Monday, December 29, 2008
SAVING THE BENJAMINS
Hopefully, we all were prudent and we'll be left without post-Christmas "Buyers' Remorse" for some goofy gift that we regret giving or for bills yet unpaid. There's not much we can do about that reindeer sweater with the light-up antlers we gave to our boss, thinking incorrectly that he would "appreciate" the joke. But we can make a vow about whittling away at unpaid debts and saving more in 2009.
Readers of this blog may recall a post from the fall, wherein I shared the shocking news that the difference between saving or spending $10,000 a year comes down to what we do with $27.40 cents a day. $27.40 a day!
Now that sum can either make us quake if we confess that we breeze through that much on a daily Wal-Mart run, or it can empower us into recognize that small changes really do add up. A small adjustment on our phone package may not seem like it will add much to our family net worth, but keep in mind that that savings will compute twelve times. Add to that small shaves off the cable bill, designate a "soup" night of the week, rent a video instead of seeing the movie first-run at a theater, etc. etc. and you can see how quickly you can plop $27.40 cents away. And if not every day, then aim for every other day and stash $5,000 away this year in your rainy day fund.
I've thought about making a chart and writing down every money-saving thing I do to track my progress. Seeing the dollars add up may make the taste of off-brand mayo more palatable if it saves me a buck a jar!
Also, I'm rethinking my warehouse shopping trends as well. After filling my cart and noticing how many impulse buys I make, (like that massive jar of chocolate-coverd raisins I would never buy during a normal grovery-shopping trip), I'm convinced that I can save more money by watching sales and then buying multiples of certain items at my local grocer and/or by buying certain items at the dollar store. I'm going to address some of these topics more fully over the next few days.
Here's one of my best tips. It's a site called "WalletPop" It's a great, practical site with good, common sense money-savings tips backed up by research that frankly, most of us don't have time to conduct on our own. Some of the tips may fit your lifestyle more than others, but it's a great one-stop place to get answers.
Likewise, let me know if you've got some great money-saving sites and tips as well, and together we'll try to skim the fat and save some Benjamins this year!