Being a savvy and smart investor or penny pincher does not come naturally to everyone. But that does not mean that you cannot learn the tricks of the trade and work your way to financial freedom, or at the very least, find a financial comfort zone that makes you feel more zen.
I mean, who doesn’t want to live a life free of financial woes? Unless you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you have to learn to save and spend wisely in order to have the cash flow you want.
And more importantly, you want to put the money you have to work for you, in order to save for your future. Of course, it is a given that we all want to make a few bucks with as little time and effort as possible - that’s a natural thing. Spending time with friends and family, doing the things we really love, rather than slaving away in the workforce is a goal we all strive for.
It’s tough enough to go out into the working world every day and bring home the bacon needed to pay the bills and (hopefully) have a little spare change left over for entertainment. Making money in addition to our salary is the icing on the cake.
Continue on for an easy to read, easy to swallow primer on how to make money with the money you already have.
8 Be coupon savvy
Are you a shopper who swoops up bargains for half the price? Or even better, two thirds off because you have a fantastic, money saving coupon to boot?
If not, then give coupon cutting a go. Watching out for and clipping coupons may seem a bit tiresome for some, but you can reap the rewards in rapid fashion with this method of making money with the money that you already have.
What we are talking about here is making money by keeping the coin in your pocket, instead of the cash till at your favorite store. Get into the clip and save groove with these tips:
●keep your coupons in an envelope in your purse by date order, thereby eliminating the chance of losing out on the coupon because of the expiry date
●plan your weekly menu around sales and coupons; buy your evening meal proteins at a reduced price and put your savings aside for a rainy day
●be brand flexible and willing to shop for the brands that offer coupon rebates
●use coupon websites such as savings.com in order to really cash in on bargains
●check sites such as retailmenot.com to save funds on online purchases
●shop for quality not quantity.
7 Spend less
Hey this is a no brainer, but sometimes it is indeed easier said than done. We can have a tight budget and certain financial goals in mind, but every month without a doubt, unforeseen expenses are bound to pop up to reduce our personal bankroll once again.
These expenses are too many to mention but we will give you our two cents worth on how to save a little dough in order to put aside some funds for those unforeseen costs that seem to appear out of nowhere.
Save where and when you can
Trim back where you can. Let’s make one thing clear here. We are not saying that you must become a miser, that’s for certain. But there are easy ways for you to save some silver without feeling deprived:
●for example, rather than spending money on tools shop the garage sales and flea markets for these finds. Simple tools such as hammers, screwdrivers and saws can be purchased at a fraction of the price that you would pay in stores. (Tools with motors and electrical parts should be bought new so you know what you are getting)
●have your own garage sale and sell the items you no longer use
●never pay full price for books. Shop online for used copies, or search the bargain section of your favorite bookstore
●our kids grow out of their bikes so quickly that it is a wise idea to buy a sturdy, long lasting item like this second hand.
Don't be afraid to take hand-me downs or loaners
Re-purpose garage sale finds or items you already have. Unique and affordable wooden furniture is the go to furniture if you like to change things up often. You can save tons of cash by repainting an item to give it a new look.
Make sure your discretionary spending counts. Treating yourself to a coffee while on break, or going out for lunch with coworkers is fine and dandy now and then. But if you are looking to make money with the money you already have, pack a brown bag lunch more often than not, depositing in the bank your saved lunch funds and before you know it, your bank account will show some serious coinage.
5 Make regular monthly direct deposit investing
Stay with us, now. We know when it comes to saving greenback, we are all ears. But when the topic turns to investments and direct deposits, the subject can get a little technical and boring to some.
Let’s just cover the bare necessities for a bit to see if we can add to our knowledge on how to make our money work for us.
We think that not only should we save for retirement, but we must prepare for personal hardships side by side. Many of us find just starting and setting up the direct deposit investing is difficult. For a fact, anxiety about not having enough of a bankroll is one of the top reasons that people put off saving in preparation for adversity or the future.
Your future is more important than you think
Take a look at this very uncomplicated scenario, given to us in plain English by Laura Adams, MBA, Money Girl:
- begins investing at age 20 and stops at age 60
- invests $100 per month
- gets an average return of 8.5%
- ends up with $406,825
- begins investing at age 30 and stops at age 60
- invests $100 per month
- gets an average return of 8.5%
- ends up with $166,339.
See how it pays off?
It’s not rocket science, here folks. The key to regular monthly direct deposit investing, for example in a mutual fund, is to start early. John has significantly more money by depositing only $12,000 more than Sally over a period of 10 years.
Investing for instance, in a fund such as the 401k or other similar retirement plan, we can benefit from some great tax advantages and very often, employer matching as well.
Contributing monthly also allows for the perk of taking advantage of the rise and fall of the market.
4 Contribute realistically, and expect realistic results from investments
Now that we have the direct deposit investments in place, the next step is setting realistic goals as we watch our money grow. To be truthful, it is best not to watch constantly. Be patient - a watched pot never boils!
We think it is a wise move to let advisors share their wealth of investment knowledge with you. One most likely will have to pay a cost for active management service, but we will reap a financial reward as a result because of the super smarts and expertise that these guys have trained for. In reality, investment advisors live and breathe making our capital work for us, and are masters at rolling in the resources.
We touched the topic earlier, on having the advantage of the rise and fall of the market when investing. Keep it real, people. The market will do exactly that. Rise and fall.
Never try to play the stock market blind, get professional help
For that exact reason we strongly suggest that you take the advice of your investment advisor and stay put in the market. Skepticism, fear and panic are not your friends when dealing with the investments such as Registered Retirement Savings Plans (Canada) or Individual Retirement Accounts (United States).
Learn about the investment options that are out there. The Exchange-traded Fund for one, offers low fees, minimum management and less volatility.
Avoid the temptation of high risk and fast return, especially if you are a new investor. You don’t want to suffer a loss at this point in growing your portfolio.
3 Use your credit cards properly
No one likes to pay interest fees on a credit card. We know that is one of the worst feelings we have when it comes to throwing money out the window. On a positive note, credit cards can work for us, and give us a leg up on making money with the money with already have, if we use them properly:
●many cards offer travel rewards or cashback dollars for purchases we make
●credit cards often offer travel insurance when trips are booked on the card (check with your credit card company to be sure of their coverage)
●our credit score can rise when we show a consistent, positive ability to pay our bills on time.
Quite frankly, credit cards can be a boon to our bank account if we utilize the rewards in a smart manner.
However, they can be our worst enemy and cause a financial disaster to our savings - truth be known, if we use our credit cards and max them out with little or no means to pay them back, we will pay exorbitant interest fees, literally taking years to pay off the bill.
Avoid store credit cards for virtue of the fact that the interest fees are sky high, much higher than bank credit cards (which are lofty enough).
2 Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses
In all honesty, many of us have issues with shopping for brand names, you know - the cool kids clothes and MK purses. Having these things, and feeling as though we are keeping up with the latest and greatest in fashion, never will truly bring us complete happiness.
Being financially free of worry is all the more important and will give us the peace and contentment we need to be good parents to our kids, and spouses to our partners.
We have a plan. Take some of the weekend time together as partners and have fun with these money making tips:
●have a list of items you are in need of and hit the yard sales - you will find great bargains on back to school items such as backpacks (stock up and never pay full price again)
●take a quick scan of the sale as you approach; you want to get to that fabulous deal on lawn chairs before someone else gets it
●have a goal and a budget, only buying what is on your list instead of buying because it’s so cheap
●shop Craigslist for a deal on everything imaginable
●if you are a fan of Walmart, search iheartthemart.com for all the news on what’s on sale.
1 Save Your Pennies
This may seem like a simple thing to say but let’s get realistic here. Saving our change is one of the easiest savings plans we can do. At the end of the day, many of us carry change or toss it in a jar in the back of the closet, never to be seen again. Check out a few ideas for changing up the way we deal with our change:
Keep your change jar visible. Buy a cute piggy bank and keep it on your counter. That way you will be more apt to throw your change in. Some banks have free of charge coin counting machines inside the bank. Gather the change in your car, in the jar and in your jacket pocket let’s say, once a month. Head on over to the bank, easily dump the change into the machine (no more rolling!) and deposit your savings into your account.
Try this with bills: every time you shop and get a $5 bill, put it aside (in your jar perhaps). At the end of the month, pop it in the bank and voila, instant money made with the money you already have.
Your spare change can really add up over time!
Keep the receipts for store expenditures in your wallet or purse, in a plastic baggy. Seeing the bag getting fuller may help you to curb your spending for the pay period. Seeing is believing, and sometimes a visual reminder is all we need to see the light. Not to mention it is a good way to keep tabs on your receipts in case a return is necessary.
When withdrawing funds, always go to the automated teller machines of your own bank. Why throw away an average of over $2 per withdrawal by using the services of a bank other than your own?
When you are carrying cash, carry large bills. We tend to break a large bill less readily and may consider the purchase twice, thinking about whether we really need it.
Many of us carry cash only (that’s me). Using a debit card for store purchases can be dicey; we don’t actually see our bank balance shrinking purchase by purchase and tend to spend more than if we have to buy according to what is in our wallet.