Tips to Increase your Savings

Saving

No matter how much income do you have, it would always seem low. Then the only option that is left with you is saving. Saving is an art and it can take years to master it. It is not just the regular task that you can do. But once you learn it, you can do that very efficiently. Here are the few tips by which you can get the most savings out of your income.

  • Keep a track of your expenses

The first thing that you have to do and learn is to keep a track of the money. If you don’t know where your money is going, how would you save? Seeing the flow of the money is the first thing that you should do. The benefit of seeing the money flow is that you would be able to keep a track of the money. You can analyze the fact that what re the irrelevant things where the money is going. For example, spending a little amount everyday doesn’t seem much but when you get the yearly report of that spent money, you get shocked by the amount of the money that you have spoilt. There are a lot of ways by which you can keep the track of the money. You can download a money management application on which you can load your daily expenditure. You can also maintain a diary, in which you can write all the expenditures.

  • Cutting irrelevant expenses

When you get a weekly or monthly report of your expenditure, you can now see the amount spent on the irrelevant expenses. If you don’t see television and still have a cable connection. You can cut the connection. There are a lot of on the go apps on which you can watch your favorite shows. By cutting these expenses, you would be able to save more. Also, if you dine out more frequently, then you should eat at home cutting these expenses.

  • Acting smart

There are a lot of free alternatives for a particular thing. Take the example of a newspaper. When you can read the newspaper online, why to pay for that? You can easily go to the website of the newspaper and read it there. By acting like this, you can save yourself a lot. See the things like these and then switch to the free mode.

  • Move to a smaller house

If you live in a mansion like a house, then you should move into a smaller home. This would add a lot of benefits to you. Moving to a smaller house wouldn’t affect your facilities but you would get lesser space. You can see your extra stuff and you can sell that online. This would add up a great benefit to you as you would be saving a lot monthly. You can invest this money into something and buy your own house.

These simple things mentioned above wouldn’t affect your life much but would add up a great benefit to you.

5 Ways You Can Save On A Budget

Saving extra cash on a small budget can seem impossible when you’ve never done it before. But like any new skill, all you need is time, patience, and dedication to learn how it’s done. Think of budgeting like riding a bike. At first, you’ll need the support of some training wheels, but once you have some experience behind the handlebars of your budget, saving will become second nature to you.

Start your saving journey with this guide. It outlines five easy ways to save— no matter how small your budget is.

Save on budget

1. Take a second look at your budget

A budget should never be a thing you let rot somewhere in a hidden folder on your desktop. You should check in with it often, and update it as changes to your income or expenses happen.

When you take the time to review your budget often, you’ll become familiar with your spending habits. Regular expenses on things you don’t need drain your bank account of money. Once you eliminate them from your routine, you can put this cash into a savings account.

If you’re having trouble finding these patterns in your spending on your own, you can use a money management app like Mint to help. It keeps track of your cash for you and sends notifications when you’re overspending. After a couple of weeks, it’s able to analyze your spending habits, and it uses its findings to send personalized savings tips.

2. Automate your finances

From the posts you see on your Facebook feed to the Starbucks chatbot that lets you pre-order your latte, so many of the services you use in your daily life are already automated. You might as well embrace what automation can do for your savings.

It can be hard to commit to a regular savings schedule. All that cash sitting in your account calls your name, begging for you to spend it. If you can’t resist the urge to spend money you’ve devoted to savings, automating these contributions can take it out of your hands.

You should try setting up an automatic transfer between your checking to your savings on your payday, or see if your employer’s payroll department can split your paycheck deposit between different accounts. It’s hard to spend cash that was never there to begin with, so this helps prevent overspending.

3. Be goal-minded

Saving without direction is risky. It’s hard to commit to anything if you don’t understand how you stand to benefit, so make sure you attach a goal to any savings. You should choose something that will remind you of why you’re cutting out those fun but ultimately unnecessary purchases from step one above. Whether it’s an emergency fund or new shoes fund, this label can help you keep your focus and avoid spending money on other things.

4. Choose financial services wisely

Traditional banking rarely benefits people on a small budget. Conventional bank accounts come with terms and conditions that include expensive monthly fees, overdraft charges, and minimum balances. A lot of the times, these charges are hidden in complex financial legalese that only serves to confuse the average customer. While the biggest retail banks like Citibank and Bank of America are the most popular ways to save your money, they aren’t the only ways. There are alternatives companies that offer no-fee checking accounts and simple personal loans online.

Mobile banks like Chime don’t have any physical storefront, and the money they’ve saved in overhead means they can offer free accounts with no minimum balance. Likewise, a lender like MoneyKey does their lending online. They offer fast payday loans online that are uncomplicated and easy to understand. Clarity is essential when you’re searching for a personal loan. When you know the full extent of your agreement, you can avoid taking a payday loan that isn’t in your ability to repay.

5. Shop better

Spending your money is a part of being an adult with responsibilities. But just because you need to pay for things like shelter, food, and clothing doesn’t mean you have to pay full price for each item on your list. You can find a deal on almost anything if you’re willing to put a bit of time into it. Here are some ways you can cut down the final price on essential purchases:

  • Comparison shop: Most groceries stores will match the price of their competitors if you can prove they’re selling an item for less. This will take time, as you’ll need to find flyers or print outs as proof.
  • Couponing: You don’t have to spend your Sunday afternoon clipping coupons to find deals. You can find coupons and rebates using the apps on this top 7 list of shopping apps.
  • Timing your purchases: If it’s not a “need right now” item, then waiting to purchase something until it goes on sale can help you save. Keep track of popular sales, like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or Amazon Prime Day to maximize your dollars.
  • Buy in bulk: Going to Costco could save you some cash if you need a lot of one item. Non-perishable household items like toothpaste and laundry detergent are great to pick up in bulk. Just keep an eye on its price per unit to make it’s cheaper than at the regular grocery store.

You aren’t destined to live without savings just because you have a small budget. You can find ways to set aside cash no matter how tight your finances are, as long as you’re willing to put in the time. Once you get used to these strategies, start looking for more ways to save. You can transform yourself into a saver faster than you think.

5 Smart Tips For Saving Money in 2018

Save moeny

Are you a student aiming to save for your MBA or a small business aspiring to grow and save money at the same time? Whether you’re a parent, a professional or a business owner all of us, in some way or the other, are in search of effective money-saving ideas. It might seem an uphill task but if you consider the tips I’ve compiled below, saving up on precious bucks will become less daunting.

Create An Expense List

The hardest part about saving finances is the starting point. The key to effectively achieving your target is to manage your expenses and practice frugality. Start by jotting down your personal expenses and all related costs to create your expense list. It will help you set realistic goals for yourself. Moreover, it will assist you to keep track of your spending, thus allowing you to avoid overspending and cut down on expenses to meet your target. You can also use a good money-saving app to help you create your financial plan.

Practice Frugality

Penny pinchers might come off as misers but it’s wise to spend with caution rather than waste your savings. Factor in expenses like household items, bills, taxes, food and personal spending during the budget planning and stick to it. Focus on your needs rather than your wish-list, prioritize your expenses, and steer clear of impulse buying or spending. Find out where you can slash your expenses or cut back on costs. If you’re a businessman looking for money savings, find out the activities that you can cut to reduce unnecessary overhead. For example, if you want to organize a trade show for your firm, go for inexpensive custom display rentals from reputable firms like Expomarketing.

Set A Budget For Yourself

You’ll be best able to track your spending with a defined budget. With an expense list in hand and an insight into cost cutbacks, you’re on your way toward meeting your saving’s goal. Once you set a budget for yourself considering the expense list and your income, make an effort to stick to it. Set a target that reflects the amount you want to save every month, say 10-12% of your earnings and ensure your spending doesn’t exceed the budget limit, else, consider your savings blown away. You can also use a tool like ‘Better Money Habits Spending Analysis Tool’ to analyze your spending pattern and make the necessary adjustments.

Define A Goal

A great way to save money is to define a goal like savings for a wedding, an MBA program, down payment of a car or funding for a startup. This will help you set realistic targets for yourself encouraging you to save the required amount every month and abstain from overspending.

Open A Savings Account

I recommend you open a savings account in a bank where saved finances are deposited or transferred every month. If you’re a US resident consider using FDIC-insured deposit accounts like Certificate of Deposit which keeps your money locked for a specific profit margin every month or an FDIC-insured individual retirement account (IRAs) which is a tax efficient savings account apt for long-term money-saving goals.

How to Grow Your Small Business and Save Money

Save money

While tax reform might have added a boost to your bottom line, the odds are that you are still looking for ways to grow your small business and save money.  Sounds a bit fanciful, doesn’t it?  Well, growing your business will improving your profitability doesn’t need to be the stuff of fairy tales.

Instead, there are a few tried and true approaches that you can use to get you, and your business, to the promised land.  So, if you want a bit more money in your bank account every month, then read on.

Marketing on a Budget

As the saying goes, ‘you need to spend money to make money.’  While there is some truth this, the reality is that this slogan is often mumbled to help justify spending hard earned money on something that doesn’t work.

In this case, it is advertising.  If you feel frustrated about figuring out the right way to let customers know about your business, you are not alone.  In fact, it can take years for many small business owners to get the equation right for their business.

However, there is a better way – communal advertising.  This is a mix of getting out in the community and sharing resources with other small business owners.  By going local, you can leverage your ties with the community as well as the strengths of your fellow business owners.  Ultimately, this form of local marketing will pay massive dividends for a fraction of traditional marketing and advertising expenses.

Updated Your Website without Going Broke

If you are like most small businesses, then your website is your window on the world.  Sure, some of your customers live in your hometown and they can drive or ride their bikes to your door.  However, you may also have customers who live halfway around the world and this means you need a great website to make sure they keep coming back for more.

In the days before the iPhone, you would have needed to hire a designer and spend tens of thousands of dollars to get the website you wanted.  However, times have changed and today you can use different platforms like Wix and Squarespace to the get website you always wanted.

What makes these platforms useful is the ability to customize based on your needs.  This is important as you don’t want your window to the world to look like a cookie cutter.

Get the Help You Need

One of the biggest challenges of growing a small business is knowing who to turn to when you need help.  Let’s face it, the answer is usually that you, the owner, just need to roll up your sleeves and find a way through whatever is in your way.  However, there are times when advice and counsel from experts can help you to break through the challenges you are facing.

This means having access to accountants, lawyers, and consultants who not only have experience in your industry but know how to tailor their experience to the specific needs of small business.

While you think this might be simple, the reality is often different. This is because experiences with large, multinational corporations or with well-funded startups in hyper growth mode can rarely translate to what is happening with most small businesses.

As such, don’t choose your help based on where they last worked or went to college instead make sure they can relate to what you are going through as a business owner.  For instance, Nguyen CPA is a small business accountant in Denver and the principals have built their firm on helping owner-operators in the Mile-High City and beyond.

2nd Hand Equipment

Let’s face it, there is something about new equipment that gets everyone excited.  Maybe it is because of the additional capabilities the new equipment lends to your business or maybe it is just the idea of the bright shiny thing.  Either way, investments in new equipment can make everyone feel better about a business.

Yet, there is a downside to new equipment – it costs a lot and this is often a barrier for many small businesses who are struggling to make ends meet.  As such, you might want to consider getting your hands on used equipment as a way to get stuff done without spending a lot of money.

This approach works best when the differences between new and used equipment are relatively minor, or the equipment is not vital to the success of your business.  So, the next time you are looking for that new gadget for your business choose a less expensive option that will get the job done.

6 Money Savvy Tips You’ve Been told About Cars That are Myths

Car myths

You Should Change Your Oil Every 3,000 Miles

Everyone remembers getting their first car. The first rule of car maintenance has always been that you should change your oil every 3,000 miles and you will save money on gas and repairs. This logic made sense back when cars first hit the roads, but with synthetic oil technology advancing to the place that it is today, it is likely that you should not need to change your oil so frequently. To be sure, you should check the label on your motor oil, but most contemporary synthetic oils can last upwards of 7,500 if not 10,000 miles between changes.

So why does this myth persist. You can likely blame it on your mechanic for insisting on the more frequent change. They certainly have something to gain from the increase in checkups.

A Big Car is Less Costly and Safer in a Collision

Now this one is a bit complicated. If you think back to tenth grade physics class, you will remember that object with more mass carry more force; therefore, if an eighteen-wheeler and a Toyota Prius get into a head-on collision, we all know that the Prius is going to be decimated while the truck will feel as though it just ran over a large pebble. This means that you will end up paying more in repairs if you drive a small car.

With that said, barring extreme circumstances like the previously mentioned collision, the sedans of today have comparable safety ratings to larger cars such as SUV’s and pickup trucks. Again, this is one of those myths that was likely truer back in the day, but nowadays, modern safety features have made this somewhat of a myth.

You Can Sell Your Old Car for Parts

This myth is almost common sense. An integral part of your car gives out. The cost of repairs isn’t worth it, and you see a whole car filled with working parts that could find a home somewhere else, leaving you with some free space in your garage and some extra money in your pocket. But not so fast.

Selling your car for parts is neither as easy or safe as it may sound. Sure, some parts of a car can be removed without hassle, but remember, between all the fluids, coolants, fumes, and metals that compose the elaborate beast that is the modern automobile, there is a lot of room for you to make a mistake, one that either damages remaining parts or exposes you to something toxic.

Additionally, you would have to be extraordinarily lucky and patient to end up selling off all the parts in your car. More than likely, you’ll end up with a half hollowed out husk of a car. Instead of breaking it up piece by piece, look to a service that will pay cash to take the whole darn thing off your hands.

Not All Gas is Created Equal

Especially now that gas often costs upwards of $3.50 a gallon (depending on where you live), you might be wondering if sticking with the cheap gas is wreaking havoc on your car’s engine. However, studies have shown that there is no significant difference in the quality of commercial gasolines.

Granted, some purveyors of gasoline chose to put in additional additives, but these are for the most part negligible. The EPA requires that all gasoline meet a certain level of detergent. Some companies choose to add more, but the point stands. Name brand or off brand, it will work with your car the same. So next time Ole Pops gives you heck for pumping up your car at the Kwik Stop, tell him that all gas is (more or less) created equally.

Warm Your Engine Before Driving

We’ve all heard this one: let your car idle a bit before driving, especially for those of us who live in colder parts of the country. The theory operates on the very true belief that engines run less efficiently when they are cold, albeit only slightly less, and a more efficient car saves gas. So, the myth goes, it would make sense to warm your engine before driving. Right?

Wrong! The problem with this theory is that engines warm up faster when the car is driving. Experts recommend that you idle your car for no more than thirty seconds before taking off on the road.

Manual Transmission is More Efficient Than Automatic

Once again, we have a myth that was true in a certain time. When automatic transmission first came onto the scene, it wasn’t quite as efficient as manual. But nowadays, with automatic transmission making leaps and bounds in technology, it often proves even more efficient than manual.

The Importance of Having an Emergency Fund

emergency fund

An emergency fund is liquid money that has been earmarked for financial emergencies and unforeseen expenses. Emergencies do not include monthly expenses or wants, but rather things like medical emergencies, job loss, car repairs or major home repairs. The funds must be liquid (accessible) and you should never rely on credit cards or debt to get you through these. Having an emergency fund can make the difference between a financial bump in the short-term and a financial disaster that upends your life. Here we will look at why an emergency fund is so important.

Insurance at its Best

An emergency fund can be viewed as a type of insurance, although it is even better than that. Each month you put money into the fund (like insurance premiums) and if you need the money, there it is ready for you to use it. You never withdraw the money, unless you are facing an emergency and if you need to “make a claim,” you don’t need to prove anything to anyone – the money is available immediately. Even better, at the end of your days, that money belongs to you so that every premium you paid become part of your estate.

Freedom

Many people, at some point in their life, are unfortunate enough to find themselves in a situation that is unbearable. Without financial stability, those people will have no options, but to continue in their current state. That may be a relationship that is unbearable or a job that you can’t stand. With an emergency fund, you may be able to open your own business, start trading, or go back to school, but without the funds, these options will be impossible.

Job Loss

Most people who leave their jobs and have no other job lined up to start immediately, do not leave voluntarily. The risk of losing your job is generally considered to be the number one reason for having an emergency fund, because with no money coming in, you will need another source for paying your bills.

Major Medical or Dental Expenses

Medical events can be extremely expensive, particularly without health coverage. However, even with health coverage, when you take into account co-pays or other related out-of-pocket expenses, medical events can be very costly. The same is true for serious dental emergencies. Even a single event can be financially catastrophic if you have no emergency fund.

Repairs

The most common emergency repairs include car repairs and home repairs and some repairs cannot wait until you have saved up for them. A broken-down car so you can’t get to work needs to be fixed immediately. A leaking roof or broken heating/ cooling system probably can’t wait. Even if you have home insurance that will cover the repairs, the high deductibles will require you to have a sizeable sum of cash handy.

Bottom Line

Anyone who has faced a financial emergency will tell you that their emergency fund saved them. Don’t become one of the people who had no fund and has still not recovered financially many years later.