Friday, December 31, 2010

Financial New Years Resolutions

New Years Resolutions

Make 2011 your best financial year yet. Whether you are looking to get out of debt or perhaps you are want to pile up some extra cash. 2011 is the year to do it. Need some inspiration? Here are a few ideas.

1. Start an automatic savings plan: Open a bank account with a high yield savings account. I use Ing and I love them, after the account is set up schedule an automatic withdrawal from your regular account to your new high yield account. Only have one debit card from your new account and leave it at home. This will remove the temptation of using it. Once a month check the account to monitor the balance and enjoy watching the savings build. If possible talk to HR at work and have that monthly amount sent directly to your account with your direct deposit.

2. Lose some weight: obesity is the leading cause of death in the United States and we all know that medical expense can deplete the best savings accounts. So set a goal to improve your health by losing weight. It won't take long to notice the savings.

3. Open a wroth IRA: Securing a comfortable retirement without investing is getting harder and harder. The wroth IRA is a excellent choice for most people looking to save a lot of money and utilize the miracle of compound interest.

4. Remove the chains of debt: Debt is the largest obstacle to overcome when trying to become financially independent. Check out my get out of debt plan here.

5. Cash, cash, cash: Develop a cash only budget, cut up the credit card and start saving to purchase everything in cash. Spending thousands of dollars a year on interest is devastating to financial independence. Waiting to purchase with cash helps me to determine how badly I really want the item. It's helped me avoid a lot of purchases that I really didn't need, which also helped save on interest.

6. Start a budget: the best way to save money is to start a budget. It's amazing to me how much money can be saved by weeding out those wasteful purchases.

 It's important to set goals, and the new year is a perfect time to do it. Have a great night tonight and an even better new year!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Frugal man gives millions to town.

I love to hear great stories of giving. This is an example of how frugality has blessed the lives of an entire town.

Merry Christmas,

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

This week in finance.

This week in finance.

Once a week I like to post a few things that I have read that I think can benefit readers. Checkout the links with each number so you can see the great information.

1. Financial disaster planning. I love this article from frugal dad, perfect things to think about when preparing for a financial disaster.

2. Rebound Podcast: This is an interesting podcast that I have a strong love hate relationship with. I find the couple very annoying at times and yet I keep coming back and listening for more. I think this is because they are so human. Listen to their journey of recovering from bankruptcy.

3. Want to retire but you are not sure you can. Read and learn how to do it in just 5 years. His methods may seem like madness to you however he is starting a huge trend around the country with his minimalistic lifestyle.

4. Think about how you are using coupons is it really in your best interest. Here is an awesome simple example of when to use them and when not to.

5. Looking for a way to make this Christmas Unique, make it a cash only Christmas. Here is a fun article about how a single mom did it. CASH ONLY

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Car repair

The cost of repairing your car can really eat into your budget. The worst  thing about car problems are they are almost impossible to plan for. So what can you do to avoid busting the budget when it comes to getting that car fixed and back on the road? When it comes to major repairs I suggest searching around for a good mechanic. Ask co-workers or family who they have been going to. When you call the repair man mention that so and so referred you. That way he knows that by doing a good job he is getting more business.

But for those smaller tasks like changing the oil, or replacing your brake pads, pull out the old tool set and do it yourself. Our brake pads needed replaced on our car, so I stopped by a few places to get estimates. The best price was $55 with an average of around $70. I couldn't believe how expensive it was. Remembering a few things from automotive in high school I decided to do it on my own. I hopped online and watched  a few tutorials to refresh my memory and then did it. Entire cost of the project? $17 dollars and an hour of my time. Between driving to the repair shop waiting for it to be my cars turn and waiting for the job to be done it would have taken at least that much time. There are hundreds of small projects we can do on our cars rather than paying a repair man.

If you are looking at doing a bigger job I suggest purchasing a repair manual about your specific car. For example:

Fixing your own car not only saves money but it can be a fun activity for you as well.
What are a few repairs you have done to your car versus taking it into the shop?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Frugal weekend part 2.

1. Attend a sporting event: Yes these can be costly if you do not plan ahead. However many teams offer great deals on tickets if you purchase in advance.  Also as long as your favorite team is not playing their arch rival you can often get tickets at a great price just outside the stadium. Ticket scalpers buy left over tickets for eighty percent off, sell them to you at fifty percent off and you both walk away happy.

2. Movie marathon, pick out your favorite movie, or watch an entire season of your favorite TV show. Invite a few friends over make it a big event.

3. Go snow shoeing: This is one of my favorite activities to do in the winter, its a great way to enjoy the snow and it is a great workout. If you do not have snow shoes I recommend renting some from a local sporting goods store before making the big purchase. But its something you can do time and time again, hop online and find a new hill to climb.

4. Put Luck dinner party: Dinner parties are a ton of fun, but if you host them often it can get pretty costly. Pot lucks are an awesome way to do that party for cheap, and you get to enjoy the meal rather than spend the whole night dishing food out.

5. Make a gift: Tis the season of giving, rather than spending a bunch of money on a gift for a co-worker or sibling. Spend some time thinking about something they would love and then make it. It will help foster your creativity as well as show you put a lot of thought into the gift.