You Have More Money in Your Pocket Than You Think…
by Gabriel Nijmeh
Let me be the first person to say, “Why wasn’t I smarter
with my money?” I look back over the years in amazement at
how my money “innocently” slipped through my hands.
Ultimately, beyond those fleeting moments of gratification,
I can’t really say I have much to show for some of my
misspent money. I certainly don’t want to be a killjoy or
anything and I don’t advocate being a penny-pinching scrooge
that doesn’t enjoy life but there are small, yet significant
steps you can take to keep more money in your pocket.
Just off the top of my head I came up with these and you can
probably add a heck of a lot more to the list. Here we go:
Bank Service Charges:
We all know how our banks love to nickel and dime us. For
reasons such as not maintaining a $1000 monthly balance or
using another banks ATM machine. Whatever the reason these
small fees quickly add up over time. Pay attention to your
bank statements and review all bank documentation regarding
service fees. You are looking at savings of $4 to $15/month.
Visit your local library or subscribe to magazines that
offer professional/courtesy subscriptions. Tradepub.com
lists various free publications across a range of subjects.
Otherwise, carefully pick and choose the magazines you
really want to subscribe to and look out for introductory
Preachy, I know… but that’s a lot of money going up in
smoke (pun intended!). Not only is this good for your wallet
but for your health as well and if you are applying for life
insurance, your premiums will be lower because you are
classified as a lower risk individual. At $4 a pack and two
packs a week that’s $32/month.
Do you need all those bundled services (call waiting, call
answer, call forward). Pick only the services you absolutely
need otherwise save at least $5-10/month.
Books and CDs:
Why pay full price when you can get a “gently used” or
“previously enjoyed” copy of that best seller for a fraction
of the price. I have bought CDs from local used CD stores
that were almost brand new and saved $8-9 off the retail
price for each CD.
Always take advantage of rebate programs. It might be a
hassle to fill out the forms and send them off but your
savings will add up. Check out Rebateplace.com or
I’m guilty of this? I have to have my morning coffee (the
office coffee is not very good) but at least I’ve learned to
cut back on the muffins and donuts. At $3.00/day over the
course of a month you are looking at a potential saving $60.
I finally stopped being lazy and started preparing my own
lunch. Not only is it expensive but also fast food is not
entirely healthy either. If you save on average $5/day that
adds up to $100 for the month.
In my experience, Christmas merchandise is discounted 50% or
more a day or two before Christmas and following Christmas.
Also consider buying seasonal products (boots, winter/summer
clothing) as the seasons change. At times it might be
difficult to find your exact size or colour but luckily
that’s usually not the case. We’re talking savings of 40-60%
and sometimes even more.
Case in point, I bought a leather jacket from Eddie Bauer
last spring which was regularly priced at $498, and which
was reduced to $199 and then further reduced by 30% during
their annual spring sale. What made the deal even sweeter
was that I had a $75 gift certificate, which I earned
through MyPoints.com. Not a bad deal and one, which I’m
proud of because I don’t really have shoppers luck. As much
as I like a deal, I can never find exactly what I’m looking
for… maybe I’m too picky.
Something else I noticed where I live, gas prices are
usually at their lowest Thursday through Monday and by
Monday afternoon gas prices go up 5 – 8 cents per liter.
However, pay attention to price patterns and news in the gas
industry to have an understanding about where gas prices are
heading and how it might affect you.
Month end recap:
By the end of the month, depending on your lifestyle choices
and spending habits, you just might end up with an extra
$50, $100 or more that you thought you never had. You can do
it without depriving yourself and without a noticeable
difference in your day-to-day life.
It’s a balance between living for today and planning for the
future. It’s not always easy but it’s worth it!
Think of these little sacrifices as an investment, which
will reap you multiple rewards many times over.
Gabriel is the editor and Webmaster of The Money Advisor -http://www.the-money-advisor.com. He believes that everyoneis capable of controlling their financial destiny with theright combination of rich thinking and smart action. TheMoney Advisor, a knowledge network of people, articles,tips, e-books and ideas about making money, saving money andbuilding wealth!