We all want to save a little money, but there are both good and bad ways to go about it. Here are a few of the bad ways, and alternatives to go with them.
It could be a DVD. It could be a television show. It could even be a download for music. Pirating is also stealing another person’s work, and it’s illegal. Aside from the moral issues pirating can be expensive. The fines can be thousands of dollars. That’s a steep price for something that was going to be free. Instead try Hulu Plus or a Netflix Subscription. It costs about $8 and is perfectly legal.
When I was younger, I have to admit that once or twice I have written a check for more than was in my checking account and relied on the overdraft protection my bank provides. I also ended up paying more because of it. There are fees for overdrafting as well as paying back the actual overdraft amount. It’s better to plan monthly payments out and keep my account balanced than spend more because of a lack of planning.
Insurance: To Cover Or Not?
Insurance can be expensive, but so can a lack of insurance. Each family needs to decide what type of insurance and coverage they need and can afford. I need renter’s insurance, liability on the car, and health insurance. I didn’t bother getting life insurance until we had children and I wanted to make sure they were cared for after the fact. Most insurance policies are not as expensive as I thought, but I am happy to know I’m covered by the ones I have.
There are days that I haven’t had the money to pay a bill. Instead of trying to procrastinate payment, I call the company to let them know that my payment will be late. They have been kind enough to postpone the due date or give me a different payment amount. Most companies are willing to work with their customers if they are told upfront there could be a problem with payment.
I am no psychologist, but I am sure that when the finances are struggling, you and your family are probably struggling to not think about it. You’re probably stressed and ready to pull your hair out. We can’t stress enough the important of taking your mind off of those things. Your mind must be healthy for you to be efficient enough to deal with all finance stuff. Here are our best tips for taking your mind off the stress of money and debt.
1. Focus on the important things in life. Think about your family, their health and happiness. Sit down and think about all the wonderful and amazing things that are going on.
2. Spend time with your family. Do something fun, but free. Our family LOVES Geocahing. If you don’t know what it is, check it out HERE. It’s free so you don’t have to worry about money and your whole family will love it!
3. Focus on something else that is stressing you out. Have you ever heard about breaking a toe to make your finger stop hurting? Same concept here. Deal with another issue your family may be having that you’ve been putting off. Then when that issue is dealt with, you may be able to go back to your finances grateful for the change and more ready to take it on.
4. Don’t focus on what you don’t have. Nothing keeps your mind on money more than thinking about the things you don’t have. Don’t do that. Only think about all the things you do have. Be grateful.
5. Help others. Ughhhh seriously this is the BEST way to take your mind off of money. Spend 5 minutes helping someone else that has nothing and your world perspective gets a lot bigger. I cannot stress this one enough!
Every day we give you ideas on how to save money on purchases and even how to get freebies. But what about just saving money out of each paycheck? There are several ways for you to do that too!
Here are some ways…
1. 52 Week Challenge. Maybe you’ve seen this floating around the internet. Basically just put away so much a week into your savings account. It’s super easy and it’s not a lot of income. Sure we are two weeks into January, but you can easily make it up. The whole premise is to put away the amount of the week you are on. So for the first week $1, the second week $2 and so on until you hit $52 for week 52.
2. Pay off one debt then, the money you would have paid to the debt, put it into savings. If you are used to budgetting that debt every month, you won’t miss it going into savings as well.
3. Set a small goal. Don’t start saving with the thought of a million dollars in your head. You will surely fail if your goals are that high. However setting smaller attainable goals will help you gain more confidence in savings money. Meeting goals is the best way to keep going forward.
4. Don’t eat out and save that money instead. My bank specifically will tell us approximately how much we spend eating out. We continually make goals of eating out less. A great way to build up savings is to not eat out, but still put that money away like you were spending it.
5. Think about what you can nix. Is it cable? Is it a lower cell phone plan? Think about it, but once you do nix a monthly expense, don’t replace it with another expense. If you do, you’ve defeated the purpose.
What are you doing to save money?
You should always try and learn from other people’s mistakes. Take their failures and turn them into your success. Our biggest money regret was buying a home in a town we were moving to. This is a common thing that people do, but there are definitely some things we learned about the process that we wouldn’t do again and we would tell others to follow our lead. Here are some things we did wrong.
1. Know the town you are moving to. We listened to the realtors, but I’ll be honest, realtors are a lot like salesmen, they only get paid if something sells. A lot of them will tell you what they want you to hear for you to buy. We moved into our dream home and we HATED the neighborhood and the town.
2. Home value issues! We bought our house when we thought the market was at its lowest. After hating the city more than anything, we decided to rent it and move back to where we were. Then after one year we decided to sell it. We put it on the market, got an offer, but when the appraisal was done it came in $20,000 less than our asking price and way less than what we owe.
3. We should have walked away. Things never went really well for us buying this house. Everything went wrong from the beginning to the end. We should have seen that as a sign to walk away. It as a terrible investment and my family is still suffering as our old house sits empty with us footing the bill.
Have you ever made a big money mistake? Tell us about it!