Finding new ways to save money on almost everything you buy is the equivalent of getting a raise or bonus. Maybe it's even better since some of the savings can be carried over from month to month.
Look at saving money this way, when you save twenty dollars on a coat you get to keep the whole twenty bucks. When you make twenty dollars more on your paycheck, you lose five dollars or more of it to taxes.
Finding ways to save money can go a bit too far though. In a recent newsletter I read on how to save money, one contributor suggested getting free flowers for weddings by picking up the leftover flowers at a cemetery. She did not specify how you can tell which are "leftovers"!
Man, and I thought I was cheap sometimes! The following money saving methods are taken from real suggestions on how to save money sent in to certain "frugality" websites. Some cheapskates seem to be uncapable of calculating that just 1 extra hour at work might put them much further ahead than many hours of penny-pinching would.
Ways To Save Money - Please Don't Try These At Home
One mother confessed that she makes her kids stuff their pockets with free condiments such as ketchup, salt, pepper, and mustard every time they went to a fast food restaurant. Ok. That's not that weird... Only that wasn't all. She also has her kids come home and squeeze the contents of the packets into the regular jars of ketchup and mustard at home. She proudly claims that she hasn't bought these condiments in years.
Another creative penny pincher found a way to save money on car washes. He claims that he washes his entire car using the squeegee at the gas station. I wonder if he is also the guy that takes the toilet paper rolls home from their restrooms too.
Would you like free umbrellas for life? One man suggests alway picking one up at the lost and found department of any large public library. You simply tell them you lost a black umbrella. They will almost certainly have several different ones, from which you can pick the best one and claim it as your own.
What if they have no black umbrellas, you ask? Shrug it off and suggest that someone else must have picked it up for themself.
The list goes on and on...
I don't recommend that you employ any of these techniques as ways to sace money. Apart from the ethical issues with some of these suggestions, they can all be lumped into one categoty - a time wasting frugality. In other words, you waste more time by doing these things than they cost.
On the other hand, they are pretty fun to read, and I suppose we could view such measures as cheap entertainment. Perhaps you should turn off the lights and tell the the kids it's a game of hide-and-seek.
On second thought, I wonder how many people of these people actually pay for advice on ways to save money?
Many people just don’t understand how valuable a good credit score can be. If you have ever applied for a loan, then you already know that most lending institutions require borrowers to have a certain credit score that reflects your ability to pay your debts on time and without fail each month. The lender does not want to make a mistake by lending to you. People with good credit scores experience less difficulty when applying for house or car loans, simply because their credit score tells the lender, “You can trust this person”.
The safest way to establish and build your credit is through a credit card. There are a lot of credit card companies competing for your business today that will offer you low APR's, competitive interest rates each month, and even payment terms that are flexible. For beginners, you should try to apply for just one credit card. Make sure the credit limit stays at a small percentage of your yearly income. For example, If you work a part time job and go to school, then a credit limit of $1000 should be more than enough. If you stop and think about it, this is a smart decision on your part. A single card is much more manageable to keep track of, and most of all, a small balance will be easier to pay. Keeping your card's limit low also makes sure that you can not spend over your income level.
If you are still worried that you might not handle your credit card wisely and end up ruining your chance at building a good credit score, then you should apply for a secured credit card.
Secured credit cards can be perfect for first timers. A monetary deposit will act as security for the credit card company just in case you get into some financial trouble and can not pay off your credit card bills as agreed. Treat it as practice for the real world. You will be able to gauge how well you handle your finances before you have a chance to ruin them. If your secured card does not work out as planned, the deposit you made previously will pay off the debt you accumulated on that card. If you can use the card responsibly however, then your credit card company will report your payments on time and you are off to a great start establishing and building credit.
Back in August, I wrote an article entitled, "MY TOP 5 WEALTH BUILDING STRATEGIES." I really liked that article and I thought it gave a very simplistic road map to getting on the road to wealth. Apparently, no one liked it.
People read, like, and comment all the time on my articles. That specific article got just 3 likes. Yes, 3!
Now at this point in my writing career, we usually have between 200-300 people read my articles each week on DonnieMasters.com. For 3 people to read that article and "like" it was eye opening. Apparently, I am not getting your attention! Well, believe me, I got the message loud and clear.
I am going to amend that article now to include one more thing that really matters to your long term financial health, buying assets. I realize that I neglected to include that as one of the main "wealth building" strategies that I personally use. Not a good look for me I am afraid.
The larger point is, I am learning new information all the time. I just spent hours at a seminar learning about fractional reserves and the United States banking laws. You should be learning new stuff all the time too!
If you are not actively changing your opinions, beliefs, and actions based on new, relevant, and pertinent information, then you have no right to complain about your spot in life. Go read someone else's blog that has tissues on stand by for you. You and I don't have the time to sit around and whine about what is happening! Do something about what is bothering you or move along.
So with that said, here are my "6 Amazing Strategies For Building Long Lasting Wealth". These strategies, if applied to your current financial situation, will improve the quality of your life immensely. You will make better decisions, and you will have opportunities come your way.
PAY YOURSELF FIRST, EVERY TIME. Treat yourself as the most important bill to be paid. Aim for 30% of your take home pay to be saved each paycheck. You can start at 5%, or start at 3% of your pay. Just freaking start putting some money away! Somehow you always manage to find the money for the phone bill, the rent, and so on. If you want to change your life, you must pay yourself first. This money management decision is life changing as it will lead to financial independence.
BUDGET/KNOW WHERE YOUR MONEY IS GOING. It is important to stop the financial leaks in your life. Until there is more money coming in than you know what to do with, you need a budget. We all know what it feels like to have money draining out of our accounts. It is important to pay attention to your spending patterns. It can be very helpful to record all your expenses for a set period of time (60-90 days) just so you know where your money is going. Prepare to be shocked! Most people have no idea how much money is being lost each month to unnecessary expenses and miscellaneous garbage. Once you know where your money is going, you can control your expenses.
GET RID OF BAD DEBT IMMEDIATELY. Before you can begin to build up your emergency fund savings account, it is important that you get rid of any bad debts first. The best return you can make on your financial future is to pay off any credit card and auto loans as fast as possible. Consider selling your car, or getting rid of a car completely.
HAVE AN EMERGENCY FUND IN PLACE. Once you have paid off all the bad debt, your "pay yourself first money" money goes into a quickly accessible savings account for your emergency fund. Nothing will wreck your best laid plans faster than an emergency situation. Make sure you set aside 3-6 months worth of expenses to live on just in case a financial catastrophe should strike your house. Without an emergency fund in place you will be forced to take on bad debt again, or even worse, cash in your retirement accounts to make end meet. In order to survive the hard times, you must have an emergency fund in place once you have the bad debts out of your life.
BUY ASSETS/USE MONEY FOR THINGS OF VALUE. So many people spend money on items that have no lasting value and provide no lasting benefits. Many of this spending is at the expense of your financial future. Spend your money on the good things that will really benefit you in the long run such as owning property, funding your retirement, and precious metals, such as gold and silver.
ALWAYS PROTECT YOUR ASSETS. Make sure that you are always properly insured while going through life. You should always have good health insurance, dental insurance, home owner insurance, car insurance, long-term disability insurance, and a proper life insurance policy. Having these policies in place, will not only protect your assets, but it will make sure that you can recover from any financial catastrophe.
Having bad credit can be detrimental to your financial health. It also places several hurdles in front of you when it comes to obtaining loans in the future. Having a poor credit score can happen to anyone for a multitude of reasons. Luckily, here are 6 ways that you can go about improving your credit score, no matter what the situation you find yourself in.
1. Pay on time
This is by far the most obvious way to improve your credit score, yet it is still the #1 way for improving your score for a big reason. Your payment history makes up 35% of your credit score. It doesn’t matter if you’re only a few weeks late or a even a few months, paying your bills late will result in a lower credit score. Simply put, don't miss payments.
2. Pay down debts
Your credit score is also comprised of your DTI, or Debt To Income Ratio. This is a tricky one because you have to use your credit in order to build a payment history, but you also want to have your debts paid off at the end of each month. Your credit score is a reflection of how well you manage your credit, but if you pay off your debt completely each time, then you have no credit to manage because you don't owe any money to anyone. The best way to approach this is to pay off your revolving debt each month (credit cards and other high interest loans), but leave a little payment to manage from month to month (small home equity loan, refinance of old debts).
3. Assortment of credit cards
Similar to paying off your debt each month is also showing that you can manage different types of credit cards without a problem. This is not to say that you should have 10 different credit cards, but having a few (2-3 major ones) different credit cards will improve your credit score. Have a Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and an American Express for example. Having multiple cards and credit lines open will show that you can manage your short-term and long-term credit obligations.
4. No new credit
Once you have a house to live in and an assortment of credit cards, do not open any more lines of credit unless it is absolutely necessary. It is important that you stay away from getting new credit. Why? Every time you apply for new credit, an inquiry is added to your credit report. These inquiries will drop your credit score by a few points every time.
5. Don’t ever file for bankruptcy or foreclosure
Filing for bankruptcy, or having a home foreclosed on, will kill your credit score. Both of these actions stay on your credit report for 7 years. Not only that, but they also decrease your credit score to the point of not being able to improve your financial situation. The good news is that over time (3-5 years) a foreclosure or bankruptcy will impact your credit score less and less.
6. Delete any errors on your credit report
This is the quickest and most efficient method to raise your credit score. Correcting any errors from your credit report can raise your credit score 50-100 points very quickly. There is a little time and effort that is required to do this, but fixing these errors now will save you from having to deal with them later on.
No matter how you opt to improve your credit score, it is important that you get a jump on it right now. Having a poor credit score will kill any opportunities that you will have to get ahead in life and it will make it extremely difficult to acquire new loans down the road as well.
And so the first resounding shots have been fired within the mattress industry. Fast Company posted an article detailing how aggressive certain companies can be when trying to get their product sold to a consumer. The article is entitled, "The War To Sell You A Mattress Is An Internet Nightmare." It is definitely worth a read.
This specifc article talks about how Casper (of the bed in a box, all foam, delivered to your door fame) forced an affiliate blogger out of business and then bought his high ranking website when the affiliate company, Sleepopolis, could no longer afford to fight them off.
The new company that was formed to buy Sleepopolis is called JAKK Media. JAKK Media was able to buy the company with a direct loan from Casper. In other words, Casper bought it's position atop Google and is hiding behind this fact by making the website look like an independent "review site". I don't even need to check out the new Sleepopolis to know that there is a convenient link allowing you to purchase from this "new and unbiased" research website.
I warned you about this very thing, 3 years ago, when I was originally writing Mattress Buying 101. Although my book was not published until 2016, I wrote the content in 2015, almost 3 years ago. Below is a direct excerpt from my book.
" I would like to offer a word of caution from me to you. A lot of information is available on the Internet now. When it comes to mattresses and bedding, some of the information is really informative, but a majority of it is dangerous to the consumer. I am strongly recommending that you thoroughly research the person and/or company behind the information you are reading. Certain people and companies are even creating fake review websites telling you what bed to buy after doing an “unbiased comparison”. They conveniently provide links to make the purchase right below the article you just read. It is also becoming more common for companies to hide behind an independent “shell” online. That person or website is often on their payroll. Companies will go to great lengths to avoid being found out. They will create subsidiary companies that are owned by the parent company, for example."
Believe me when I tell you the problem is only going to get worse as time goes on. More and more companies are getting into the "bedding business" and want your dollars. Don't fall for these "independent review" scams and learn how to protect yourself by buying Mattress Buying 101 today.
P.S. Yes, I am trying to sell you a book that will actually help you select a bed that works with your body and your budget.