Thursday, March 20, 2014

Don't waste your money.

Years ago, I was an Early Adopter for some electronics,  it mattered to me so much that I had to have the latest computers, or TVs – I always had to have the newest model. And while I did have some cool toys I still was able to make a down payment to buy my first house.

There are countless ways to waste your money, and you don’t have to be a shopoholic to fritter it away. Here are some of the most common ways people waste money, and some advice on how to stop spending money if you decide that you want to save.

Eat And Spend Smarter
Most of us recognize that it generally costs a lot more to eat out at a restaurant than it does at home. So common sense says, don't eat out as much as you eat at home. But even if you do limit meals and beverages to the occasional treat, there are still ways to save on your grocery bills.

Rule number one is to make a grocery  list before you head out. If both helps you stay focused on your needs – rather than those pricey impulse buys – and, if you make your list at home, you’ll avoid buying perishables you already have. 

Second rule is review the list at  the grocery store, and the third rule is only buy what is on the list.

Rather than paying a steep premium for those pre-cut veggies, pre-mixed salads, and other partially prepared convenience foods, do it yourself. A few other grocery shopping tips:

  • House brands are cheaper – and often made at the same factory – as name brands.
  • Clip and use coupons.
  • Scan the flyers and stock up on non-perishable staples (toilet paper, soup, dried pasta, microwave dinners, etc.) when they go on sale.
  • Buy in bulk, but only if you’ll be able to use it before it goes bad.
  • Finally, make sure you follow that tried and true advice: never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach or you’ll end up with a cart full of unnecessary treats.

Be More Proactive With Your Financial Planning
One of the most common ways people waste money is in mismanaging how they handle their money. Miss a bill payment and you’ll be charged (high) interest and a penalty. Do it frequently and you’ll risk damaging your credit rating. Carry a balance on your credit card and, in most cases, you’ll be charged a very high rate of interest (up to 30 per cent or more depending on the card) backdated to the day of purchase. Withdraw cash from another bank’s ATM and you’ll get charged a service fee by both banks.

One way to avoid the first two charges is to apply for a line of credit – before you need it – so you’ll have it available for those times when your money cash flow falls short of your bills.

Choose Better Financial Products
Carrying the wrong credit or bank card is like throwing money away. You can get a leg up on your daily savings by choosing options that don’t charge fees, and earn rewards that actually help with daily affordability. Spend some time doing some research and  apply for cards that have low interest.

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