Pleasures that Pilfer Your Bank Account

Written by Harold Herring. Posted in Money Savers

I remember standing at a jewelry store counter once with a fellow who purchased a gold chain big enough to tie a python in knots.He flopped his money on the counter and said, “Easy come, easy go” with a huge smile.

People who think like that are a hamburger short of a Happy Meal. I’m not against people owning gold chains if they can easily afford it and that’s their thing. But I happen to know this fellow was so broke he couldn’t pick up all the pieces.

Seven Easy Ways To Save $1,000

Written by Harold Herring. Posted in Money Savers

Do you wish you could save an extra $1,000 this year without downgrading your lifestyle? It is possible to save big bucks by making small changes in your spending. Even small changes over a year really add up.

Here are some tips to give yourself a $1,000 raise. . .

1. Look for discounted dinner entrees

Saving money doesn't mean you can't enjoy meals at your favorite restaurants. Discount deals can be found in the mail, newspaper or online. Check out your restaurant online or when you get there ask the manager if they have any special promotions.

Understand Why You Spend Money

Written by Harold Herring. Posted in Credit Cards

The easiest way to build wealth and reach financial independence is simply to spend less than you earn. It’s not a complicated formula developed at the Harvard Business School or known only to the barons of Wall Street.

It is an easy concept to understand, but there are some facts that can complicate the process and truthfully, most of them, involved you, the consumer (by the word, I don’t like that word.)

Would You Pick Up A Quarter Off The Sidewalk?

Written by Bev Herring. Posted in Money Savers

Would you walk by a quarter on the sidewalk and leave it? Probably not. A penny maybe. Did I get it right?

One more question. Would you walk by a dozen quarters lying on the sidewalk or would you stop and pick them up? Well, every time you go tothe grocery store you can rescue some serious money by using coupons.

If you’ve thought coupons are a hassle then you need to read this article where I will share with you how you can use coupons with a minimum amount of effort if you organize them properly.

Going through the ads or coupon pages of your newspaper, only grab onto those you use. If you have children, get them to sort them by date for you. It’s good training for the kids plus I’m convinced the older I get, the smaller the manufacturers print those expiration dates.

File your coupons by month, not type. That way, there’s never a question whether the coupon is expired. It also helps you know which coupons you need to use first. I keep an envelope with each month written on the front and stack them in an old envelope box. I always keep the current month in front.

Click On Savings

Things have changed dramatically over the past few years and now there dozens of websites offering coupons but BEWARE of the hook.

You should only select FREE sites. . .never ever pay a monthly fee for coupons. There is so much free stuff available that you don’t have to spend the hard-earned money you’re trying to save.

Check out the websites carefully. . .let me know if you find others we can recommend.

Click “Cool Savings” and “Coupon Cabin” for a closer look. Find your comfort level and know that some of these sites may well send you unsolicited offers in the future.

Coupons and Menu Planning Save Money

When it comes time to plan menus, I pull out the current month along with the next two or three upcoming months and look for menu ideas using the coupons first. You can also add your weekly grocery store flyer … ours comes in the mail on Wednesday every week so I plan my menus on Thursday.

Once your menu choices are complete, flip it over to make your grocery list. More than once I’ve found myself in the grocery store trying to remember if I needed something for a menu plan I’d left at home. I’ve also been known to pull out all the recipes I plan to use. That way it’s easier to look down the list to make sure I’ve remembered every ingredient.

I don’t save a coupon if I think I can use it immediately. After all, more coupons will be coming in. When the month is over, it’s easy to discard unused coupons and put the envelope in the back of the stack.

Making the Most of Your Coupons

Coupon specifications vary. When I find the words “Any Size” I smile. You will generally save money by buying the smallest size using a coupon. I do this with Harold’s favorite steak sauce. I dislike paying this brand name’s high price, but they regularly give out coupons, so I continue to buy the smaller size and use a coupon. This works well on laundry detergent too.

On my grocery list, I’ll put ‘c’ after something I have a coupon for so I remember. If there is a size specification, I’ll write that down too. When I use a coupon, I’ll pull it out so I’m not searching for applicable coupons when I’m at the checkout. I like to watch that scanner for price defects.

Making the Most of Your Grocery Store Experience

Grocery stores vary. Some offer double coupons, but I’ve found that I only stop there if I feel their overall prices are good also. Otherwise I just use my coupons at the store with the best prices. Some grocery stores will attempt to lure you in with what’s known as “price leaders.” That means they are losing a little money on these advertised specials, but they know once you are in the store, you will pick up other items also.

The point is you don’t have to spend a lot more time when you use coupons to your advantage. Don’t worry about every dime. Save what you can and know that whatever you do save is more money in your pocket.

They're Plotting Against You

Written by Harold Herring. Posted in Credit Cards

Scriptural reference Psalm 97:10

“Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.”

I looked up the word “evil” in the Strong’s Concordance (H7451) and it was defined as “bad, unpleasant, evil (giving pain, unhappiness, misery).”

Debt is bad.

Be Smart With Your Tax Rebate

Written by Harold Herring. Posted in Tax Season

The president just signed a $168 billion economic stimulus package that authorizes the government to send out rebate checks. The idea is we all are supposed rush out to spend our surprise money to stimulate the economy. In turn, the businesses selling those products and services to us will spend their profits on more products and services which are supposed to jump start the economy once again.

Now let’s look at the logic here. This new bill is encouraging us to spend more – the very attitude and mindset that got us into financial trouble in the first place. In fact, these very same Americans encouraged to go out and spend their rebate checks or even take on more interest are already over their heads in debt.

Tax Refund

Written by Harold Herring. Posted in Tax Season

It’s the day after. . .millions of Americans filed their Federal Income Tax Return.

Several things are stirring in my spirit this morning.

The First Income Tax Refund

10 Year End Tax Strategies

Written by Harold Herring. Posted in Tax Season

Edmund Burke once said, “You can never plan for the future by the past.” However in the case of preparing taxes for 2008, what you have done this past year can impact your future!

This time of year we begin thinking about tax savings. Tax advantages are pretty much gone after December 31st, so focus on these year-end tax strategies to see if there is anything that will give you a financial edge. With economic uncertainty, changing tax laws and fluctuating opinions, it is difficult to pin point the best moves to make. However, these are basic ways to tackle year-end tax planning.

7 Things We Fear About Taxes

Written by Harold Herring. Posted in Tax Season

As I’m typing this blog, my “fine” wife Bev is putting the final touches on all the material we need for our CPA to file our 2008 taxes.

I’m going to resist the temptation to tell you what I think about taxes. However, I will tell you that I once did an extensive survey and only found two groups of people that don’t like to pay taxes.

Men and Women…..

Does tax season give you the jitters? It does for most folks so they procrastinate about doing the inevitable. Additionally, they often let fear of the unknown or what someone else said create unnecessary panic. Let’s clear the air a bit…and deal with some of the most common tax fears.

Credit Card Backlash Could Give You Whiplash

Written by Harold Herring. Posted in Credit Cards

We feel your pain.

Seriously, do you really think that the credit card companies who are filling your mailbox and inbox with warm, fuzzy offers of easy credit are really concerned about your economic well-being?

Not a chance.

Credit Card Companies Are Feasting Right Now

Written by Harold Herring. Posted in Credit Cards

The credit crunch in our economy has the credit card companies feasting like a bunch of goblins on Halloween night.

Be warned …they are out for blood. They know people are hurting and it’s amazing the lengths to which they will go to entice consumers into their web of bondage. They lure desperate people with the promise of “guaranteed” low interest rates.

Many of the companies make it look so easy for consumers to get beyond this credit crunch that they turn a blind eye on the black widow waiting to paralyze them.