For this edition of the Mr. Ed Credit Blog, let’s step back a little. It might help us get our bearings if we stop focusing solely on the credit aspect of our financial world, but instead look at the overall picture. The most effective element in finances is what is most liquid, or accessible, to us. That would be cash. So the most beneficial plan of action to uphold at all times would be to work on our Savings.
While we all may have one or two ways that we try to save money, (for example, collecting spare change that we find in our pockets or cup holders) there is a bundle of ways that are simple but drastically effective in the long haul.
So here is a list of small things you can change in your daily routines that will make a BIG impact over time. Don’t underestimate the power of simplicity. You don’t have to win the lottery to change your financial stars.
1. FOOD: Prepare your meals/favorite drinks at home. You have a kitchen for a reason! Cooking at home, making your own coffee, packing a lunch for work, etc. These are things, that when performed as often as possible, REALLY add. Sure eating out for lunch cost $5-$7 that one time, but what happens when it’s every day? Let me do the math for you, that is potentially $28/week, or $112/month!
2. SHOPPING: Make a list before you go grocery shopping and schedule an allotment of time to be in the store. If you go shopping when you have all day, you will most certainly linger at every item instead of just grabbing what is necessary. But keep a particular eye on bulk values and generic brands, especially on items such as cereal, cooking staples, and beverages. One exception I’d say is on peanut butter. That original taste is worth the extra dollar.
3. BANKING: Go to the Source! Wherever you bank, they update their policies and account regulations more frequently than you think. Plus it never hurts to be informed. So stop in, sit down with a personal banker and ask them these main questions: What are the interest rates on my credit lines? Can I get them lowered for having good banking history? What are your regulations for over drafting my checking account? Where will I get charged with an ATM fee?
4. ELECTRICITY: Catch up with the times. How many cell phones reside in your household? Most likely, anyone who you would need to call has a cell phone (even your 9-year-old son/daughter, admit it) so why are you still paying for that land line?
5. MORE SHOPPING: If you have your eye on something special (which usually means, it isn’t cheap), look online first. Ebay. Craigslist. From Clothes to accessories, cameras to camping equipment, it can all be found at a consignment store or online franchise.
6. Again, don’t underestimate preparation! Planning ahead can give you enough time to compare prices in all areas. But don’t be intimidated if it sounds like a lot of work. It can be as simple as quickly searching on Google. For example, if you’re going to the movie theatres, prices are cheaper for everybody if you go before 6pm. Even for bigger projects, like a vacation, costs are cut back significantly for booking in advance.
Hopefully this gave you a few new ways to save money because having your own extra stash of funds will always be more comforting and helpful than depending solely on loans and credit cards. If you have any suggestions, questions or comments, feel free to email me at Shannon.firstname.lastname@example.org.