Posts Tagged ‘tips’

Tips on How to Cut your Medical Expenses

There is no such thing as a free lunch. Moreover, there is no such thing as free medication. Some time or another, all of us will need medical treatment. Whether it would be for simple colds or for serious illnesses, these things would hurt us and burn our pockets.

According to a recent study, Americans spend more money on medical expenses than any other nationality in the world. As prices get higher and life gets harder, saving some money from your medical expenses will definitely benefit you.

Here are some practical tips on how to cut your medical costs:

Mind Your Health

Prevention is always better than cure. Being fit and healthy seems to be a 21st century fad and it wouldn’t hurt us if we join in the bandwagon. An analysis of the 1987 National Medical Expenditures Survey revealed that people who are more active spend less on medical expenses than those who live lethargic lives. The analysis equated the benefit of being physically active to $330 (1987 dollar value) per person.

For smokers and drinkers, reducing cigarette and alcohol consumption is an option which you may find feasible. You will not only reduce future medical costs but also reduce direct costs from purchasing these products.

Go Generic

Taking generic drugs is the way to go. Patents are used by manufacturers to be able to set a price so as to recover their costs in developing their products. But these patents don’t last forever and sooner or later, generic versions of these drugs will be available. Generic drugs are basically the same as the branded ones in terms of ingredients and quality.

Going generic can save you a lot of money. According to the Association of Chain Drug Stores, the generic drugs are priced at $24 on the average in 2004, while the average price of the branded ones is $96 dollars.

Deal with your Doctor

Take time out to discuss things with your doctor, for this can also save you a lot of cash. Don’t be shy to ask him about the possible alternatives that you can take. Ask him if there is a generic drug that you can take if he prescribes you a branded drug. If you are going to have surgery, try to schedule wisely, so as to prevent overstaying in the hospital. And most importantly, do as you are told. If he asks you to quit your vice, quit it. If he tells you to be active, then you’d better be!

Medical expenses can really dig a hole in your pocket. Try to be wise in your medical transactions and more importantly, take care of your health.

High-low Numbers: Tips on Saving Money on Clothes

Are you craving for the newest designer clothes, a pretty tank top, and that pretty dress? All this fashion comes at a price — you choose.

Buying clothes these days is always a choice between the designer-made outfit or those cheap but quality items that you could pull together and express your personality in many different ways.

Most experts contend that clothes can definitely make or break a person. They say that your personality is usually reflected on how you dress up. But it does not necessarily mean that good fashion would absolutely mean expensive clothes.

Hence, you can still make a remarkable fashion statement without having to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars just for your clothes.

Here is a list of some money-saving tips when buying clothes that would turn other people’s heads to you but would not definitely break your wallet.

1. Do the math

Choosing fashionable clothes can be really tricky, not unless you know how to do the math! So before you buy three sets of clothes that would cost you hundreds of dollars, try to go for the budget-friendly dozen of items that you can even match alternatively.

The number of expensive items that your money can buy is definitely doubled or even tripled when you buy cheaper ones but can still make a good fashion statement.

2. Know what you want

Saving money is definitely based on knowing what you want whenever you spend your money on something. If you know what you want, this means that you have researched the item, have compared them with the other items, you will be able to come up with the lowest price of the product.

3. Drive your way to a “thrift store”

Usually, these “thrift stores” are non-profit organizations. This means that they are usually operating for charity. They give their proceeds to some charitable institutions.

Hence, the prices of the clothes being sold in the thrift store are absolutely cheaper than the ones being sold in the department store. So that would mean many savings for you.

Best of all, you do not only get to save more money, you get to do some charity work as well.

The bottom line here is that when shopping for clothes, do not shop for the brand name, shop for the quality.

Nowadays, you just have to be practical. Better spend your money on more important things than those designer clothes.

Tips on How to Save Money When Shopping

Shopping is very addictive. Most of the time, the household budget is sacrificed once you go shopping. Shopping should not give you headaches as long as you know how to budget. Here are the things that you need to remember:

1. Always remember to spend your money wisely whenever you go shopping. Bring only the exact amount of money you need in buying your items. To ensure that you only buy the important things, you have to make a list of the items that you need to buy. You may then budget your money wisely and will prevent you from buying things that are not that important.

2. It is advisable that you compare prices from different stores before buying an item. Do not limit yourself to just one store. There are stores that offer the same quality but can have a lower price. A smart thing you may do is to be attentive to the prices of the items that you buy regularly when shopping. There are instances that a store has an untimely changing of prices on different items.

3. It is recommended that you do your shopping during the end of the season. Prices of many items, especially clothes, are very low and affordable during this time of the year. You may buy clothes in the months of August and September if you are looking for bargain clothes for your summer wear.

4. You may shop in dollar stores where you can find items that are on sale and where prices are low. Although the quality of some items is not the same when you buy in malls and shopping galleries but the merchandises are still new and not yet used. These stores can provide you the best prices that can cope with on your budget.

5. Another way to save money while shopping is to economize the travel you make in finding the stores you want to buy an item. You may take a stop on your daily route to check if the items you buy regularly have not changed their prices or are still in the price of your budget. You may purchase the item even before you do your shopping schedule. This can save you fuel and time.

6. Try to find discount stores that offer quality items that have discounts and can offer a very affordable price on your desired item. The prices on discount stores may vary depending on the season of the year. These stores can be located in large shopping areas like in malls and shopping galleries.

We are Family: Budget Tips for Today’s Familial Ties

If you are in charge of creating the family budget, chances are, you’ve had the unfortunate experience of having a brilliant budget plan that isn’t executed well. This happens to many families and couples, and with a little attitude tweaking, you can solicit the help of your family in making your budget work.

Create a family budget vision. Talk to your spouse and children about whatever budgetary constraints you are facing, or whatever financial goals you intend to set. By being completely honest about the bills and loans you have to pay, or your intention to save a certain amount of money for a family emergency fund (or a college fund, for that matter), you can help your family understand better your collective financial situation. This will allow them to change their perspective on purchases they make, and will help you make sure that whatever money crunching strategies you utilize won’t be counteracted by a subsequent spree by your teen.

Another good technique is to create a list of usual expenditures per member of your family. Together, identify which items you can do away with in order to save up some extra money from your monthly income. By doing this altogether, you are making your family participate better and see the contributions they can make into making your family’s finances better.

Should your child have the habit of continuously asking for money for minor and oftentimes unnecessary purchases, you can let your children learn to manage their own week’s allowance. With their limited money to budget, they will realize the value of money.

Put a cap on the amount of expenditures you make in a week. The best way to do this is set aside a fixed amount of cash that you will spend for a week. By putting this limitation on your spending, you are forced to prioritize spending on the most essential over other things.

Make it easy for your family to save more. How often do you eat out? Most family budgets are blown over because of the frequency of dining out and the accompanying exorbitant expense of that activity. Eating at home will reduce your expenses, not to mention allow for your family to bond over cooking at home. Do you spend on routine purchases like coffee and newspapers? Cut back on the latte and the paper, and put aside the amount you would otherwise spend. Your family’s collective saving will surprise you.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to create a most efficient driving route, as well as grouping together activities into one car trip. This way, you can save a lot on time and even on gasoline and car expenses.

Tips on How to Teach Your Kids to Save Money

A lot of teens nowadays do not understand the value of earning and spending money. They were not oriented that investing is necessary even if they are still students. As parents, you play a crucial role in this area.

You should be able to teach your kids on how to save money. They should be able to understand the concept of money and investment as early as childhood. This will prepare them to learn money management, as they grow old.

Here are some tips on how you can teach your children how to save money:

1. Your children should be educated of the meaning of money. Once your children have learned how to count, that is the perfect time for you teach them the real meaning of money. You should be consistent and explain to them in simple ways and do this frequently so that they may be able to remember what you taught them.

2. Always explain to them the value of saving money. Make them understand its importance and how it will impact their life. It is important that you entertain questions from them about money and you should be able to answer them right away.

3. When giving them their allowances. You need to give them their allowances in denominations. Then you can encourage them that they should keep a certain bill for the future. You can motivate them to do this by telling them that the money can be saved and they can buy new pair of shoes or the toys they want once they are able to save.

4. You can also teach them to work for money. You can start this at your own home. You can pay them fifty cents to one dollar every time they clean their rooms, do the dishes or feed their pets. This concept of earning little money will make them think that money is something they have worked for and should be spent wisely.

5. You can teach them to save money by giving them piggy banks where they can put coins and wait until they get full. You can also open bank accounts for them and let them deposit money from their allowance. You should always show them how much they have earned to keep them motivated.

Money and saving is not something that is learned by children in one sitting. You should be patient in teaching them and relating the value of money in all of their activities. Children will learn this easily if you are patient and consistent in guiding them and encouraging them in this endeavor.

Tips on How to Save Money on Transportation

Prices go higher every year, especially the cost of gas. Transportation is one big factor that makes the household budget difficult to cover all your expenses. Here are some guidelines to help you save money from transportation:

1. To save money, you must always check on your vehicle regularly. A well-maintained vehicle can get you out of trouble on repair expenses. You can actually spend only $50 on maintaining your vehicle and save up to $800 on repair costs in a year. You can even save more if you do the maintenance yourself and not bring your car into an auto shop.

2. If you want to save more money, it is recommended not to buy a new car. The value of a car depreciates automatically when you drive it out off the showroom of the car dealer shop. You may buy a car that is used at least one year. It will save you thousands of dollars to the actual worth of the car when it was new. The owner will then pay all the depreciated value of the car.

3. Save money on buying used cars by comparing the prices of the car dealer and the actual price on the list of the used car dealer ads. To ensure the car that you buy is well conditioned, you may ask for the help of a mechanic to check if the car is good enough for its price. It is better to buy a used car from a person you know and trust. This will help you make sure that you have a good deal in acquiring a car.

4. Try to compare gasoline rates. You may refuel your car with the gasoline station that offers the lowest price on gasoline. You can even save more by pumping gas yourself and use the lowest octane in your car’s manual. It is also recommended that you pay cash than credit cards that charge extra rates. Do not forget to check the gas cap if it is tightened to ensure no gas is spilled out.

5. Always keep your engine tuned-up and have your tires inflated to their desired pressure to save you more money. A well-maintained engine consumes less gas. Keep your car’s trunk clean to save more fuel. Heavy loads in your vehicle can consume more fuel because of the excess weight it carries.

6. Try to limit the use of your car on your daily route. You may take the bus or the subway to save gasoline. You can also save time by ignoring the traffic that you encounter everyday on the streets.

Tips on How to Save Money

In this world today, prices seem to go higher every year. Saving money can sometimes be a hard job for many people. To help you save money, here are some pointers for you:

1. Determine the things that are important to you. Identify the items that you need and the items that you want to have. Always remember that you should only buy things that are important and needed in your lifestyle.

2. Make sure that you spend your money only on basic needs like food, transportation, shelter, and clothing. These basic needs are worth spending for because these are important for your health and security. They are the things that you cannot live without and should be allotted in your budget.

3. Make a list of the things that you want to buy and be sure that the items that you are buying are good enough to sustain your basic needs. You have to be satisfied with the things that you have now, as long as it is still useful and can accommodate your needs.

4. You may avoid unwanted purchases by trying the item first before buying it. This is to make sure that the item is worthy enough to acquire. There are instances that you tend to buy things without even knowing its effectiveness and quality. You have to keep in mind that you always need to spend your money wisely on items that have quality and are according to your budget.

5. You may try to budget your money in advance. You can make a plan first before spending your money. There are instances that you spend your money without even thinking that it is not the right time to have it. It also advisable to buy items at the end of the season, prices at this time of the year are low and cheap.

6. You may compare items on their prices. Do not limit your options to just one store only. You may find the best item that can be useful and affordable to you by window-shopping first rather than buying by impulse. Many stores out there carry the same items and can offer lower prices.

7. You can save more money in your household by conserving electricity. Be sure to turn off appliances that are not in use. You may compare your monthly electric bills regularly to check if you are maintaining your desired bill.

8. You can save on your transportation by traveling wisely. It is recommended that you make your itinerary to help you to not forget your destinations. Being organized will help you save money and time.

TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR FINANCES: TIPS ON BUDGETING

With prices of commodities increasing day by day it is proper to make your very own strategic plan on maximizing your financial resources and making sure that every penny earned is well spent.

Make your move on coordinating your finances and list of expenditures that may affect the way you use your income and empower you on your economic stability as a working individual.

Your source of income, lifestyle, spending habits, current job and house location, cost of living, payables and loans determines your level of budgeting needs. Starting to take charge of your finances is one sure way of becoming successful in a field of self-fulfillment and success.

The following tips and recommendations will provide you details on how you can help yourself manage your finances and assume a new outlook to become responsible in your spending.

Ш Treat Math As Your Lifetime Partner – Do the entire math in your purchasing needs. Try to compare prices across your current location for the price of a range of grocery and household items you need in a day-to-day basis.

Save as much as you can in an item you are trying to buy. Chinese businessmen exercise effective buying techniques. They save as much as they can and usually purchase in bulk to increase their revenue index on the item they plan on selling as well.

Ш Gambling – Gambling tops the chart in making your life as chaotic as it could get. Gambling strips you off your finances and keeps you vulnerable from the threats of bankruptcy.

Ш Know Your Wants and Needs – Limit your spending on something which you are not in dire need of. According to a recent study, luxuries are second to gambling in terms of the degree of money-stripping capability.

Ш “Do Not Spend More Than you Earn” – Rags-To-Riches stories do not fail to mention this famous clichй. There is always truth to this phrase for you cannot live in a world where you consume more than what you can produce.

Ш Keeping A List – Making your own budget list is vital to your success to becoming prudent. A wise buyer needs to consider the amount of a certain commodity and how will it impact his life as an individual.

An unconscientious consumer would not care about what is being purchased as long as he or she has money to buy for them. Unless you are someone who has a considerable amount of wealth and income resources, you can not afford to disregard this recommendation and go ahead with your practice.

Ten Practical Tips That Save Money

Saving money is not as hard as it seems. Here are ten practical tips that you can do to begin saving money, without changing your lifestyle.

1. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. CFL bulbs consume 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs, but give the same illumination. Make sure to buy only lamps and bulbs that have the Energy Star rating to ensure quality compliance.

2. Make a list when going to the grocery and stick to it! Anything that is not on the list is not a “need”, but merely a “want” so avoid busting your pockets for unnecessary items. Buy non-perishable consumables in bulk to benefit from bulk discounts.

3. Use coupons when available. Take the time and have the patience to clip and organize grocery coupons. When added together, savings from using all coupons in one grocery trip can be as much as $20-$30. Purchase dining and shopping coupons online and print them at home. Doing so can save you at least 50% on the face value of the coupons.

4. Buy online, whenever possible. Online stores pass their savings from rental costs and warehousing to the online consumer, thus they can afford as much as 70% off their rack price. When buying items online, Google it first together with the word, “discount code”. This can give you further reductions on the item you want to purchase. Try also online bidding: they offer at least 75% off the original purchase price, for practically new (slightly used!) items.

5. Take lunch to work. Buy potato chips and soda from the grocery and make a homemade sandwich and pack them in a brown bag.

6. Eat homemade dinners as often as possible. Plan menus that are practical and easy-to-cook to encourage eating at home. Save money by dining out only on special occasions.

7. Use everyday pantry items for skin and body care. Cucumbers, honey, milk, lemon, salt and baking soda are some items in your home that can also be used to take care of your skin.

8. Avoid shopping to de-stress. Try walking around the park or watching a movie instead.

9. Bring your own sodas and snacks when watching a movie. The cost of sodas and snacks are at least 25% higher in movie houses. Plus, homemade popcorn tastes much better: you can put on all the salt and butter you want!

10. Pay off your credit card balances each month and avoid finance charges. Better yet, use cash as much as possible, unless using plastic will give you a better deal (0% interest on appliance purchases, or cash rebates).

Tips on how to Save Effectively in Banks

Many of us think that putting our money in the bank is a secure and wise way of saving. Yes, this is true if we are wise in dealing with banks. Banks are not charitable institutions, these are profit-driven entities which charge different kinds of fees and do all sorts of schemes to take away some of your money. The savings that you can get in being wise in making bank transactions can add up after some time and let you use your money where you want to.

Here are some tips on how to effectively save money in the bank:

Mind the Opportunity Cost

Think about the factors that are affecting your money in the bank. Are there fees that the bank is asking you to pay for keeping and using your own money? How much? Are they requiring a minimum balance for holding an account? You might be interested in other alternatives that are available out there, waiting for your investment. You should always factor in the opportunities that you are deprived of because you are putting your money in the bank. You might also be interested in taking a look into the terms of other banks. Probably the bank that can best suit your needs is out there waiting for you.

Book Balancing

Always bear in mind to have your checkbooks balanced at the end of every month. Issuing bounced checks can cost you a lot. The average fee for issuing checks with insufficient funds is $20. If you are not aware of the problem, you can easily issue several bounced checks in a certain period of time and this is very costly indeed.

Tame the ATM Machines

The best practice in using ATM machines is to avoid using ATM machines of other banks. This way, you will save on ATM fees. However, it wouldn’t hurt if you also knew the ATM machines of other banks which do not charge fees.

E-banking

With the advent of globalization, everything is becoming electronic. This is also true in the banking world and technology is quickly becoming a benchmark of competition. E-banking can save you some money from transportation costs and more importantly, it will save you time. The time you spend waiting at the bank can be used for some other productive activities.

Truly, putting your money in the bank is a wise way of saving money, but only if you are wise enough to prevent the bank from chipping away your wealth. In saving, it is not only the benefits such as annual returns which you should consider, you should always think about the costs involved in the process.