Easy steps to save money

We all need that extra cash for unexpected events or just for the future. These are some easy steps that will make you have more money stashed away even if you are not rich.

1. Rent – if you rent check out how much you spend a month and what the apartment complex offers you. A lot of apartments offer a one or two months free or referral fees, so when someone moves in you get a portion of your rent discounted.

2. Dining Out – if you stop at the local coffee shop each morning, try to take your caffeine intake, at the office break room or even better at home. Lunch- bag your lunch and bring it to work, it will save you a lot of money. By taking your lunch at work you can save approximately $3000 in a year.

3. Credit Cards- Most of the debts comes from credit cards, if you have more than one, consolidate your debt in one with the lowest interest rate. Once you do that make sure to always pay more than the minimum monthly payments. Next time you are tempted to buy something with your credit card, for a example a $300 suit, remind yourself that you are really paying $700! If you’re paying more than 12% interest on your credit cards , you’re paying too much. With good credit, you should be able to find a credit card rate for between 9% and 12%. For a list of the lowest credit card rates, visit bankrate.com. If you think that you are paying too much interest, call the credit card company and talk to them, most likely they will negotiate with you for a lesser rate.

4. Cell phones- Nowadays its hard not to live with out a cell phone, but they also can get pretty expensive at times. Always shop around for the best plan that suitable to your lifestyle. If you make a lot of long distance calls get a plan with free long distance and certain amount of minutes. If you use a cell phone just for emergency usually a pre-paid plan is the best way to go.

5. Paycheck- If your company has a feature where they can take out 15% and put directly in your savings account, sign up for it. If you don’t see it on, you will not miss it.

6. Part-time jobs- Sometimes people need just some extra money. If you work at a 9 to 5 job, you can apply for a part-time job, maybe at your favorite retail store or as a hostess or waiter at the local restaurant. Most stores are always looking for extra help, more so during the holidays, if you are able to work a few nights a week and some weekends, you are able to save up $200-300 a month.

7. Create your net worth- What you own Cash_______________ Checking acct___________________ Savings acct_____________________ money market ___________________ treasury bills____________________ cash value of life insurance________________ stocks and bonds_________________________ retirement accounts (401k & IRA’s) _______________________ real estate investment_____________________________ personal assets_________________________________ total assets_________________________ What you owe: mortgage_______________________ second home loan_________________ home equity_________________________ credit cards__________________________ school loans________________________ vehicle loans______________________________ other debts______________________________ total owed______________________________ total amount owed minus total assets= your net worth

8. Write down your financial goals -writing down your goals makes it easier to envision it. What do you want to accomplish financially, in the next 12 months or 5 years. Writing these down will make you more aware of the steps you need to take to make them reality. Make sure to be realistic about it!

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