Benjamin Franklin wrote the first known American book on the subject of personal finance titled The Way To Wealth.
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Beware of little Expences; a small Leak will sink a great Ship. -- Ben Franklin
Money saving tips are worth their weight in gold, as pennies add up to dollars over time. It used to be that a penny saved was a penny earned, but now saving a penny is worth quite a bit more than earning a penny. Let me explain: Today, taxes eat up a full 1/3 of people's incomes. The graph to the right illustrates the relationship between what we pay in taxes and what's left. Assuming a 36.1% combined federal, state and local tax rate, for every $100 we earn we have only $64 left with which to buy goods and services. So if earning $100 means we have $64 to spend, then saving $64 is equal to earning $100, so for every $20 we save it's just as if we'd earned $30!
First of all, please be more practical than this particular money saver and when you save money, put it where you can earn some interest.
Everyone knows the famous Ben Franklin quote:
A penny saved is a penny earned. -- Ben Franklin
Unfortunately, Americans aren't saving money these days. In 2005, for the first time since the Great Depression, the average American savings rate was negative--Americans spent more than they earned for the first time in multiple generations. This recent trend is disturbing, and even more so given that American baby boomers are now in their peak earning years and are becoming empty nesters. By all right, their expenses should be declining and not increasing! Regardless of whether or not you're a baby-boomer, take stock of your current financial situation. Are you saving enough today? If not, when are you going to fix that? What's your plan? Take action today to make sure you don't end up like the majority of retirees today living just above the poverty line. Reduce or eliminate unnecessary expenses, save money on things you buy, and invest the savings in a high yield account. Reverse this disturbing trend and provide a more secure financial future for yourself and those you love!
Here are some money saving tips you can implement today regardless of your income:
Money Saving Tip #1
Save money on restaurant bills by eating out less. Cook enough food at dinner each evening to have leftovers for lunch at work the next day. When cooking meals that freeze well like chili, make a large batch and freeze some for easy meals later. Save money on restaurant expenses by using the coupons found in the Entertainment Book to save money. Make your own gourmet coffee at home.
Money Saving Tip #2
Avoid ATM fees. Grocery shop with a debit card and get cash back, or go to your bank to get cash. Remember that a $1.50 ATM fee really costs you $2.25 in income. Financial institutions are making money hand over fist on fees like this--literally millions of dollars every year. Pay someone two dollars to get my own money? I don't think so!
Money Saving Tip #3
Eat more fruits and vegetables and less meat. Meat generally costs more, and eating more fruits and vegetables and less meat is healthier, so over the long run you'll save money on medical care.
Money Saving Tip #4
Don't pay full price for anything. Negotiate (haggle) anything you possibly can. Examples include credit card fees, retail prices at independent retail stores, etc. Once my wife and I were shopping for a gift for a relative, and went into a boutique in a mall that had a nice little handbag priced at $30. A saleswoman stopped by and asked if we liked the item, and I said we really liked it but unfortunately we only had $20 to spend. She said that would be OK, and in about 5 minutes we were out the door with the gift! I don't always get this kind of result, but it makes the whole process more fun, and this money saving tip alone has saved us hundreds of dollars. For more on this topic, check out the Reader's Digest article on How To Haggle Like a Pro.
Money Saving Tip #5
Save money by shopping online. Use free online coupons and use online comparison shopping engines to put stores in competition for your business.
Money Saving Tip #6
If you haven't been to the health club in quite a while and it's not because you're in a body cast, cancel your membership.
Money Saving Tip #7
Likewise for subscriptions to magazines you haven't read in a while, and any other subscription or services you're paying for regularly and not really using.
Money Saving Tip #8
Cancel your cable TV, or reduce your service level to a basic package and invest in knowledge instead - read more books!
Money Saving Tip #9
Share a ride to work. Take turns driving and save money on gas, maintenance and repairs.
Money Saving Tip #10
Go to your local library and rent DVD and CDs for free--your tax dollars at work! If they don't have the title you want, be sure to let them know and they might be able to order it. Sometimes librarians aren't sure which books, DVDs, and CDs people will be interested in, so help them out!
Money Saving Tip #11
Locate printable retail coupons online that you can print out and use at your local grocery store. Check manufacturer web sites directly for coupons, such as www.aquafresh.com.
Money Saving Tip #12
For products that you like and use all the time, write to the manufacturer and tell them how much you love their product. Ask if they can send you some coupons. More often than not they will, and you'll get back much more than the cost of your stamp!
Money Saving Tip #13
At local stores ask about free samples. For starters, try Wal-Mart.
Money Saving Tip #14
Replace standard light bulbs in your home with energy efficient Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFL) to save money on your electric bill and help reduce greenhouse gases as well. They cost more to buy, but are less expensive over the long run because they use less energy. Check out the EnergyStar article on CFLs that explains how one can save $30 or more in electricity costs over each bulb's lifetime.
Money Saving Tip #15
Keep your tires properly inflated (check the pressure each time you fill up for gas). Doing so is safer and gives you better control of your vehicle, saves wear and tear on your tires so they last longer, and saves you about 3% on gas. Not a lot of savings, but for every $100 you spend on gas you'll saved enough for a gallon of milk! For 12 ways to save hundreds of dollars a year on gas, check out my article High Gas Prices - What Can We Really Do About It?
Money Saving Tip #16
Use a slow cooker like a Crock-Pot to make meals. It takes less electricity than an electric oven and cooks hot enough to kill any bacteria. Inexpensive cuts of meat work great and the meat shrinks less because it's covered while it cooks. Cooking like this also makes the whole house smell wonderful, especially in the winter when you come in from the cold after shoveling snow! Some great recipes can be found online, like these Crockpot and Slow Cooker Recipes.
Money Saving Tip #17
When you need 411 directory information for local businesses, don't pay for it--get 411 Directory Info FREE From Google from any phone, anywhere in the United States. And you can even connect to the business for FREE!
Money Saving Tip #18
Set your water heater to 120 degrees fahrenheit. You can reduce energy costs by 3-5% for every 10 degrees the water temperature is reduced.
Money Saving Tip #19
Take shorter showers. Also, limit shower time to washing and not shaving. The average teenager spends 45 minutes in the shower, so reducing shower time to 15 minutes will cut costs by 65%.
Money Saving Tip #20
Use a Smart Strip to automatically turn off your printer, FAX machine, and other computer peripherals when your PC is off. A Smart Strip actually cuts electricity to your PC and peripherals when you turn off your PC, rather than just letting them all go into "sleep mode" where they still use electricity, and the Smart Strip provides surge protection as well. You can also use a Smart Strip for your home entertainment devices so they shut off automatically whenever the TV is off. A top seller on Amazon.com is the Smart Strip LCG3 Energy Saving With Autoswitching Technology.
Adding It All Up With Interest
Take the money saved from implementing the money saving tips above and put it into a high yield savings account. One quick and easy way to do this is to open an online savings account and use an automatic savings program to enforce savings discipline and have money transferred to your high yield account each month. After performing some online research, we opened an Orange Savings Account from ING DIRECT. There are no fees, no minimums, and their website is easy to use. Open an account online today and start earning interest on your savings!