If you are serious about developing savings strategies and having a healthy emergency money fund, you might want to curb the consumer in you.
This means, instead of spending, start saving.
Of course, the number one, best way of saving remains to have a portion of your weekly paycheck automatically deposited into your savings account.
If you like the idea of deciding, week-by-week, how much savings you will deposit, take heart and adapt my serious tips.
It’s all good if the end result is more savings.
Do your homework and literally do a house inventory.
Journey back, all the way back, into the furthest reach of every closet and decide that, if you have not used it for more than six months, it will have to go.
Most people have at least $1,000 worth of garage sale items hidden away in their home.
This turns out to be a veritable gold mine for many.
In Georgia, that’s easily $5 a day—or about $1,800 a year—that can go right into your savings.
This will save you on gas, insurance and maintenance costs—not to mention any money spent on a headache.
Using the IRS’s 2017 mileage reimbursement rate of 36.5 cents per mile as a proxy for the cost of commuting, you could save $1,141 a year by driving half the time for 50 weeks of the year (based on a 25-mile round trip commute).
Some cities are now implementing progressive programs that allow you to have access to a car without the ownership hassles (e.g. rent your neighbor’s car with peer to peer car rental).
The average consumer spends about $1,750 a year on clothing and its upkeep, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent Consumer Expenditure Survey.
You can easily cut that in half by shopping at consignment shops and auctions, though the life of the goods may be a bit less than buying new.
To account for that, the annual savings may only amount to 25%, or $437.
At just over $1,800 a year on average, entertainment spending has a way of eating up the best-planned budgets.
The average person spends $2,276 a year on eating out.
Try cutting your spending in half on both areas for annual savings of more than $1,900.
While a move across the tracks may save some money, moves are expensive.
The average housing costs per person in 2017 is just over $13,200.
In metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, rooms easily go for $575 a month.
Figure about $20+ of that goes to increases in utility costs, and you’ve still realized annual savings of more than $4,000 +/- before any income taxes.
This allows you to become your own lending agency.
Credit cards can be a cash-flow management tool, but paying only the minimum will keep you in debt for years.
If you’re the average American with at least one credit card, you probably have close to $8,523 in credit card debt, according to industry research group CardWeb.com.
At an average APR of 14.4%, it could cost you as much as $1,100 a year in interest rates alone.
By simply waiting until you’ve saved enough money to make purchases, you could eliminate those interest payments.
If you’re very ambitious and follow all the above tips, you could be looking at savings of some $12,000 a year.
Figuring you can invest that at the historical rate of return of 10%, your savings do start to compound nicely—and rapidly.
Instead of the debt, choose the savings strategies emergency fund and save.
About: I’m the author in residence of RuralMoney.com bringing you the best of my knowledge, skills, abilities, tips and resources. Unfortunately, I am also a person with disabilities. I have severe Rheumatoid Arthritis. I love to share what I know and practice to help others survive and thrive in rural areas.
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