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Save Money on Transportation Costs

save on transportation

Unless home is in a major metropolitan area with great public transport, you probably need a car. I have no problem with vehicle ownership. There are two of them sitting in my garage right now, but it’s amazing to think that Americans spend over $9,000 a year on transportation costs. The good news is that you don’t have to spend that much to get from point A to point B. There is a simple way to save money on transportation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report recently outlining how Americans spend money. The typical consumer unit (defined as either families, single persons living alone or sharing a household with others but who are financially independent, or two or more persons living together who share expenses) takes home an average of $53,485 per year, and we spend almost all of it. Cars Are Our Biggest Expense After Housing Obviously, the biggest expense category was housing. In addition to mortgage or rent, water and electricity bills, insurance, furniture, and property taxes are lumped in to this category. Americans spend $17,798 a year or $1,483 per month on housing. That certainly  doesn’t seem like most of us are spending lavishly to have ...

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What’s the Best Way to Save for a New Car?

best savings accounts

Although we just got a new to us car earlier this year, our other vehicle is ten years old with over 150,000 miles. Unfortunately, it won’t run forever. It’s time to start planning our next vehicle purchase. What’s the best way to save for a new car? Buying Used Saves Thousands Actually, it won’t be a brand new car. We learned the hard way that factory fresh cars are usually a waste of money. I know there are many people who believe in buying new and driving the car for many years, but we think it’s smarter to buy vehicles that are a few years old with low miles. We bought Jim’s Toyota Tacoma back in 2006 when it was a year old with about 10,000 miles. It saved about $4,000 and was practically new. The truck still runs fine, and we hope to have at least two or three, maybe more years until we have to get something else. Just in case it’s sooner rather than later, we need to make plans. Taking on a Car Payment Mathematically speaking, with a low interest loan, having a car payment isn’t a bad idea. If we invest the chunk of change ...

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Hidden Budget Killers and How to Fix Them

how to control overspending and fees

Most of us are not perfect when it comes to money. It’s inevitable that financial hiccups will happen to even the most meticulous planners, but what about when money is really tight and there doesn’t seem to be room to save any more? It could be that you are spending out of habit and don’t even realize there are opportunities for improvement. Here are some hidden budget killers and how to fix them. Eating Out Eating out should be a special treat and not the normal way you sustain nourishment. I have a friend who is in dire straits about her financial situation and the amount of debt her family is carrying, yet, she buys lunch out almost every work day. What’s wrong with this picture? Don’t fool yourself into thinking it saves money by eating off the value menu or ordering the happy hour special. Bite for bite, eating out is always more expensive that cooking at home. Even if the amount of dollars is the same for a large home cooked meal vs a restaurant dinner, the home cooked meal usually provides several days of leftovers while take out container food will be soggy and smelly by the ...

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New and Exciting Tools To Help With Budgeting and Saving Money

Weekend at Canyonlands National Park

It’s been a crazy week and I’m really glad it’s Friday. Our latest rental property project is all done and we already have a tenant. All that is holding us back is the final inspection. Somehow the city doesn’t seem to realize that another day of delay means less dollars in my pocket, but what can you do? Since I’m not making any extra rental money today, maybe I can save a bit with some new and exciting tools to help with budgeting and saving money. Personal Capital Now Has Budgeting   I have been using Personal Capital for over a year now, and I really like their interface that gives me the ability to check all my accounts at once. I used Mint in the past, and like it as well, but Personal Capital is much, much better for tracking investments because it gives a terrific breakdown of account balances, portfolio allocations, and fees being charged. One big complaint about Personal Capital was that it didn’t offer a budgeting tool. Of course, you can do one on your own or use another website, but who wants to log in to a million different places? Well, Personal Capital got the ...

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4 Ways to Put Your Budget Back on Track

steps to save your budget

This post is from Joseph Hogue at Peer Finance 101. Enjoy! After publishing my own personal financial nightmare on my blog a while back, I’ve gotten feedback from readers relating my story to their own problems keeping a realistic budget. In almost all the comments, I’ve noticed four common reasons people are as bad at budgeting as they are with New Year’s resolutions. My own story is a financial roller coaster. After graduating college, I landed my first job as a financial reporting analyst at a large reinsurance firm. I worked my tail off at another part-time job and saved every penny. But a couple of times a year, I would get so burned out on working and saving that I would go on a spending binge that would set me back almost to zero.  I was working hard and had some financial sense, why couldn’t I keep my budget? It was only through a friend’s help that I realized where I was going wrong and it is through feedback on the post that I realized how common some of my mistakes were. While readers have written in about more than just the ideas below, four reasons seem to keep ...

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