budget

budget (Photo credit: Backdoor Survival)

No one wants to spend more money on anything than they have to, but without realizing it Americans all over are wasting money every day. Their intentions may be good, or they may not be thinking at all. Here are some tips to help you realize what does waste your money so you can stop wasting your money.

One thing that many people do not think about is that sticking with current providers for certain things can waste your money. Many people will stick with their current service providers for their cell phones, cable, or internet companies simply because it is easier. Others will stick with them because they think that if they do they will get discounts for loyalty. This is not always true. Search around look for the best deal that you can find. Why pay more than you have to.

Not unplugging electronics is a waste of money. This is something that many people simply do not think about. Many people think about turning them off, but not about unplugging them. It is true that turning them off will help keep you from wasting money, but unplugging them will help you keep from wasting even more. Even if the electronic device is off, if it is plugged in it is still using some electricity costing you money.

Paying ATM fees are a total waste of money. These can range anywhere from two dollars to three or four dollars. Think about how many times you get money out of an ATM. Know where all your bank’s locations are or where there are free ATMs. Do not pay for ATM fees unless you are desperate and do not have another choice. ATM fees add up to quite a bit over a year. Spend a month tracking how many times you use an ATM and think about if you paid a fee every time compared to getting your money for free every time.

Couponing is a great way to save money. However if you are couponing just for the sake of couponing then you are wasting money. If you are using a coupon on something you would not normally buy just because there is a coupon for it, then you are again wasting your money. Do not use coupons unless they are for something that you actually use and normally would buy. Otherwise the coupon is actually costing you money.

Saving money is something that almost everyone wants to do. If you are trying to save money do not forget to think about ways that you are wasting money. You have to watch out for anything that wastes your money because sometimes they are not very obvious, we simply let them slip past our money saving radar and then we waste money. Make sure you pay attention to anything and everything so you can stop wasting your money.

Emergency

Emergency (Photo credit: Tax Credits)

Not everyone thinks about what would happen financially if an emergency were to happen. Often most people end up in a financial emergency when another emergency happens. They do not have the money to take care of whatever they are going through. Ask yourself, are you prepared?

If you do not want to end up in a financial emergency when you are in another emergency there are things that you can do. You probably already have a retirement savings account and a general savings account, but you should open another savings account. This account will be your emergency fund.

You do not have to stress yourself out trying to make sure that you build your emergency fund as fast as you can. You really only need to add what you can to your emergency fund. You still have a budget to stick to, but this should be added to it.

Everyone will have their own amount that they will need as a minimum in their emergency fund. It will depend of various things such as if you are single or married, if you have children and if so how many, how many bills you have, and so on. You need to sit down and figure it all out. Generally experts say take that amount and have a minimum of six to 12 months worth of income that will cover that amount in your emergency fund. Of course it does not hurt anything to have more than you need in this account.

Always remember that this account is for emergencies only. Do not use it for any other reason. Do not rationalize something as an emergency in order to use this money. This money is to be used for real emergencies only, this is important. If you do ever take money out of this account, even if it is because of an emergency, you should replace it as fast as you can.

It is a good idea to sit down with a pen and paper and make a list of what you consider a real emergency. If you have a list of what you will allow yourself to use your emergency fund for, you will be less likely to try and use that money for other things. This is not money to use because you want to go out and are short on cash, or because you forgot to budget for a haircut. This is for true emergencies only so that is what should be on your list.

Having an emergency fund will help you make it through any emergency, without having to go through a financial emergency on top of it. This is something not many people have thought about, but is really important to have. It is one of those things where it is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it, so go set up an emergency fund today.