Posts Tagged “Finance”

010906receiptThe importance of saving receipts is one of the things majority of the population learns the hard way.  Ever have a product break and didn’t bother returning it as you lost the receipt?  Or even worse, it’s tax time and you are one of those people who are getting randomly audited.  Even if you do save your receipts, finding the correct one can be like finding a needle in a Hay Stack.

Well thanks to your Cell Phone and Email, you can create digital copies anywhere you are and have file them electronically in chronological order!

What You Need:

  • Picture Phone and ability to send Emails (you may send email via MMS however if you aren’t unlimited it may cost you)
  • Gmail Account.

Still confused? Here’s how.

Doing this is simple; just create a label and filter for Receipts in gmail, the filter should have the following settings:

From: (address you are sending from)
Has the Word: Receipt
Has Attachment: Checked

Now that your gmail account is set up, take a picture of any receipt and email it to yourself with the word Receipt anywhere in the email(subject or message).  Gmail will automatically place this in the category for receipts.

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frugalI’m sure you all have heard how expensive smoking is right?  Well a trip out to dinner is the equivalent to a pack of cigarettes so these numbers are equally equatable.   The average American will grab fast food 2.3 times a week (Science Daily), which totals 120 trips a year.  Lets say you each trip is $6; that totals about 720/y just on fast food, do you go more than 2 times a week?  Well than your total will be above $1000/y.

I know you still need to eat; well cooking is a very cost saving skill, the average “cooker” will spend $4-$7 per day on food (NYTimes).  It will also take extra time out of your day, which means there is less time for you to be bored!  The benefits don’t stop there; you will lose weight and it can be a very attractive trade skill.

Some “Frugal Foods”

  • Ramen Soup (May not be the healthiest, but man is it cheap and delicious)
  • Rice (You’d be amazed with how cheap rice is!)
  • Water(Not bottled, spending $2+ a day on soda is not only expensive but very unhealthy.)
  • Beans (Chili can be an appetizing and cheap meal to make, throw in cut up hot dogs for “meat”.)
  • Oatmeal (Definitely not my favorite but besides from growing your own food this is one of the cheapest options)

Saving $700-$1000 over  a year time may not seem like much; but a 5 day cruise is under $500, so saving money isn’t your game; think about it as getting an all-expense paid vacation.

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Saving, is one of the few things in life that people don’t take an interest in until it is too late.  Before this recession the average saving rate was 16% (Business Week), however it is hard to save during a recession and is down between 4-5% now (Money Rate).  Which doesn’t really make sense, in times of economic trouble people are preparing less for unemployment!?  If anything you should cut costs and save more if you are uncertain if you will have a job next month.

The main reason why I didn’t start a savings when I was a kid was that I didn’t think I made enough for a savings to really have any effect on my life.  Looking back, saving 10% of the 15,000 per year, I could have saved $5,000 over 5 years, or $16,000 over 10 years (factoring in a 5% interest rate).  Interest scales with the money; you literally get paid money for just having money, and the more you have the more you get.  It’s a weird but very cool fact if you are on the “savings” side of the fence.

Ok so lets jump on the other side of savings, your taking out a massive loan; your 30-year mortgage (house).  The mortgage is 300K and the current Interest rate is around 5% (HSH); by the time you pay off this house you will have paid around 600K, the price of two houses.  Why? Well your first few years of owning that house will consist of interest payments above $1000. The first month would be $1,250; meaning that up to that amount you are only paying the bank, not your actual house.  Get in the mindset of if i saved $200 this month than that will equal $1500 when I want to buy a house.  So don’t wait, start your “30 years” today.

An easy tip to avoid those “bad purchases”: Before making a purchase ask yourself if a stranger offered you the same amount of money for the item to NOT purchase it, would you take the cash or buy it anyways.

At the time of publishing, Discover Bank, has the “best savings” account; it yields 2% interest per year, if you don’t have a large sum of money to invest with, this is your best option.  If you don’t have a bank account, try to get one; however if for what ever reason you can’t, saving is still smart.  You will start off with a large sum of money, which means your first “interest paycheck” will be higher than if you didn’t save.  Interest is only really beneficial with “chunks” of cash.

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