If you want to save money, you can do it. You just have to commit! Want some examples?
Consider coupons for a moment. Merchants and manufacturing use coupons as marketing to tempt you to purchase more than you normally would. However, you can use coupons on a whole different level.
Strategy: Make a list of what you regularly purchase before you go shopping and spend some time on the internet looking for coupon codes for each of the items you purchase. Take the percentage you “saved” and cut a check to go to savings of that exact amount as if you spent full price. Avoid: Don’t purchase anything that you don’t ordinarily purchase. Remember: Your goal is to get your normal shopping done for less and actually put the difference in what you spend and what you would have spent without coupons in a money market savings account.
REDUCING WHAT YOU SPEND ON BILLS
Did you know that you can alter the state of your savings by approaching those who bill you regularly?
Strategy: Get every bill that comes to your house. Grab your commitment because you’ll need it. You are going to call everyone who sends you a bill and do what the private equity groups and rich folk do: Push them to give you a better deal. However, you want to be careful and patient about how you do this.
Start by calling and telling them that you are facing a financial crisis and need to cut your bill by 12 – 15% to continue as a customer. Tell them you really want to keep the relationship. If they give you difficulty, immediately ask for a supervisor. Be prepared to be patient and very nice. In today’s corporate world, it may take you more than several calls and more than several supervisors, but remember what we are after: 12 – 15% reduction in the bill. And be open minded to their suggestions as well about how to achieve a smaller bill.
Important: When you “win” a concession or reduction in the bill, calculate how much you have saved and act AS IF YOU HAVEN’T SAVED ANYTHING. Take that percentage or amount and make it a part of your new monthly “bill” to yourself. This money should be a part of your regular monthly budget. And it should go directly to money market savings or certificates of deposit.
I’ve just given you two examples of how to build savings out of the same income you have now and the same obligations. Don’t just sit there – let’s get to work. Once you start thinking about things like this, your savings will build faster than you ever thought.
KEEP IN MIND THIS IS NOT 1979
What should you set as your goal for emergency savings for 2010 – 2011? Strap in because we recommend you build emergency savings of 15 to 18 months of your expenses. That means putting away steady savings every time you get paid and at least each month until you have 15 to 18 months of expenses in money market savings and certificates of deposit.
You may ask: “Why should I have that much savings?” Consider the stingy factors in private business these days. Companies are laying people off and these people – like you and me – are not able to get another acceptable job quickly. Notice the companies have more cash than ever. It is the PEOPLE and families who are getting squeezed. More than this, if you lose your job, you may not be able to replace your income as quickly as you could in the old days when 3 to 6 months of expenses was enough.
Don’t get caught up in being overwhelmed about how much savings you should have today. Focus on regular and steady saving. You will get there. And it will change how you feel about poor working environments or a stressful boss.
HELPING YOUR KIDS GET AHEAD
If you think I was born saving money, you are wrong. My own family didn’t believe in saving. They don’t believe in having a 401k. Our people have had “emergencies” all our lives. These emergencies always get in the way of saving money regularly, and our family is not different than millions of other good American families. I was not brought up to save and invest regularly and I have made every mistake you can think about when it comes to money. My parents thought they were shielding me from the realities of bills and worry. In fact, they were isolating me. I have had to learn from my own mistakes over time. I have had to learn the absolute hard way how to get savings on track and make it a part of your life without killing your lifestyle or allowing “it” to overwhelm you. It is my mission to share what I have learned about regularly saving with my own children and also share it with you. That’s why we have a lot of “free” (blogs like http://www.boostmywealth.wordpress.com and http://www.stickyasset.com/blog and groups on Facebook like “Coupons & Coupon Codes”) associated with our mission!
It is our goal to encourage everyone to teach our children about money, managing money, and saving regularly (and automatically. Children should receive lessons about compound interest and steady investing for a long-term future before they face the hard choices of adult life while being subjected to the consequences of the high-speed marketing culture we live in. As a parent, we are always concerned that they get a good education and go to a good college so they can make a lot of money or have a valued career path. The truth is that we could do our children the biggest favor by simply sharing with them sound saving and investing principles.
You can join our free Facebook group (or have your children do it, too) by searching in the Facebook bar on your “wall” for “Live The Lifestyle Your Family Deserves.” Click on “become a fan.” It’s free and it ties our free blogs into that group. You can get our free e-saver newsletter by signing up at http://www.StickyAsset.com/blog.
If you want to give your children the same information we are giving ours, you can purchase the only thing we sell on any of our blogs or groups. It’s called “How To Survive Any Financial Crisis” and you can get it for only $4.95 at http://www.middleclassmoney.com.
Good luck to you and your children.
Thank you for reading our blog and good luck!
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