Split raises in halfEach and every job raise should be split -- half you keep and half is put into a monthly retirement vehicle. It is a foolproof way to retire early.
Track spendingTracking spending (even for 30 days) allows you to know exactly what you spend.
Have you ever gone to the ATM and two days later asked yourself, "I know I got $60 on Tuesday -- where did it go?"
You may remember some of it, but you will not remember all of it. Tracking spending takes out the guesswork and puts you firmly in control of your finances.
From there, it's easy to determine what you can cut or, better yet, what you can save.
-- Jude Gilford
Spend less by budgetingWe found that if we keep track of our spending on a month-to-month basis, we spend less.
We are also good at paying ourselves first through auto-pay on the paycheck that goes into savings and 401(k) accounts.
We also are good at putting our loose change in the change jar so that maybe we can take that trip someday.
Save by using creditMy husband and I do not carry any significant amounts of cash -- have approximately $20 to $40 maximum in each wallet.
All purchases -- food, gasoline and nominal retail purchases -- are on the card. All credit purchases are paid up completely every billing. Savings are twofold: 30-day float and no credit card interest ever for the past 30 years or more. Our motto is, if we pay any interest charges, they must be tax-deductible!
-- Kathleen McHugh
Take advantage of rewardsI charge all food, gas and household bills such as electricity, car loan and house insurance.
I pay the card off each month. I am left with reward points to turn into cash, restaurant certificates, gift cards at various stores and so on. I actually make $40 to $70 a month by doing this.
-- Diann Williams
Save with couponsUse coupons at the grocery store and put that money in a piggy bank. It's amazing how much it adds up.
Years ago the stores gave you cash back for coupons you used, but now it's just deducted from the balance you owe at the store and your receipt shows how much you saved. But you haven't really saved if you aren't actively saving that money -- you are just spending less.
Start saving by taking the amount of cash out of your wallet and putting it away.
-- Lisa Anderson