Understanding your finances can seem like a daunting and frustrating task but there are many ways to alleviate some of this stress and help you through the financial mine field. We have taken the time to do some of the research for you to help you save as much as you can in 2012 and get your retirement investment plans underway. Take a look at the list below and decide how you can apply them to your everyday life.
- The first thing you may want to consider is taking all your household bills off instant payment systems. When the bills are paid without you having to look at the bill and go to the bank it can become easier and easier to overlook you expenses. When you have to receive the bill in the mail and physically pay it, you are more aware of how much energy you’re using, water, etc. and may be inclined to implement some energy saving techniques within your home.
- Be sure to spend your money on your necessities first. This includes your household bills, food, gas, etc. The things that you cannot live without should be paid for first and then you get to see what you have left over for savings. If you have only a little left over it should be saved, but if you have a significant chunk left there is nothing wrong with treating yourself to something special but try and make sure at least 10% of your monthly earnings are invested or saved.
- Budgeting your money in advance can provide you with a visual of your finances. You can literally see where your money is going and how much will be left. To avoid living pay check to pay check, try and save as much of your left over income as possible. The more you spend the less you have to invest for your future.
- Price comparison may seem like a timely habit to keep but it can save you a great deal of money in the long run. Even choosing to buy non-brand name products can save you up to 8X the cost of a brand name product. You will find that many of the off brand products are just as effective and high quality as the brand names we all know, except they are generally half the price.
- Home efficiency is one everyone is stressing these days and it can really have an effect on your energy bills. Making sure your windows and doors are well sealed can help keep the warmth in and the cold out in the winter and vice a versa in the summer. Even the simple act of turning off lights in rooms that aren’t in use can make a dent in your bills. Whatever you can to limit your use of energy can save you money in the long run.
- A great idea is to create a list of errands you have to do and spend an afternoon getting them all accomplished. There is nothing worse than running in and out all week and wasting gas and time. Many people don’t even realize what a waste of money not being organized can be.
As you can see, there are many ways you can save money in 2012 and this is only a small taste of the many different financial strategies you can take. Be creative and try doing things differently this year. Thinking outside the box can really help you manage your finances differently and get out of that money spending rut.