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My Top $ Savings Tips

January 21st, 2019 at 04:34 pm

Well, if you want to know the most important tips I've practiced, here they are:

1. Living beneath my means, including the home I live in and the car I drive

2. Savings: a) Diligence in saving, b) making it automatic, eg, automatic payroll deductions and c) always maxing out both IRA and 401k contributions whenever possible.

3. Prepaying my mortgage right from the start, which cut my total payoff time nearly in half.

4 Tracking all my expenses every month, every year, for probably going on 20 years now, has been enormously revealing as far as identifying my spending patterns and really seeing where the money goes. It really becomes an ingrained habit after a while and is not as big a deal as some think.

5. If I could add one more tip that I did NOT truly practice but which I think is enormously important for anyone, it would be to always make a big effort to get the biggest raise you can get, and along the same vein, work very hard to maximize your salary when negotiating a new job offer. I think I could have done much better in this regard. Some lessons take a long time to learn. I often accepted what was offered to me without really trying to kick it up a notch. Often, after a period of unemployment, I was just relieved to get an offer, let alone push for more money. Just a few thousand more a year could really become significant when invested.

Those just starting their careers will no doubt really be helped by the new law that went into effect at the start of the year making it illegal for employers to ask prospective employees how much they made in the past. I can't remember now if this is a state or federal law, but women, especially, who tend to get underpaid, should really be helped by this.

Not a very exciting list, and probably not much different than what others have said, but to me, these are the most important things I've done over my lifetime to assure my financial well-being.

Now if you asked me what were some of the most creative or unusual money saving tips I've used, well, that would be an entirely different list.

2 Responses to “My Top $ Savings Tips”

  1. frugaltexan75 Says:

    Would love to hear the unusual tips. Smile
    In government work, the only way you get a raise is by the prescribed steps, having your position reclassified, or switching to an entirely different position. I'm working on those last two ...

  2. Dido Says:

    Agreed, you threw down the gauntlet--post another challenge and get it started!

    Totally agree with you on the importance of the income negotiation--but like you, I haven't practiced it--other than in December 2013, when my nearly 2-year stint at a corporation ended and I went out and got a seasonal tax job. I had half a dozen interviews and multiple offers, so I felt confident in negotiating for a higher wage with the job that I most wanted. Got it, but of course that job only lasted the 3 months of tax season.

    Confidence--or actually, being able to act confident--is so important in those endeavors. But more money in--and setting your benefits options for a decent level of retirement contributions, taking advantage of HSAs and/or FSAs--can be huge. Once you're settled at the job, it's much, much harder to negotiate an increase.

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