While you are planning your wedding, the temptation may be there to spend versus save money. You know without a doubt you should be saving money but appears that you don’t have enough at the end of the month to save or worse, you are further in debt.
The name of the game is: Living below your means. Let’s keep it real. It takes WORK and is a matter of self-discipline in order to accomplish this feat. Have you ever wondered how marriages last a long time, they seem to take vacations, purchases the houses and cars they want? These couples are living WITHIN or even below their means in accomplish the financial goals and dreams they have set for themselves.
You may only have to make a few adjustments here and there in order to have the necessary funds available for saving and investing. It’s a choice! Do you really want to save money or would you rather keep saying, I don’t have money for this or that.
Below are some ways to save money by spending less:
1) Open up bank accounts that have little or no service fees. Keep a cushion to avoid accidental bounced checks. These can eat you alive. Be sure to maintain your minimum balance to avoid service charges.
2) Try to avoid banks that charge you a transaction fee for using their debit cards. If you have no choice, plan how much money you will need in a given period and then withdraw it all at once to avoid too many transaction fees.
3) If you are in the market to get a credit card, compare them. Look for the ones that have little or no annual fees. It’s not too hard to find those with no annual fee.
4) Avoid specialty store charge cards as they often have interest rates six or seven points higher than major credit cards.
5) Never choose a card based solely on incentives or reward programs. These include auto reward points and air travel miles. These cards may lead you to spend more money over time than you can afford.
6) Here’s a BIG one. AVOID unnecessary interest charges by paying off the complete monthly balance. This can save you hundreds of dollars in interest expenses on an annual basis.
7) I remember how bad I wanted my first car to be brand new, off the showroom floor. It was and once I bought it and found out how much it depreciates, I vowed to never buy brand new again. When you buy a car, consider buying one that is one to three years old. A one-year old car will be about 20% to 30% less than a new car. A three-year old car is a good buy because it could be around half the price of a new car. A car depreciates the most in its first three years. After that the depreciation levels off and it will lose less of its value.
*Another good saving when buying a used car is you will pay less for the insurance.
If you have a lot of credit card debt at high rates, look into consolidating your debt at a lower rate.
9) Refrain from making impulse purchases. Exercise self-discipline.
10) Use coupons when you shop.
11) Don’t buy things just because they are on sale.
12) Wait for things to go on sale before buying them. Keep a record of when things go on sale. Some items will seasonally go on sale. Ask stores when certain things will go on sale.
13) Buy generic, or non-name brand merchandise. Most times the quality is just as good.
14) Contribute the maximum each year to your 401K or to an IRA.
15) Reduce the number of times you eat out. Oftentimes eating out at a restaurant involves paying a lot of money for over-priced and over-sized meals. For healthy meals and to save money, eat at home.
16) Watch videos or DVDs at home instead of going to the movies. Pop your own popcorn instead of paying a lot for theater popcorn.
17) Evaluate your entertainment and recreational activities. Many are very expensive to participate in. There are many others that are just as fun and entertaining that are at the fraction of the cost.
18) Don’t try to compete with your friends and neighbors. No need to keep up with “The Joneses”. They are fighting behind the scenes, you just don’t know it. Sometimes, an apparent prosperous lifestyle can be an illusion. Those illusions come with a lot of debt. It’s much better to have peace of mind.
Be alert. There are always ways to save money. Soon you will yourself with money you never knew you had. The key is to put that money to work for you instead of spending it. Share with us one of the ways you have learned how to save money. What you share could very well help another bride!