Saving for a rainy day

A number of things can be done to save money for a rainy day.  First, you must assess what services and which things you actually need.   Then look over which services are redundant.  From there, certain lifestyle changes can actually create big savings.  Unless you have some special reason why you must have a big brand item, avoid the most expensive brands.  Also avoid buying products when everyone else is buying, as businesses increase prices during peak demand.  And when you do spend money, make sure a certain amount of it is spent on things that will be useful tools for you in the future.  Dealing with your debts as soon as possible is a form of savings.

In terms of redundant services, an obvious one is telecommunications.  If you already have some sort of high speed internet service and a cellphone, do you really need a landline?  Considering you pay flat rate for internet services, and considering flat rate plans for cellphone calls, texts, and even data are available.  Eliminating your landline saves money.

Another redundant service is often postage.  While some things have to be mailed, many payments can be done electronically.  You save money and trees by making instant electronic payments, as well as saving trips to the post office.  Important documents can often be sent and received by e-mail.  So where possible, use electronic options and avoid postage.

Other things involve lifestyle changes.  If you live within a city or a town, you can often walk places, as opposed to driving or taking public transportation.  If walking is an option, its better to walk to save money.  Also its not only good for you health, you never know who you’ll meet while walking.

Another thing is brands.  The most expensive brands sometimes just charge more for the brand.  Unless its a justifiable increase in quality, go for the cheaper brand.  When you go to the grocery store or drug store, notice that store brands are often the same quality as name brands, only the name brands cost a lot more.  So buy the store brands.  When you go to clothing stores, the no name brands are often made in the same place as the expensive brands.  If they are of the same quality, by the no name brand.

Flying discount airlines like Southwest often give passengers big savings.  Aslo, all airlines, trains such as Amtrak, and hotels tend to be cheaper from Monday to Thursday.  You will save money if you don’t travel at points when everyone else is traveling, plus there won’t be as much crowding.  Check around.  Even suburban commuter railroads are cheaper if you don’t travel during peak hours or peak direction.

Lastly, make sure a certain amount of spending is on items that have long term usage.  Computers and smart phones can be used to conduct business, apply for jobs, pay bills, etc. In other words, they are investments.  A car is a long term investment as its used to take you to work, among other places.  A home is something you live in, so that’s an investment.

Paying or dealing with your debts asap is a form of savings.  Paying ones credit card bills before the grace payment eliminates interest.   Even if you have a credit card balance, paying it off as soon as possible reduces interest payments.  The same is true of auto loans or mortgages.  As for private debts that have been in default for several years, there is a certain grace period that the owner of that debt has to sue the debtor.  If said period has expired, then any new payment the debtor makes will restart that debt process.  Someone in this predicament is better off not corresponding with the owner of that debt.  Instead, the debtor should contact the credit bureaus, which erase privately owned debts that are 7 years old and still on a credit report.  Government debts are much harder to discharge, one must directly deal and appeal to the government agency that the debt is owed to and make whatever arrangements or deal possible.