3 - 12 - 2012
You may be happily surprised at the effects of your everyday conservation efforts, not to mention the great cost savings you can expect. And all this can be achieved without drastically changing your lifestyle.
Little Things Mean a Lot
You need not deprive yourself of important things to be environmentally friendly and save money, too. It’s the little things that count. Saving little bits of energy and resources will make a positive impact on your budget, however tight it may be.
For example, in summer, raise your air conditioning thermostat to just 78 degrees to save energy—and money. It’s not necessary that you freeze yourself to feel cooler. Air conditioning systems, whether central or window units, first reduce humidity, which automatically makes you feel cooler. A couple of degrees warmer will become just as comfortable as the temperature you’ve been using.
2 - 22 - 2012
Too many people view saving money as a necessary hardship. However, saving money can be fun if you have the right attitude. Enthusiasm can help you overcome a multitude of financial difficulties. Adopt these two frames of mind to improve your money saving efforts.
Who’s More Important Than—YOU?
It’s alright to be a bit selfish. After every pay period, the first “bill” you pay should be a deposit to your savings account. Even if you can only afford $10 or $20 per pay period, pay yourself first before taking care of your other monthly obligations.
This simple, habit-forming plan will generate a very healthy savings account over time. If you’re not familiar with the amazing effects of “compounding” (earning interest on interest), perform a little internet surfing. You’ll quickly understand how compounding can create large dollars that continue to increase forever.
2 - 2 - 2012
A young woman woke up one Valentine’s Day and told her husband about a dream she’d just had. “I dreamed that you gave me a necklace for Valentine’s Day.” she said. “ What do you think it means?” “You’ll know tonight,” he said. That evening, the husband came home with a small package and gave it to his wife. Delighted, the woman opened it. Inside was a book entitled “The Meaning of Dreams.”
If you’ve ever had a disappointing Valentine’s Day, try making sure it doesn’t happen again by taking to heart these three creative and inexpensive ideas:
• Rent a movie
Not just any movie, rent the first – or one of the first – movies you ever saw as a couple. Another romantic idea is to download a few episodes of a TV show you used to watch together when you were falling in love. Dim the lights, hold hands, and think about what life was like before the only movies you watched had a G rating and a talking animal.
12 - 8 - 2011
Keeping the holidays festive without spending a pretty penny doesn’t seem possible sometimes. Even though we’d all love to make “big” purchases, the budget isn’t always willing. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to keep your costs down without losing your holiday spirit.
- Make a list and check it twice (at least) – Decide on a budget you can comfortably live with for food, gifts and decorations. Having a specific amount in mind will help you avoid overspending. Also, be sure to watch for coupons or grocery flyers for food items that are on sale. Keep an eye on department store sales and online offers for gifts and decorations. By planning even a week or two ahead, you can tap into sales on just about everything you might need, at discounted prices.
11 - 16 - 2011
For many families, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season and the spending spree that comes along with it. It’s not uncommon for some moms, dads and kids to head out bright and early on “Black Friday” – the day after Thanksgiving – with the hope of finding the best deals on those wish-list items.
No matter if you’re a Black Friday early-riser or wake-up-at-noon super sleeper wouldn’t it be nice to have a fatter wallet (not just a fatter stomach) once Thanksgiving is over? You can, with the help of these money-saving tips:
- Plan your menu early – Know what you’re going to serve for Thanksgiving about five weeks ahead of the big day. Many supermarkets have lower prices on traditional Thanksgiving items in the month leading up to the holiday, so check the store circulars for the lowest prices – and make sure to look for matching coupons. For a small weekly fee, websites such as www.thegrocerygame.com will help you find deals and let you know if there’s a coupon to lower the cost even further.
- Don’t overbuy – The tendency for many Thanksgiving cooks is to prepare more food than needed. Often, however, the extra food (and the extra money spent) may be wasted. To make sure you don’t overspend and over-prepare, go online and search for terms such as, “How much food do I need for Thanksgiving” or “How much turkey do I need for 10 people.” You’ll find lots of sites that can help you to determine an appropriate amount of food.
- Use leftovers – A meal with leftovers can be just as satisfying as the original feast. Be sure to save more than just the turkey. Cranberry sauce can be used again, vegetables can be used to create soups and dips, and mashed potatoes can be shaped into patties for frying.