Saving Money - Debt Zapper
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Are you finding it hard to find areas where you can save?

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Are you finding it hard to find areas where you can save? If so, you are probably not alone. Quite often when people talk about getting out of debt, they hear three suggestions:

  1. Save $1,000 for Emergency Expenses
  2. Make sure minimum payments are being made on ALL accounts, then pay extra on one account until it’s paid off.
  3. When all accounts are paid off, increase savings up to 3-6 months salary or living expenses.

This is actually good advice, but many people find it hard to meet the first suggestion, and give up. So, let’s talk about a few ways to save that first $1,000.

  • The easiest way is to determine if you have things of value that you are able to sell. If so, sell them and put the earnings into your savings account.

But, what if you don’t have anything you can really part with that is of value to others? Consider any services you are able to offer others (babysitting, lawn mowing, etc). Can you take a second job and dedicate those earnings to your savings/debt?

  • Consider tracking EVERY PENNY you spend for one week. You may be surprised at where a few cents/dollars here and there is going. Perhaps it’s a coffee in the morning, a snack in the afternoon, etc.

If you’re spending a few odd cents here and there, think of an alternate solution (bring a snack from home, make coffee at home in the AM, bring a cup from home and refill it throughout the day), anything to avoid spending anything extra for ONE week. If you’ve been spending CASH, keep a jar or ziplock bag with you. Each time you would normally buy something extra, instead, put that cash into your savings container. If you’ve been spending on your debit card, keep a journal with the amount. Each day (or end of week), transfer that amount (consider rounding up) into savings.

Hopefully, you’ll be inspired by the amount you’ve saved in the ONE WEEK CHALLENGE, and can continue. If you’ve tried this, how much were you able to save each week or month? I’d love to know, and sharing would help encourage others on the same path :)

5 Uses for used dryer sheets

I read a lot of frugal blogs and websites where they offer tips and suggestions on ways to save money. I prefer to save where I can so we can splurge where we need to, so these tips are very useful to my family. One suggestion I’ve seen time and time again, is to cut dryer sheets in half to save money, or to use them multiple times. Maybe it’s just us, but that doesn’t work well. Our clothes don’t get the full benefit of a new, full, dryer sheet and they aren’t as soft or anti-cling. I have been thinking, and keeping a running list, of 5 uses for used dryer sheets. If I don’t want to use them in the dryer again, there must be other things they can be used for. Continue reading 5 Uses for used dryer sheets

5 keys to Financial Security and Success

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Photo Source: CPA Review Materials

In this era of recession and financial disaster for so many people, many people are finding it necessary to re-evaluate their financial situation and priorities. Regardless of where you are on that spectrum, the first step to financial freedom is to take an honest and thorough evaluation of where you stand financially, so you can take the first step TODAY to becoming more financially stable. Here are 5 keys to financial security and success to help you get started:

  1. Put your budget in writing. If you look in my sidebar (or message me), I have some templates to help you get started. It’s pretty difficult to set a budget you can stick to if you don’t know how much money you have coming in, or where it’s being allocated to.
  2. Spend less than you earn. Sometimes this means you need a second job, better job, or to make some hard budget cuts. You need to make sure that at a minimum, your income exceeds your obligations. Preferably, you will get into a situation where you are saving a significant portion of your income.
  3. Payoff your debt. The obvious first choice here is to eliminate credit card debt. Follow that up with secured debt, up to, and including, your mortgage. For inspiration, play around with a mortgage calculator and see how much money you’d save in interest by simply paying one additional payment each year. Seeing that amount should inspire anyone to stick to their plan!
  4. SAVE. If you’ve read my other articles, you know by now that having an emergency savings account is crucial for many reasons. It’s also a good idea to max out contributions to your 401(k), and you know I am a huge believer in keeping 5-10% of your salary in a Money Market account for longer term goals or larger emergencies. After those goals are met, consider investments!
  5. Keep good records, and make sure you are taking advantage of all of your benefit options: These kind of go hand in hand. If you are a good record keeper, you’ll be aware of what benefits are available to you through your employer, insurance company,and other organizations you belong to. You want to make sure you have a will and your final arrangements are planned for, to protect loved ones. You want to make sure you have adequate coverage for all of your needs, but not double coverage that would only pay once. Keeping records of accounts paid in full will protect you if a company later claims you owe them money, not to mention for tax reasons!

10 ways to save money

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These are 10 ways to save money that I personally use, I hope one or more are helpful to you and your situation!

1. Excessive Utility Bills: Keep your A/C and heater tuned and cleaned, change your filters regularly and invest in thermal curtains to help cut costs.

2. Hair Cuts: We have little boys that are adorable with short hair. We purchased clippers, and cut their hair (and Nick’s) at home to avoid hair cut fees for four of the five people in our house! Continue reading 10 ways to save money

Affordable Valentine’s Day Ideas

Affordable Valentine's Day Ideas

Affordable Valentine’s Day Ideas

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow! Some of you may be stressing out about what to do for your loved one to show them how much you love them. For many of us, the stress isn’t just in coming up with an acceptable idea, you also need it to be something affordable. With a little bit of research and energy, you can get traditional items at an affordable price, you just have to look for them! Continue reading Affordable Valentine’s Day Ideas