Saving Money In 2012

Tue, Apr 3, 2012

Financial Advice

As we move further into 2012, hopefully you’ve squared away your taxes and have made a reasonable attempt at saving some money by using free tax software. Whether you’re looking to refinance your home with an adjustable rate mortgage or squirrel away money into a retirement savings account, 2012 doesn’t have to be a lost cause. You can save money by making prudent decisions:

Reduce traveling to a minimum.
If you buy airfare for the whole family it’s going to be obscenely expensive. And putting a thousand miles or more wear and tear on your car isn’t doing your future self any favors. Spring break and summer vacations are great times to travel but it may be better for your wallet to stay at home. or plan a nearby camping trip for some family bonding!

Don’t spend your tax rebate on lobster and champagne. The average tax refund last year was over three thousand dollars. Whether you received or are planning to receive that much this year, do the right thing and put that money into your savings account. It’s okay to use it on necessary expenditures like bills and rent, of course. But your tax rebate isn’t free money that you can just blow on lobster and champagne. This money you worked for–now make it work for you.

Don’t use a credit card to fund your shopping. If you won’t pay it off immediately, you’ll end up owing a lot more with interest so try using cash to lessen the hit. Your credit agency is lending you money. Don’t abuse that privilege .

If you’re in the mood for home improvement, retile the roof. Upgrading your home is a great way of ensuring that you will be able to sell it for its full market value. The home may have been devalued, but it is still one of your assets. Treat it well.

Start a fire, get some fans. In your living room fireplace, that is. And encourage your family to spend more time together in that room. Heating the entire house 24 hours a day for three months will earn you a monumental energy bill. Conversely, during the spring months you should invest in some fans. In the long run this will save you money compared to the cost of air conditioning. It’s not being cheap, it’s being practical—there’s a difference.

None of these actions are going to single-handedly allow you to fund your retirement. But wise financial planning spanned out over the course of decades, will. Saving a few thousand dollars a year adds up during that time, and put into a savings account will save thousands more with interest. If you’re worried about your family’s financial future, the holiday season is a teachable ‘moment’ for how to reign in excess spending and consider the bigger picture.

This Guest Post was written by Samantha Peters, a regular contributor on Paid Twice where she writes about topics relating to personal finance, ways to save money, and minimize debt.

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