Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Penny for a Thought About Savings...

Some Tips for Saving...
by Hassan Nicholas

  1. Use a clothes line, save a whole dime! Hang your clothes to dry in the morning before you leave for work. By next morning your clothes will be fresh and dry. Plus, they'll last longer.
  2. Keep your change from all your cash purchases in a container, preferably a large see-through jar, so you can visibly see your savings increase. Every quarter (every three months) empty the savings into a savings account, like from an online bank to receive potentially higher interest, and let it accumulate. Once you have enough you can transfer those savings to a CD. This is also a good method to use if you're interested in investing. You can consider your "penny jar" savings as "play money" to use for opening up an online brokering account. BUT WAIT, when we say change we mean bills. Why not pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters? Well, unfortunately, what started out as a great way to save has turned into another opportunity for banks and coin machines (Coin Star) to charge a fee for your change. If you can get a 100% face value of your savings what's the point? While not every bank charges to accept your bag of coins, some do or at least require that you roll them yourself. Coin Star on the surface looks great because it easily converts your coins into dollars. However, a closer look at the fees and you might decide there's better ways to convert your savings into cash. Besides, saving $1 bills can accelerate your savings faster. Banks don't charge to accept anything $1 or more. So, save $1 bills instead of change. If you prefer to save change, you'd be better off using your change for stamps, parking meters, etc OR find a bank or credit union that will do it for free.
  3. Designate a day or two out of the week where you and your family must do whatever it takes to cut down on spending. Whether it be using only coupons to buy groceries, taking advantage of free services, or doing some activity that requires little or no money.

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