Monthly Archives: August 2007

Day 3 Of 33 Days And 33 Ways To Save Money And Reduce Debt : Sacrifice

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Irony:

I want to have enough so that I can send my kids to college, retire, enjoy my old age, and live out my years in relative comfort. I also want a new HDTV, faster computer, newer car, nicer furniture, and steak for supper.

If you are going to create change, you must be willing to sacrifice. Plain and simple, habits must be changed and ideas about ‘comfort’ must be adjusted.

By reducing (or eliminating) unnecessary expenses, you can free up more cash for savings and debt reduction. (Spend less… save more…) This sounds easy, but when faced with real life decisions to make, it can be difficult.

Think about why you buy the things you buy. I’m convinced that you will find out, like I did, that you are motivated more by the external opinions of others than you are by the internal plan you have for yourself. This must be reversed.

I reduced (or eliminated) the following items / hobbies / services from my life while I was getting out of debt:

Dry cleaning, golf, DVDs, Netflix, CDs, movies, purchased books, eating out, new clothes, new electronics, new power tools…

Each person’s ‘list’ will be different, depending on the amount of income you have, the lifestyle that you are accustomed to living, and the intensity with which you choose to attack your debt.

Bottom line: Are you willing to sacrifice some of the things that you have, some of the things you like to do, some of the places you like to go, and some of the conveniences that you’ve been using – so that you can get out of debt and focus on improving your financial future?

What have you been willing to sacrifice, so that you can get out of debt? What have you been unwilling to sacrifice?. Leave a comment and let us know. If you are a blogger, write a post about sacrifice and contact me. I’ll be more than happy to link to your post.

Resource associated with this tip:

Click here for the online Savings Calculator to calculate how much you could save if you invested this money instead of spending it on unnecessary goods or services.

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Online Sales Circular Allows Users to Find Offline Bargains: Salescircular.com

I’m a big fan of online shopping, but from time to time, I need to make an old fashioned ‘offline’ purchase.  Enter one of my favorite bargain sites: Salescirulcar.com.  Simply click on your state and then on a product category and Salescircular will give you a list of weekly deals from major offline retailers.  While on vacation this summer, I was looking for an inexpensive mp3 player.  I went to Salescircular.com, clicked on Florida, and found a 1gb generic player for 29.99.  I only use this site a few times a year, but I keep it in my bookmarks, just in case.  Check it out.  By the way, this is NOT an affiliate post.  I just really like the site and I thought you might find it to be useful.

Another site, SundaySaver, provides links to several major retailers and their sales circulars.  Pretty interesting concept.

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Day 2 Of 33 Days And 33 Ways To Save Money And Reduce Debt : Brand Disloyalty

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Day 2 :Brand Disloyalty

It is extremely easy to become a “creature of habit”. Examine the products / services that you pay for. Are you brand loyal or brand disloyal? Are you basing your purchases on price and value or habit and repetition?

Before continuing, it is important to note that there are times when it pays to buy the more expensive version of a particular product. But, for most situations, I have found that “generics rule”. Consider making the switch to to a different version of a product if you can get “more for less”.

Being Brand Disloyal doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to buy generics. If you are smart and patient, you might be able to use coupons and discounts to buy brand-name products. The key is to be totally Brand Disloyal while always looking for the true value of a product or service.

Have you considered using:

A different shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, or other like product?

A new dry cleaner, insurance agent, gas station, grocery store, or restaurant?

A new author, website, or library?

The key is to embrace the fact that change can be a good thing. Final words? Why are you using the products and services that you are using? Are you making fiscally responsible choices? Have you even given these things any thought? True progress begins when we examine why we are doing what we are doing and then choose to change those behaviors that are not adding value to our lives.

If you have a suggestion for how we can exchange one brand for another and save money, leave a comment. If you are a blogger, write a post about brand disloyalty and contact me. I’ll be more than happy to link to your post.

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Reader Poll: The Results (How Much Money Do You Keep In Short-Term Savings?)

In a recent poll, I asked readers to How Much Money Do You Keep In Short-Term Savings?Number of votes: 268

Here is a screen-capture of the results (so far).

shortsavings.png

So far, nearly 20% of those who voted have between $1000 and $2500 in short-term savings. A full 16% have over $20,000 in short-term savings, while another 20% have less than $1000. But, before you read anything into those numbers, read the poll comments. The real issue seems to be – How Do You Define Short-Term Savings? For now, I’m going to leave the poll open, and if you’ve yet to vote or leave a comment, feel free to do so.

I’m working on my own definition for short-term savings. For now, I’m including any money that I have, in any accounts, outside of my Retirement Accounts or Education Savings Accounts. So, my short-term savings would be equal to the total amount of money in my primary checking account, secondary checking account, savings account, and brokerage account. But, I’m not so sure that this is a satisfactory definition. So, for now, the poll stays open! Go vote!

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