10 Tough Ways to Boost Your Bottom Line

What small tips and tricks have you found that made a difference in your personal finance life? What great article did you just read? Found a great blog?

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partgypsy
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tips

Postby partgypsy » Tue Sep 30, 2008 12:12 pm

Thanks Sandi K. I am glad I am doing these things, especially now. I guess I feel discouraged because I felt I was doing well living within our means and even paying off stuff this past year, However for past couple months seemed to have hit a brick wall and just can't make any progress to pay off the last 2K that we owe (Heloc). I was really hoping to be debt free by the end of this year but with hitting a bunch of involuntary (and voluntary) expenses (including an expensive but long awaited vacation) I will have to be philosophical and hope it all evens out over the year. One of my big goals after paying off the last of the debt was to up my contributions to retirement. Somehow that doesn't feel as urgent as it used to : )

sandi_k
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Postby sandi_k » Tue Sep 30, 2008 12:36 pm

Partygypsy:

I'll bet if you listed all the debt you have paid off, AND all the money you have saved this year, you'd feel a little better.

I agree it can be a long process, but progress (especially with the economy getting so scary!) is a Great Thing.

For me, I find that it helps to extrapolate - so, if next year I pay off the same amount of debt as this year, where will I be? Debt free? And if so, if I add that debt payment to my retirement and savings, where will I be this time in 2010? 2015?

Taking a longer-term viewpoint can be really helpful.

For us, we already have a substantial emergency fund and retirement savings. We'll have the last of the CCd debt completely paid off in 4 months. Then we'll set up DH for monthly savings on what we had been paying against debt. By the end of 2009, we could easily have another $30K in cash - which I'd love to use to buy lakefront property at our favorite lake.

Now *that's* a goal. What's yours?

Sandi

partgypsy
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Postby partgypsy » Tue Sep 30, 2008 4:23 pm

I have been pretty focused on paying off debts (heloc for new windows (12,400 in July 2007) and car payment (6K or so). In a year we did manage to pay off about 17k (rest of car payment and 10K of heloc).

My goal after paying off heloc (we don't have cc or any other debt) is to spend 1 year saving up a larger emergency fund (only have 2500 in there now). This may be hard. It seems easier to pay off debt than to save!
The second year plan is to up retirement a small amount (2%?), contribute each month for each child's education (75-100 per kid) and the rest in a fund for home improvements. There are many things we would still love to do with our house (including a master bedroom and studio in attic). But the way things are now it will take a LONG time to save up the money for it. However if we were putting money towards that every month that would make me feel better because we (however slowly) were working towards that goal.

We don't have a specific fund for irregular expenses (everything from birthdays to contact lenses to minor emergencies) thus the reason our payback has stalled right now.

I know, way too much information, but this is the place to do it, right?

Chibioki
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Postby Chibioki » Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:59 am

I think the only tip i would use is the buy 1 donate 3 [although for me i would do buy 1 donate 2]. i think it will motivate me to be very careful about my purchases and to get rid of some of my clutter win-win.

mulewagon
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Re: trying

Postby mulewagon » Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:39 am

partgypsy wrote:Sigh. What if you are doing most of these things and still are not saving as they said 50% of income? Time to make shredded wheat out of cardboard?


I guess if a person sold their house and got one half the size and then put the monthly difference in savings; and sold their extra cars and put those monthly expenses in savings; and stopped eating at expensive restaurants every week and buying expensive Christmas gifts and put that money in savings, that they could end up saving 50% of their income.

They'd have to be spending a lot extra to begin with, and plan ahead of making the changes.
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sherrytx
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a bit annoying actually

Postby sherrytx » Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:03 am

I am not really a fan of articles like this that are over the top knee jerk reactions that are supposed to appear one size fit all, when in reality they apply to a very small percentage of people.
Sure you will save loads giving up a car, cell phones, "gadgets", but what about quality of life? Instead of listing out these extreme approaches, I prefer to read ideas that are focused more on being frugal based on your values, etc.

This article is just some cookie cutter piece - it doesn't offer any new or creative ideas. It is almost like they went online and google money saving ideas and picked the most extreme. I am surprised dumpster diving wasn't listed....
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Daedala
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Re: trying

Postby Daedala » Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:49 am

mulewagon wrote:I guess if a person sold their house and got one half the size and then put the monthly difference in savings; and sold their extra cars and put those monthly expenses in savings; and stopped eating at expensive restaurants every week and buying expensive Christmas gifts and put that money in savings, that they could end up saving 50% of their income.

They'd have to be spending a lot extra to begin with, and plan ahead of making the changes.


Or if you change jobs to one that pays a lot more, without much upgrading your standard of living. That's what I did. I will probably save at least 50%, this year, barring emergencies. It's not impossible. It may only apply to some situations, but it can happen.

Some of those suggestions I can't (or won't) do. You will pry my iPhone from my cold, dead hand, for one thing. Lists like this help people know of things that are possible. It's not a judgment if you can't do them, though.

mulewagon
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Re: a bit annoying actually

Postby mulewagon » Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:32 am

sherrytx wrote:It is almost like they went online and google money saving ideas and picked the most extreme. I am surprised dumpster diving wasn't listed....


Dumpster diving extreme? As long as you follow the advice in Art and Science of Dumpster Diving, it's perfectly safe. I think throwing out all that usable stuff is extreme.

People are so dainty about germs these days! After getting my eggs straight out of a chicken's butt, and gutting and plucking chickens to get meat, I find the idea of just pulling packaged food out of a dumpster extremely appealing. :lol:
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yoonoo
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Postby yoonoo » Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:12 pm

Thanks for sharing this article :)

Brenda
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Re: a bit annoying actually

Postby Brenda » Tue May 05, 2009 7:12 am

mulewagon wrote:
sherrytx wrote:It is almost like they went online and google money saving ideas and picked the most extreme. I am surprised dumpster diving wasn't listed....


Dumpster diving extreme? As long as you follow the advice in Art and Science of Dumpster Diving, it's perfectly safe. I think throwing out all that usable stuff is extreme.

People are so dainty about germs these days! After getting my eggs straight out of a chicken's butt, and gutting and plucking chickens to get meat, I find the idea of just pulling packaged food out of a dumpster extremely appealing. :lol:


Dumpster Diving is a GREAT way to get certain items, such as furniture. Especially around apartment complexes... people who are moving out will often put unwanted furniture by the dumpster. I scored a perfectly good full-size wooden-frame Futon this way. It was free, and I used it as a sofa for about two years. When I moved, I couldn't take it with me (no space in the new place), so I left it out by the dumpster for someone else to have (it was still in wonderful shape). I've also scored bookcases and shelves this way too. :)

As for the article.. some of the methods are a bit draconian. Like others pointed out, one size doesn't always fit all. Right now, I live in a rural area with little public transportation, so getting rid of my vehicle is definitely out. And as someone else pointed out, it's nearly impossible to save 50% of your income when you're only making 15,000k a year (well, unless you're living rent-free and bill-free with parents or a significant other).
But still, an interesting article to read, and definitely something to think about.

ronzzkee
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Postby ronzzkee » Mon May 18, 2009 10:59 am

Daedala wrote:
denboo wrote:Anyone live in a rural area and get by without a vehicle? How?


I suspect that the idea is to move to where you can live without a car. They already suggest moving to a smaller home and such.

I'm dubious about "eliminating gadgets." If you already have it, the cost is sunk. Not having my own computer would be fatal for my work; not having a cell phone would make it difficult to live without a car. They're not just "conveniences."

I think that some of these are mutually exclusive: Especially, starting your own business (for many types of businesses individuals can start while working full-time) without a computer will be difficult these days.


yeah i think your right, thanks for the nice opinion..




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goldentraders
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Postby goldentraders » Tue May 26, 2009 1:53 am

I think in general, The saving tips in the article is much possible for most Asian people...

*Downsize your house.
*Save 50%+ of your income.
*Eliminate your gadgets.
*Eliminate your car.
*Only buy used.
*Buy one, donate three.
*Make Christmas a no-spend holiday.
*Don't eat out.
*Don't pay for entertainment.
*Start your own business.

And I agree with the saving tips but of course,It's easy to say but it won't be possible for US people...
Technology changes all the time and people are craving for it, a discipline is not enough to save money... I'd rather use the term "SACRIFICE" instead...
"Bad Things Happen, Only When Good People Do Nothing..."


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