I need to change this goal from “Spend Less Money” to “Improve Our Financial Situation.” But I can’t figure out how to do that without saying the two goal names mean the same thing. Of course they don’t, I just need to make my goal more broad. If anyone has any ideas for how to do this let me know. Otherwise I may have to give up on “Spend Less Money” to add “Improve…”
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Stephmo Wants to get caught up on all sorts of things
Spending less is only part of it...
Look for ways you’re not fully taking advantage of financial opportunities.
Do you both contribute to 401ks so that you get your employer matching contribution? That’s 6% that your employer will give you (or whatever their matching contribution is) and it’s pre-tax savings, so even your deduction won’t “hurt” nearly as much as you think.
To that end, does your employer offer an employee assistance program? Most of them will offer financial planning as part of the program – it’s not all therapy. If you can take advantage of financial planning for free through your benefits, do that.
Do you save weekly into an interest-bearing account as part of the spend-less goal? You can get 3-4% from a ton of on-line sources that will auto-deduct from your checking account (ING’s Orange is pretty easy). It’s a way to grow the money you’re not spending.
Are you comparing services regularly? Is cable, cell phone, electric, gas and the like competitive and/or up for renewal? Have you talked to their retention departments to see what they’ll do for you?
Have you set up a second e-mail for offers from places you frequent? As much as we like to say “never,” we all know that we’ll break down and get coffee, go out for lunch, quick dinners or shopping and the like. Stores like to e-mail you coupons regularly. Are you getting these coupons?
Does your grocery store have a gas program? We have one that does 20 cents off per gallon for every $50 spent and $1 off per gallon for new RXs. Said grocery store also sells gift cards, so if we know we want to buy something at BestBuy, we’ll get the gift card at the grocery store to get the gas credit.
Back to coupons – have you thought about a coupon club at work? Folks come in with the Sunday coupons and trade them back and forth after they’re done clipping.
Mostly, it comes down to going, “well, I’m spending less. Okay, how do I get that less to do more for me?”
Thank you Stephmo!
I appreciate your taking the time to post all these great suggestions.
I will have to investigate some of these opportunities. As for 401K, I am pretty fortunate in that my company contributes 10-1/2% to my account regardless of my own contribution (which can be as much as 11% I believe). I’m sure that’s part of why my pay scale is not what I wish – the retirement plan is considered as part of my pay.
As for saving, I’m going to have to work on cutting the budget some more before I can do that. Right now there is no “money I’m not spending.”
That grocery store/gas plan sounds great! But I haven’t heard of anything like that around here.
Thanks again for all your ideas. It’s got me thinking. :)