All Articles Tagged "saving money"
Being frugal and saving money definitely aren’t characteristics to shun. However, there are some people out there who are flat-out cheapskates, and they cut corners in every which-way possible. If you’re dating a guy who seems to be bordering the line between frugal and cheap, despite the fact that he has a decent-paying job, there are some definite signs that he is one or the other. Here are 14 ways to tell if your man is undoubtedly a cheapskate.
Lady Gaga still uses coupons at grocery stores and haggles down prices at retail shops. Angela Bassett has been known to flaunt her frugal ways, and let’s not forget Kandi Burruss buying two homes in foreclosure. If these top money makers know the value of saving cash, why not ball on a budget? Forget keeping up with the Joneses. Not only will you refrain from putting a hurting on your wallet, you will also revel in the fact that you just saved some major cash flow. Your paycheck may not be celeb size, but you can live it up baller-style with these super savvy saving techniques. From top savings on clothes to entertainment, there is always a way to shave cents off your purchases here and there. You work hard everyday. Now it’s time to play hard – minus big-time spending.
Our last Facebook chat with the Double Saving Divas tackled a variety of issues having to do with budgeting, saving, and personal finance. Here’s a quick summary of nine of the topics we tackled.
We host Facebook chats with the Double Saving Divas twice per month. Don’t miss the next one! Besides their regular articles, which appear on the MN Business site, we also send reminders on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with the latest!
For some women, saving money can be one of the hardest things to do. If you’re like me, you always make a plan to save…that is until you find something new that you want to buy. Most times ambitions to save are short-lived and we end up in debt soon after our ‘super saving’ plans start, unless we actually have a plan.
If you’re one of those people that find it hard to save, going cold turkey and attempting to become a mini Suze Orman overnight probably isn’t the best way to go. Instead, start small and work your way up. I’ve found it’s easier to access things I can do without to jump-start the saving process. Here are a few things to consider doing without to help your grow your money.
MEET Janet Taylor: Janet Taylor, founder of Totally Organized LLC, has displayed an innate tendency for order since childhood. Clients Taylor has worked with, helping them add order to their personal lives and businesses, include motivational speaker, Les Brown, the City of Philadelphia and IKEA. Her commitment to assisting others in becoming more organized inspires her to publish a monthly newsletter, Totally Organized Living. For her work, Janet has appeared on the lifestyle TV show Mission: Organization which airs on the Home & Garden Network (HGTV). This clutter-free organization expert is also the author of 101 Secrets To Living An Organized Life as well as a series of organizing eBooks.
Madame Noire: The NationalAssociation of Professional Organizers records at its website that, on average, American executives waste as much as six weeks of time searching for important documents. What keeps executives from being more organized?
JT: Today executives and other workers are balancing various daily tasks, meetings, voicemail and emails. Furthermore, some executives don’t have an assistant to help them with day-to-day administrative tasks, helping them maintain their files and paperwork. Executives who do have an assistant, may have to share their assistant with one or more other managers. I’m often called in to help executives and other workers find paperwork (documents they stored away years ago, but can’t find when they need them now). Many clients I work with spend 50 percent of the day searching for documents, etc.
To help workers become organized, I teach them to manage their time (i.e. don’t open and respond to emails as soon as they come in). For example, if an email isn’t related to something you’re working on right now or if an email isn’t a priority, leave the email and work on it later. This is important, because as you switch back and forth from task to task, it takes longer to complete tasks. Bottom line, if you take one hour to plan your day, that could save you three to four hours of execution.
MN: You’ve worked with clients like the University of Pennsylvania, Hewlett Packard, Les Brown Enterprises and the Paul Robeson House. If you had a list the top two reasons you’ve been able to land deals with major clients, what would they be?
JT: 1) I have partnered with previous clients who value what I do and know the positive impact organization has on business, and 2) those previous clients have referred me to influential business owners and organizations. A lot of my clients came through referrals. People also know that I know how to keep confidential information confidential. Also, I am consistent in networking with potential clients, building the relationships first then working on the sale.
MN: Why did you decide to become a professional organizer?
JT: I decided to become a professional organizer after I was laid off from Bonetics Corporations, a company that oversaw a shared ride program for senior citizens. Around the time I was laid off, I saw an article about a woman who went into firms and taught people how to become organized. That article convinced me that I could be a professional organizer. Researching the industry came next. As part of my research, I connected with other professional organizers across the country, asking questions about the field. I launched Totally Organized, working in my company on a part-time basis, in 1994. A year later, in 1995, Totally Organized became my full-time job.
MN: How soon after becoming a professional organizer did you launch Totally Organized?
JT: I decided to become a professional organizer in January 1994. Totally Organized LLC launched in February 1994. Since its launch, Totally Organized has changed. We’ve expanded our services and now offer contract administration, project management and office organization services. To support individual clients, people who want me to organize their homes, I created www.JanetMTaylor.com. We also conduct tele-class workshops, covering areas like clear desk/clear mind (work space organization). Earlier in 2012, we delivered a workshop at the Philadelphia Home Show. The topic of the workshop was “creating a home free of clutter.” Topics covered in other workshops we host vary. That said, during our tele-class workshops, we cover ways to organize your home and office. We’ll eventually start presenting our workshops via webinars.
MN: What resources did you use to finance your business and how much did you initially invest in Totally Organized?
JT: I’m not sure what my initial investment was, but I would say less than $500. I was able to use severance money from my layoff to invest in my business. During those early days, I transformed an extra bedroom into my office. I also got a phone line and a business license.
MN: Have you seen an increased interests in your services during the recession, especially as people look for ways to save money?
JT: Yes; I have seen an increase in the requests for my services during the recession. Clients want to maximize their existing space and know that getting organized will save them money. For me, it’s been a big pick-up since the recession. People are becoming more aware of the impact disorganization has on their lives. They’re becoming more aware of how being organized can keep them from purchasing household, office or personal goods they already have, but don’t know they have because they misplaced or can’t find the items.
MN: To date, what’s the most challenging organizing job you’ve taken on?
JT: I worked for a client who showed me to a room that had boxes and boxes of paper and documents dumped on the floor. There were enough boxes of documents to fill an average-size living room. This was before scanners became popular and people could create electronic files. I was given the task of categorizing and organizing the documents, but was not given direction as to what was in the files, how to organize the files, etc. When I finished the job nearly two weeks later, six departments at the firm had organized and labeled archive files.
MN: Outside of money, what key disadvantages does being disorganized cost individuals and businesses every day?
JT: Looking for documents that are buried beneath piles of paperwork waste time. Disorganization also creates stress, especially when it causes workers to miss deadlines. You could also find yourself buying things you already have, wasting gas, wasting time, and wasting more money as you travel to stores and fill up more space with things you don’t need, adding more clutter to your life. For example, a lot of people think they need a bigger house, but what they really need is to eliminate clutter from their homes and get organized. Believe it or not, 80 percent of the stuff we keep, we never use.
MN: Give us four signs that reveal we’re disorganized?
JT: The signs are:
1) You miss deadlines
2) Bills are paid late simply because you misplaced them
3) You buy additional household products ( i.e. batteries) needlessly because you can’t find the ones you already have
4) You end up with two or more of the same personal items (i.e. the same black shoes, white blouse) because you don’t see the fashion wear in your disorganized closet
- Book Your Airfare Early. We suggest booking at least six to eight weeks in advance. Airlines are aware of the holiday demand and at most times their prices will reflect that.
- Travel on Non-Peak Days. Travel at least three to four days before the holiday with a return flight at least two to three days after. This can bank you at least $80 to $100 in a lower fare.
- Avoid Returning on a Sunday. Avoid traveling on the Sunday after a holiday. This is when flights are the most booked and the pricing will be much higher. Returning on a weekday will save you more money on your fare.
- Sign Up for Airfare Alerts. Some airlines will have 24-to-48-hour flash sales. Be made aware of these discounts by signing up for alerts such as, FareWatcher Plus by Travelocity. It’s a FREE service that watches your destinations of choice (up to 10), and notifies you of price changes, special offers, and more.
- Book Your Ticket Online. Some airlines charge a service fee if you book with their customer service personnel. If possible, book your airfare online to avoid this surcharge.
- Sit In the Middle Seat. Did you know that for some airlines a window or aisle seat is considered a premium seat? This can result in an additional $5 to $50 on your fare.
- Check for Carry-On Fees. Starting this year, some airlines will now start charging for carry-on baggage. Count up the cost for baggage fees. At times it may be to your best interest to ship your luggage in advance to your destination to avoid these higher prices. Fedex has a luggage service that may be worth your while.
- Avoid Seat Reservations. Most airlines charge a fee if you reserve your seat early. This can be an up-charge of an additional $10 or more. Save more money by allowing the airlines to determine where you sit.
- Weigh Your Luggage. Be sure your luggage falls between the airlines weight guidelines. This guideline is usually between 40 to 50 pounds. If luggage weighs more than allowed this can cost you an additional $50 or more.
- Avoid Third-Party Booking. Most airlines charge extra if you booked through a third-party and needed to make changes to your reservations. Also, most third-party sites charge a service fee for booking with them.
- Sleep on Your Neighbors Shoulder. Just kidding. However, if you need to unwind and get some rest while flying, be sure not to ask for a pillow or blanket if you don’t mind paying for it. Hard to believe isn’t it? Yes, many airlines now charge for this amenity.
- Shop Resale or Consignment. Why pay regular price for a costume if your child is going to only wear it once? Most resale shops have discounted costumes that look like new. Some will even allow you to trade lasts years costume for credit towards your current costume’s purchase.
- Shop Craigslist. You can place a detailed search for costumes by the minimum price you are willing to pay. We would suggest you search their “Free” section first. You may get lucky and get to keep your money in your pocket!
- Purchase Your Candy Last Minute. Many stores are gearing up to display Thanksgiving and Christmas items around this time. Typically, if you wait one to two days before; sometimes the day of Halloween, you can score candy for up to 50 percent off.
- Stick to Fun-Size. The larger the candy, the higher the price. In most cases, the bite-size is all a child needs to satisfy his/her sweet tooth and excitement.
- Party with Your Community. Most communities have free-to-low-cost festivities that you can take part in at your town hall, churches, or local schools.
- Buy for Next Year. Shop for your kids’ costume the day after Halloween. You’ll be sure to score next year’s get-up for up to 75 percent off in most cases.
Do your back-to-school shopping during your state’s “tax holiday.” Not every state has one, but if yours does, or you live within traveling distance to a state with a tax break, it might be worth it to make the trek. (As long as you don’t spend more money on gas getting there.) Among the states with a tax holiday are Florida, New York, and Maryland. No matter where you are in the country, you can also follow these money-saving back-to-school tips. Maybe there’s a trip to the outlets in your future?
And, just an FYI, some states also have tax breaks on things other than back-to-school items.
Use a credit card with a good warranty program. We depend on so many gadgets. And if one of them breaks, it’s costly to replace. CardHub.com has analyzed the pros and cons of the different cards to find the ones with the best programs. Amex and Discover topped the list.
Get health insurance. Planned Parenthood has pulled together an infographic that outlines the benefits for women of the Affordable Care Act. Did you know that half of women put off doctor visits because of the cost? And more than two-thirds of women pay more out-of-pocket expenses than men? Since the law was passed this year, 45 million women have been promised no co-pays for preventative care. And nearly five million women will get tax credits to help pay for insurance.
Save on energy costs. Using energy efficient light bulbs, making sure your air conditioner is in good working order and unplugging appliances that use power even when they’re off. These are just a few of the ways you can save on your energy bill.
Follow these tips and spend less at Target. Because you know you can’t walk out of there on a normal day without spending at least $100. Put the markdown schedule in your calendar!
Become a freegan. The freegan movement has been on the rise for the past few years, but it’s hitting the mainstream these days via Project Runway. One of this season’s designers, Fabio Costa, is a proud freegan. So what is a freegan? A person who cuts down on consumption, environmental impact and cost by dumpster diving, participating in swaps, scouring Craigslist’s free section, squatting and foraging. Learn more on this Freegan website.
Prepare for a move to Niagra Falls. Starting this fall, Niagra Falls, NY will try to attract young professionals with $3,942 (up to $6,984 over two years) for to help pay student loan debt. Recipients have to live in the downtown area and should be in the clear with landlords, mortgage brokers and student loan administrators. Funding for this program will last for two years and subsidize 20 recipients. Who doesn’t want a view of the Falls?
Everyone knows that saving money is important, but it is also equally clear that finding the money to save can be a challenge. The more you save, the more your money grows and the better your financial situation will be, so it is important to overcome the difficulty of finding extra cash and to jump head-first into saving. Here are some tips to help increase the amount you put away.
Doesn’t it seem scary that your personal information and your money are just floating around out there in cyber space? Locked away simply by a few letters and numbers in a password? It should seem scary! Luckily, if you avoid these too-common mistakes, you should be safe.
Laziness, ignorance or force of habit: the three main reasons we spend money on things we don’t have to. Stop throwing money away this year. Here’s how: