12/28/2012 6:30 PM ET|
Save big bucks, one month at a time
Contribute to an individual retirement account . This tip won't stretch your dollars now, because contributions to a Roth IRA aren't tax deductible. You'll be glad you did it, though, because the money comes out tax-free in retirement. You can contribute up to $5,500 in 2013 ($6,500 if you're 50 or over). Your ability to contribute begins to phase out at $178,000 in incomefor married couples or $112,000 for singles. If you make too much to contribute to a Roth directly, however, you can use the "back door" by contributing to a traditional IRA then convert it to a Roth, since income limits on conversions have been erased. You may owe taxes on the conversion, and those could be substantial if you have a lot of other money in regular IRAs, so check with a tax professional first.
Cut your TV/Internet/phone bills. Communications providers are like bad lovers. They make all kinds of promises, then stick you with big bills. These companies are also jealous of the competition, and you can use that to your advantage. Look for ads or offers from competitors and ask your current providers to match them. Chances are good you'll be offered some kind of discount to stay; play hard to get and the offer may get even better. Or you can just switch and enjoy cheaper service for a while. Just make sure to note on your calendar when the "teaser" offers end, so you can start another round of negotiations.
Create your holiday budget. Gifts, decorations, entertaining, fancy clothes and holiday travel can add up fast. Get a handle on the season early by sketching out a budget that includes each of these categories. Break down your gift list by recipient, and decide how much you'll spend on each. Keep this list with you to remind you of your plan.
Reuse, repurpose, recycle (and regift?). December is focused on getting presents -- yet many of us are already drowning in stuff. Millions of people rent storage lockers to store their excess. Maybe it's time to take a breather. Rather than buying new, ask yourself if you can borrow it, find it used, repurpose something you already have or simply do without.
Liz Weston is the Web's most-read personal-finance writer. She is the author of several books, most recently "The 10 Commandments of Money: Survive and Thrive in the New Economy" (find it on Bing). Weston's award-winning columns appear every Monday and Thursday, exclusively on MSN Money. Join the conversation and send in your financial questions on Liz Weston's Facebook fan page.
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One of the best pieces of philosophy I ever read goes as follows: "The best way to handle the future is to be efficient in the now." You have to constantly be present to efficiency when it comes to economics (this doesn't apply to lovemaking). Another good piece of philosophy: "There are no immortality schemes." In other words you are not going to avoid death no matter how much debt you get into or how many material things you have or aspire to have. Finally, "Accept what comes to you woven in the pattern of your destiny for what else can more aptly fulfill your needs." One more, "Want what you have instead of having what you want." Just one more: Gibrand: "The difference between the richest man in the world and the poorest man in the world is an hour of thirst and a day of hunger."
This isn't meant to be interpreted as sit back and do nothing. One aspect of these philosophies is to develop a genuine appreciation for what is available to all of us. Read Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now and Tony Bennett's, Life is a Gift."
Please don't forget the idea about making an extra payment each year on your mortgage. You know most of us could get some stuff out of the attic and basement and sell it and then put it towards this payment!
It will save you quite a lot of money in the long run and it is guaranteed to work. If you don't have a mortgage put it for retirement, it will still be guaranteed!
Most of the retailers and Manufacturers are charging 100's of percentage in profits by having the stuff made in China so it is best to wait as the prices will go way down like sugar did when it was boycotted back decades ago.
It's time to send a message since the wages are being pused downwards by CEO's here in America. Hell even the CEO's of American Manufacturers are pushing to destroy good wage jobs which os the primary people who use the products that are produced by that greddy CEO!
It simply shows just how stupid those people truly are. They are trying to get rid of their customers and eventually they will be out of a job but of course with a golden parachute reward for their clear stupidity! Time to wake up and smell the coffee.
Get rid of the greed and watch the economy grow! The only Company that gets it is COSTCO and they are a very successful Company for that matter!!!! Hang on until they get desperate for your dollar then get a real big bang for your buck!
If your really having money woes try this, sell all things that are of value & replace with cheaper faux
items !! I did this with Jewelry / Dishes/ paintings/ furniture/ made 4,000 dollars & replaced it all for
250 dollars paid off most of my c cards sleep better & don't miss the fluff !!
I have been using FFL lights for several years now. They still cost more than incandescents, but they have come down in price. I dropped my power bill by a good $40 a month.
Why wait for each month for the savings, I would do all of them in Jan.
The companies 401K option alone would save you at least an additional $250 of company match. Starting savings now means you don't have to save as much later in the year. Start saving earlier only makes since, and ususally dollars, in your pocket.
Seriously, young people struggling to stay afloat, and especially people with kids, need to talk to a parent or grandparent who went through the great depression. Those people were forced to be frugal and even when things got relatively better, they still stayed frugal for the next financial drop. A great rule is if you buy it pay cash (if you need it). Put the plastic away. Educate yourself 12 months a year on good financial discipline, not 1 a month. Don't replace things that are still working, resist fads. The very best thing you can give your children is your time. A trip to the park or playground or a walk in the woods etc. is far more memorable than having them sit on a couch playing with electronic toys.
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