It’s past time that we began thinking about investing in our future. Everyday that we live we have another opportunity to work, save, and invest. In order for us to live well, retire well, and die debt-free we have to stop spending more and start saving more.
If you’re thinking that you don’t have extra money to invest in your future, it’s time to think on the bright side and save creatively. Frankly, you want to invest your money so that overtime it will grow tremendously because of compounding interest which will accumulate and quadruple the value of your original investment overtime.
10 ways can you creatively find money to invest?1 Invest coupon savings!
Regardless of whether you clip or use store rewards cards to maximize your savings when you shop, at the bottom of your receipt you’ll find a statement that tells you how much you saved at the checkout counter. Instead of ignoring that amount, save and invest it so those savings can start working for you.2 Take your lunch to work.
Be healthy, know what you’re eating and take your lunch to work. This can save you hundreds of dollars each week. Not only because taking your lunch is less costly than buying out, but also because you’re usually more likely to take food that is healthier than eating out.3 Reduce your cellphone plan and only pay for the features you use.
The last phone with all of the bells and whistles may not be right for your skill set. If you don’t use features other than the phone, text, and internet, you don’t need the latest smart phone either. Often, with the latest models you are paying for more than just for these 3 features i.e. cameras, voice activation, larger screens, larger hard drives etc. Basically, know what you need your device and only pay for those features.4 Stop paying for cable.
Many shows can be watched online, so the need for cable is becoming less important. If you really want to maximize your savings, instead of spending time watching TV, use that time to make money by contracting your skills out to others for a reasonable fee.5 Drive a fully paid used car.
New cars cost thousands of dollars. Instead of paying monthly for a car that depreciates the moment it is driven off the lot, buy a used car in full. Of course, make sure the car is in great condition, has great gas mileage, and is very reliable. When looking for a used car, always research the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the car to read all of the car’s history. You don’t have to drive the latest car with the most state of the art features. But you should make sure that the car has anti-lock breaks and other safety features that will reduce your car insurance.6 Take advantage of car insurance discounts.
Did you know that your car insurance company may not tell you that you are eligible for extra discounts? You have to be proactive and make sure the discounts available for you are applied to your account. Some discounts include: safe driving discount, passive restraint discount (i.e. air bags), economy car discount, electric vehicle discount, etc. My post: Finance Friday – Find Extra Money by saving on Car Insurance can tell you more.7 Take advantage of home insurance discounts.
If you have a mortgage on your home, many companies will require you to have home owners insurance. If your home owners insurance is also with the same company that gives you car insurance you could potentially save hundreds each year, leaving more money in your pocket that you could be investing.8 Stop buying new clothes.
If your weight doesn’t fluctuate and you haven’t out grown anything, don’t buy new clothes. I often use Pinterest to help me come up with new ideas for how I can take my old wardrobe to new levels by switching up classic pieces. Use your previous clothing allowance to build your financial portfolio.9 Stop paying ATM fees.
I cannot remember when I last used an ATM machine. It may have been about 9 years ago. Frankly, even though the fees may be as low as $1.50 over time, the money adds up and I wouldn’t willing drop that money in the street so I’m not willing to just squander it either. If you need cash, when you go to the grocery or another retail store, there is often an opportunity for you to get cash back at the register, this usually doesn’t have any more costs associated with the transaction.10 Lastly, Don’t pay overdraft fees or credit card interest.
Remember, you want to use your money at your own discretion. If this is the case, monitor your money, online or via the telephone. Make sure you always have enough money in your account to cover your expenses and withdrawals. While the days of needing to physically balance our checkbooks may be behind us because people rarely use checks, you still need to keep a tally of what money is going out and coming in because overdraft fees can cause charges upon charges that will wipe out your account quickly. Many banks also offer overdraft protection. If it’s free sign-up for it, even if you don’t think you will need to use it. You never know what emergency could take place.
Secondly, never be forced to pay credit card interest. Remember, using a credit card is a temporary loan that you are borrowing from the bank associated with that card. It’s just a loan, not a gift, not a pool of money, and definitely not an unlimited amount of money at your disposal. If you do not have the cash on hand to pay off the full balance, think twice and try not to make the purchase on your credit card. ALWAYS pay your credit card balance in full.
Where should you invest these extra funds? I think putting the money towards your retirement is a good idea. If your company matches your 401k or 403b then take advantage of the free money. Also consider a Roth IRA; especially if you’re self-employed. Basically, this information is just a buzz in your ear to get you think about your money differently. Spend less and save more, please talk to a certified financial advisor to find which investments make the best decision for your particular financial portfolio.