Category Archive: Top 10

Top 10 Ways To Save Money

Looking for some ways to save money?  How about ten ways?  Cool.  Check out my Top 10 Ways To Save Money – Click the links to read individual articles about each tip!

Number 10 – Cook and Eat at Home

Eating out is expensive, especially for families.  Shop wisely for groceries and eat at home.

Number 9 – Give Up Hobbies

This can be a tough one, but giving up hobbies (at least temporarily) can save some serious cash.

Number 8 – Purchase Fresh Produce

Shopping locally, in-season, can result in some real savings.

Number 7 – Get Fit

This one is tough for me.  I work hard to lose weight – and maintain my weight loss – because I know being healthy helps my waist line and my wallet!

Number 6 – Work Together

If you have a family, it’s extremely important to cooperate when it comes time to create – and implement – a budget.  Working together benefits the entire family and each individual in it.

Number 5 – Follow Through

You have the plan, but you have to actually follow it.  Take the next step.  Today!

Number 4 – Shop Smart

Use available technology and old fashioned sources to become a smarter consumer.

Number 3 – Avoid Paying Credit Card Interest

If you have credit card debt, pay it off.  If you have a credit card, pay it off each month.

Number 2 – Live on a Budget

Give every penny a purpose and every dollar a destination.

Number 1 – Understand What You Are Doing Before You Do It

This is my number one money saving tip- Before you do anything with your money, understand what you are doing.

These are my Top Ten Ways to Save Money.  Please leave a comment with your ideas for saving money – and use the buttons below to share this post.  Blessings!

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Top 10 Ways To Save Money – Number 2 – Live On A Budget

Let’s take ten minutes and create your new budget for December.

Write down your expected monthly income.  (Use your take-home pay.)

Write down your expected monthly expenses.

Include everything – gasoline, groceries, rent, mortgage, insurance, food, clothing, gifts, miscellaneous, cell phones, credit card payments, etc.  Need help?  Look over your bank statements from the past couple of months.  These should help you compile a pretty accurate list.

Subtract expenses from income.  Did you get a positive number?  Good!  This is the amount that you can budget for extra savings or extra debt reduction payments.  Did you get a negative number?  Not so good!  This is the amount that you need to earn (in the form of more income) or reduce (in the form of cutting expenses)

Creating a budget takes about ten minutes.  Learning to live on a budget takes a little longer.  If you are struggling, now is the time to sit down and take stock of your financial situation.  When I created my first budget, I immediately realized two things –

I was spending a lot of money on things I did not need AND I was making enough money, if I managed it wisely, to begin to reduce my debts.

I have written several articles about creating a budget, including –

Creating A Budget If You Have Irregular Income (Do you live on commission?  This budget is for you!)

I Pay Myself First, Last, And All Along The Way (Here’s how budgeting helps me save month, at the beginning, end, and middle of each month.)

Annual Expenses – (Here’s how to handle annual expenses, things like life insurance premiums or car tags.)

After you get into the swing of things, living on a budget becomes second nature.  For 2009, I plan to create one budget, have it set up by January 1st, and use it for an entire year.  I can do this because I have worked hard to fine tune my budget for almost four years.  Starting out, you will want to focus on one or two months at a time.

Personally, I use the You Need A Budget software to manage my finances.  I’ve been using it for more than two years, and I highly recommend it.

Remember, you can write down all of the numbers you want, but you must FOLLOW THROUGH WITH YOUR PLAN.  You budget has to mean something.  You can’t just write down a bunch of numbers and then ignore them.  Treat your budget with respect, and stick to it, and you will save money.

Click here to read the Top 10 Ways To Save Money.

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Top 10 Ways To Save Money – Number 3 – Avoid Paying Credit Card Interest

On February 6, 2006, I made the final debt reduction payment and finished paying off all of my debt.  Since then, I’ve been living debt free.

I do not make monthly payments to creditors.

I do not pay interest to credit card companies.

I am free to do what I want to do, when I want to do it, with my money.  Life is good.

I loathe the thought of paying interest.  I spent 15 years of my life paying interest – on cars, trucks, furniture, appliances, clothes, food, and dozens of other silly things.  Now, however, if I don’t have the money to pay for an item, well, I just don’t buy that item.  I have to wait until I can actually afford it and then I buy it, with cash.

(This is a novel concept, I realize, and one that has been soundly rejected by both our federal government and both major political parties, but I digress.)

Do you want to save some real money?  Then, get out of debt (especially credit card debt), learn to live debt free (with a long-term plan for remaining debt free), and stop borrowing money (and paying interest).

Now, there are those who will reject my idea of paying cash and they will extol the virtues of credit cards, with low interest rates, and the power of using other people’s money.  Hey, I’m cool.  If others want to borrow money, that’s fine by me, but I don’t want to use other people’s money, I want to use my own.  And yes, I am aware of the thirty-day float afforded to those who use credit cards… and the five percent back that you can get with each transaction… and the security features.  I still don’t like them, I don’t want to use them, and I’m convinced that most people spend more when using a credit card than they would if they had to live on a cash only budget (with no wiggle-room for going over).  I am very open to the idea that I am wrong, and I know that many of my personal finance blogging brothers and sisters love their credit cards, but I’m just not going to use them.  (Not to belabor the point, but let me say this.  With credit cards, I was in debt, I was paying interest, I lived month-to-month, and I was fiscally irresponsible.  Without them, I’m debt free, I’m funding 5 retirement accounts, 3 education savings accounts, and I have six months’ worth of expenses saved in the bank.  I think I’ll stick with what’s working for me.)

If, however, you must use a credit card, please, pay if off in full at the end of each month.  Credit card interest rates can be very high and credit card companies are constantly looking for ways to improve their bottom lines.  Be careful.  Make your payments on time, always open notice letters from your creditors, and keep tabs on your interest rates.  Credit card companies are constantly changing their policies and procedures!

If you click any of the links in this article, you will be directed to other articles about how I got out of debt and how I live debt free.

Click here to view all of the articles in the Top 10 Ways To Save Money series.  Rock on.

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