Category Archives: Money

How to Save Money Around the House

How to Save Money Around the HouseSometimes saving money means cutting back on indulgences or changing spending habits. But there are actually lots of simple ways to save money right in the home. All it takes is an awareness and a commitment to doing things differently. Here are some ways to save money around the house. Over time these savings start to add up.

Get New Lightbulbs

Just because a light bulb still works doesn’t mean it’s working for your energy bill. Updating to compact fluorescent light bulbs can save you up to 80 percent on your energy bill, which is pretty significant. They are more expensive so the initial investment might be slightly higher. But they also last way longer than normal bulbs so it’s a win-win situation. Plus they’re not that expensive, think $15 or so for a pack of four. Swap out your most use lamps and lights or replace your old bulbs with energy efficient ones as they burn out. You’ll notice a difference in your electricity bill.

Cut Your Cooling Costs With Curtains

If you have to use air conditioning in the summer, you’ve probably noticed your bills hike with the temperature. But it’s quite easy to keep some of that heat out by installing reflective blinds, which can reduce up to 45 percent of the heat. Window treatments can also be used to keep heat in during the winter, so they’re actually putting in work and saving you money all year round.

Get More Efficient Water Faucets

In addition to cutting down on lengthy showers and big baths, installing low-flow water faucets can significantly cut your water bill. This is particularly important in the kitchen where you can’t really cut back on dish washing time. The low flow water faucets only cost around $10 to $20 but could end up cutting the water bill by 25 to 60 percent. You can still spend the same amount of time washing the dishes. The facet just ensures that less water is used (and wasted) in the process.

Cut the Cable

Cable TV costs on average $768 a year. These days there are so many streaming alternatives that you can watch whatever you want to watch whether or not you actually have cable. So you might not actually need it. Streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu cost somewhere around $10 a month. Even if you’re paying for a couple of them it can still be a far cry from the monthly cable bill.

Unplug Your Electronics at Night

The average person might have dozens of electronics plugged in at a time and not even realize how much energy they’re using. Even if your phone hits full charge the plug in the wall continues to conduct electricity. Consider all the things that might be plugged in at any given time. The lamps, TV, air conditioning unit, computer, electric toothbrushes, etc. An easy way to “unplug” at night without having to actually unplug everything individually is to have electronics plugged into power strips. Then simply switching off the power strip will disconnect the electronics from the power source all at once. The average household spends $100 each year having their electronics plugged in.

Financial Tips from Millionaires

Financial Tips from MillionairesIf anyone should be handing out money advice it’s self-made millionaires (and billionaires.) Creating a life of great wealth means that they clearly have something figured out. Here are some financial tips from millionaires who have managed to make fortunes and hold onto their hard earned money.

Have Multiple Incomes

Jay Leno is incredibly successful in the entertainment industry. Part of his success is due to having multiple sources of incomes, and then only spending from one of them. “I’d bank one and I’d spend one.” He always spent the smaller of the two. He has continued to live off his income from doing stand-up comedy and has never touched any of the money that he made hosting The Tonight Show.

Start Saving ASAP

It makes sense that the sooner you can start making and saving money, the better off you’ll be financially. This is the advice of Mexican businessman Carlos Slim Helú. He started buying bank shares at the age of 12 and worked for his father from a young age. For a few years, he held the title of richest man in the world. It’s too late for most of us to turn around our childhood money habits. But it’s never too late to start now.

Live Well Within Your Means

There are many stories of people making lots of money only to lose it once again. Generally, this has to do with the fact that they’re living outside of their means. This is an important concept no matter how much money you’re making. Warren Buffet became a billionaire investing in smart ways. But he reportedly still lives in the house that he purchased in 1957 for $31,500. He’s worth an estimated $68 billion, he could clearly afford to upgrade. But he hasn’t felt the need to, so he hasn’t.

Separate Needs from Wants

It’s okay to spend some money on wants, since life, after all, should be enjoyed. But it’s a good idea to keep track of which is which just so you have an idea about how much money you actually need to be spending. A good example of this is choosing a car. Safety and efficiency should be the top priorities, and yet many people treat them as status symbols. But not everyone. Ingvar Kamprad of Ikea wealth drives an old Volvo, while Walmart billionaire Jim Walton drives an old pickup truck. Those both happen to be stores that sell consumer goods at lower than average prices. Those people obviously stand behind the concept of their stores in their own life as well.

Do What You Love

It certainly helps to feel motivated in life, and some of that motivation can simply come from following your passions. Millionaire Christopher Paul Gardner was a homeless single father and ultimately turned his life around in a major way. He has said: “Here’s the secret to success: find something you love to do so much, you can’t wait for the sun to rise to do it all over again.”

How to Buy Time When You Can’t Pay Your Bills

How to Buy Time When You Can’t Pay Your BillsIt has been reported that a majority of Americans are just one payment away from being unable to pay their bills. This could happen if a person misses several work days due to illness. A sizable emergency might also zap the budget. Most of us fail to adequate savings in the event of losing a job. Thus, it is fairly common to miss occasional monthly payments, which can ding your credit rating and result in late fees.

However, there are ways to avoid financial consequences if you are unable to pay one or more monthly bills.

Stay in Touch

Don’t avoid your creditors if you can’t meet the payment due-date. Instead, contact them to explain your circumstances. Most will enter a note on your credit record with the company for future reference, and they can be surprisingly understanding. If you usually make payments on time and have a good credit history, chances are that you will be given a grace period during which you can send late payments without penalty.

Make Partial Payments

Offer a partial payment if you cannot afford to pay the entire amount. Call the creditor to suggest this option, again explaining why you are unable to make the full payment at this time. Indicating a possible date when regular payments will be resumed can be an incentive for creditors to accept a partial payment.

Reset your Payment Schedule

If some of your monthly bills arrive when you are between paychecks, it can be hard to budget ahead to save enough money for those payments. Ask the creditor if you can change the payment due date to a day that is closer to your payday. Chances are it will be no problem, and you will have a better chance of making payments on time.

Earn Extra Income

Sometimes we find ourselves living beyond our means. Before we know it, we’ve racked up considerable credit card debt and are at risk for defaulting on regular bills, like a car payment or home loan. This not only puts us behind on the payment schedule, but it also risks our credit rating and may lead to late fees or penalties, such as an elevated interest rate. If the problem is temporary or can be brought under control, it may help to get a second job or earn part-time income to pay down or eliminate outstanding balances to leave only regular monthly expenses in the budget. Neighborhood lawn care and home-based customer service work are two options. A law school graduate delivered newspapers to meet his student loan obligation.

Don’t despair if you cannot pay one or more bills on time. Follow steps like those above to get your finances under control again.