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How To Save Money On Just About Everything

Welcome to My Saving Place where you will find an abundance of tips, tricks and good advice on how to save money on just about everything.

Happy Savings,
The Saving Lady

How can Twitter, FaceBook and other social media save you money?

We all know how to communicate through social media like Twitter, FaceBook and other social media, but did you know that they can also help you save money?

You might think that just because you signed up for your favorite companys’ emails, you’ll get in on all their special offers. You’d be wrong. By “liking” them on FaceBook and following them on Twitter, you’ll find more deals that they don’t offer anywhere else, even in their emails.

Discover 9 more ways social media can save you a chunk of change from journalist, Paula Pant.

Save Money on Taxes by e-Filing

By now, many of you have already filed your income tax return. Most will file electronically, which is the IRS preferred method. The rest will labor through the paper forms that is becoming burdensome even for the IRS, or worse yet, pay a few hundred dollars to have someone do it for you. If you are one of the remaining few that still files the old paper forms, there are a few good reasons to switch to electronic filing.

First of all, e-filing saves you money. Chances are you are paying someone else to either file, i.e.  a CPA, or help you fill out the forms, i.e. a friend or relative. In that over 50 million taxpayers file a simple form 1040A or 1040EZ, there is no reason to shell out hundreds of dollars to have someone else do it for you. Filing online could easily cost you nothing.

Second, e-filing saves time. You need not take of time from work. This is something that can be done in the evening or on weekends in your pajamas.

Third, e-filing is much more accurate. By using free tax service software authorized by the IRS from TurboTax, H&R Block, TaxACT, etc., your chances of making a filing error, especially a misplaced digit in your social security number (the number one mistake), are significantly decreased if not erased all together.

Fourth, e-filing is the fastest way to get your refund. With a direct deposit into your bank account, you could have your refund in as little as 21 days compared to over eight weeks if you file paper forms.

2 Ways To Save Little By Little

For those who get paid twice a month, this won’t apply. For those who get paid every other week, however, this is a way to really sock away a chunk of change. Depending on what day of the week you get paid, there will usually be four months during the year that you will get a paycheck 3 times in the same month.  Since most of us base our budgets on a monthly income, this means that in those 4 months you will be flush with money. After all, if you made it through all the other months on only two paychecks, it stands to reason you can make it through the other four with the same amount. Stash the third paycheck away and at the end of the year you should have a fully funded emergency fund.

For those to whom this doesn’t apply, try this. If you still use checks to pay for groceries, sundries and the like, round up each purchase to the nearest $5 or $10. For example, if the total comes to $53.45, make the check out for $55 or $60. Take the change and, instead of putting it in your wallet, take it home and drop it in a cookie jar or whatever you are using to collect loose change. You probably won’t end up with thousands, but you’ll be amazed at just how much will accumulate in a year’s time. You can do the same with a debit card, except ask for $5.00 or $10.00 cash back. Take that money home and store it in a cookie jar, shoe box or a plastic bag and put it in the freezer. Whatever you do, don’t spend it. You’ll be surprised how much it will mount up to at the end of the year.

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays

Holiday Savings ‘Round the Web

The holiday shopping season is at last upon us. Another year and again we will fight the temptation to overspend. It doesn’t have to be that way. Take a time out, sit down and digest some of the better ways to save this year.

For those of you that still enjoy the hunt for gifts at bricks-and-mortar stores, be sure you take a very good look at the price tags. They hold more information than you might imagine.  Learn how price tag codes tell you when you’re getting the best buy.

Be smart and use your smart phone to help you snag great deals. With these smart phone apps, you could end up saving hundreds of dollars this holiday season.

Gift cards aren’t just little pieces of plastic that make convenient gifts. You can use gift cards to save money.

Thanksgiving and Christmas make up back-to-back feasts that can destroy anyone’s well-intentioned budget.  Check out these 8 ideas to save money on your Christmas dinner.

How To Beat The High Cost of Holiday Travel

During the next eight weeks, millions of Americans will be gearing up for holiday travel. Some will go by car; others will fight the throngs at the nation’s airports. No matter how you plan to travel, there is a wealth of ideas out ther to help you keep those travel costs at a minimum.

Travel by car is certainly cheaper for families that flying, but it can be more expensive than necessary and stressful as well. The Dallas Daily News offers several different ways to save money on a road trip.

For those of you travelling by air, Kiplinger — always finding ways to save money — offers 7 ways to cut the costs on tickets and baggage.

Whoever thought that social media could play a big part in travel savings? Well, Woman’s Day has 7 savvy ways to save on travel and using social media is only one of them.

8 Simple Ways To Save On Winter Heating Bills

Home in WinterJack Frost will soon be nipping at your heels if he isn’t already. Parts of the country have experienced the full effects of winter sooner than expected. With colder weather brings higher energy bills and the colder it gets, the higher the bills. Here are five ways to cut your energy costs this year and every year hereafter.

1.  Install low-flow aerators on you faucets. Hot water heaters are one of the biggest energy drainers. Low-flow aerators lets half the amount of water flow from faucets. Using less hot water means the hot water heater is not running as often, thus saving money. This fix is both simple and cheap.

2. Always wash full loads of dishes in your dishwasher. Many small loads is much more expensive than one large load. Again, you’re using less hot water, and your hot water heater is working as often.

3. Dial down the thermostat. This is a no brainer. The lower the temperature of your home, the less energy you use. As little as 2 degrees can make a significant difference in your energy bill. Dial it down 4 – 5 degrees when you’re away from home and when you’re sleeping. Try to keep it no higher than 70 degrees when you’re home. A programmable thermostat is one of the best investments you can make to do this without thinking. Turning the thermostat down on your water heater can also make a significant difference. Reducing the water temperature from 140 degrees to 120 degrees will save you money and you won’t even notice the difference.

4. Replace filters in your furnace as frequently as needed. Furnaces need to breathe. Dirty filters prevent proper air circulation causing your furnace to work harder using more energy.

5. Clean your air ducts. Dirty air ducts block air flow causing the furnace to work harder to push air through your home, again using more energy.

6. Close flu dampers on fireplaces. Open dampers will suck all the warm air out of your home.

7. Reverse the direction of ceiling fans. Ceiling fans have both a winter mode and a summer mode. Warm air rises. Winter mode turns the blades clockwise, directing the flow of warm air back into the room.

8. Open drapes and blinds on the south side of your home allowing the sun to come through windows helping to bring heat into the rooms.

These simple and inexpensive steps may not cut your energy costs in half this winter, but all tolled, they should add up to a few hundred dollars.

Is Food Waste Costing You Money?

Did you know that Americans waste approximately 25% of their food every year?  And Americans spend a lot of money on food. Depending on the size and age of your family, the USDA estimates that you could be spending over $1200 per month on food.  The average single man or woman can spend well over $350 per month on food. How do you feel about throwing 25% of that amount – $88 to $300 – into the garbage can every month?

We Americans like to eat out a lot as well to the average tune of $238 per month. If you’re leaving 25 % of your food on your plate at a restaurant, that’s an additional $60 per month you’re tossing into the garbage.

No matter how you look at it, that’s a lot of money, money that could be going towards your retirement savings or your rainy day fund or paying off credit card bills. One hundred dollars per month saved and compounded over a period of even 20 years at a modest interest rate of 5% would amount to over $40,000. Over 30 years it grows to nearly $84,000. That’s not chump change.

So how can we prevent this kind of waste? Check out 20 ways to reduce food waste. You might just find that your grocery bill has gone down, that you’re eating healthier, that you’re shedding pounds, that you save on your garbage bill and a lot more plusses that you never thought of just because you’re no longer wasting food.

Is ther a right way and a wrong way to save money?

Is there a right way or wrong way to save money? There certainly are mistakes to avoid.  Making these mistakes is obviously the wrong way to save. Adhering to them will set you up for the right way to save.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal seems like an unlikely place for an article on how to save money, and yet it perfectly outlines 10 major mistakes to avoid when trying to save.  Simple concepts like using a budget and setting goals are but two tools that, if avoided, will almost surely set your savings plan up for failure.  The article provides a blueprint to help you put your savings plan on the right course.