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money I’ve been saving. The more I’ve written about how to utilize
bank offers, the more benefits I’ve received from using my credit cards.
(3) The more you think about a tip, the more ideas you
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financial tip here.)
Pay on time
foremost, always pay your bills online! That way,
nothing slips through the cracks and you always have an
accurate expectation of monthly expenses. Secondly,
invest in an inexpensive scanner to turn your bills/cc
stmts/etc... into PDF documents. Simply put, the
computer takes a sort of "picture" of your document and
stores it. In this way, you can organize and store all
of your documents on your computer; you can get rid of
the paper clutter, and access anything you need very
quickly. Just make sure you make a backup copy!
avoid being late
Late fees on bills get me
really upset. So after paying too many of them, I decided
to implement this system: When I receive a bill in the
mail, I open it right away and put the date I should mail
it on the back of the envelope, on the front where the
stamp goes, and also on the lower left corner. Then, it
goes in a file folder organized by dates. It makes it
pretty hard to screw up. Sometimes I miss a couple of
days before looking in the folder, but with a week's
mail time I don't usually get late fees anymore.
due dates to avoid being late
Avoid late fees by changing
your bill due date. All you have to do is ask. Is the
8th better than the 1st to allow for snail mail? Is the
25th better because you always get paid on the 15th?
Whatever date works for your payday and budgeting
schedule, most companies are happy to make the
Just want to say that I am in debt over my ears and got
in this mess by bad choices and lack of knowledge. My
advice would be that before making any major purchases,
e.g., car and home; get yourself a financial mentor. I
believe I would have not been dealing with these messes
if I had known this.
For at least thirty days,
write down every penny you spend and why it was spent.
Be as specific as possible. This way, you can categorize
what you spend money on on a daily basis and make
constructive changes accordingly.
for the holidays
Just in time for the Christmas season, one of my credit
cards offered me a whopping 5% back on all purchases for
3 months (Oct-Dec). They will give me 5% back (up to
$100). I plan to change my purchasing habits and use
this credit card for everything I buy. I will pay off
the card in full each month so I don't get charged any
interest. At the end of the three months, I will have a
$100 credit to use for anything I want. This is easy
money. Note: This tip is only good for those who wisely
pay off their credit card balances in full. (Unless you
have zero-percent card.)
4 steps to
(1) Open your credit card
bills the day you get them. Look over the statement
(make sure you learn how to read them and really
understand them) to ensure that your last payment was
received and that there aren't any charges you didn't
personally make. You also want to make sure your
interest rates are what you think they are. If you see
anything unusual or incorrect, call the Customer Service
number right away. TIP WITHIN A TIP: Many credit card
Customer Service Reps must have been found under rocks
because they can be very dense. If a Rep can't easily
understand or handle your question or dispute, ask to
talk to the Supervisor; (2) Write the due date and the
amount you are going to pay on the outside of the
envelope. Place the envelope with your other bills in
chronological order; (3) Pay your credit cards online.
I've been doing that for many years and have never had a
problem, whereas I've had many problems with the US mail
making me late by losing my payment. You can actually
pay your card payment right away online or schedule it
electronically to be withdrawn from your checking
account the day it's due, and; (4) Always print out the
web page that says your payment has been submitted, with
the transaction confirmation number. If you ever get in
a dispute with the bank that you paid on time, you've
got their confirmation number that you did.
Auto pay to avoid being late
Have your credit card
minimum payments drafted automatically by the bank. This
prevents any late payment penalties, improves your
credit score, and saves you a stamp and check. Your
credit score impacts the interest rate you pay on homes,
cars, insurance and even your employment. Of course, if
possible, you should pay additional money against your
balance, but the purpose of this tip is to protect your
Pay bill when you get it
Pay your credit card payments the day after the
statement prints. This lowers your average daily balance
which saves you money in interest fees. Also,
several of the credit card companies have changed to
having the due date and statement dates several days
apart. By paying right away, you won't be fooled into a
late payment either.
Advanced Technique Make Money
Here’s an advanced technique I developed after digging
out from under a pile of credit card debt. As I paid off
one card after another, the card companies became more
and more generous with low rate offers on old accounts
as well as new ones. When one company offered me 0% for
a year, I said “Why not?” I borrowed $10,000 (deposited
to my checking account) and bought a one-year
certificate-of-deposit paying 5%. It’s important to
check the transfer fee--often 3 or 4% but usually
limited to a maximum of $75 to $90. If the transfer fee
has no maximum, the scheme doesn’t work. With regular
minimum payments of $200 a month, by the end of the 0%
year, I only owed $7600 plus the transfer fee, and I
cashed out the CD for $10,500. Of course, most of the
effect comes from forced saving of the monthly payments,
but it is nice to have the banks pay me interest rather
than the other way around! I use on-line banking so was
able to pre-schedule the payments each month a few days
before the due date guaranteeing I wouldn’t have any
late payments, which would ruin the deal.
Sometimes it's smart to have
a debit card, attached to your checking account, instead
of a credit card. You can't spend if you don't have it!
You don't have to have a good credit rating for it, and
if you use credit instead of debit, you won't be
charged for the transaction.
Hang a sign
My husband hates his job and we are working hard to be
debt free so he can quit. We have a graph that we drew
with how long it will take us to pay everything off (30
months) on our fridge. Each month that goes by brings us
closer to our goal. The graph is also a great reminder
of why we should continue to make wise choices and not
splurge. We also try to never crank up our cars to go
anywhere but work, unless we have THREE GOOD reasons
Keep Your Rates Low
Personally, as someone who's been deeply in debt, and
I've surfed money all over the place to 0% cards,
there's really no better way than to pay your debt off.
Why do people think that they somehow save money by
keeping high-rate debt? If life hits hard, and we get
deeper and deeper into debt at high rates, we will never
pay it off. Your greatest wealth-building tool is your
income, and if it's tied up in paying off debt, you
can't use it to your best advantage.
Tea at work
Tea at work costs 80 cents or 5 cents for a cup of hot
water. If I bring my own tea bag, and use my own cup,
I'll save about $220.00 per year.
Dollar stores and doggie bags
These are a couple of simple tips that save me money at
the supermarket weekly. I reuse the plastic shopping
bags as garbage bags. I also reuse the plastic long bags
that my newspaper comes in daily, as doggie poop bags.
This way I don't spend money on garbage bags or poop
scoop bags--those dollars add up. I also buy many
household products at the Dollar Store--I even find name
brands such as Disney in there. The people who run the
store tell me that they buy huge truckloads for a
reasonable amount of money. This is how they can sell
even name brand items for $1. I also get all my greeting
cards there, which are 2 for $1. At Hallmark, you would
pay $3 to $5 dollars for cards and also gift bags, which
I also purchase at the dollar store.
Photo of wallet
Take a photograph of what’s in your wallet so you know
whom to call if it’s lost or stolen.
--Bobby Shaw, host of The Family Friendly Morning Show,
smells protect you
A great way to avoid any possible type of identity theft
is to mix your shred with anything stinky--such as used
cat litter, diaper pail or compost. Any thief who has a
sense of smell will not bother to sift through this
stinky shred to get your information. It will be too
much trouble for them, and they'll look for a less
Save 10 percent
If there is financial advice that I am glad I
follow, it's: "Save 10% of whatever income you make."
Ten percent, that is it! This simple advice has put me
in route to become a millionaire within the next 4 years.
I always hear the lame excuse that I cannot do that
because I need that money. My reply has always been: “If
you could not survive without 10 percent of your salary,
you are doing something seriously wrong.” I had my 10%
taken out of my paycheck and I do not even notice it.
Funny thing is that if their employer tells them that
their salary will have to be cut by 10 to 15 percent or
else the plant will close, they will find a way to live
on their new salary in a heartbeat.
Instead of paying someone to do a job or task that I can
do, I do it myself. Then, I pay myself the amount I would
have paid them, and I transfer the money to my savings account.
When you use coupons or buy
something on sale, we say, "We're saving money." We
never really save that money unless we put the savings
into a savings account. This is what my wife and I do: We
put the total amount she saves on groceries indicated at
the bottom of her register tape into our Vacation
Savings Account. Likewise, if I find a deal on something
I wanted for the shop, or house, we subtract the
difference between the price the item was most
frequently advertised at, and what we paid for it, and
put it in the Vacation Savings Account. We may not use
it to take a vacation, but we have saved enough each
year to make an extra car payment or buy things we wanted
for the house. We really do save when we shop.
Save money at online auctions
Check ebay for items you need or want. You can often get
them for a significantly lower cost than in a store.
Some sellers have monthly payments for higher-end items.
And it's not just used items--you can get brand new
items! Some stores are also on eBay, as well, holding
auctions for their items.
Please add your financial tip here.