Look at Your Bills
What bills are you paying every month? Every year? Are you paying too much? A few years ago, I cut my cable tv subscription, because I realized I wasn’t using it. I replaced it with an Amazon Prime account and a Hulu subscription (I already had Netflix). This is still much cheaper than what I paid for cable tv. If you’re not ready to cut cable, consider cutting back on movie channels. Don’t have any movie channels? Call the cable company and see if there are any promos going on. Even a $10 discount on your bill will save you $120 a year.
Make a Budget
Charitable Donation Deductions
If you itemize your tax returns, you can take a deduction for each charitable contribution that you make (provided that you have a receipt). This doesn’t have to be money contributions. This also counts for items taken to Goodwill. I use Its Deductible to help me value and track the physical items that I donate to Goodwill throughout the year. Sure, it’s not a huge deduction, but it does keep a bit of money in my pocket and it’s a great way to do something good for someone else. Plus when I donate physical things, I’m also cleaning out my house, which is a great feeling.
Take on a Financial Challenge
If you missed it, last week I talked about challenging yourself to save a dollar a day. Sure, it’s only $365 by the end of the year. But that $365 can be used for a lot of different things or it could even be invested for the future!
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.