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clip 9 Money Saving Tips to Ramp up your Savings
May 17, 2018, 08:14:59 PM by Isaac Adeniran

9 Money Saving Tips to Ramp up your Savings

1. Find a “Go-To” Gift

Coming up with awesome & cheap gift ideas is always a challenge for my wife and I. We either forget to buy something ahead of time or we struggle to find a decent gift that we can afford. I highly recommend coming up a couple of “go-to” gifts that won’t break the bank, but will impress the one receiving it.

2. Understand the Healthcare System

This money saving tip comes from one of my new favorite bloggers, RogueMD.


RogueMD“Once you understand why a system penalizes certain behaviors, you can make the system work for you.  The US healthcare system isn’t designed to help you improve your health.  Once you understand how and why it penalizes you, you can use it to make yourself healthier and more financially prosperous.”

The Financial Folly of the U.S. Healthcare System

3. Cheap / Free Exercise

You don’t have to have an expensive gym membership to get and stay in shape. All it takes is discipline and a willingness to think outside of the box. Spend some time outdoors, go on walks, get a bike, or start a frisbee group.

If you have the space, look on Craigslist and see what it would take to set up a home gym of your own. Warning though, the home gym fanatics I know never hit the point where they have all that they need.

4. Cheap / Free Entertainment

Entertainment doesn’t have to be expensive, but it might take some creativity to come up with ideas to do it for cheap or free. And you may have to convince others to join you.

Here are 2 articles with some ideas to get you going:
clip 11 Ways to Save Money on Education
May 17, 2018, 08:12:00 PM by Isaac Adeniran
11 Ways to Save Money on Education

1. Borrowing / Renting Books

Next to tuition, buying textbooks every semester is usually the biggest education specific expense. There are plenty of ways to save money on book expenses and the only cost to you is convenience. This alone can save you hundreds a year.

    Check out books from your school’s library
    Buy used from older students
    Rent from Chegg.com and save up to 90% on textbook costs

What’s awesome about Chegg is that you can also sell back the textbooks you already own!

2. Kindle Books

Another way to save money on books is by buying books for Kindle. These are usually WAY cheaper than buying the exact same book in hard copy. The only up-front cost is the kindle itself, but you’ll after just one semester you’ll have saved more than the kindle cost.

3. School Scholarships

You might be amazed at just how few of your classmates actually take the time to apply for scholarships at your school. Nearly every school (public, private, undergraduate, graduate, etc.) offer merit-based and need-based scholarships.

How to Get Scholarships in 3 Steps

4. Outside Scholarships

If you’re like me, you probably get emails every week from some spammy scholarship website. Those emails might be annoying, but there are millions of dollars in scholarship money available if you are willing to put in the time to apply.

The hardest part in getting money from outside scholarships is finding the ones you qualify for and have the best shot at getting.

Pro-Tip: Email your financial aid or scholarship office and ask if they have a list of outside scholarships they recommend.

5. “Good Student Discount” for Car Insurance

Most car insurance providers offer a “good student” discount, so if you’ve got the grades, typically an A or B average, then log in to your insurance provider, click over to discounts, and check the box.
clip 8 Tips to Save Money on Transportation
May 17, 2018, 08:09:53 PM by Isaac Adeniran

8 Tips  to Save Money on Transportation

1. Become a One-Car Family

This might be on the more extreme side, but only having one car can be a huge money saver! Think about all the costs that add up and imagine your budget without them.

Dave, Married with Money
Dave, Married with Money“When you’re in the ‘trimming’ phase, scrutinize your expenses until it hurts. We went down to one car over a year and a half ago. We thought it’d be painful – and at times it’s inconvenient – but it’s surprisingly easier to manage than we’d thought. In addition to not having to fork over money for the car, we also save a ton of insurance, maintenance, and gas. It’s crazy what you think you need but can get by without.”
2. Buying Cars: Don’t Budget Around Your Monthly Payment

If you do go out to buy a used car, then you want to be prepared to negotiate. One of the killer tactics that car salesmen use is to distract you from the total price tag by turning your attention to the monthly payment.

Stick to your budget and don’t let the salesmen distract you with the monthly payment. A $10 increase in your monthly payment over a 5 year loan will end up costing you nearly a thousand bucks.

4. Slow Down Your Driving

Driving fast 1) costs money and 2) rarely gets you anywhere quicker. As soon as you cross 50 MPH, every additional 5 MPH will basically cost you an extra 18 cents per gallon.
126. Clean or Change Out Your Car’s Air Filter

Changing out your air filter will help your car system to run more efficiently. Saving you money in gas and repairs over time.
clip 7 Powerful Ways to Save Money on Banking & Investing
May 17, 2018, 08:06:15 PM by Isaac Adeniran

7 Powerful Ways to Save Money on Banking & Investing

1. Put Money Earmarked for Major Spending into a High-Interest Savings Account

If you’ve got any large sum of money set aside for tuition, or a future down payment, then you should absolutely get that money working for you. Most people put this money into general checking or savings accounts that are only earning a measly .01% interest rate.

That means for every $1,000 you have in savings, the bank will pay you 10 cents a year. Sad right?

This is why you need Ally bank. Ally is fully online bank that will pay you an annual interest rate of 1.25%, earning you $12.50 on the $1,000 you have saved for tuition. That is 125 times as much as most major banks.

Sure, an extra twelve bucks may not seem like much, but the more money you have saved up, the more money you’ll be earning yourself.

Ally Savings

How does your bank line up against Ally?

Tip: This is also why your emergency fund should be set up with Ally! If you’ve got 3 months of living expenses saved up earning next to nothing, you need to be getting the best return possible.

2. Bank Account Hacking

One strategy to make the most of your emergency fund or other cash balances is to move bank accounts to take advantage of sign-up bonuses. This is a more advanced strategy, but it can be lucrative. Banks offer sign-up bonuses all the time to get you to open accounts with them.

Their assumption is that you’ll keep your accounts forever and they’ll make their money back over time.

If you want to take your emergency fund to the next level, start #bankaccounthacking to earn sign-up bonuses. They usually range anywhere from $100-300.

The master on this is Doctor of Credit. One of our 2018 goals is to take advantage of the free money that banks are willing to give you.

Here are the go-to resources to help you master this:

    A Beginner’s Guide to Bank Account Bonuses
    Best Bank Account Bonuses
clip 22 Awesome Ways to Save Money on Shopping
May 17, 2018, 08:05:06 PM by Isaac Adeniran
Awesome Ways to Save Money on Shopping

1. Negotiate Your Bills

A great way to save a few extra bucks every month is to negotiate all of your current bills. It may surprise you, but nearly every bill you pay can be lowered.

Mike, Ninja Budgeter
Mike, Ninja Budgeter“You might be surprised how much money you can save just by asking your service providers for a better deal. The cost of home, life and car insurance, cell phone, cable, internet and most other services can often be reduced with just a phone call. Rather than asking for a better deal, I like to inform them that their package no longer fits within my budget and I’m going to need something for less than (insert target price here). Many people don’t think to ask but I have successfully reduced many of my bills this way.”

2. Things You Should Never Pay Full Price For

Look into Insurance Savings

Every year or so you need to audit your insurance costs. It is easy for these to slowly rise over time, especially for vehicle and home insurance.

To lock in some savings on insurance follow these steps:

        Check your current rates
        Shop around at other companies to see their best offer
        Call your current provider and ask them to price-match.

Just remember, you’re talking to a real live person on the other end. Be nice. Be courteous. And if they are able to give you a deal, be thankful. If they can’t, just know that the customer service rep isn’t the one setting the policies.

This whole process only takes about 20 minutes and can save you money for at least the next year. This ranks high on my return on effort scale.

3. Credit Card Rewards

If you want to make the most of the money you are already spending, then you absolutely need to check out credit card rewards. You’ve probably heard of this before, but credit card companies will pay you major rewards that can be redeemed for travel or cash back.

The real secret to earning credit card rewards is to find cards that offer massive bonuses when you hit a minimum spend. 

There are millions of guides out there to earn credit card rewards, but if you want to sift through the noise and promotion, check out the exact guides that got me started. (Chase Gauntlet Part 1, Part 2).

4. Amazon Subscribe and Save

An easy way to save a few bucks is to utilize Amazon’s subscribe and save feature. Think of all the things you find yourself running out of each month… laundry soap, dog food, toilet paper, etc.

Find the product on amazon and set it up to be delivered each month. This won’t make you rich, but this one money saving tip will put a few extra bucks in your wallet.
clip 9 Ways to Increase Your Income
May 17, 2018, 08:04:02 PM by Isaac Adeniran

9 Ways to Increase Your Income (when you can’t cut any more)

At some point you can only cut costs so much–boosting your income might be the answer to making ends meet month to month.

Michelle Schroeder Gardner, Making Sense of Cents

Michelle Schroeder Gardner“My top tip to save more money would be to find ways to make extra money. And, everyone has extra time to make money too. The average person watches over 30 hours of TV a week and if you can just claim back half of those hours, you will be able to make a good amount of extra money.

This extra money can help you to pay off your debt earlier, save more money for retirement, go on your next vacation, and more. Plus, whether you have just one free hour each day or if you are willing to work 40 to 50 hours a week on top of your full-time job, there are many options for you when it comes to the different ways to earn extra money.”

1. Ask for a Raise

The easiest path to wealth for most people is to work hard at a normal job, save 40-60% of their salary, and invest it over time, letting compound gains do the heavy lifting.

If you want to increase your ability to save money, then you have two options to speed this up:

    Cut more expenses
    Increase your income

If you were able to get a one-time $5,000 raise & save it each year, your lifetime savings would be nearly $500,000 higher with annual returns of 7%. If you want to know how, check out this incredible resource by Ramit Sethi: The Ultimate Guide to Getting a Raise & Boosting Your Salary. I used his advice and was able to negotiate a starting salary 10% above what was initially offered.

2. Surveys / Swagbucks

Swagbucks is essentially a rewards program where you can earn points, gift cards, and cash by watching videos, taking surveys, and doing the things you already do every day online.

It sounds scammy, but to date, Swagbucks has already paid out over $243,157,016 in cash and free gift cards.

If you use my referral you can get a free $5 to get started.
clip 20 Ways To Save Money on Housing Expenses
May 17, 2018, 07:53:14 PM by Isaac Adeniran

19. Effective Ways to Save Money On Housing Expenses

1. House Hacking
Want to live for free?

Enter house hacking.

Chad, Coach Carson

Chad Carson“My favorite way to save BIG money is something called House Hacking. Housing expenses, whether rent or mortgage payments, are among the biggest personal expenses we have. House Hacking is a way to reduce or even eliminate your housing payment. You do this by renting out part of the home you live in. This could be spare bedrooms rented out on Airbnb, a basement or garage apartment rental at your house, or living in a small multi-family building and renting spare units.

The beauty of this approach is that you benefit from owner occupant financing, which often has lower down payments and great interest rates and terms. And if you live in the house hack for a few years and decide to move, you can then keep it as a rental long-term that will have a better chance of cash flowing.”

2. Pay Your Mortgage Off Early
Putting extra money into your principal each month will save huge amounts of interest over time and help you build up equity much quicker. You’ll want to weigh the options of investing versus making extra mortgage payments.

3. Live Somewhere Cheaper
Everyone knows that living expenses account for the majority of people’s spending. If you can find a way to earn a high salary in a lower cost of living area, you’ll find that your ability to save will dramatically increase.

Freedom is Groovy

Freedom is Groovy“The greatest cost saving move Mrs. Groovy and I ever made was leaving high cost New York for low cost North Carolina. By leveraging geoarbitrage, we went from barely saving any money, to saving more than 50% of our gross household income.  To say we’re huge fans of geoarbitrage would be an understatement. However, realizing many people are not in a position to relocate, I’m also a proponent of what I call spatial arbitrage – that is, going smaller with your living space. If you’re tied to your current zip code, moving from a larger house or apartment to a smaller one can make a big difference in your expenses. And this can be achieved with just a little creative thinking.”

Geoarbitrage and Financial Independence

4. Cut Cable or Find an Alternate
Stop paying $125 a month for cable. Being frugal isn’t always easy, but at the end of the day it comes down to opportunity costs. Cutting cable is by far one of the most effective ways to save money.

Take the $125 you’re saving, put it in an index fund earning 7% and after 30 years you’ll have an extra $150,000 sitting in your bank account.

If you think cable is absolutely necessary then check out either of these step by step guides to watch TV for cheap.

Adam Hagerman’s 17+ Cable TV Alternatives–How to Save Money and Enjoy Life

Married with Money’s We Cut the Cord (Kind of)

Rob,  Mustard Seed Money
Rob mustard seed money“One of the best ways to save money is to cut down on the amount of time that you spend watching television. By reducing your TV time, you’ll reduce your electric bill. You could also lower your cable bill by reducing or dropping certain TV subscriptions. You would also spend less time watching commercials, which send you messages to spend frivolously at times. With the free time you gain by not watching TV, you could exercise and make more money.”

5. Republic Wireless
Want to stop paying $60 a month for your phone bill? Make the switch to Republic Wireless and start saving today. You can get a plan for as low as $20 a month.

Note: My wife and I have not done this yet as we are locked into a contract with AT&T!

6. Buy in Bulk
There’s no doubt that buying in bulk can save you money. But don’t rush out to go drop $500 at your nearest Costco. Take some time to figure out what items you buy regularly that have significant cost savings in bulk. You also have to consider how much space you have to store items.
clip 14 Budget Tips That Will Save You Money Every Month
May 17, 2018, 07:43:12 PM by Isaac Adeniran

14 Budget Tips That Will Save You Money Every Month

1. Make a Budget

If you’ve never taken the time to put together a budget, then please. For your sake. Make a budget. If you don’t have a set budget, then you likely have no earthly idea how much you are actually overspending each month.

2. Track Your Budget
I bet this seems obvious, but this step is truly where the magic happens. This is where the difference is made between those who crush their debt by paying it off way ahead of schedule and those who spend half of their life paying off student loans.

Once you have a budget made, you actually have to track it. Your budget won’t be perfect the first time you put it together. You will forget things like vehicle registrations, wedding gifts, drivers license renewal, oil changes, replacing your phone, or getting sick.

There are great programs and apps that can let you do this for free or cheap.

3. Mint / YNAB
Please do yourself a favor. Sign up for a budgeting program or software like Mint or You Need a Budget. Sign up, link your bank accounts, create a budget, and then do an expense review at the end of each month.

Both of the programs are great and have cult-like followings. We use the free version of Mint and absolutely love it. YNAB is a paid app, but is free for the first year if you verify that you are a student.

If you hate modern technology and want to make your life harder than it needs to be, print off your bank statements and do all of this manually.

At the end of the day, the best choice for you is whichever one will help you stick to and follow your budget.

Nick True, Mapped Out Money
Follow Nick on Youtube

Nick True“The best way to save money is to know where your money is coming from and where it’s going. You can’t save money you don’t have, and you won’t have it if you’re not tracking it. Tracking your money is the foundation of building a solid financial future, period. Personally, I use YNAB to track all of my expenses and budget every single dollar. If you’re serious about saving money, but you’re not tracking it, then you’re not serious.”

Ultimate YNAB Review and How To Start: Best Budgeting App

4. Avoid Gimmicky Saving Apps

Saving apps like Acorns can be a great way for budgeting rookies or major spenders to save money, but if you want to really accelerate your ability to save, you need to make a plan and stick to it.

I love what one of one of my blogging idols, Jeff has to say about these…

Jeff Proctor, DollarSprout
Like their Facebook page!

Jeff Proctor Dollar Sprout“Instead of relying on “rounding up” apps to help you save, set actual goals. Putting money away 50 cents at a time isn’t going to make a meaningful dent in your savings (especially once you factor in the fees of many savings apps).

Instead, set weekly or monthly savings goals and automate the process. Many banks let you set up automations to transfer from checking to savings on a set schedule.”

The team at DollarSprout recently put together an incredible article with 19 Legitimate Ways to Earn Extra Money From Home. If you’re trying to make money online then you definitely need to check them out.

5. Monthly Allowance
The key here is to set a monthly limit on your guilt-free spending while keeping every other area of your budget in line. Save money everywhere and then spend money on the things that matter most to you.

6. Debt-Paydown Strategy
If you’re loaded down with debt, then you need to come up with a strategy to pay it off.

If you’re loaded down with different kinds of debt then check out this awesome guide, How To Get Out Of Debt On Your Own. The best debt payoff strategy is ultimately the one that you will stick with.

7. Have an Emergency Fund
Sometimes life decides to punch you in the face. Emergency funds help shoulder the blow. If you are trying to avoid taking on student loans, then the last thing you want to do is take on more debt. The amount you keep set aside is up to you.

The riskier your situation, the bigger of an emergency fund I would have. Dependent on one income? Living on a razor thin budget just to get by? Have kids? Those are all reasons to increase your safety net.

If you have an emergency fund, make sure to read tip #116 to find out the best place to keep your money!
clip 23 EASY Ways to Save Money on Groceries
May 17, 2018, 07:27:44 PM by Isaac Adeniran

23 EASY Ways to Save Money on Groceries

1. Eat Healthy
Most people automatically assume that eating healthy means a higher grocery bill. Sadly, they are mostly right if you only count the up-front costs. However, a poor diet will cost you much more down the road.

Amy, Life Zemplified

Amy, Life Zemplified“Like money, our health is only as valuable as we make it. A diet full of junk food costs you well beyond the initial purchase since the foods you eat can have a dramatic impact on how you look and feel (your mood, energy levels, skin, hair, etc.), as well as how you age. An unhealthy diet, even for people at a healthy weight, is associated with significant health risks which can cause serious illness and even death. On top of that, it typically takes more calorie-dense junk food to fill you up versus eating more nutrient-dense foods, so you end up eating more calories and spending more money.

By taking steps towards a healthy lifelong diet, full of nutrient-dense foods versus calorie-dense foods, you’ll not only save money but also set yourself up for an active, strong, and healthy life for years to come.”

2. Meal Prepping

There’s no doubt that meal prepping is one of the most effective ways to make cut your spending by thousands of dollars every year. Stop paying $10 every day for lunch and start cooking your own meals.

Learning how to meal prep by checking out our Ultimate Meal Prep Guide to Save you Time and Money.

Penny, ShePicksUpPennies

ShePicksUpPennies“Frugal living gets a bum reputation when it comes to meal planning. While it’s certainly true that I love oatmeal, my husband and I eat meals that are full of variety and only spend about $200 a month on groceries. We also eat pretty healthfully. The trick was switching over slowly and being more strategic about where we shop.”

3. Ibotta

Ibotta is an app that can save you money on all of your grocery spending! Check out the list of offers they’ve got and see how you can start saving money today. My wife and I just started using them and we’re excited to report back soon on what our experience is like!

Sign up here and get a free $10 to start!

4. Cutting Out Alcohol

It’s not a bad thing to enjoy a drink from time to time, but if you are in crunch mode trying to save money then this should be one of the first places you cut.

5. Buy In-Season Produce

There’s no doubt that a diet rich with fresh fruit and vegetables can cost a bit more, but it doesn’t have to. When food is in season, there is simply more supply of it available and it costs less to keep fresh throughout the year.

Jen, Budget Epicurean

BudgetEpicurean“Most grocery stores will greatly discount whatever produce is in season, because they have a lot of it and it needs to sell before it goes bad. Pay attention to what is in season, and maybe try a new fruit or vegetable you’ve never had that’s on sale. You may have found a cheap new favorite!”

How to: Save money on your grocery bill 

6. Make Your Own Coffee

As a student it can be tempting to hit up coffee shops to fuel those long study sessions. Trust me, we’re on the same page. Coffee shops are where I get some of my best work done and at times the extra few bucks is worth the change of environment.

That being said, it is a total waste of money. If you are in debt payoff or prevention mode then don’t pay $4-5 for overpriced coffee when you can make your own for about 15 cents a cup.

Personal note: I’m a huge fan of cold brew since it is less acidic and typically has more caffeine. I started making my own at home using this cold brew maker and it has been a huge money saver for me. Every batch I make saves me $15-20.

7. Don’t Throw Away Food

The average American throws away over $640 worth of food every single year. The easiest way to do this is to plan out your meals ahead of time and only buy what you need.
clip 17 Habits & Mindsets That Will Help You Save Money
May 17, 2018, 06:58:14 PM by Isaac Adeniran

17 Habits & Mindsets That Will Help You Save Money (and live a better life)

 1. Adopt a Long-Term Perspective Everyone wants to get rich quick, make a lot of money tomorrow, and be financially independent in a year. If you want to save money, build wealth, and live a generous life it takes time to get there. The key is to remember that every choice and step you take today will help you tomorrow.

2. Avoid Lifestyle Inflation
Avoiding lifestyle inflation is one of the cornerstone mindset shifts of those who are on the fast track to wealth.
Adam Fortuna, Minafi
Adam, Minafi
“After pouring through data from thousands of people, one thing is clear: the more money you make the more you spend. By avoiding lifestyle inflation year over year, you can increase your savings rate and retire earlier. The key to avoiding the lifestyle inflation trap for me was to track my spending in every category over time. By looking at this, it becomes crystal clear when I’m spending more than I intended – giving me an opportunity to adjust my spending before it goes off track.”
3. Visual Reminders of Your Debt Payoff When  you are paying off debt, one of the best ways to stay motivated is to create visual reminders of your debt payoff progress. When everything is done online, sometimes keeping a physical reminder can make it feel more “real”.

4. Calculate Purchases by Hours Worked Instead of Cost One of the most powerful mindset shifts in the early retirement blog community is seeing purchases not only in terms of dollars paid, but also by how many hours you worked to be able to make that purchase.
5. Keep Compound Interest in Mind Everyone knows how big of an impact compound interest is when it comes to building wealth! The secret to saving for retirement is to get as much money as possible invested as early as possible.
Land of Milk and Money
 Like her page!
Milk and Money
“So what’s the best way to get your head in the saving game? I recommend always keeping the magic of compound interest in mind. Sure, you could spend that money today. Alternatively, you could invest it, then sit back and watch its value climb.Suddenly, the decision on whether to spend or save just became a lot easier!”
The One Principle That Will Guarantee Your Financial Future.
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