Post # 32
@Gemstone: We sit down at the end of every month and create a budget for the next month. We list all of the income we have coming in as well as all of our expenses. You have to be VERY mindful when listing your expenses. In our house, if it doesn’t get listed, it doesn’t get paid for until we do the budget for next month (emergencies excluded obviously). After that we subtract the total expenses from the total income. Anything left over will go into savings at the start of the month. The money left in the checking account will only cover what we’ve budgeted for. This pretty much forces us to save. If the money stays in your checking the whole month, you’re more tempted to spend it.
Post # 33
To continue on @2PeasinaPod’s tips:
You can also call your car insurance. They’ll usually give you a discount if you take an online safe driving course. It only takes a few hours and you have a month to complete it. You can get as much as 20% off your bill for 2 years.
Post # 34
@2PeasinaPod: I agree – great tips! I’m the “saver” in our marriage, so we’re already doing about 90% of those things, aside from the FSA and the coupons because i’d always assumed the paper cost more than the savings from the coupons. But we’re already doing the pack a lunch, make coffee at home (with my new wedding-present Keurig), automatic payment into savings, and I dry almost none of my clothes, etc, etc. So I guess that means we’re on the right track?
@MsJeep23: That’s a great idea! Something we’ll have to try once we get closer to actually being ready to buy. We’re still a couple of years away.
@MrsMcGyro: That’s a great idea. Our checking account is ticking upward, which is GREAT, but you’re right — we should put some of it in savings so we don’t get tempted to spend!
Post # 35
@2PeasinaPod: has given a lot of good ideas. We can all increase our savings if we can take an honest look at where we spend our money and differentiate between wants and needs.
No one needs to spend hours and hours talking and texting. We don’t need to know where our friends and families are every moment of the day, nor they us. It’s just something we have gotten used to. You can always find a less expensive plan that will give you your basic needs.
We don’t need to eat out- period! Yes it’s nice, but our parents didn’t eat out nearly as often as we do and they were able to save that money for their homes.
We also don’t ned to buy takeout. Cooking from scratch shouldn’t take more than 1/2 hr most nights and you can always make double and freeze it for those extra busy nights.
We don’t need recreational shopping. Don’t go to the mall unless you NEED something specific and then buy only that item and get out.
Post # 36
Something that helped me: a money manager app (i use pocketmoney for my iphone)
I enter in all of my transactions by payee/category/subcategory (i.e. gas station/auto/gas or chase/bills/mortgage). Then as @MrsMcGyro mentioned, budget! After a couple of months, you can get a better idea of how much is coming in and going out, along with where it’s going (which could give you a better idea of where you need to cut back).
The paid app has reports and things to make budgeting a bit easier and more colorful (I think it was $3). The free app offers similar stuff I think, so check it out. No smart phone? I think there might also be a desktop app. 🙂
Post # 37
@Gemstone: You’re definitely on the right track! As for the paper, we’re in Philly and get the Inquirer. For 13 Sunday papers, we pay $12. Even if you only use one $1 coupon from each week, you’re already paying for getting the paper. Just be careful of the cereal coupons. Saving $0.50 when you buy 4 boxes of cereal isn’t always worth it. But check out the circulars each week (also a benefit from getting the paper) and stock up when things are on sale so you aren’t paying full price for them when you need them.
@MrsMcGyro: Good tips on only having enough in your checking account to cover your bills. The more the money is there, the more tempted you are to spend it!
Ooh…and when buying your appliances, if you can, wait until holiday sales. Like this past weekend…everyone and their mother was having a Columbus Day sale. We bought our house at the end of September, but bought our appliances over Labor Day weekend b/c of all the deals going on. We delayed delivery until we moved in and saved a ton.
Post # 38
What we did was “practice” paying a mortgage every month. Except instead of paying a mortgage company we put the money into our savings. For example If your rent is $800/ month and you estimate your future mortgage payment will be $1700/month, put the additional $900 into your savings. Not only did we save a good amount of money, but were able to ensure that we would be able to pay our mortgage and still have money left over.
Post # 39
@Mrs.KMM: Dang. Hat’s off to you lady. I wish we were in that position. We are doing everything “wrong” lol. We aren’t through with college yet, and I have some student loans (nothing crazy). We plan on at least paying off all that debt before even thinking of saving for a home.
Post # 40
@skipper2010: That’s a really good idea! I’ll have to ask Fiance about it!
Post # 41
Im putting $1000 in savings every month and seeing what I have left over. Since I practically have no bills at the moment this is easy…bit when I get a bee car in the next coming months and paying insurance, I doubt I’ll be able to put that much away. My fi has been hit with some medical expenses lately so hes only been able to put away whatever’s left over at the end of the pay period (a few hundred).
Post # 42
We set up a separate joint savings account specifically for house money, and we’ve agreed to contribute 5-10% of each paycheck to that fund. It might not be a lot, but I have medical bills and student loans to pay off, so it’ll be a while anyway. At least it’ll give us a starting point.
Post # 44
Are mortgages the same in the UK and the US? I want to save up too but I don’t know if this advice is relevant to me or if the system is different, you see.
Post # 45
@VickyAurea: They seem to be at a glance. It would be best to talk to someone at your financial institution. I just looked briefly at some things on the HSBC website and it’s pretty much the same, just different terminology.
Doesn’t hurt to start saving!
Post # 46
We’re just graduating from school. Well, I am from law school and have 100K in student loans. AND I had a scholarship- law school is expensive. Fiance has his masters in Accountancy and has been workig for a year now. We’re moving in with his parents to save money. We’ll have 7-10K in 6months. We’re going to add his tax refund and wedding gift money and go for the FHA program next fall. We could afford a new 150K-200K townhome in the outskirts of Atl or a single family home a little further out of Atlanta (30min). BUT, I’m the difficult one who wants to follow her dream and move to DC. SO, we’ll probably just keep saving for another year and then buy if we move to DC/NOVA.
We’ve also cut back on the amount we eat out. We’re not really party animals thank goodness so there’s no need to cut back there. We’re just trying to be responsible with how much we spend. We still do little things though. We got $10 tickets to the Atlanta Ballet, and that’s going to be an amazing date night I’m looking forward to!