In late October we started Money Saving Mondays on our Facebook page. We were sharing all these fun family friendly activities in our area but we also knew we didn’t want anyone sacrificing their finances for fun. As a way to help others save money for activities and vacations, we provide weekly tips on ways to earn a little extra cash or different strategies to work with what you have a little better. People have reached out to us with questions and we thoroughly enjoy answering any questions sent our way. The questions also help us know our information is useful and are being seen by our followers. Many of these tips are ones we recently started using ourselves and wanted to share with you all. We pray these tips have helped at least one person along the way. If you’ve tried any of these, please let us know. It keeps us motivated to continue. We hope the New Year brings you FUN AND FUNDS.
Below is a list of all our ‘Money Saving Monday’ tips in 2016.
Save every dime you touch in a 2 liter. It comes up to approximately $700. You’re a little less likely to grab 30 dimes to pay for something you want.
Did you know you can make bi-weekly payments on your auto loan to save money?!? Less interest will accumulate because your payments will be applied more often. Plus that’s one extra payment a year which means your car will be paid off sooner!!!
A PENNY SAVED IS A PENNY EARNED
Ignoring your credit is never the right answer. We avoided looking at our credit for years and found ourselves payer higher interest rates on auto loans. Don and I downloaded the free app Credit Karma and really started paying attention. We disputed a few things (most were legit); some were removed and some weren’t. It’s worth a try. In a few months, both our scores shot up 100 points.
Previously we shared that our credit scores increased by 100 points within a few months. Here’s how…(we’re sharing all our dark secrets…lol)
After downloading the app Credit Karma it told us our account mix wasn’t diverse enough (we lacked credit cards). WE HATE CREDIT CARDS!!! Increasing our credit score was top priority so we applied. Our scores were very similar, I was approved but Don wasn’t. My problem was solved but we need one for Don. We learned from a financial group we’re in about the shopping cart trick. We tried it and Don was approved. The best part…no hard inquiry on his credit.
Only try this is you’re going to be responsible. Be sure to keep you usage under 30% and make your payments ON TIME. Also request an increase every 6 months but don’t plan to use it. It’s much easier to stay under 30% utilization when your limit is high. Click here to see how it works.
Wouldn’t it be nice if someone paid you back for some of your everyday expenses? iSecretshop allows you to go undercover as a mystery shopper. Don and I did this for a marketing class. It was actually kind of fun and we were reimbursed for our food (FREE DATE). If you own a newer vehicle, NEVER pay for an oil change. There are a lot of secret shops for them. You can visit their website at isecretshop.com or download the free app.
A financial planner shared this breakdown not long ago. The direct deposit is split between two accounts. Never touch your bill money.
Don and I have a similar setup except our direct deposit is split 3 ways with the additional deposit going to a savings account. On the fixed checking account, we have all our bills automatically set to go each month. We use bill pay through our bank versus allowing companies to auto draft. We want full control. We check the statement each month just to verify but that’s it. If you have bi-weekly deposits, you’ll end up with an extra check deposit by the end of the year (two month out the year you are paid 3 times). Save it or put it toward variable expenses.
To help us get started with the fixed account we added up all our bills and calculated what we needed to deposit in the account each check. We put $500 from our taxes to ensure bills were covered until direct deposits caught up.
If you have any questions…PLEASE ASK. We don’t mind answering questions. We’re doing this to help others.
Take advantage of the reward programs at the stores you shop at most often. Most stores offer discounts on products you need through their apps and will literally give you free money. Combine this with coupons and you save even more. Why pay regular price when you don’t have to?!?! CVS has become my favorite reward program to use. They’re always sending extra coupon and free money to get you in the store.
Other programs I like are Target and Dollar General.
No more “Keepin’ up with the Joneses.” Surround yourself with people who are on the right path to financial freedom. No one is perfect. If your friends are spending excessively, you may as well to avoid looking like the outcast. Find new and/or more motivated friends and come up together. Watch how much money you save.
Always have a financial goal whether you want to save a specific amount of money or save up for that special occasion. Now is the perfect time to create a vision board so you can focus on how you can accomplish your goals. Head into the new year ready for whatever lies ahead.
Don’t forget to get the kids involved. Teach them the importance of saving early. Let them contribute their change, count the money, help cash it in, and enjoy whatever the money will be spent on. This allows them to see the process from beginning to end. You’ll be surprised how much they get into it. Let’s all have some fun and funds in 2017. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
We posted a blog earlier this year that included a Ted Talk we feel all children should see. The post is titled ‘Teaching Our Children to be Entrepenuers.’ Click here to see the post.
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Cover photo courtesy of: Forward Publication (http://forwardpublication.com/articles/money-saving-tips-for-your-small-business.html)