Saving Money, Simply

Here are some simple ways you can save money:

Clip Coupons
You can save on your shopping excursions by clipping coupons. Some stores will even double or triple manufacturers’ coupons up to a specified amount [typically, one dollar] as an added incentive to bring you in.

Comparison Shop
The worldwide web gives shoppers the opportunity to compare prices and shop right online for almost any product available. Order online if the item is cheaper than ordering in person. Don’t forget to take into consideration shipping, handling, and taxes when ordering via the web, however many online retailers offer free shipping and taxes are not always universally assessed.

Energy Efficient Appliances
Your old refrigerator or washer is an energy eater. When you shop for a new unit, check to make sure that the energy rating is high. Do not, however, pay hundreds of dollars more for a product if only a slightly higher energy rating is promised. Learn which models produce the highest possible energy rating for the money.

Get Free Samples
Manufacturers enjoy giving away samples of their products. Sometimes all it takes is a letter or an email to the appropriate department and your freebie will arrive in the mail in the form of merchandise or as a coupon allowing you to purchase the item locally for free.

Shop The Clubs
Warehouse clubs such as BJ’s, Sam’s Club, and Costco offer savings that shave 10-30% off of supermarket prices. Many take coupons too!

Go To The Library
The big book retailers offer a wide selection of books to their customers. However, you may be able to find that same title at your free public library. If not, ask a librarian if she would order the book for you. A free book is better than the $30 you would have paid for a bestseller, plus latte!

Use it Again; Recycle
Maybe the item you are tossing can be used again. If you definitely have no use for it, sell it at a garage sale [or online via an auction site] and keep the earnings. In any case, you are contributing to a clean environment by not adding to already overcrowded landfills.

There are many other ways for you to save even beyond those that I have mentioned. All it takes is a little bit of imagination and some initiative and you will soon find yourself saving money on in ways you previously did not think of.

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Saving for Your Future

We all know that we should save money. But something so easy to say can be quite difficult to actually do.

Saving money is the basis of building your financial future. However, many consumers are putting it off one more day. Those days turn quickly into years of lost money. Without savings, the chances of meeting long-term financial goals and achieving financial security are quite miniscule.

In order to save money, you have to control your finances. Saving has nothing to do with how much you make. It has everything to do with how you control your money. If you have lots of credit card debt and live paycheck to paycheck, you are not in control of your money. And you aren't saving for the future either.

You have to spend less and save more. The two are tied together. In order to save, you have to start spending less.

And it all really isn't that difficult if you just start doing it.

First, sit down and write down your financial goals. Just ask yourself what you want from your money. Perhaps you would like to have a downpayment for your first home. Maybe you need a new car. Make long-term goals, such as retirement, and short-term goals, such as new living room furniture.

Give each goal a dollar amount and a time frame. In order to save, you have to know what you are saving for. You have to have a reason to put your money aside.

You will need to set up a seperate savings account. You probably know that leaving the money in your checking simply won't work -- you will spend it. Have a savings account that you can easily deposit or transfer money into. Many banks will set up an automatic withdrawal to your savings each month. This is a easy way to set it and forget it. It is paid just like any other bill.

Over time, you will see your money start to grow. This is rewarding and exciting. Most people become motivated to save even more. Saving and investing can become addicting in a good way.

You will find that a written budget is almost essential for saving money. You need to know where your money is going in order to make changes to the way you spend. A budget not only tells you where you are spending, but it can help you plan how you spend. Include into your budget a debt reduction plan, and your budget will make the most of your dollars. Budgeting is simple and doesn't require you to sacrifice your entire lifestyle. It is just a plan to get where you are going.

If you do have a lot of credit card debt, you should focus spending your saving money on eliminating that debt. It would be wise to put a small amount aside for emergencies, but the vast majority of the money you are saving right now needs to be going to your debt. The reason why is simple. Why pay 20% interest on a credit card debt when your savings are earning 2% to 10% in interest. You are spending more than necessary. Wipe out that credit card debt first. It will save you more in the long run.

A lot of people really boost their savings by putting their unexpected money into their savings accounts. Your bonuses, raises, tax refunds and overtime can really pump up your savings. You aren't having to spend even less or cut back more, but you are seeing your account balance rise.

There is no real secret to saving money. You simply have to start doing it. That is often the hardest thing -- the first step. But once you see your finances begin to change and the interest start working for you, you will be hooked on saving for your future.

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Are You Looking For A Financial Planner?

A financial planner is an individual who manages the money of a family, a group or a business. They will provide you with the knowledge that you need about which are the right investments, how to manage them and what you need to do to be set for retirement, college, or to purchase your first home. A financial planner is quite necessary in this day and age. If you do not have one, you may not really know what to look for in those that you can choose from.

Here are some helpful suggestions on things to consider about the financial planner for your needs:

• You need quality. Simply, you are putting your money into someone else’s hands and you need to find a professional who will do his or her best at managing it. They need to be able to provide you with a plan that shows how they can help you. They need to have experience and show you what they have done in the past for others.

• You need to be able to communicate with them on many levels. At first, you’ll need them to be able to understand your needs and desires and they need to provide you with a plan that you can follow. They also need to be available if you have questions or problems come up. You can tell if the financial planner is committed to this just in your first meeting with them.

• You also need to agree on the same principles. If you feel that the financial planner is simply trying to make money, you are less likely to trust them. Make sure that you take the time to find those financial planners who are on the same page as you.

When you do all of these things, your experience in choosing a financial planner will lead to a good choice.

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