by Bo, February 27, 2012
Learning how to save money and stay on a budget can be tough if you were not taught the basics as a child at home. Now that you are off to college or out of the house, reality has probably sunk in that the bank of mom and dad doesn’t flow as free as it used to. Here are some basic financial tips that can help you stretch your budget and save where you can.
* Pay cash as much as possible. Actually pulling cash out of the wallet makes you aware of how much you actually have and it will help you think twice about spending as much as you would if you used a credit or debit card. If you do have a credit card, make sure you are paying it off every month. The fees add up quickly and carrying a balance can catch up with you fast.
* Shop around for the best deals before making a purchase. If you are contemplating a large purchase of anything over $50 or so, look around for deals, coupons, free shipping offers or whatever you can find. By taking the time to find the best price, you will also be thinking about whether you really need this item after all.
* Shop around for the lowest rates on bank fees, credit cards, ATM fees, etc. There is a big variance on what banks and credit unions charge so look for the lowest fees and the highest rates where applicable. ATM fees can really rack up fast, so go back to the first tip.
* Don’t carry a balance on your vehicle. If you have to buy a car, save up your cash and buy a used model outright. The additional interest adds up and the additional expenses that go along with a newer car, like insurance, can take a lot of your income.
* Make yourself save a portion of your income every week/payday. Set a financial budget to save as much as you can early in life so you can retire early and have plenty of cash reserves. Time goes by quickly and saving now for the future can make a huge difference in your life. You don’t want to look back and think of how much you should have saved.