Everyday folks can save big by making simple changes
Saving money is a big topic and everyone knows it’s important. The problem is there are hundreds of different ways to save. Couponing, growing your own vegetables, being cheap and the list goes on. The number of options out there can drive you a little crazy. Luckily, I found this infographic that lists out how much money you can save as an hourly rate! It really puts things in perspective and shows you where to focus your saving efforts. Who knew 3 hours could save me so much money!
As we get older, and the responsibility piles on, we can often find we are spending out left, right and centre. Money worries are a significant cause of stress, and with many people less able to save on a weekly or monthly basis, it pays to get smart about what you buy.
Weddings, new babies, moving house, decorating and buying a car are all heavy hitters in terms of big spending. So how do you spend less and still enjoy those things?
If you have been dreaming of a perfect wedding, for years, you don’t need to cast that aside just yet. Think about what you non-negotiables are. What is it you have to have without question. Is it the dress? What about the cake? Flowers perhaps? Sometimes the pinch really comes when the guest list keeps getting longer and longer.
If something doesn’t make the non-negotiable list, then those are places that you can safely cut back. Not everyone wants to spend so much on flowers when a small wild bunch looks beautiful.
Call in favours from friends and family to help you decorate the venue yourself, and do other things in the early stages like:
Skip the DJ and create your own playlist, and use a simple Sono style speaker
Put a down payment on your dress as early as possible, so that you won’t need to pay too much of a lump sum later on.
Same with the venue
Always get insurance for your wedding. That way, if something does go wrong, you won’t lose a penny.
It is easy to get caught up in color schemes and taffeta, but try to remember that a wedding is about you and the person you love. The rest is just the trimmings.
Buying a new car is out of most peoples reach. You can, of course, opt to go down the finance route, and that does come with a lot of perks. But in the end, you are still going to be spending a premium for those four wheels. Before you start working out what % deal you can get, consider buying a used car instead.
They have a few miles on the clock, sure, but they have also (in most cases) been well looked after. New cars do have that ‘new car smell’, but a second-hand vehicle has a whole personality of its own. They’re usually cheap enough to buy outright, you are free to haggle on the price if you want it even, and depending on the age they are cheaper to insure.
When you make the decision to buy a used car, don’t just buy the first one you see. If you have the time to visit a few and fit in some test drives, then try to do that. You’ll quickly learn if a car is for you or not. If you aren’t very great with cars, then try to bring someone along with you who is. They will be able to do some checks on the overall health of the vehicle and guide you n the right direction in terms of price.
If you aren’t moving too far, then you have the luxury of calling in friends and family, hiring a van and doing most of the leg work yourself. When you are thinking about moving out of state or even to a new country, the logistics get a bit trickier.
The best place to start is by having a good clear out. Get rid of things you don’t love, need, or use. That might be a lot more than you think. Starting with your clothing works really well. If you need the inspiration to get your clothing sorted, or the rest of the house for that matter, then check out Marie Kondo. She has excellent tips about how to really clear your space of clutter. Donate what is good enough to be used again, sell what you can, and try to streamline what you’re taking.
Consider hiring a moving van yourself. It’s a lot cheaper than having a whole moving team doing it for you. And, while yes, you’ll need to do the heavy work yourself – you’re going to be saving big bucks. The size of van will obviously depend on what you are bringing with you, so really give everything a lot of thought.
Before you rush out to the DIY store, start cleaning and getting rid of stuff too. Much like moving, it will make the whole thing much smoother. Once you have gotten rid of the clutter, and given the place an excellent clean, consider this – do you want to redecorate, or do you just want a fresh feel?
Paint isn’t too expensive, and if you then focus on moving the furniture around instead of replacing things, you’ll get a ‘new’ looking space at a fraction of the cost. If you want to pick up smaller items, like vases, candles holders and even pieces of art for the walls, they are also cheap alternatives to a full redecorating project.
30 Day Rule
Unless you have to buy something immediately, start putting yourself on a timer. If you see something you want, instead of instantly buying it, make yourself wait 30 days. Then, if you still really want the item at the end of those 30 days go and get it. Often we make hasty decisions when it comes to making purchases. During the 30 day wait, you will think about your finances more, and do you really need it? More often than not, we won’t go back a month after to get something. Impulse buying always costs more in the long run. From dresses, you’re ‘saving’ and never wear, to the coffee machine that ends up gathering dust on the side.
Always give your finances the once over before making big decisions, and give yourself plenty of time to find alternatives too.
The whole motivation for tuning your car is to extract the best possible performance from it by adding, altering or completely replacing the parts fitted as standard by the factory. So what car tuning parts are available to achieve this aim? Read on to find out a little more about this addictive hobby.
The prime area where modifications can be made through the use of specialist aftermarket performance car parts is to the vehicle’s engine and management systems. Buy and fit an appropriate engine tuning box and you can expect to see significant gains in fuel efficiency, as well as overall increases in torque and brake horsepower. This device is relatively inexpensive and can be easily installed into your engine bay, usually plugging into the engine’s existing wiring structure. Alter the engine to increase its power output, though, and you may find that it’s desirable to make some other modifications to help you and your vehicle cope with the additional, improved performance that results. Of course, you need to choose the correct auto electrician for you if this is something you do not have experience in.
One set of car tuning parts you might want to invest in, for instance, is a suspension kit. By improving your car’s suspension, you’ll have the ability to drive your car that little bit faster without compromising on safety. With a lower ride height, and therefore, lower centre of gravity, for example, some car tuning parts can reduce the chances of body roll and increase the stability of the vehicle when cornering or travelling at speed. These are just two examples, and even within this area, there is plenty of choice available depending on your type of car and your goals for improving its performance.
New Or Second Hand?
Performance parts online are widely available to give your car a bit of an added oomph. Everyone loves a bargain, so it can be tempting to shop around at online auction houses for second-hand pieces. But are you really saving money or will this cost you more in the longer term?
If you are interested in improving the performance of your car, then to a large extent, it makes a lot more sense to buy new. Only this way can you be absolutely certain that you are getting good value for money and that the performance car parts you are buying will be both durable and give the improvement in results that you expect. Other factors to consider are the convenience and the availability of the parts you need. Because it’s vital that you buy parts that are actually compatible with your vehicle, then purchasing second hand can be labour intensive and fairly hit and miss too. It may take you ages to source the right used exhaust at the right price for your model of Audi, for example, whereas most new sellers will be able to supply off the shelf solutions for many makes and models. The other thing to be aware of is that some car performance parts should never be reused for simple health and safety reasons. These include brake pads and shoes, clutch discs, and shock absorbers, for example. It is essential that you buy these new every time.