Financial health and fitness, frugaling month to month, defeating debt, cutting clutter and saving.
Club Thrifty — If you vowed to improve your physical condition for 2016, Greg says you also “inadvertently made financial health” a goal as well. Sounds like a good deal. He lists six ways financial health and fitness are linked. The first way is cutting out convenience store foods. He not only means fast foods, but those gas station mini marts that carry over-priced, highly sweetened drinks and junk food.
He also says “you’ll save money on drinks.” No more expensive, calorie-rich coffee drinks. You’ll be drinking more water — and it’s free unless you’re buying bottled water. And please, don’t get me started on that money-waster. If you’re that freaked out about tap water, invest in a water filter. While you’re saving money and getting healthy, read this post on why savers are sexier than spenders.
Frugalwoods — Many people who make New Year’s resolutions fail. Mostly because they make unreasonable pledges and because it’s for a whole year. The Frugalwoods have a smart alternative — optimize your finances on a monthly basis. Their first step is “track your spending.” You can’t start saving unless you know where you’re spending.
It’s really simple from that point. Once you find out what you’re spending an inordinate amount on, reduce it. There are a myriad of things you can cut back on. The Frugalwoods give you examples, such as eating out. But this is really a personal exercise in slashing expenses. If you want a financial management tool, use the free service from PowerWallet. They’ll help you track your expenses and more.
Money Talks News — This post leads with a smart, and true, sentiment: “The holiday season isn’t really wrapped up until the bills are paid.” Let’s hope most of you didn’t burden yourselves with too much credit card debt this season. If you did, the fourth step focuses on paying down your debt.
It gives you two ways you can wipe out the debt, and also some interesting links on these methods. Another interesting step is: “Return gifts.” You may get cash or a store credit if you have the receipt. And don’t be shy about returning a gift. You won’t be alone.
The Penny Hoarder — If your New Year’s resolution is organizing your life — and even if it’s not — Susan has great tips on cutting the clutter and making a few bucks. The third way is selling the stuff you don’t use on eBay or at a garage sale. You can get together with a neighbor and have a super-sized garage sale.
The sixth way is amusing but true: “You don’t purchase duplicates.” She once noticed three containers of paprika in her cabinet. At a couple bucks a pop, that is a waste — even if you love paprika. Check out her other ideas and make some money.
Money Under 30 — Saving enough money for retirement or an emergency fund has always been difficult for most people. Lou says he’d prefer if people in their 20s and 30s saved 20 percent of their income. This task may seem daunting but he remarks, “we save so that one day we no longer have to work for the money.” It’s called retirement.
If you can’t save 20 percent, then he recommends starting small — even if it’s one percent. The idea is that you should condition yourselves. Once saving becomes second nature it won’t seem so painful. If your employer offers a 401 (k) plan, you really have no excuses. Take advantage of it. Here are some easy ways to save money.