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03/05/15 Saving #

3 Ways to Start Saving Money Now

3 Ways to Start Saving Money Now

Personal financial management is a delicate balancing act. On one hand, you must provide for your family’s basic day-to-day needs, covering expenses ranging from food to phone bills. But you are also expected to find financial resources for major long-term commitments, like education, housing and transportation. For families living on the edge of affordability, finding proper equilibrium can be a challenging prospect.

When you are facing financial distress, there are two ways to attack the problem. Raising income, or leaning on loans and credit cards are common ways to overcome short-term cash flow difficulties. But trimming costs and streamlining your existing financial profile provides another reasonable approach, yielding surprising levels of savings. Money saving opportunities present themselves daily, so if you are committed to reducing your cost of living, consider these few tips as part of your comprehensive money management strategy.

Savings without sacrifice

Budgeting and domestic cost-cutting need not be an unpleasant undertaking. And saving money does not necessarily entail major lifestyle adjustments and sacrifices, provided the efforts are focused and you maintain realistic expectations. Low-impact savings measures provide a perfect starting point for repairing holes in your family budget, yielding the most accessible results. For even more money saving tips and information about budgeting and personal finance, is a great resource.

To prove the power of frugal choices, ask each family member to identify a regular expense they might target for trimming. Your daily coffee is likely worth quite a bit of money each month, if eliminated, and even switching to home-brewed coffee saves hundreds each year. And adjustments to clothes budgets are perfect ways for children to contribute to savings. The idea is to avoid uncomfortable budget cuts, by serving-up the most agreeable forms of saving.

In addition to changing spending impulses, trimming waste throughout your household leads to immediate savings. From excess petrol use and other unnecessary energy spending, to spoiled food and poor supermarket choices, waste runs rampant through most households. By tightening your belt on savings and addressing wasteful spending, you’ll feel immediate cost of living relief.

Save ahead for major buys

Too often, our wants and needs get ahead of our ability to pay for them. Of course, financing is an important and necessary part of personal money management, but there is no cause for overpaying on interest and credit fees. To keep financing costs within reason, it is essential to borrow within your means. In other words; save in advance for major purchases, rather than maxing-out credit lines and blowing-up financing fees.

Strategic financing applies to cars, homes and any other items you’ll be paying-off for a long time. When anticipating these major buys, set savings goals for yourself, to accumulate the proper mortgage deposits and car loan down payments. By covering substantial costs ahead of time, you’ll ultimately save on the amount of interest paid during the repayment period. And your term may also be shorter, enabling you to quickly satisfy repayment obligations. Even home improvements and family holidays fall into this category, when extra funds are needed to cover the expenses.

Negotiate rates at renewal

Contracts are commonly one-year in length, so they must be renewed annually. Each service in your budget furnishes a money saving opportunity at annual renewal time. TV contracts, mobile phone plans, energy services, insurance and even your mortgage are tied to terms you can negotiate. By blindly renewing contracts each period, you may be leaving money on the table.

Instead of sticking with the status quo, evaluate spending as renewals come due. Use online resources to compare loan rates, energy providers, and TV service promotions. Even if you end-up staying with the same provider, shopping the market gives you reference points to assess pricing. And rather than lose your business, many providers will match others’ rates — but not unless you take a proactive approach and ask them to do it.

Among others, these three money saving tactics assist families working to get ahead. Everyday cost-cutting isn’t unbearable, when each family member contributes his or her part. And as long as you save for major purchases, you are living within your means. To stay on track, always negotiate the best rates for goods and services, especially during contract renewal, when you have power to negotiate.

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12/09/14 Children , Saving , Work # ,

Need Incentive to Save? Have a Baby

Need Incentive to Save? Have a Baby

If you’re going to have a baby, it’s easy to see that the costs far outweigh the return, at least financially. The annual cost of raising a child is about $13,000, as I’ve written before.

Expenses include housing, child care, education, transportation, food, healthcare and clothing. Then there’s all of your time spent cleaning up after them and shuttling them to school, playdates and activities. And remember that it’s time you’re not paid for.

The emotional rewards when you have a baby, of course, make the costs more than worthwhile.

An emotional incentive to save

But for anyone who wants to have a baby but is unsure they can afford it, consider the savings incentives. I’m not talking about the child tax credit of $1,000, which won’t buy you many diapers or baby clothes. I’m talking about the emotional incentive to save. Continue reading

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Hi, I'm Aaron Crowe. Welcome to CashSmarter. I'm a personal finance freelance writer who enjoys spending my money wisely and using minimalism to make my money last longer while increasing income.