How do you save money? - FMVperformance.com : The site for all your Ford Mazda and Volvo needs
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post #1 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-21-2007, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
e^2
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How do you save money?

I want to start a discussion on what you all do to save money. Every one has a different method of doing this and I thought it would be beneficial for all of us to share. I’ll start with a few things I do to save money.
  • I take a percentage of my gross yearly income, before taxes and deductions, and divide it by 26 pay periods. I then take that and have it automatically transferred to a couple of saving accounts. For example, emergency fund and e^2's secret stash from the wife fund.

  • I use my companies dependent FSA, flexible spending account, to pay for some child expenses, which is taken out before taxes. Therefore, making my taxable income is lower.

  • I contribute to my company’s 401k, again making my taxable income lower.

  • I invest in my company’s ESPP, employee stock purchase plan, which is doing well these days.

  • I use my company’s employee benefits to purchase electronics. For example, I get discounts from Dell, IBM, HP, and Tiger Direct. I get the S-plan through Ford, which was deciding factor for purchasing my 3. I also get discounts from GM and Chevrolet.

  • I try to spend at least 10%-15% below my earnings, which is f'n hard to do.

Contributing to this post will only benefit all of us, so please add methods that truly work for you or has worked for others.

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post #2 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-21-2007, 03:15 PM
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Re: How do you save money?

I just replaced a bunch of incandescent bulbs with florescents in my house..in the lights that are used the most. We keep the heat turned down to 67, which works out great as we're both hot natured. Added better weather stripping to my front door...there was one spot where I could actually see daylight. I broke the habit of using hot water for EVERYTHING I do in the kitchen sink...dishes get rinsed in cold water if they're going in the dishwasher. I use the FSA for medical expenses, buy generic drugs whenever possible, contribue to 401K, and do most of my shopping at WalMart...except for Penzoil Platinum which I now get at Pep Boys. :-) I keep my tires aired up to 36psi, don't use climate control settings that make the compressor cycle (unless needed), and I keep the truck clean and free of any excess weight. I combine all my trips into one when possible since my city gas mileage sucks. There..how's that for tightwad living?
post #3 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-21-2007, 03:17 PM
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Re: How do you save money?

Well, I just don't spend money on anything :P

Just bought a house in July, so I'm waiting for the next pay raise to start the 401(k) up so the hit on my paycheck won't be as bad. I take my lunch to work almost everyday (you'd be amazed how much money this saves). I use my FSA for parking costs, but that's about it, no kids right now.

To be honest, I'm sure my company has discounts at certain places that I just need to look for to use, but haven't yet. It helps to be motivated to save FOR something, I find. Right now, I'm saving for a project car, before that, we were saving for new hardwood floors. I usually end up over saving and it sort of creates a snowball effect.

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post #4 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-21-2007, 04:04 PM
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Re: How do you save money?

Own a home...so that is a huge tax write off there. Heck between my mortgage intrest, state taxes, and property taxes my write off next year is going to be something like 20k+.

Just about all the bulbs in my house are compact flourescent bulbs. I have weather proofed the ever loving crap out of my house (caulking around windows, new weather stripping, plastic plugs in outlets that are not in use, outlet foam backing panels). I have a digital thermostat installed to drop the temp from my normal blamy 67F (which my wife bitches about) in the mornings and evenings when we are home (and weekends) to 64F at night while we are asleep and away at work. In the summer it is set for 78 when we are at home, 80 at night, and 82 while we are away.

My wife and I also don't go out much and do things 'expensive'. Most of the time we invite friends over and make dinner for everyone, have a drink or two and watch a movie, talk, or play board games with them. When we do go out we don't drink alcohol with dinner or we go on cheap dates like a walk around a local park or a hike somewhere. We both also contribute a lot to our retirement accounts. Me to my TSP (government equivelent to a 401k) and my wife to her 403b (sort of academias version of a 401k)...my wife contributes 20% of her salary and I contribute the max that the government matches (sadly only 5%).

When we drive anywhere together we take my car when we can...because the 3 gets much better milage then my wife's Forester (36mpg average to her car's 26mpg in the summer time). We also hand wash dish in either cold or luke warm water...though that is a bit more because our dishwasher is rather crappy and we don't trust it with our nice stoneware dishes we got for out wedding.

We also do lots of work on the house we just bought...and since we do all of it ourselves that saves A LOT of money. It also sort of generates future income as most of the work we have been doing on the house has been improving the equity a lot more then the dollar cost of the improvements.

Most of our vacations are out to visit my in-laws at their (effectively) beach house near Ocean City Maryland (it is actually on the St. Martin river right by the inlet to Ocean city, but it is on the river with a dock and about 4 miles from OC).



Of course some of this is to save money for long term stuff. Some of it is general why not things like the flourescent lighting (save the pocket book, save the environment, why not), and some of it is short term. Basically we aren't over extended financially...but it is a bit tight with just buying our house...so we have to watch out spending for the next few months. This summer means a promotion I am getting which will mean another $400-450 a month after taxes and next summer is another $275.20 a month once the 3 is paid off as well. That is quite a bit more in disposable income we will have to both save and to use for other things, like maybe more expensive date nights and vacations (and toys, gotta have the toys).
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post #5 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-21-2007, 04:07 PM
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Re: How do you save money?

10% of my yearly goes to 401k.
Just replaced all my windows with low-E. (Only ~8 years before I'll see all my investment back on that)
Give the rest of the money to my wife (she's the worrier, so I let her take care of the finances). She divies up an allowance into a seperate savings account along with any overtime I get.
She has her own "rainy day fund" which I don't touch. She leaves just enough in the main checking account to pay for my gas, food, and our bills.

For the most part, we're working hard to pay off the wedding and our pre-marriage debt. We're down to two cards with balances. Soon to be one card after our so-so tax return.

We're looking to add solar panels to the garage to help heat the water and/or cut down on electric useage.
I also rent out a room to my little sister.


Our taxes, after writing off the house and everything was only $2500. They had told us we'd be getting back around 10k, but they mis read the estimate. Red == Owe (bad) Green == Return (good). Don't let a color blind igit try to quote you an estimate on your taxes.

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post #6 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-21-2007, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
e^2
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Re: How do you save money?

Here are my saving goals for this year, not in the particular order listed.
  • Replace the window screens with solar screens on my house. Saves in cooling costs.

  • Purchase storm doors for the front and back doors. Saves in cooling and heating costs.

  • Plant some shade trees in my back yard, the back of my house faces west and that sun set is a killer on my cooling bill.

  • Start investing in index funds.

  • Start a couple of 529 college saving funds. I wouldn’t want get another mortgage to pay for the kids educations.

Changing to florescent bulbs is always good thing, I did that with a few of my mostly used lights. 67 degrees is too cold for us, we keep ours between 70 and 72 degrees in the winter and 76 to 78 in the summer. I need to replace the weather stripping to my front door to, I can see light at the bottom left corner. I wish I signed up for the medical FSA this year, maybe next year. Packing a lunch is a big money saver, I can't believe how much I started to save when I started that.


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post #7 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-21-2007, 04:13 PM
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Re: How do you save money?

[quote author=ADaughen link=topic=70098.msg1221864#msg1221864 date=1172092047]
Our taxes, after writing off the house and everything was only $2500. [/quote]

Do yourself a huge favor and move up your deductions on your withholding so they don't take out so much. Put the difference in something interest bearing instead of letting the gub'ment hold your money for a year. I got a $2700 refund this year because of the mortgage and I much rather have had that money in each paycheck instead of waiting til February 4th for it.
post #8 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-21-2007, 04:15 PM
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Re: How do you save money?

i stoped smoking, i dont drink when i go out only 1 beet.
i dont eat lunch, just a fruit or some dryfruit and nuts.

and ihave a box where i put all my coins and 1 dollar bill i got in my pocket.

knowing that i dont have a job i am a student and my parents give me all the money i have, i managed to save 5k like that.

but cant wait to get my job in 3 weeks.

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post #9 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-21-2007, 04:17 PM
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Re: How do you save money?

You managed to save 5K from the pocket change left over from your allowance? Gees..how much they paying you?
post #10 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-21-2007, 04:21 PM
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Re: How do you save money?

i get 10$ for lunch.
in the past 3 month i made 240 in quaters and smaller coins.
stopped smoking: thats 60$+ a week
stopped drinking thats an other 70$+ during the week end
so week days money on beer was 50$ now its 0
i saved all the money i could ever get from birthdays and all for the past 2 years.

the biggest investment i made was my camera 1000. that i bought myself for xmaas.

if u gather a lot of smaller thing it adds up to a bigger one.

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