Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 12/29/2012 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
THIRTEEN might not be the luckiest of numbers, but 2013 could be a pretty good year to get on a better financial footing -- if you're not fussy.
Now 2013 is the year I will finally use a 1991 calendar. While cleaning, I found a Laura Ashley desk calendar that was too pretty to use back then. The days of the week for 1991 match up with 2013. See www.whencanireusethiscalendar.com.
Now, 13 other tips for '13:
No. 1: Use what you've got.
It is possible to make dinner out of what's at home at least one day a week. Need a use for small bottles of shampoo in the closet? My husband made a game out of regularly tapping into our stockpile. We got about three months of shampoo free.
No. 2: Cancel a service.
"I cancelled cable in 2002," said Gabriella Barthlow, a certified credit counsellor and owner of the Alpha Advisory Group. She's saved thousands of dollars. She waits until a TV series is on DVD at her library.
No. 3: Drag your feet until January when it comes to donations.
Tax rates could go up in 2013. So a charitable contribution could be a more valuable deduction if you send the check next year instead of by Dec. 31.
No. 4: Watch ATM fees.
If you're out of town and not near your bank, it may be possible to avoid ATM fees by using your debit card at a nearby supermarket. Buy items that you can use -- and get $50 cash back or more.
If instead you go to an ATM that's not part of your bank, you'd typically pay your bank a fee of $1.57 and pay the ATM owner another $2.50 on average, according to Bankrate.com.
No. 5: Bank one more buck.
Charge one dollar every single time you break a New Year's resolution. Make sure everyone in the house makes one promise -- not to yell at the TV during a Detroit Lions game, not to forget to put away the laundry. Put that money toward a goal.
No. 6: Go to your kids and ask them how to save money.
"If the family is struggling economically, the kids know that in the household," said Gregory Downing, a former auto dealer and author of Entrepreneur Unleashed: Wealth to Stand the Test of Time.
Children can be part of the solution, he said, noting teens need to work as well, even if only doing odd jobs for pay.
Back in the summer, my 14-year-old son told me to stop buying him T-shirts and hoodies. I had gotten into a bad habit of frequently picking up something cool and cheap. Nice, but he had too much. It's been an easy way to save $5 or $10 here and there.
No. 7: Think "just in time."
Buying in bulk can save money, like freezing butter bought on sale during the holidays.
But "avoid overstocking your refrigerator and pantry," said Tomika Snodgrass, a vice-president for RBS Citizens in Southfield. The mom of two buys only items for her weekly plan.
No. 8: Don't clip coupons.
This anti-coupon tip sounds counterintuitive because so much marketing works against it these days, said Laura Lee, author of Broke is Beautiful: Living and Loving the Cash-Strapped Life.
Shoppers who peruse bargain circulars, sign up for emails from stores, join Facebook groups and so on are constantly bombarded with deals. "Buying stuff involves spending money, not saving it," Lee said.
If you clip coupons, prioritize based on your budget.
No. 9: Switch up your morning drink.
If you usually buy a pricey coffee, opt for a less expensive tea. Reuse that fancy tea bag one or two more times, too.
No. 10: Play make-believe.
If you could pretend to be a cowboy when you were a kid, why can't you imagine that one day you'll be able to retire? If you can believe it, you can save.
No. 11: Create one "no-spend-zone."
One Saturday each month, don't spend any money. No fair pulling out plastic.
No. 12: Save sentimental cash.
Examine the serial number on each $5 bill. Then, save bills that start with a special letter, like your first initial, said Samirian Hill, president of BudgetWise Financial Solutions in Southfield.
No. 13: Go offshore.
No, not really offshore. But why not bank far from home? If you choose a financial institution that is a hike to get to, it could be difficult to empty that account, said Dorothy Barrick, financial counsellor and group manager for GreenPath Debt Solutions, a national non-profit credit counsellor.
Of course, just pulling out a debit card from that bank would defeat the purpose.
The odd thought here: Don't just work for your money; work hard to avoid spending it, too.
-- USA Today
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 29, 2012 B10
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
The top 10 songs and albums on the iTunes Store
Officials in Los Angeles suburb to eye NFL stadium proposal
More money needed for infrastructure: finance minister
The top 10 books on Apple's iBooks-US
Japan logs 1st trade surplus in nearly 3 years on cheap oil
Woman gets 3-7-years for shooting over bacon-less burger
NY aims to cut waste by 90 per cent by 2030
B.C. says federal budget recognizes its needs
Lawsuit: Aid program paid claims State Farm wrongly rejected
New stock exchange aims for fairer trading
Prosecutors: Suspects busted for stealing barrels of bourbon
Housing market healthy despite listings influx, experts say
Perrigo takes 3Q loss, says it won't take Mylan's $29B bid
Mac & cheese colour to be all real
Residents near Duke ash dumps told not to drink well water
No criminal charges in blaze that killed Boston firefighters
Nova Scotia sees mixed bag in budget
Oklahoma geology group links earthquakes to oil waste wells
Federal transit funding 'crumbs': Ontario
House backs bill to boost energy efficiency
New Brunswick concerned by federal budget
Quotes about the federal budget
NATO to hold major cyber defence drill in Estonia
Olympic athlete pushes for pot gold
Newspaper lawsuit against Palin stalled over confidentiality
Police cite Megabus driver for speeding in Indiana crash
Lawmakers stand by New York Senate leader amid federal probe
Most actively traded companies on the TSX
Yahoo's 1Q disappoints, but stock rises on Yahoo Japan hopes
Amgen tops Street 1Q forecasts
Chipotle: Carnitas shortage to persist for months
Amgen tops estimates with 51 per cent spike in 1Q profit
Tories barely balance election budget 2015
How the Dow Jones industrial average fared Tuesday
Perrigo rejects $29B offer from generic drugmaker Mylan
Sales at Taco Bell, KFC help Yum top 1Q profit forecast
Yahoo misses Street 1Q forecasts
Discover 1Q profit drops but beats Wall Street estimate
Budget targets big thinkers, small business