Archive for Mrs. Not Made of Money

5 Tips For Starting To Save Money Right Now

Save MoneyFor lots of people saving money may appear to be a hopeless task. They try and try to save money but struggle to consistently put money into their bank account. Failing to save money can often occur because you have so many other things to do on a daily basis. The key to saving money is to make it as easy as possible to do. Here are a few tips that will help you start saving some cash right now.

Save a little at a time
You don’t have to start with some grandiose savings goals in order to save money. Saving small amounts of money is actually a whole lot easier than saving a lot of money at one time. You can schedule small amounts like $20 to $30 a week to start building up your savings account. You won’t miss the money and these tiny deposits can add up over time.

Make saving money easier
You always want to make saving money as easy as possible for yourself. Take the burden of having to remember when and how much to save by doing it automatically. Schedule automatic transfers from your checking account and automatic deductions from your paycheck right into your savings account. After a month or two, you will get used to this amount of money being deducted from your account every month.

Make withdrawing money difficult
While you want to make saving money easy, you want to make withdrawing money a real pain. Resist the urge to withdraw by not getting an ATM card for your account. This will force you to go into the bank during banking hours whenever you need to take out some money. Also, place your savings at a bank that is inconvenient to get to. This will keep you from making frequent trips to your banks to withdraw your money.

Get a side job
If your reason for not saving money is that you simply do not have enough cash, you should get a side job. Side jobs are great at providing a side income. Find something that you are passionate about and would enjoy doing for money. You can designate this income for the sole purpose of funding your savings account. A few hours a week working on the side can grow into large savings account deposits.

Use your spare change
Sometimes the best solutions to problems are the ones that you learned in your youth. Remember having a piggy bank in your room that you would store all of your spare change in. You would fill the piggy bank up with coins until it couldn’t hold anymore. You can do the same thing as an adult. Store all of your spare change in a piggy bank and take it to the bank when it gets full. Deposit all of your change into your savings account and repeat this on a monthly basis.

Saving money does not have to be as hard as you thought. Apply these simple tips and you will be on your way to building up a savings account.

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Can a Freezer Lower the Cost of Your Groceries?

GroceriesSaving on groceries has become a very hot topic lately. With the rising cost of food and gas prices, families are faced with spending more. That extra money has to come from somewhere, so trimming the other areas of your budget becomes very important very quickly.

You probably already know purchasing large quantities of non-perishable items while they’re on sale will help you save on groceries. But, if you have a large enough freezer you can apply the same principle to more perishable food items. Here are just a few items that can be frozen and thawed as you are ready to use them.

Meat Products – As long as everything is sealed correctly, you can save meat for quite awhile. Pay special attention to sales on bacon, pre-packaged hamburgers, and chicken. I buy large packages of meat when they go on sale. Then I freeze the meat in smaller portions in freezer bags that I have labeled with the date.

Frozen Dinners – Although those little box dinners are pretty expensive, they are also very convenient. You can offset some of the expense by waiting until they are on sale and stocking up on them. They’ll stack nicely in your freezer and store easily. I’ve been able to stockpile a nice selection of Weight Watcher’s Meals during Target’s Buy 5 Get One Free sale.

Bread Products – Loaves of bread and buns freeze very well. If you leave plenty of time for them to thaw, you can make sandwiches and hot dogs much cheaper at your next family barbecue.

Food You’ve Prepared
– It’s often much easier to make a larger quantity of your favorite recipes than it is to make the recipe twice. So, if mozzarella cheese is on sale, make two or three pans of lasagna. You can freeze the extra pans and you only have to clean up the kitchen once. I usually have one or two bags of homemade burritos or pizza dough in my freezer at any given time.

Frozen Vegetables – Stock up on frozen vegetables when they’re at their cheapest. These versions of veggies often have less salt than their canned compatriots, so they’re much healthier for your family. Pull them out as you need them and enjoy them all year long.

Stocking up your frozen pantry can add up to real savings in your grocery expenses. And with an enormous bounty of food at your fingertips, you can also make fewer trips to the grocery store. You’ll save on food and gas all in one fell swoop.

5 Tips That Save Money and Time

Saving MoneyI don’t know about you, but there are two things I always seem to need more of: money and time. Ben Franklin’s common sense wisdom is more true today than ever. He said “Time is money.” Well, here are 5 tips that will save both of them!

1) Automatic deposit:
You can authorize that payments to you be automatically deposited electronically. Many prepaid debit cards also allow this service. You’ll often get your money faster with an automatic deposit. Many payments are eligible for automatic deposit – paychecks, Social Security and other government benefit checks, unemployment compensation, federal and state tax refunds, etc. If you cash your checks at stores or check cashing services, you’re spending a chunk right off the top. Caution: Look for a bank with free or low-cost checking accounts so bank fees won’t erase your savings.

2) Electronic Bill Pay:
For most of the bills that you pay monthly – mortgage, electricity, phone, cable TV, car insurance, credit cards – you can have automatic payments taken out of your bank account or charged to a credit card on a regular day each month. If you’re not sure that you’ll have enough in your account to do this automatically, then you can pay your bills online yourself. Request electronic statements instead of waiting for paper bills in the mail. Paying your bills electronically will save time, money on stamps, and can help you avoid late fees. Caution: If you authorize automatic bill-pay on a regular date, be sure to have enough in your bank account or you’ll incur overdraft fees that will wipe out savings.

3) E-File Your Taxes:
Whether you do your own tax returns or have a professional do them, you’ll see your refund a lot faster if you E-File. If your income is less than $57,000 a year, the IRS has a Free File service where you can fill out your tax forms and E-File for free. Check it out at irs.gov/efile. If you have a simple tax return and are expecting a refund, you can save on tax preparation fees and get your money sooner.

4) Shop Less Often and at One Grocery Store:
It doesn’t make financial sense to shop at three or four different stores every week just because certain items are on sale. It will save you more money, over time, if you choose the grocery store that is the best fit for your family’s needs and shop twice a month. Choose the store that is nearest, the one with store brands that you like, or the one with the loyalty club that offers points for travel or occasional free items. Get to know the layout of the store so you can make your list and shop quickly. Keep up on special discount days and special offers. With gasoline costs rising, it makes sense to cut unnecessary shopping trips.

5) Give Gift Cards:
For Christmas, birthdays, graduations and “just because” times, gift cards are great. You can save time and money on shopping, wrapping and postage that often costs more than the gift. There’s a huge selection of gift cards for stores, restaurants, and online shopping venues. You can also search online and buy an electronic gift card that can be delivered by email to your recipient. There are often promo codes available for savings. Budget to buy gift cards throughout the year so that your Christmas shopping will be done before Thanksgiving! Now wouldn’t that be a time and money saver!

What tips do you have for saving time and money?