All you need to do is find a big fat jar and whenever you find yourself with a $5 bill, you should do your best not to spend it. Instead, immediately put those bills in your jar once you get home. Of course, this might be best for people who tend to use a lot of cash. For those who choose to pay for purchases with cards, you might not find your savings growing as quickly as you'd like. Do you have other savings tricks to share?
Making a calculated effort to snip your expenses isn't easy. While there are things you can do to ease the pain of cutting back, tracking spending requires daily budgeting and discipline. Clearly, some days are better than others. Most of you agree that weekends are the hardest time to keep your wallet in your purse, but there are some simple ways you can bank on time-of-day discounts throughout the week. How can you save by spending on the right days?
- Schedule a time slot for errands. Spend five to 10 minutes each Friday figuring out which tasks you need to check off by Sunday night. Make a list and plan to take care of them in one day so that you'll have at least one full day to have fun and fill however you'd like. Once you've finished brainstorming and marked the to-dos on your calendar, move the chores to the back of your mind and focus on enjoying your days off.
- Keep up your routine. If you wake up at 6 a.m. throughout the week, don't sleep until 11 a.m. on weekends. Give your body a break and stick fairly close to your standard sleep schedule. Same goes for your diet: don't shock your body with excess food or alcohol or you'll risk getting sick. Just because it's Saturday doesn't mean you should toss your healthy habits aside, so keep your mind and body in shape by taking your vitamins, eating balanced meals, and staying hydrated.
- Chill out, guilt-free. The best thing you can do to kick-start a productive work week? Relax. Use your time off to cut yourself some slack and enjoy the things you love. It's important to maintain a work-life balance, so remember to reserve at least one day each weekend to sit back and unwind.
Ever have one of those days when you're unsure if you can make it to the end of the day without snoozing at your desk? Those sleepless nights can be tough, but staying awake on the job is even more painful. Too much coffee can make you jittery, so read on to find out what else you can do to avoid snoring at work.
However, repeatedly telling yourself that you'll save the item for later can be a slippery slope. You may end up stockpiling items just because of the possibility that you could use it in a craft project. To avoid the buildup of clutter, take the items that you want to upcycle, prep them, and then find a place for them in your craft space. The key here is separating these items from your regular, in-use stuff and placing them in the same spot you store your craft materials. That way these items won't be your excuse to collect clutter all over your house.
For example, if you want to reuse old clothes, cut them up into swatches and stash them in your craft corner. If you're going to use pages of an old book, tear them up so they'll be ready to go when you need them. As for little knickknacks, store them in a small bowl or even a folder. Here are more ideas on how to store your craft materials.
As a renter, it's important to realize that your landlord will probably raise your rent year-to-year due to inflation, rising market value, or higher demand. However, you can always try to negotiate your lease, especially after you've received notice that your landlord plans to raise prices. No need to panic or immediately make plans to move out. There are a lot of factors in your favor to help persuade your landlord. Try out these tips.
Be a trustworthy tenant
If you've paid your rent on time, had no bounced checks, and didn't cause any damage or trouble during your lease, your landlord will probably be more willing to keep you around than take a gamble on a new tenant. Plus, it's an expense for him to repaint, clean, and repair the apartment for a new tenant.
Check out the supply and demand
Chances are if there are several empty apartments in your complex or around your neighborhood, you'll have more authority to veto the rent increase. Look around to see how many apartments are empty in the complex or in your areal. Take note of it, and mention this to your landlord.
While there are some obvious things to go inside — such as flight checkins — I pack quite a few items, each with a very useful purpose:
- Confirm everything — Bring a record of flight, hotel, and car rental in this folder. To save the environment, only print the official flight one (and do double-sided whenever possible) or simply create a word doc on one page with all addresses, phone numbers and confirmation codes where applicable.
- Take the notes — While it's easy to rely a bit too heavily on smart phones (and the numbers and notes stored within), still jot down some personal details of things to do. If you want to be extra prepped, color code the printout pages for easy finding.
Learn how to organize the trip while you're on it to save time (and headaches!) afterwards and read more
As we informed you not so long ago, this year's tax day will now be on April 17 instead of the traditional date of April 15. Two days later doesn't mean more time to procrastinate, but for those of you who dragged your feet, read these savvy tax tips and posts to get you going!
How to Request a Tax Extension
Don't Make These 10 Tax Mistakes When Rushing to File
7 Meaningful Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund
Tax Tips For Freelancers
4 Last-Minute Tax Tips
Don’t Forget These 5 Tax Breaks
For more savvy tax tips, read on.
Putting in place a time restriction and getting specific with a work or personal finance objective will keep you on track and keep your workday interesting. My main goal is to finish a personal finance book by the end of the week, and I'm giving myself through Sunday to make it happen. To make things interesting, I also want to try and sneak in a few walks during my lunch break — something I don't typically do. Who knows, it might be just the midday habit I need! Share your own goals below and get inspired to beat the workplace doldrums.
- Can I pinpoint it on a map? If the price looks too good to be true, it probably is! For example, several airport hotels have the sneaky habit of naming themselves after the closest big city, making that great San Francisco deal . . . closer to the tiny town of Millbrae. Take the extra two minutes and pop the address into Google Maps to verify it's where you actually want to be.
- Is there an extra charge to book online? If you're using a third-party website for hotels (or even flights), it's essential to check for booking fees. It's quite possible you can save money by calling the hotel directly or visiting a chain's website instead.