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It sounds so easy. Save money, put it in the bank and count your way to retirement. However, most people do not do it. They wait until the last minute to think about their future and by then, their future has arrived.  

bq. It's time to step out of yesterday's procrastination and into becoming a doer instead of an 'I will do it tomorrow' person. Here are 7 simple steps to saving money right now to help ensure a brighter tomorrow starting today.

budget for home

*Plan – Make a budget*. Get a piece of paper out (forgo the computer for now) and make two columns. One column is for incoming money. The other column is for outgoing money.  

List all money that you make that is a sure thing. Then list all the money you spend (save all your receipts, even if you use cash to pay for something, get a receipt).  

List every bill, every pack of gum, everything. Total both columns separately to find out if you spend more than you make (that's not such a good thing!) or save more than you spend (that's a good thing!).  

This will give you a good gauge on where you need to start your planning. If you spend more than you make, start cutting out the extra's until you can at least save $10 a month. At least $10! More is better of course.  

Don't buy extras for your children just because you want them to have it or they pester you to death. Show them by example how to grow up to be an adult who is responsible for their finances instead of raising a bunch of future debtors.  

Buying things you can't afford because you want it now shows your children or other impressionable people that it doesn't matter if you have the money now, pay for it later or don't pay for it at all, just get it. Instant gratification when you can't afford it is not a good thing.

*Look around the house*. Find out where you are losing money from and where extra electricity usage can be saved.  Are your appliances energy rated? Call your utility company for a free inspection that will show you how you can save on your bill.  

Are you paying more than you should for your phone bill? Many times, you can use the internet for free phone calls. Additionally, companies like Qwest have great plans for a flat rate fee. If you have a cell phone, think about disconnecting your house line if you don't need it.

*Weatherize your home*. Start with the moldings on all doors. Is the weather-stripping still good? If there is a breeze, think about replacing the weather-stripping or placing a blanket or towel at the base to keep cold air out.  

How are your windows? Weatherizing your windows can be worth more than you think and will save on your electric bill. Generally, window facing west catch most of the wind action and windows facing north catch the coldest action. Use rope caulking or v-seal weather stripping to help you seal the deal and save on your bill. Many of these types of repairs have great rebates and discounts from the government.

*Buy home furniture and clothing at rummage sales*. Check your paper or ask around. Keep an eye out for signs as you are doing your daily drives. Thursday or Friday are when most rummage sales begin and they usually sell most of their goods on the first day.  

Find areas that are high-end markets to do your rummage sale shopping. I have purchased an entire large bag filled with velvet dresses, designer jeans, etc., tags still hanging on them for $1.50 total.

Purchase food items in bulk (forgo fruit and veggies using this method unless you have a large family or it will spoil). Buying dry goods, beans, rice, flour, canned goods and frozen items in this fashion will save you hundreds of dollars. Costco, Sam's Club and other warehouse stores can be your best ally in the budget saving arena.

*Save and recycle all plastic and glass bottles*. Take your plastic goods and glass containers in for a refund. Push them through the machine yourself (additional money) versus having the attendant do it for you (they take a piece of the pie for their services and you won't get as much money back).  

The money you receive from recycling can add up to a tank of gas if you have a mid-sized car or a small trip to the grocery store. Many people toss recyclables out or put them in the recycle bin for the garbage collector. If you do that, you are throwing away money.

Plan your shopping trips and shop in the same area. Do not run here and there and everywhere to get your shopping and errands completed. Take a little time to plan a route so you can save on the cost of gasoline.  

cookies

*Clip those coupons*. Many people pooh pooh coupons, but clipping coupons is all about saving money, especially when you use them on the days when there are already sales. If you use them on those days as well as on double and triple coupon days, you have saved money and paid yourself for thinking ahead.

[Link Removed] where you will also find free gifts from Procter and Gamble.


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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Judyo wrote Dec 7, 2008
    • Thank you, Jaci.  Believe it or not at my ripe age of 49, I’ve recently begun saving (automatic transfer of a set amount from my checking to savings account every week—paying myself first then pay bills, etc.).  I’ve also begun using coupons, which I’ve never done before.  Statistics show that Americans do not save and that by the time they retire, many depend on family and government programs...a sad state of affairs.  Thanks for the article.



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