Monthly Archives: March 2016
Most people think they know how to save money, but after educating myself on some newer ideas I would like to share them with the public. Obviously tip number for everyone is get out of debt. It’s important to get out of debt and pay off all the credit cards, student loads, and car payments before trying to save money for the long term. Once you are ready to start saving, a life style adjustment will help get the process going.
If you currently buying everything brand new, you should think about buying used or getting hand me downs. Buying and selling things on Craig’s List or eBay can save you a lot of money. Sell you old bedroom set for $200 and buy a gently used bedroom set $500. You get an upgrade and only spend $300 out of pocket instead of $1000 at a furniture store. Think about searching for holiday and birthday gifts ahead of time. This way you don’t have to pay for priority shipping or upgrades. Give yourself plenty of time to look around for sales and things are stores for specific gift items you want to buy. Purchasing a birthday gift a month or two ahead of time can probably save you more than 50% depending on the season.
Making a shopping list is key to saving money. Impulse buying is bad for your pocket, so if you do that on a regular basis you need to stop.
Buying groceries with coupons can help save you a lot of money. Coupons are great if you know how to use them. Usually people think that couponing is an easy way to save money, and it is most of the time… but only if you are buying things on your shopping list. Don’t just buy items because you have a coupon for it. Think to yourself do you really need this? Will I use it before it expires? If the answers are yes, then use the coupon, if you are unsure then don’t buy the item.
After all the shopping you are doing and the new ways you are saving money, you should start to make money back on what you spend. Use a credit card with reward points when shopping online and at the store. If you’re willing to take the time to look around are always great deals to be made.
There are so many mistakes you can make when shopping for groceries, clothes, house hold items, and event tickets. Some of these mistakes are easily fixable like reading the sale papers or ads before you go shopping, and other mistakes are harder to fix like using coupons for items you need not just items you want.
When shopping for groceries always make a list before entering the store. Putting the list on your cell phone, paper or even on your hand is better than having no list at all. When you write a list, you should stick to the list! Always create your list based on your family’s needs and what is on sale that week at your local grocery store. These two should go hand in hand in the list making process. Writing a list is easy and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes of dedicated time. Planning your trip to the grocery store with a list in hand will save you more money, as opposed to just stopping in for a few things on your way home from work each week. Signing up for online coupons and a store savings card is a must! I have saved hundreds of dollars over the years by having a grocery store discount card.
Clothes shopping are either something you love or something you hate, but either way sometimes it has to be done. Buying clothes on the sale and clearance rack is a must! If you know of a big event, birthday, or trip planned a few months ahead of time, start clothes shopping early! Seasonal clothes go on sale at the end of each season, so if you family cruise is booked for January you should shop for a bathing suit and sandals in September when all the new Winter clothes are starting to come out, thus moving all the Spring and Summer clothes to the clearance racks. Going to large department stores can save you a lot of money because they have such a large amount of product they need to sell and turn over. Don’t shy away from opening up a store card when you making a huge purchase as it can save you over 20% sometimes! This is a very good idea as long as you know you can pay the card off ASAP.
New habits with a store card, shopping for clothes off season and making a shopping list will help prevent easy shopping mistakes and money loss seem like a thing of the past.
Thinking of making a large purchase coming up such as a home, vehicle, or even a personal loan to pay off previous debt or combine student loan, well you cannot do any of these without someone reviewing your credit score. To ensure loan approval, not to mention that you are not paying outrageous amounts of interest with little going to principal balance, you need to at least have above-average credit scores. As typical credit score ranges from 350 to 850 and is based on information on from your credit report such as credit history and payment amounts. The higher the score, more likely you can be trusted to pay back debt to creditor’s, and you are rewarded in a sense with the least amount of interest to pay back. A “good” credit score can range from 720 to 750 to start to get the best rates out there, so 750 to 800 is typically very good, and 800 and over should never have any issue getting approval from lenders.
How do I know my credit score? Well you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report at least once a year, by the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, directly with them or from trusted sites such as annualcreditreport.com. The only catch is that your credit score is not included for free, so you will have to pay a few dollars extra for that, or if you have credit card accounts, most are including your credit score in your online account and statement, that you can view each month and show the changes from the previous month. It may be viewed as FICO score on these, which is still your credit score, it is same, the most widely used for credit decisions. Which credit bureau you review your score actually may change a few points between each, depending on the information on each report, so it is important to double check.
When viewing your report make sure all of the information is correct, you can verify the accounts and balances on each, and payment history is accurate, as high balances and negative payment history will lower your score drastically. If you do need improvement, make sure you are paying down balances, and on time, even if you can only make a minimum payment one month, never let it go, or it may take 7 years to clear off.