Thursday, October 13, 2011

Make Money Work For You -- Rethink, Reduce Expenses and Save

Watch Your Money Like a Hawk. This is a Red Shouldered Hawk we photographed in our back yard in Texas today.

Learn to save money the same way you spend it -- with pleasure. If you can learn to appreciate money in the bank as much as you enjoy material objects, you can save money with a new attitude.

What money? Many of us are struggling to pay the bills, but it is a rare individual who doesn’t spend a little money on eating out, purchasing items you think you need but really can do without, or buying new when you could buy used items. Frugal doesn’t have to be a necessity; you can be frugal with lots of money on hand. Frugal is a way of living, and many people with money live modestly. Enjoy what you have and appreciate it without the constant thought of what life would be like if you had more.

Studies have shown that materialism does not make a happy marriage, reports ABC news and a survey published by Brigham Young University. Lower relationship satisfaction and less stability in a marriage are tied to a desire for money or material objects.

Rethink your needs. You need automobile insurance. Check to see if you can get a better rate. Consider increasing the deductible if you have comprehensive and collision. Consider dropping the comprehensive and collision if you have no lien on your vehicle. Comprehensive and collision cover only your car and only if you are at fault. If your car is older, your insurer uses Kelley Blue Book ( or figures for payment. If you park under a large tree with dead limbs or have another high-risk issue, you may decide you need to keep comprehensive and collision.

You need homeowner’s or renter’s insurance in case of vandalism, theft or fire. You can increase the deductible on this insurance as well. Your objective is to have coverage for a major loss. Reporting small claims only increases the premium cost of homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.

Save a little money here and there. Establish a savings account that is for windfalls. If you receive a refund or any unexpected income such as overtime pay, add to your windfall savings account. Have another savings account for bills you pay once a year, such as life insurance or homeowner’s insurance. Add one-tenth of the amount you need to this account every month. If you need $1,000 for life insurance, $1,000 for homeowner’s insurance and $1,000 for property taxes, add $100 each month to this savings account for each. That’s $300 a month for the immediate future. This keeps the money out of your checking account, and you’ll be glad to have it at tax time or when insurance is due.

Buy with profit considerations. When you make purchases, consider resale value. When you are purchasing kitchen plastics, you can guess they will be worthless as used products at a garage sale in just a couple of years. Buy items on sale that will increase in value or improve your life. Intangibles such as education at a state university or certification in a specialized field meet that goal. Clothing does not. Gold or silver may increase in value if you purchase it at a bargain price. If you need a book, consider an autographed copy. Autographed copies often increase in value, even in the author’s lifetime, and nearly always upon death of the author. Save flyers, advertising or photographs of the signing to show that the autograph is genuine.

Take little steps to make a better future for yourself. You can't wait until the economy improves, your kids are grown, you no longer have a car payment or whatever excuse you have. Today is the day.

See you soon with more help with the economy. You can do better for yourself, but it takes some work on your part.