Don't tell me where your priorities are.

Show me where you spend your money and I'll tell you what they are.

-James W. Frick

Plan YOUR work! Work YOUR Plan!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Reader Stories: How to pay off debt and save money! Part 1

This post is the first in a series called "Reader Stories" about tips, success, and lessons learned by our readers. Be kind and enjoy!

Today's Reader Story comes from a mother of two with an eye for discounts. She has found ways to save money on many items and services we all use every day. Many tips are so simple, they are profound.  

I bought a house for $56k and a car for $16k just five years ago and have paid them both off with an income of $45k a year.  I was also able to afford $6-8k a year in daycare expenses.  How did I do it?  Hopefully these tips will help.
The two biggest ways to manage or save money is through budgeting and auto-deductions.

1.)  Budgeting- Review all credit card statements and ATM withdrawals to find out exactly how much money they are spending in different areas.  From there, you can prioritize what's most important to you and where you are willing to cut back on spending to free up money to put toward their financial goals.  Typically, people are spending a lot more money than they realize on food, entertainment, miscellaneous expenses throughout the day, and clothing.  It's also a great idea to have people carry around a check register or regular pen and paper to immediately write down every expense they incur for one whole month.  It's amazing how fast expenses add up!

2.)  Auto-Deductions- Just like people have 401(k) contributions set up to pull money out of the paycheck before you see it.  People automatically adjust their lifestyle to spend whatever is left in their account so you most likely will not even miss it.

3.)  If you shop on the internet, don’t check out without googling a coupon code.  I have saved over $100 and received free shipping by simply finding these coupon codes online.  I recently made a purchase at K-Mart online free ship to store.  The local store already had the items I wanted and I used a coupon code to obtain 20% off my order and when I went to pick them up I didn’t have to wait in a large line or go look for my items.  They had my items ready to go and I already paid.  This saves time and money. 

4.)  Look at all your bills?  I have saved $5 a month for a year just by calling my cable provider and asking if there were any promotions or discounts available or anyway to reduce my bill.  I already had the smallest package they offer but they still were able to give me $5 off a month for a year because of my persistence.

5.)  Don’t go to the cell phone store, call them instead.  I went to a sprint store and they told me there was no such thing as a 500 minute plan.  They told me this, I propose, because they do not make any sales bonuses off selling contracts like this.  I called sprint customer service and obtained a 500 minute plan with free sprint to sprint (all I need) for $35 a month on a basic phone.  Not having a fancy phone is an easy way to save money.

Stay tuned for part 2 and don't forget to comment and discuss!

Want to share your success and tips? 
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1 comment:

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