brand name groceries get the no name, inexpensive brand. Try buying in bulk. Bulk is usually cheaper. Get groceries that you can make multiple meals out of. Use items that are easy to store leftovers or you can store the unused portion easily. Think of inexpensive meals. Now is a great time to experiment with menus and meals.
8. Unessentials – If you don’t need it don’t buy it. Save it for a rainy day.
In a Nutshell
The moment you figure out your money spending habit, you may start to identify on the areas that you can cut down your spending. It is a good practice for you to fix a sum which is practical for you to spend on that and stick to that limit.
You will need to come out with a spending plan in order for you to stay with your budget. Once you have the spending plan is created, you need to stick to the plan by restricted yourself to spend only the sums which you laid out in your spending plan.
At first, it may be a difficult task for you but once you patiently and being persistent in practicing the plan, not long later you will get used to it and this is going to be an extremely effective way to control your spending and you will start building up your frugal spending habit.
Things To Do When You Encounter A Financial Emergency
Financial emergencies are likely to happen at some point in everyone’s life. They come about because of a sudden illness, loss of job, change in relationship circumstances and the like.
They can be severely stressful if they come at a time that places the home in jeopardy. The key to succeeding is knowing how to handle them when they arise. The following contains some helpful advice for people who come face to face with financial emergencies:
Keep a Positive Outlook
The most important factor in getting through financial emergencies is keeping a positive outlook. The head of the household must take a deep breath and trust that the situation will work out in the long run.
Many people allow financial problems to beat them down so badly that their minds are too tired for problem resolution. Getting in a relaxed and trusting frame of mind is the first step toward recovery.
Ask Family Members and Friends
Friends and family members may be able to offer financial assistance, but the person should not rely on them too much. Current times are difficult for every family, which is why the person must have knowledge of Plans B and C. You may be able to ask for help in other ways that don’t involve asking for money. You may need to rely on them for babysitting or housing for a short time.
Start With Odd Jobs and Other Creative Ideas
Everyone has a skill or talent that he or she can use to bring quick cash into the home. Babysitting, yard raking, lawn mowing, car cleaning, and snow shoveling are just a few examples of odd jobs that one can do in the midst of a finical emergency.
Alternatively, many lenders offer short-term loans such as payday loans and title loans. Payday lenders do not check credit scores, and they usually issue loans to approved customers within one hour. Obtaining cash through work efforts is a better option because repayment is not necessary, however.
Look Around the House for Treasures
Finally, one may find some treasures around the house that he or she can offer at a yard sale or flea market. A yard sale event would have the least amount of overhead. Most people are off of work on Saturday or Sunday, and many of them search yard sales for things that they need around the house.
A yard sale may not make a person rich, but it could bring in just enough money to bring a person out of a financial jam. The consumer could sell electronics, appliances, and furniture. Many people buy furniture from yard sales when they move into new apartments or homes.
Structured Settlement Options
If you have won a structured settlement in the past, you can have access to the cash now if you need it. myLumpsum.com allows you to exchange future payments for an immediate sum. This can help you pay for unexpected medical bills, debts for education, or other necessities.
A consumer can start the journey out of a financial emergency using the previously mentioned tips. After you have recovered from the financial hardship, start finding ways to save for an emergency fund to be prepared for future financial troubles.
75% Of Americans Get Less Money In Emergency Fund
According to a recent study by Bankrate, 75% of Americans do not have emergency savings in place. General guidelines recommend households have 3-6 months of expenses saved in the event of an emergency. There are several reasons why so many Americans are failing to save and are continuing to live paycheck to paycheck.
First, Americans are failing to save due to a desire to purchase various goods and services. In this culture, we are bombarded throughout the day with marketing and advertisements. Many have a hard time resisting the temptation to buy, leaving no additional money for saving. To establish emergency savings, households must begin living within their means.
Many Americans are carrying large amounts of debt. Making payments on debt obligations such as car loans, student loans, and credit cards limit the availability of funds for saving. Until Americans reduce their debt load, saving money will be a challenge.
Perhaps one of the most prevalent reasons Americans are failing to save is that they are failing to budget. Without a plan in place, it is difficult to control and monitor your inflow and outflow each month. Once a household begins budgeting, they can gain control of their finances and include savings as a budget category.
Over-reliance on credit cards poses another setback to establishing emergency savings. Many do not feel they need to save since they believe they can charge whatever emergency arises to a credit card. Unfortunately, this alternative is risky and unreliable. Paying for emergencies only increases debt and some emergencies cannot be financed with a credit card.
Some may not be making emergency savings a priority. Savvy investors, for example, may feel they can earn a better return by investing their money in a 401(k), stocks, and mutual funds. However, the purpose of an emergency savings account is not to earn a return, but rather to be available to cover unexpected expenses.
Building up a savings account can help you prepare for unexpected emergencies and afford a home. It’s important to have multiple savings accounts or a set amount of money for each situation in your savings.
Living within your means takes sacrifice and dedication. Many grow weary of making these sacrifices and revert to their old spending habits. Keep the end goal in sight to stay motivated. The reasons Americans are not saving are varied.
However, it is not too late to establish an emergency savings fund. Households can begin saving now to be prepared in the event of a financial emergency.
7 Reasons Customizing a New Home Can Save Money
The choice of purchasing a resale home or customizing a new place can be a challenge. There are many variables to consider, including location and price. Here are seven ways customizing a new home can save you money.
New construction often has to meet new standards for energy efficiency. Thus, a new home can likely regulate heat and cool better, perhaps even meeting green building standards that take into account things like insulation, siding, and windows. This can add up to big savings over time.
One of the most common repairs needed in older homes is the foundation. Repairing or replacing the foundation costs big bucks and creates a big headache. New homes built on new slabs or foundations make this costly renovation unlikely.
Today’s buyers often want to replace the flooring in an older home. To do so is potentially to open a can of worms. Tearing up carpets and linoleum may unveil water or insect damage or uneven floors due to shifting conditions below. A new home comes not just with customized flooring to suit your taste but also with a brand new sub-floor.
New construction is often completely customizable, meaning that you can choose the finishing you like without having to pay someone to renovate (and creating a mess for you upon move-in). Customized homes can include such high-end products as granite countertops, hardwood floors, and upgraded appliances. And in some cases, a builder in development may include these upgrades as a matter of course.
A costly renovation needed for most older homes is updating the exterior. In a customized home, you get to choose the colors and styles you like for your exterior and may be able to use contemporary materials as well. Choose traditional designs crafted from composite materials that will last the test of time.
Codes and Inspections
One major benefit of customizing a new construction home is that every nut, bolt, beam, and wire has to be up to current code and inspected– often multiple times. With the warranty present on most new construction, every aspect of your home is protected and safe. You won’t have to worry about rewiring your new home or need to tear out portions of your walls to add surround sound or speakers. Your new home will have it all– without the stress of a pricy renovation to bring it up to code.
Kitchens and Baths
The priciest upgrades that buyers make to older homes? Kitchens and bathrooms. Customizing your new home means you start with something you love and can avoid this expensive overhaul. Select the high-end, durable, and modern materials that you love most, and to really extend their style life, choose them in traditional shapes and arrangements that never go out of fashion.
Building and customizing a new home has many benefits and is the right choice for some buyers. consider the tips above when making your decision, and you can soon be home sweet home.
5 Ideas To Save Money For The Mortgage
Many homeowners are quickly finding it difficult to afford their mortgage due to a struggling economy and dozens of expenses. Instead of selling the property, there are several ways to save money to make it easier to pay your mortgage each month.
1. Use a Programmable Thermostat Effectively
By installing a thermostat that you can program yourself, it will mean having more control of the temperature in the home at certain times of the day for savings that can add up to thousands of dollars annually.
Many people have these but do not take advantage of the opportunity to turn heat or cooling to low settings when they’re not at home. You can take measures to ensure that the home still feels comfortable without shutting it off entirely.
2. Add Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters are increasing in popularity for the ample savings that they offer to homeowners by offering hot water only when it’s needed instead of running it even when it’s not in use. They’re eight to 50 percent more efficient to save on both water and energy costs throughout the year.
3. Install Compact Fluorescent Bulbs
Compact fluorescent bulbs can replace traditional incandescent bulbs for a longer lifespan and by using 75 percent less energy. For a single light bulb, it can be equivalent to $50 of savings annually, which can work to be hundreds of dollars a year if a number of fluorescent bulbs are the only type used throughout the home.
4. Install a Home Security System
A system from companies such as Vivint Home Security will make it easy to protect the property with a professional 24-hour service that prevents loss and damages that can occur through burglary or other problems.
A Gainesville FL security expert has suggested that the losses from a burglary in this country easily enter the billions of dollars range, and security systems can help in preventing much of this. Installing one can also reduce insurance costs due to discounts offered for decreased risk of damage and loss to a home.
5. Schedule an Energy Audit
An energy audit will cost money but will save you more in the long run by having a professional evaluate the home’s energy and how the energy may be wasted each month. A professional will be able to suggest and provide necessary tools to ensure that you get more bang for your buck in the coming seasons.
With simple and basic home improvement projects, it can be easy to save money to ensure that you’re able to have more for the mortgage without cutting too many corners. It will not only reduce your carbon footprint but lower costs annually for savings that you can truly be proud of.
5 Tips to Help You Handle Unexpected Expenses
Unexpected expenses are a part of life, but you don’t have to let them be turned off your stable financial life. With a little preparation, you can guard yourself against these burdens. If you’ve found yourself in this situation and haven’t prepared for it, there are some steps you can take to help handle the unexpected expenses.
Set Up an Automatic Transfer
One of the best ways to protect yourself against unexpected expenses is to set aside money for emergency savings. This is easier said than done when you are looking at the money you have leftover from each check after you pay your bills, but it can be done.
Have your bank set up an automatic transfer from your paycheck to your savings account every week. You won’t miss the money as much if you never get the chance to spend it.
Refinance Credit Card Debt
If you have already found yourself faced with an unexpected expense like a car repair or medical issue and you’ve put that debt on your credit cards, there are steps you can take to put yourself in a better situation.
Apply for a personal loan at your bank and consolidate all of your credit card debt. This will lower the interest rate and you’ll end up paying off the money quicker. It will also save time allowing you to make one big payment instead of several smaller ones each month.
Ask Your Creditors for Help
If you’d rather keep all of your credit cards but are having trouble making the payments because of an unexpected out of pocket expense, give the companies a call and let them know you are going through a hardship.
Most credit card companies and banks are willing to set up payment arrangements so that you can pay less or even skip a payment penalty-free. You can then use that money to put toward the emergency you’re facing.
When faced with an emergency, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and run to the first car repair shop or doctor that can fix your problem. You’ll want to make sure that you are getting the most for your money by shopping around and researching the best companies out there. Go online and look up reviews by people who have used a particular company to see how much you’ll be getting for your money.
Get an Expert Opinion
Sometimes when you find yourself in a tough situation you need to get an expert opinion. This is especially important if you’ve been involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you’ve incurred medical bills because of it.
You should contact an attorney so they can guide you toward the best route for your situation, say the experts at Dietrich Law. This can help make sure that medical bills are at least partially paid for, helping you focus your finances on other bills.
No matter what emergency and out of pocket expense you are facing, stay calm so you can think straight and figure out the best plan of action. Even if it sets you behind momentarily, let it motivate you to become prepared for future emergencies so you don’t have to experience the same stress again.
3 Simple Ways To Get A Lot More Out Of Your Bank Account
In these times everyone is trying to figure out ways to make their money do more for them. Economic meltdowns of entire countries have led to all of us being a bit more aware of our wealth.
This awareness has led to many people looking at different ways to not only save money but to make the money they save to do more for them. While eventually, things will become less dire, it would be wise for everyone to take some lessons from these most recent hardships and once again make plans for their financial futures.
There are ways that almost anyone can make their money work for them without having to invest hundreds of thousands of dollar. There are three things that anyone with a bank account can do to make sure they maximize their money without having to have a large sum of money to begin with.
Search For the Lowest Fees
Most banks charge fees for a wide variety of reasons, and these fees cost you money. While you will never find a bank that doesn’t have any fees at all, you will find several that offer lower fees than other banks.
One thing a lot of banks do is offer lower fees for new customers for a certain period of time and it is wise to take advantage of these promotions often. While it can be a bit of a chore to change bank accounts, finding a bank that has lower fees than the one you are with will save you money in the long run.
Start an Interest Bearing Checking Account or a Savings Account
Everyone knows that interest on your money is a good way to make your money work for you. For this reason, one of the best things you can do to make your bank account do more for your money is either open an interest-bearing checking account or link a savings account to your primary checking account.
While the interest rates for these kinds of accounts can be lower than other types of savings accounts, this allows you to collect interest on your money while still keeping your wealth fluid and available. Again you might want to look around at other banks because many banks will offer this service to attract a new customer.
Take Advantage of Bundled Financial Products
Bundling services have become common in many industries including the banking industry. Many banks are currently offering a bundle of financial products and service that are designed to get you to deposit more of your money into their bank.
For example, a lot of banks will offer a combined checking and savings account with a higher than the normal interest rate on your money if you also take a car loan out with them. By taking advantage of these bundle offers you are able to do more with your money so they are worth keeping an eye out for.