Friday, January 13, 2012

Make Sure You Start the Year by Saving Money

Notice I haven't written any blog posts about New Year resolutions? Yea... maybe one of my resolutions should be to prepare things a little more in advance, so I would have had a reserve of blog posts already written up to post after I gave birth... but haha, that isn't one of my strong points- I'm a huge procrastinator, and I never ended up writing one of those posts...
Well, fortunately, I got contacted by a writer from comparethemarket.com - a price comparison site based in Uk- who offered to write a guest post on the topic of money saving resolutions for the New Year. Well, haha, now I am managing to fulfill the unwritten obligations of the blogosphere and have a post dedicated to New Years resolutions.

 In this new year of a continually volatile economy and high unemployment, most people's New Year's resolutions are economic than ever before. This is a good thing – if you continue to exercise good fiscal policy within your personal life for the entire year. The first thing that everyone must do is to "pay themselves first," or resolve to save money as if they were paying a bill.

Below are a few good ways in which you can start the year by saving money.

– Use price comparison sites online

You can actually use price comparison websites for expenses that you would think are not negotiable. For instance, you can compare property insurance online, car insurance companies, anything you can think of. Take your budget and weed out those expenses that you think are not negotiable under any circumstances, and look up a price comparison site for that item online. You might be pleasantly surprised at the wealth of options that the Internet gives you.

– Use the money that you save to save

When you save money off of a bill using the first step as mentioned here, or if you simply find some other way to save, you should consider this a payment to yourself and pay it to yourself. For instance, if you compare property insurance online, find a lower price, and then start paying a lower price, the different should go into a money market or savings account with a fixed interest rate. This way, you are sure to save money no matter what.

– Learn to invest

This does not necessarily mean learning to invest in the sense of an investment banker or a Wall Street type. Everyone can learn to invest in the short-term in their personal lives and save money while not giving up any of life's little luxuries. For instance, if you wanted to compare property insurance, you could very easily see that an upfront house payment could save you as much as 20% on property insurance. This is an investment. On the lower end of the spectrum, if you invest in a $500 coffeemaker once, you will save yourself $700 over the course of one year by not going out to the expensive coffee shops, and $1200 every year after that. This is the epitome of sound investment on a personal level, and will do much enhance your saving ability throughout the year.

– Compare at all times

One of the reasons that rich people stay rich is that they are always looking for the lowest price. There is no such thing as getting the lowest price and then just letting it sit, whether you have to compare car insurance or compare property insurance or compare the interest rate on any loan you might have. The business of loaning and the business of insurance especially, are incredibly competitive businesses, and there is always some kind of new deal to be had if you only look to switch. Financial advisors and personal economic experts actually recommend looking up comparisons on large expenditures every six months. This is where those price comparison site from the first tip come in. They should not be a one-time deal; they should be a longtime friend. Bookmark the pages on which you find the best deals and come back to them at least twice a year.

Did you make any frugality or health related New Years resolutions? What were they? Do you do any of the aforementioned tips to save money?

See my disclaimer.

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