Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Money Saving Tricks That Actually Work

  • Each day, take one dollar bill out of your pocketbook and put it aside in a bank deposit envelope for your savings account. Keep the envelope for a month before you deposit the money in your savings account.

  • Once a week—or once a month—write out a check to your new savings account. Make it a small one, say $25. If things are really tight for you, don’t deposit it right away. Fill out the deposit ticket and put it in the bank envelope. But leave it in your dresser or on your desk. That gives you a little artificial cushion in your checking account. You’ve written the check, but it won’t be cashed yet. When the time comes to write the second check, mail the first one. Once you deposit it into your savings account, remember that you can’t touch it.

  • Take a look at your budget with an eye toward expenses you could eliminate—even little ones. Put whatever money you’re able to save into your new savings account. Suppose your grocery budget is $150 a week, for example. You clip coupons, visit a couple of different markets and figure out a way to get by on $138 this week. Then put $12 in your savings account.

  • When you’re able to eliminate a major expense, put half the savings into your new account. When you finish paying for your car, for instance, save one half of the car payment each month. Or suppose you save $75 a week on child-care expenses when your kids start school. Put $37.50 per week into a savings account. That will build up really quickly!

  • Decrease the number of exemptions on your withholding form at work. Go down by one notch. In other words, if you now claim three exemptions, drop to two. That means the government will take a few more dollars out of each paycheck. At the end of the year, you’ll get a tax refund. Financial experts say it doesn’t make sense to give the government free use of your money. But if that’s the only way to save it, it can make sense for you. Be sure the money goes straight into your savings account, though. Don’t blow it.

  • Round up the amount you pay on your mortgage payment to the next $10, $50 or $100. If your mortgage payment is $687.50, for example, pay $700 a month. You are saving money in two ways here. First, by adding $12.50 to the principal, you are adding to the equity on your home. Second, you are getting a good return on your money. That’s because you’re decreasing the principal amount on your loan and earning a return of whatever your interest rate is. If your mortgage carries an 81⁄2 percent interest rate, paying down your loan earns you 81⁄2 percent.


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