Can you use an extra $1,000 a year like I can? For the average person, it always seems there is never enough money to put away because an unexpected expense always comes up and they just don’t make enough money to be able to save anything substantial. However, if you break it down, there is no excuse for the average person to be able to save at least $1,000 every year. You can do with it, whatever you want! Personally, I use it to either buy a few extra gifts at Christmastime when finances are really tight or I splurge on two long weekend getaways every year. It is totally worth it for me!
Although 1,000 dollars doesn’t go as far as it used to, it is still a nice chunk of change for anybody. You would be surprised at how many people are living paycheck to paycheck and rarely have extra money for anything. Theoretically, if this is you, you can save this amount of money over the next three years and build upon those 3,000 or so dollars so you can end up with thousands in your bank account in no time soon.
1. Starting with your everyday purchases, come home and place all your loose change into a piggy bank. I use a large empty water bottle and I have a great habit of depositing all my change into it, including a dollar bill if I have one every time I come home from work or from a store on the weekend. Think about it; if you place a dollar in your piggy bank every business day of the year, that’s roughly 260 days ($260). Add to that your loose change and you should easily end up with at least $500 by the end of the year.
Of course, somebody’s going to read this and say, “Wait a minute, so I have to put in a dollar into the piggy bank every day? Why don’t I just put it into a savings account?” I’ll tell you why. It’s a lot easier and safer bet to put at least one dollar a day into your piggy bank because you don’t have to make a trip to your actual bank and because human nature will oftentimes prevent you from holding those 10 dollars every two weeks and actually depositing that amount; you’ll probably end up spending it whereas with a piggy bank, you are forced to place it in the hole or coin slot and forget about it!
Total using this method = $500
2. Bring your lunch from home at least twice a week when you are at school or at work. The extra $10 a week you save here for a minimum of 40 weeks out of the year will easily give you another $400. Pretty easy, huh? Make sure you place those 10 dollars into your piggy bank every week and it will make you stick to the plan.
Total using this method = $400
3. Cut your grocery bill by at least 15% by using your grocery store’s buy one get one free (BOGO) deals. If you have a family of four, you are probably spending 600-800 dollars a month on groceries; that’s the average for an American family! If you are single, you are more in the 60-75 bucks a week category.
Let’s say you only spend 60 dollars a week on groceries. If you can get at least 2 BOGO offers on your shopping trip, you can save 5 dollars on average, every single trip! When you are at the checkout, make sure you get change in the amount of your BOGO savings so you can promptly deposit that amount into your piggy bank when you get home.
Total using this method = 52 x 5.00 = $260
There you go! We went a bit over and saved $1,160 but I did that purposely to show how easily you can save at least $1,000 every year without really trying that hard. When you think about how often we waste a dollar here or a dollar there on ridiculous things we don’t need such as a pack of gum, beef jerky, or soft drinks, it’s easy to see how doable this plan really is! If you make it a habit to go out of your way to have even more change to place in your piggy bank every day, you can easily double your amount to well over $2,000 a year using this method.
Do you want to place this into overdrive? Then, save another $50 dollars a week automatically from your employer into a savings account not to be touched and at the end of the year, you will have another $2,600! You will end up with almost $5,000 in savings a year at which point you might want to consider placing some of that money in investments in the near future!
It’s a fact that most people live well beyond their means. You can still live it up while adhering to the methods above and not put a crimp in your lifestyle whatsoever. Saving money doesn’t have to be about being cheap; it’s about having a system and being consistent with it. You can still go out with your friends and pick up the tab when it’s your turn. Just be smart about knowing any extra money has the potential to be placed in your little piggy bank.
If there’s one phase in my life that made me question my money-saving skills, it’s got to be college. Good education doesn’t come for free nor it is in anyway cheap. I had to use my wits in order to survive in that place and pay my bills at the same time! You might be on this very boat right now and so, I have decided to share four easy to apply pointers on how to save those precious dollars when you’re still studying.
The following are four tips that I personally applied when I was still college in order to financially survive. Use them well and you might be able to get that diploma of yours without starving yourself to death or sinking your way into loan-oblivion.
College is the perfect place to test your independence! Get a taste of whats it likes to be in the work force by looking for a job or two that you could squeeze in AFTER your class (trust me on this one because some employers love abusing their student employees to the point that the latter comes in class late). Just remember not to let work interfere with your studies. Otherwise it’s going to be counterproductive to your overall goal.
Keep in mind to find an employment that can utilize your talents as a student. For example, some people are looking for subject tutors while others are in need of best essay writing services. Do this and you get to earn some much needed cash while practicing what they teach you in school. It’s basically hitting two birds with one stone when you think about it.
Use Your Money Only on Things That Matter
One of my biggest gripes with college is that it revels on social statuses and the stuff that symbolizes one’s position in the hierarchy of “life”. In turn, students try to keep up with the trends, buy branded clothes and support overpriced coffee just to fit in. Here’s the thing and you better memorize it to the best of your abilities, following the footsteps of those hypocrites will only do you more harm than good! Don’t cave in! Instead, use your money where it truly counts.
Invest on things that really matter. For starters, books never go out of style and you can even trade them with other bookworms. Also, good food doesn’t necessarily come with a heavy price tag. Use your street smarts and find shops that offer discounts on daily necessities.
Booze, music and the company of beautiful people can really devoid you of self-reason and that’s the moment when you “magically” lose cash. It’s not bad to party every now and then but always remain yourself that everything must come in moderation. Don’t let your emotions get the best of your. Use your common sense and decline invitations, especially if you’re lacking in the financial department.
There’s nothing wrong with saying no to events that will get you into trouble. Weigh things first and think about the consequences of your decisions. Are you willing to endure a month of suffering just to enjoy a night of partying?
Know Your Way Around Town
Cab fares can really put a hole in your pocket. If you can, seek alternative modes of transportation. Subway ridess will surely save you a lot of dollars. Just keep in mind that your patience will be tested when rush hour kicks in and so, you’d best plan your day ahead.
Furthermore, try to walk whenever you can. Aside from being a great way to save what little money you have, it can also serve as your everyday exercise.
Saving money while you’re in college is easier said than done. However, it is very doable with these tips and the right amount of determination and patience. Do you also have some money-saving tips of your own regarding this topic? Feel free to share them on the comment section below.
You may have been led to believe that purchasing a house as a single parent is going to be an uphill struggle. Though there is some truth in this, it’s actually much easier than you may have originally thought. Of course, this is as long as you’re sensible in your decisions.
When going down this path, there are many financial matters you have to think about besides the ones listed below; though it’s fair to say these are quite possibly the most important. To help keep things simple, consider the following three points. Hopefully with these you’ll find the process to be a whole lot easier:
Speak With a Local Housing Authority
Depending on where in the country you live, there is going to be a local housing authority that can have you placed in a specific home ownership plan, designed for people who need help to move onto the property ladder.
Many people don’t know these programs exist, meaning they instead choose to rent rather than allow their monthly mortgage to help them slowly pay off a house. Though there’s nothing wrong with renting for a short period, if you rent indefinitely, you’ll have nothing to show for it when it comes time to write your will and hand over your assets to your children.
Contact a Mortgage Broker
Though the experience may seem entirely alien to you, when you look towards purchasing a house as a single parent you’re going to have to contact a mortgage broker. This way you’ll have someone to talk you through your options when it comes to applying for, and hopefully receiving a mortgage that you can afford.
It’s much more difficult to hold down a mortgage if you only have one income stream, especially if you have to pay for child support along the way. Just be ready for questions when you speak with Smartline mortgage brokers, as these professionals will take the time to familiarize themselves with your situation, and in turn help you understand what they believe your chances are of being offered certain mortgage deals.
Consider Your Financial Positives
As a single parent you may feel you have nothing going for you financially, but in many cases this couldn’t be further from the truth. Uncovering these will make it a whole lot easier for you to get the a-okay on a mortgage that will eventually lead to you owning your own house.
If you have young children, there’s every chance you can work from home while looking after them during the daytime. There are a number of home working careers single parents can look into, including:
- Writing; the internet has created a huge need for online content
- Accounting; you’ll have to take appropriate online classes to qualify, but working as an accountant from home is a very flexible career choice
- Marketing; if you feel you have the skills to offer marketing consultation advice, this can easily be done from home
Buying a house as a single parent might seem overwhelming in the beginning but if you consider the points above you’ll find that it’s not as impossible as you think. While it will require money and effort, being able to have your own residence from where you can raise your children is definitely worth the investment.
Get: Intro To Internet Marketing Here…
I know many people would like to know once and for all, if you can really make a living and succeed on the Internet. It’s a valid question! Humans, by nature, are very skeptical. We are also very fickle at times and oftentimes very impatient.
We want results quickly and we do everything possible in a short amount of time to get our desired results. Therein lies the biggest problem when it comes to making money on the Internet. Hint: 99.9% of people who are successful in this field didn’t become that way overnight!
After the recession in late 2007, many people turned to the Internet to try their luck at making money on the Web. A lucky few have turned their path into success over the last few years but the majority failed miserably and eventually went back to their old 9-5.
What happened? How is it that we hear about so many people who struck gold by selecting a hosting plan, setting up their website, and watching the money roll in?
The answer is simple.
No matter what you’ve heard or how many promises weren’t kept by those so-called Internet moguls who sold unsuspecting people their get rich quick courses, the only ones who survive and even thrive on the Internet are those who:
- don’t give up
- are relentless in learning about how to make money on the Internet using FREE information
- have a clear vision of which niche to choose and what type of products or services they will sell
- treat their website endeavor as a real business
That’s it! The rest is all about gaining experience, learning from your mistakes, making adjustments, and getting better every day at what you do.
As an example, Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome.com is one of the greatest success stories on the Internet. He lost his job a few years back and jumped in head first into the magical world of Internet marketing. He’s been able to succeed on the Internet as a result of extremely hard work and transparency in showing everyone proof of his earnings as he went along. He built a huge fan base that’s still with him today because he had the following vision:
Give people a reason to come back to my website by regularly producing epic content that benefits them, build a community of engaged followers, be available and offer as much help as possible so they can achieve their dreams, place products on my website using a soft sell approach so it doesn’t seem like I am trying to sell them something, and be honest about and show them my earnings as I go so they can see real-life examples of how to make money on the Internet!
What an amazing concept that many Internet marketers wouldn’t even think about doing! Pat Flynn regularly makes over $100,000.00 a month (yep, you heard right) because he’s a master at treating people right!
Most wannabe internet marketers focus only on what’s in it for them and because they fail to offer any true value to their readers, they ultimately fail and bounce from one website idea to another. In the end, they become frustrated and quit altogether!
Now that you know it’s possible to succeed on the Internet, if you want to try your hand on it, I suggest you research “how-to” methods for at least a month so you can educate yourself instead of just diving in blindly. Start with Pat Flynn’s site and branch out from there. All the information you need to succeed is available for free; you simply have to look for it and put the pieces together.
What does it cost?
You need to get a web host such as Bluehost or Hostgator for less than $10.00 a month. The only other investment is your time! Now, you tell me if there is another legitimate business on this planet where you can invest $120.00 a year as a startup cost and potentially make thousands a year!
You know times are tough when many of us can’t find enough money in our budgets to buy a freaking sandwich during our work lunch hour when it gets close to payday. I definitely know what it’s like to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches a few days before collecting my paycheck. It happened regularly in my mid-twenties after I left home and struck out on my own.
I’ve never been one to consciously save a lot of money throughout the year; I’m definitely one of those who has lived and played hard, and this has included sparing no expense at times. Don’t get me wrong; I still have my 401k going as well as a few other investments including a modest one in real estate. However, I always feel as if there is never enough money at the end of the year for Christmas and I constantly struggle every year to save a measly $1000 a year to help pay for part of a summer vacation for the entire family. I end up paying a couple of bills a little late just so we can all get away every summer for at least a week. Although it works, it’s obviously not the best scenario for me. When we get back from vacation, it takes us about two months to recover and we have to sacrifice a little too much.
Making Enough Money is Not An Option For Many
I had been procrastinating for years when it came to opening up a holiday or vacation fund because , once again; it didn’t seem as if my wife and I were making enough money to cover our family expenses.
This past year was different. I decided to try an experiment and it worked! I want to show you how to save $1000 a year easily like I did, just in time for the holidays:
1. Get yourself a piggy bank. I know this sounds quite silly for an adult but when times are hard, why not get back to the basics? Stick with me, it gets better!
2. Pay with cash and pocket the change. Instead of plunking downyour credit or debit card, make a conscious effort to give yourself a weekly budget and pull out the cash on payday. As an example, I used to burn at least $100 dollars every week while at work and I would eat breakfast at Dunkin’ Donuts and I would have lunch at places such as Applebees and Fuddrucker’s. These days, I can still get my egg white sandwich and delicious coffee at DD and even though I have cut down on lunch expenses considerably, I can still go wherever I want, most of the time without having to worry.
Now, I limit myself to 60 bucks a week, so I pull out $120 dollars bi-weekly for my personal needs during the work week. When I buy a pack of gum, a cup of coffee, a lunch, or whatever else I need, I collect the change. When I get home, my piggy bank is waiting for me! It’s not unusual for me to place at least $1.75 a day in change into my piggy bank. Assuming you can simply place $1.75 in change into your own piggy bank for only 290 days out of the year (this is doable), you will save $507.50! If you have a significant other in the household, you can probably encourage that person to do the same thing and you may end up with a figure closer to $700 a year.
O.K., so now we are at $507.50 and we need to come up with another $492.50. Remember how I told you to consider budgeting how much money you allow yourself to spend throughout the work week? Now, all you have to do is shave off 20 bucks a pay period and place that money in your piggy bank. This should be extremely easy to do for most people. So, if you get paid bi-weekly, 20 X 26 weeks = $520! Alright, we went over! The total you can save using this easy plan is $1027,50.
To make this work for you, be flexible. If you can only save an average of .80 cents 290 days out of the year, increase the amount you put away every two weeks from $20 to $30 dollars. You’ll get just about the same figure,
Keep in mind if you have a spouse or significant other, you can come very close to doubling this figure without much effort at all. The key is to just do it!
It is not easy at all to significantly improve your credit score but with a little patience and a lot of perseverance, you may be able to improve your score drastically. Paying off credit cards will not hurt your credit; on the contrary, it will improve as long as you don’t close the accounts.
For those of you who are frustrated with the mere mention of their credit score, even if you increase your credit by just 100 points, that can help you save thousands in interest charges on future loans of virtually any kind.
Does Closing Credit Cards Hurt Your Score?
Although you may hear a so-called expert every now and then talking about how you really can cancel a credit card without having it affect your score, it is simply not true unless you have had excellent credit history for many years. This is because even if you have a good credit history with a particular account, that information will no longer reflect on your score which means your score will go down slightly or substantially, depending on many factors.
Many people simply give up after a while when their credit suffers due to not having enough money to pay their bills but if you can gather yourself for a moment and keep your head screwed on right no matter how bad you think your finances are, here’s what you can do to improve your credit over time:
1. Start paying off one credit card at a time until the balance reaches under $25.00. Start with the one with the lowest (not the highest) balance. When you are done paying it you will get an emotional boost that will definitely help you conquer your remaining cards. The closer to zero, the better. Then, immediately set that card on an automatic payment scheduled through your bank and monitor your progress.
2. While you are paying off your first credit card, try your best to pay the minimum balance on the other credit cards. I know this is easier said than done, but if you can swing it or come close to making it happen regularly, you will be one step closer to improving your credit score.
3. Try your best to automate your bill payments. If you can’t automate all of them because there is not enough income, automate at least one or two of them. Once your credit cards are all paid down you will find yourself in a great position to be able to pay all of your bills automatically.
4. Keep your debt utilization down. Once you have paid off your credit cards (this can take one to two years on average) keep the expenditures on your cards to no more than 30% of the available credit on each individual credit card. A technique many use once they pay off their cards is to use one credit card for everyday expenses (knowing they will be paid at the end of the month) and another card for emergencies only, like front row seats to that awesome “Prince” concert coming up!
5. Request an increase on your credit lines. This works well after you have paid down the debt on your credit cards and have maintained a low balance for a while. This will ensure you stay as close to under that 30% of your available balances on each card and will help improve your score.