Build Your Savings Account – Make More, Spend Less

Build Your Savings Account – Make More, Spend Less

 

How to Save More MoneyHi Rich Mama – today we’re going back to the basics of financial planning.  It’s all about step one of your defensive plan for building a wealthy family. You have to save. You will never become wealthy – no matter how much you make – unless you are saving money! But so few actually have a regular plan for saving. That old adage that those who fail to plan, plan to fail, is never more true than where money is concerned.

 

Without a solid savings plan, chances are, you’ll never have enough money on hand to provide for your family in the event of a financial set-back. Reaching long-term financial dreams such as a secure retirement also depend on a savings plan.

 

The best way to protect your family from financial disasters is to have a plan in place to prepare for the future. Building a savings account requires learning to make more money and live on less. These two strategies will go far toward ensuring that – heaven forbid – a financial disaster strikes. Your family will be able to survive and more easily bounce back from the hardship with a firmly established savings account. A savings account will help you sleep better at night – much better than a garage worth of junk or a closet worth of shoes.

 

Let’s look at these two strategies that will help you build a savings account, and build financial security in the doing:

 

Make more money.

 

You can try and earn some extra money and put that in your savings account. Spend the rest of your money guilt free. If both you and your spouse work, this is a great test to see what would happen if one of you quit (or lost) your job. Try living only on one income.

If you’re already a one income family, you can try and earn a bit extra on the side and devote this to saving.

You can start a home-based business offering services such as lawn care, babysitting, tax preparation, sewing, baking, music lessons, or anything else you can do reasonably well. Start by talking to your friends, family, and neighbors about your new venture, then branch out when you get your business firmly established. DO NOT SPEND A LOT OF MONEY STARTING THIS BUSINESS. If your start small and only earn a hundred or two hundred bucks a month that you SAVE – pat yourself on the back.

If you like to sell, you can sign up with any number of direct sales companies. Some familiar ones are Avon, Stella and Dot,  Home Interiors, and Arbonne, just to name a few. There are hundreds more with products ranging from baby toys and books to weight loss assistance. Choose something you like, and that you believe in, and give it your best shot. Avoiding ones that have you buy a lot of inventory upfront.

 

Selling your own products or unwanted items is another way to make more money. If, like most of us, you have a garage, basement, or closets full of things you no longer want or need, turn those items into cash. Declutter your life and build a savings account at the same time. Explore online auction sites for ideas about what people are looking for and get on the bandwagon. Or just have a good old fashioned yard sale and make a commitment to put that money into your savings account.

 

You may enjoy crafting. Could you build an inventory and take those items to a local art fair or flea market? Perhaps setting up an online store would be more to your liking – try Etsy.com so you don’t have to go through the hassle of building a website from scratch.  As much as you enjoy creating things, there are even more people who enjoy buying things. Why not sell them YOUR things?

 

Spend less money.

 

Make spending less money a habit, even a challenge. See how many outfits you can make out of the clothes in the back of your closet; see how many meals you can get out of one whole chicken, etc. Put the money you would have normally spent into a savings account. Avoid eating out. One less take out dinner a week could mean a hundred dollars or more a month in your pocket – I mean savings account.

 

Coupons are an easy way to track how much money you save when you shop. Take the amount on the coupon and physically deposit that amount into a regular savings account. Nickels and dimes can add up quickly when this is done consistently.

 

Keep a small notebook and track every cent you spend. Within a week, you’ll notice a pattern of unnecessary expenditures. Eliminate that gourmet coffee on the way to work and replace it with a home-brewed alternative. Fill a reusable bottle with filtered water out of your own tap instead of buying bottled water. Make your lunch at home. Whatever you save over the weeks, take that money and stick it into your savings account.

 

Eliminate luxuries in order to build your savings even faster. Find a cheaper hair salon, go a little longer between cuts. Do you own nails.  Go to the library for books and moves.

Whatever you choose to do, however you choose to save, start today. Put aside a little money from every paycheck, spend less, and earn more so you can build a savings account to protect your family in the event of a financial disaster. You need a buffer against layoff, recession, depression, or long-term illness to ensure your family’s security.

Surviving Without Money – The Simple Life

frugal-living-tipsSurviving Without Money – The Simple Life

 

Can you really survive without money? Would you want to?  Probably not, but sometimes learning how to simplify your life – or find ways to reduce your expenses can make it easier to have a bigger life. If you have less overhead – and less stuff, guess what – you’ll probably have more room in your life for the things that are really important to you.

Not to mention that if you proactively learn to simplify you’re always providing some great insurance against when really bad things happen.  I was watching the movie “So This is 40” in which Paul Rudd plays one half of a very over extended yuppie couple. He’s missing mortgage payments, his credit cards are maxed out and his business is on the rocks.  But he gets a bit of sage advice from one of the musicians he represents – nobody too famous, but someone who gets to spend his days doing what he loves…Why? Because he has a small nut (nope and that is not something weird). Having a small nut to cover means that your monthly expenses are low.  The smaller the nut, the less you have to generate every month to keep it all going.

So aim for a small nut…and here are some ideas how RichMama’s can help minimize the family nut…

 

Gardening.

 

While cheap is good, where saving money is concerned, free is better. And harvesting a crop full of free vegetables is a tremendous savings. Once you get past the initial investment, the rest of blissful bounty!

 

If you’ve never gardened before, pick up a book at the library or ask a friend to teach you. If you have limited space, consider using the square foot gardening method, or growing vegetables in large containers, even buckets.

 

Gardening is not only easy, it’s fun. . Children can get involved by helping to plant seeds or pull weeds, and they’ll feel like the garden is as much theirs as anyone’s. Planting a garden not only will help you survive should your family income disappear, it will also build memories and skills that could last a lifetime.

 

Canning and freezing.

 

In addition to enjoying fresh vegetables from your garden, canning or freezing the excess will serve you well again when there is little money to buy food. You can ensure your family receives good nutrition without it costing anything additional except time, and canning jars. However, sites like Freecycle.com could supply a nice supply of jars free of charge.

 

You can also can soups, stews, and even meats. Just be sure to follow safe canning techniques for the type of food you’re storing, mark your jars well, and store them in a cool, dry place. Your local library will have a number of books on canning, but you can also find information on reputable websites if you prefer. Again, check online swapping sites for free or inexpensive canning equipment.

 

Small scale homesteading.

 

If possible, you might also want to consider getting a a rooster and a few hens so you can gather your own eggs. If you do a lot of baking, or if your family enjoys eggs, this can really save you money in the long run. If your income situation should become desperate, this could do a lot more than put eggs on the table – it could turn into a lucrative business.

 

Experienced egg gatherers recommend gathering eggs at least three times a day and getting them into a cool place for storage as soon as possible so they stay fresh. Eggs will easily last for a week or so.

 

Ideal storage for eggs is 50 degrees and up to 50 percent humidity if you plan to hatch out any of your eggs. Avoid the refrigerator if that’s your plan as it dries them out and they may not hatch.

 

 

Bartering.

 

Another way to survive when trying to save money is to barter which is the  the trade or exchange of goods and services you can provide, for those you need.

 

For instance, if you can cut hair, you can trade your hair cutting skills for car repair, lawn services, household items, or even food. Or, say you have furniture you no longer need, you can trade it for something you do need.

 

When bartering, just be sure to consider all costs involved and look for the best deal. While no cash is actually exchanging hands, the value of the goods and services traded should be comparable for the best deal all around. Also, be careful to keep records and check with the tax codes for bartering services.

 

Hopefully, your family will never face such dire financial circumstances where there you don’t have income, but learning how to live on less now will help you be better prepared for what’s next.  Check out the Rich Mama Academy for more on building your wealthy family.

 

 

Save on Back to School Gadgets

Finance and Saving Money Expert Andrea Woroch always has some great tips on how families can save money.  And with back to school increasingly meaning “Can I have a new tablet” instead of, “But I really want the NKOTB Trapper Keeper,” parents are faced with tougher choices.  So here’s Andrea to let us in on some tips for back to school gadget shopping….

Do you remember the days when school supplies consisted of pens, pencils and a few notebooks? Sure, the occasional highlighter or Trapper Keeper may have found its way into the mix, but nothing needed charging, wi-fi or 4G to work properly. Now there are entire generations who know nothing of these archaic ways, back when notes were taken by hand.

If your heart sank when you saw the prices of supplies your kids consider essential, you’re not alone. The National Retail Federation estimates a whopping $83.8 billion will be spent on K-12 and college essentials this year. Despite this alarmingly high figure, lots of parents are searching for ways to buy those gadgets with the hopes of not overspending. Before you begin back-to-school shopping, consider these tips to cut costs on high technology.

Take Advantage of Add-ons
Video games often play the foil to homework, but both Dell and Microsoft are offering a free Xbox 360 with the purchase of a computer priced $699 or more. For the Mac loyalists, Apple is providing a $100 gift card for downloads from the App Store and iTunes with qualifying computer orders.

Accept Change
There are still traditionalists who will never make the switch from the printed page, but the time may come when anything other than the e-reader is an anomaly. Luckily, the top-of-the-line models of both the Barnes & Noble NOOK and the Amazon Kindle top out around $200.

Order Online
In the vein of embracing change, you don’t have to rely on in-store stock to get what you want. Sites like FreeShipping.org offer online coupons to TigerDirect, where you can find a huge selection of laptops, tablets, printers, monitors and more. Similarly, Newegg has an open-box section offering previously-owned items for a fraction of their original cost.

Pay in Advance
For most students, socializing with schoolmates is far more interesting than biology or calculus. If you’ve ever been the recipient of a sky-high cell phone bill due to your son or daughter’s social life, it might be time to switch them to a prepaid plan. Boost Mobile offers a plan for popular Android phones which includes unlimited talk, text and email for just $55 per month.

Cash Out
When you upgrade to the newest gadget, what happens to your old stuff? Instead of letting it sit in a drawer collecting dust, take advantage of trade-in programs and get yourself some cash. Stores such as Radio Shack will provide you with an online appraisal as well as free packaging and free shipping should you decide to sell them your outdated items.

Rent It
If a class assignment calls for equipment that’s pricey and you won’t necessarily need after the work is complete, consider renting it. Sites like Snapgoods.com connects people interested in renting or borrowing each others’ gear for an affordable fee. Search by city to uncover local electronic rentals like photo scanners, video and digital cameras, laptops, and projectors.

Look Beyond the I’s
The iPad gets all of the attention, but the tablet market is rapidly expanding and over saturated so you can find competitive prices from other brands. These days there are quality tablets from brands like Samsung and Google available under $300. If your student’s social standing can’t handle the impact of being seen with anything less than Apple, Gamestop has refurbished iPads that will save you more than $100 over buying brand new.

Brush Up on Tech News
Technology changes so fast these days, what was at the top of the list last year might as well be a quill and ink set this year. Apple users are already reeling from news the new iPhone 5 will have a smaller charger port. This means previously purchased accessories such as speakers and chargers will also need to be upgraded. Sometimes waiting a few months to make a purchase leads to less expense in the long run.

Use Student Status
While most students bemoan their status as they strive for adulthood, it does come with some advantages. For example, Amazon Student offers a free six-month trial with a valid .edu email address which includes benefits like free two-day shipping, exclusive discounts and access to streaming videos. After the six-month trial is up, membership costs only $39 per year. Apple is another brand who offers a student-discount advantage with special education prices on computers, software and select third party goods. For more ways to exploit student status, try these discounts.

 

Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert who helps consumers live on less without radically changing their lifestyles. From smart spending tips to personal finance advice, Andrea transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers. She has been featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC’s Today, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more. You can follow her on Twitter for daily savings advice and tips.

 

Your Questions About How To Live On A Budget And Save Money

Charles asks…

how did you save your budget during college or rough times?

I am planning on going to a school in Oregon. If I am able to get the resident’s tuition, I already have enough saved to pay for that. My boyfriend is a firefighter so he will help, too.

I have always been excellent with money management and I am doing a lot to live as green as I can and don’t buy disposable products so that helps. However, I do eat organic which can be pricey but I’m not willing to give that up.

What are little things you can do to save money?

richmama answers:

I don’t understand what living “green” has to do with saving money or being on a tight budget. As a matter of fact, in many ways living “green” is more expensive than living otherwise as you point out when buying organic food. Alternative “green” sources of energy are typically twice as expensive as traditional sources.

As far as having a tight budget, I have always lived under a tight one whether I needed to or not. During “good” times I would save more and during tough times save less. But I always tried to save. The key is not to buy things you really don’t need and not to live extravagantly unless you deserve it and can afford it. Buy things you only truly need and buy them on sale.

As far as living “green” it’s OK to conserve and use less energy. Turn the thermostat back, drive less and more efficiently carefully planning your trips, use only fuel efficient cars. But solar power, wind power, ethanol, organic foods, etc. Will all cost you more than traditional products.

Joseph asks…

Will I save money doing the prep work for new tile and carpet?

Hi all. My husband and I live in an 1100 sq/ft house with two bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 1 hallway, a laundry room, small kitchen and big living room. We want to have the whole house tiled with carpet in the two bedrooms. When our puppies were growing up they discovered the worn holes in the old carpet and decided to make them bigger, tearing into them like an Easter Ham. (The house is about 26 yrs old and the carpet is at least 10 yrs old)

We are on a budget and are looking for options to save money on installation and materials. We are looking at tile and carpet that costs about $1 per sq/ft and would like to get it installed by someone.

1) Would we really save money doing prep work ourselves? How much would this entail?: Im imagining pulling up the old carpet, pulling out the wood bits and nails, clearing out all the furniture, sweeping… cant think of what else. Is it worth the savings?

2) How much would it be to get it installed? We live in Bakersfield, CA.
BTW thats tile throughout the house and carpet in the two bedrooms (not carpet tiles)
We have thought about doing it ourselves. Maybe we need to revisit that. We have both laid tile before but not carpet. Id rather leave that to professionals cos I dont know it. The main reason why we wanted to get it installed is because it is the whole house not just one room and 5 professionals can come in and do it a lot faster and easier than my husband and I ever could. It would take us weeks and weeks. But maybe we can get relatives to help.

richmama answers:

Unfortunately there isn’t a whole lot of labor involved in pulling up carpet, so you really won’t save much. If you do pull up the carpet leave the tack strips in the bedroom where you are having carpet put down. Also wear a mask old carpet can be bad when pulling up. I did it once in a rental house I was fixing up to sell, just to get rid of the smell. I saved a whole hundred bucks minus trip to dump. Depending on the quality you looking at 2-4 dollars a ft. For carpet and about the same for tile especially if you want a diamond or brick pattern laid down

Mary asks…

How can I save up to study overseas for a year?

Any tips for saving money would be great. I study full-time, work casually as a waitress 2-3 shifts per week, more in the uni holidays, and teach piano as well.

I budget and try to save but have difficulty with unexpected expenses.

I want to study on exchange in Paris for a year in 2010, and will need to save quite a significant amount to live in central Paris and support myself for the year.

I cannot work on a study visa and would like to have money to travel in Europe as well.

richmama answers:

If you enjoy teaching piano, could you increase the number of lessons you give? The rate per hour is likely to be more than the waitressing. I know one person who had part time work on Saturdays but gave it up because he was earning much more from a full Saturday teaching music. And he did this right through uni.

If you can live on what you earn from waitressing, save every penny from the piano. There are lots of ways of cutting down yhour expenses. Google ‘Oprah Debt Diet’ for examples.

Good luck!!

Carol asks…

How to save money in this economy?

Unfortunately most of the people today worrying about the economy, sky rocketing gas prices and the cost of living, I think very simple things can have a big impact on our budget for instance using coupon each day you go for shopping. Anytime you can find a coupon for a product that you use, clip it and take it along on your next shopping trip. Some stores even offer double or triple coupon days once a month. Find out if your local store offers this service and check the newspapers you can save a lot in a month.

richmama answers:

In addition to the above I would also recommend putting any long term savings in a physical asset that will retain its value like gold or silver or other commodities, things you could potentially use for trade. Inflation will render cash or bank savings worthless.

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Your Questions About Ways To Save Money On Gas

Chris asks…

Do you know of any good ways to save money on gas for your car?

besides stoppng to drive,

I’m trying this with a bunch of friends and I think its working out

http://my.ecoenergizer.com/getstarted.php?id=cheap-gas

richmama answers:

If it is a diesel it can be converted for a fee to run on used cooking oil. I saw it on tv. If I owned a diesel I would do this in a heartbeat. Check it out.

Sharon asks…

What are some ways to save money on your GAS and POWER BILLS?

During the winter months, my power and gas go through the roof. Any Ideas?

richmama answers:

Get some hot water bottles!! You only use power when boiling the kettle, and once boiled, the water bottle last for quite a while…

U may also wana put some towels under your front door (or any doors leading outside actually) as this stops (or at least reduces) the amount of cold outside air coming into your home!

Another good way of keeping warm is….yup, u guessed it….snuggling up to someone (or making love)

Have fun and keep warm!!

Susan asks…

What are some good ways to save money on gas?

I don’t live in the kind of place where I can walk everywhere, like a city. I live in a little town, but I can’t walk or ride a bike anywhere.

richmama answers:

Saving money by buying less gas…what a novel concept!

I should have thought of that. Sorry this got long!

Anyway here are some things that people do to waste gas or increase operating expenses…all you have to do is not do them!

THESE ARE SOME REALLY BAD IDEAS!!!
1) drive when you don’t have to.
2) get “performance” out of the car…fast starts and heavy breaking. Accelerate even towards a red light.
3) warm up the car for 2 minutes or more before driving.
4) leaving the car running in a drive-thru when you were there for 6 minutes.
5) drive as fast as possible.
6) select a route that has the most stops
7) select a route with many hills…go up-hill both ways! Haha.
8) accelerate up those hills and brake a lot going down.
9) don’t ever check the air in the tires…let them get mushy and slow you down.
10) use a higher than normal weight oil in the engine…nice and thick to bog down the engine.
11) use a K & N air filter…(it will pay for itself in increased mileage in about 2 years…are you going to keep the car that long?)
12) buy a turbonator. (According to the EPA, it won’t ever pay for itself no matter how long you own your car)
13) run your air conditioner all the time. It really drags your engine down.
14) wait until the last second to up-shift. Keep that engine running in the power portion of its operating curve so you can use the most fuel.
15) make two trips when one would do.
16) burn premium gas when your car is designed for regular (big myth here that premium gives better mileage when it just resists knock better)
17) Use your cruise control in hilly conditions. It will really try to accelerate heavily to maintain your speed setting when going up hill. Burns a lot of gas.
18) Don’t use your cruise control on flat terrain…you might just get the best mileage your car can offer.

GOOD IDEAS:::
There are as many more effective tips as there are listed bad ideas here.

Here’s a good idea:

go to gasbuddy.com and find the cheapest gas you can find in your area and use it wisely.

And another one:

calculate if you can get better miles per $ by buying alchogas instead of regular… It’s octane is higher but it gives less mileage. Often you can go farther on a $ because it costs less too! My car goes farther on the slightly higher priced regular than ethanol blends though. As they say, “Your Mileage May Vary.” Do the math yourself and see.

Don’t believe mileage myths…look them up at www.fueleconomy.gov
their information has been painstakingly researched with your tax dollar…don’t let it go to waste.

And buy a book and learn all about fuel economy…
Http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/141379954X/103-0907668-2207005?v=glance&n=283155

Donna asks…

Are these some good ways on how to save gas money?

Ride a bike to work 3 days a week..

Take public transportation.

Use my car only 2 days a week and do the other one’s at the top.

Get a really small car.

richmama answers:

Take public transport. Save money, take the bus and train to work, but you have to be a rooster. Wake up early. Or you could take a straight bus to your workplace. If your company has one. Or else take the bus and train. If you need to go somewhere urgent, take a taxi and claim the money from your company if possible. Remember to get a receipt for proof and write at the back going where, time and why.

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