Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What are your retirement plans?

I want to know what YOU are doing for your retirement plans?

With a down economy and social security checks averaging 1,067.80 a person, it's crucial to understand the importance of developing personal retirement plans. I have been doing a lot of reading about the best options, but I want to know what you are doing? Whether you are working on your 401k, investing in CDs,Bonds,Mutual Funds or saving for a income property. I want to know what you are doing and why you chose that method? I am also interested in creative ways you are coming up with a few extra dollars to put towards retirement?



http://www.socialsecurity.gov/policy/docs/quickfacts/stat_snapshot/

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Maximizing your entertainment Dollar.

Entertainment can get pretty expensive, but there are a few great ways to save money without ruining the weekend.

1. Maximize your movie watching experience. Movie theaters are extremely expensive and should be avoided at full price. Hit a Matinee and enjoy the same movie for half the price. Not to mention missing the headache long lines and crappy front row seats. If you don't absolutely have to see the movie right away, wait for it to hit the dollar theatre and enjoy it for well under the original price. MILK your netflix account, if you don't have one I would seriously consider getting one. I wont buy a DVD ever again. If I really want to watch something I just throw it in the Que and have it in a day or so. Rather than putting the finished movies in my mail box and waiting for the mail lady to pick it up. I drop them off at the post office on my way to school to ensure they go out that day. With the local shipping center near by I can get my next movie the next day. This can save some serious cash!
2. Cancel your cable: I hate watching commercials! I also hate the suspense that my favorite TV shows leave me with each week. So I wait till the end of the season and then put it in my netflix so I can watch it over a weekend.
Many stations like NBC and Fox let you watch current season episodes on the web. You still have to watch a few commercials but they are shorter and you can often optimize the ads to things you don't mind learning about.
Check out hulu.com to watch episodes online for free.
3. If you are looking for a night out on the town avoid spending too much on drinks. Find a local music cafe where you can go with your friends and enjoy free live music while you eat. It's a great way to spend an evening.
4. Head to the beach or a local park. Typically the fee is very low and is a great way to spend a Saturday enjoying the outdoors.

What are some of your cheap entertaining ideas?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Saving on Rent.

For most of us our rent or mortgage is our largest expense. Before purchasing a home, paying rent was my least favorite part of the month. I hated that I was burning my money. Of course I understand that shelter is a need, and does provide a service. But no matter how you look at it, any amount of money being paid in rent is money lost forever. So for those who are paying rent here are a few ideas on how you can save.

1. Find a place where you can share a room. Typically apartments with shared rooms have a much lower cost for rent. Having a roommate can actually be a lot more fun than having your own room.

2. If you are currently living in a place where you have your own room. Contact your landlord about finding a roommate. If legal in the area landlords love this. First off they get to get another deposit in which they take a large portion to keep for carpet cleaning if needed. Secondly despite lowering your rent overall now they have 2 people paying $500 a month rather than one paying $700

3. Buy a place: If you have a steady job but don’t want to be tied down with a huge mortgage. Purchase a place and rent out the extra rooms. If you have a four, bedroom place you can often make money on renting out the spare rooms. At least you will have others paying your mortgage and helping you build equity each month.

Alan Corey a self made millionaire used this tactic to make a lot of money. Check out his book “A million bucks by 30” for details. (This is one of the funniest personal finance books I have ever read. I love it)

Here is a link to his website http://www.alancorey.com/

4. If you don’t mind living with a couple, many families are willing to rent out single rooms to save on their mortgage.

What are some of the ways you can think of to save on rent?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

8 Tips on how to beat the bookstore and save cash
1. Never buy a book from the university bookstore.
2. Before your classes begin, email your professors and get a list of the books needed. Then head to Amazon.com and look for the book there. Last semester the book store wanted $30 for a book that I got off of Amazon for $4.50
3. Check the add board in the school. Many students miss the sell back period and are desperate to sell their books. Practice your bartering skills by talking them down to a great price.
4. Study buddy: Find a study buddy in your class that you can split cost of the book with. Not only will you do better in the class but you will spend half as much on the book.
5. Talk to your teacher about past editions of the textbook. I did this for my business management and physical science classes. By purchasing the 5th edition rather than
buying the 6th edition in my business class I was able to spend only $.25 versus 35 at the book store. I found the old edition of the physical science book and used it. Other than some new cover art both books were the exact same. Even the chapter questions in the back.
6. Do homework on your professors. I always check out ratemyprofessor.com when registering for a class with an unfamiliar professor. I always search to see if previous
students have said buying the book was not worth it.
7. When you buy a book on Amazon for less than the book store is asking. Find a local
competitive book store to sell the book to. They will give you a better price than reselling it on amazon. Its a good way to make extra cash on textbooks. (I will post in further detail about this later, if you have any questions let me know)
8. If the only reason you need the book is to read a few excerpts, check Google books, they have a huge selection of books on their data base.