This following is a guest post, written especially for this site. I hope you enjoy it!
2012 is a new year and a perfect opportunity to explore new methods for saving money. After you compare savings accounts, you should also consider investing in stocks, opening a cash ISA, allocating money for savings, putting aside pay raises and actively finding discounts. These tips will not only help you find new ways to save in 2012, but will also help improve your overall financial picture.
Investing in Stocks
Investing in the stock market offers a potentially higher rate of return than most other types of investments. If you do not have experience investing, you should consider using a licensed financial advisor to help you invest in the stock market. Before investing, evaluate your short-term and long-term financial goals and determine your risk profile. This will help you choose specific stocks appropriate for your financial goals.
Opening a Cash ISA
A cash ISA is a type of tax-free savings account that you can set up for your children. This account allows you to contribute up to a maximum amount annually for each child. You retain control of the account until your children reach at least 16 years of age. There are several different types of cash ISA accounts, so you should always compare savings accounts prior to selecting an ISA account for your child.
Allocate Money to Save
One of the challenges of saving money is allocating the specific funds from your monthly budget for savings. Evaluate your budget and determine an appropriate amount to save every month. Then, set aside this money when you pay the rest of your bills. By considering your savings contribution a monthly bill, you encourage savings and help prevent situations where you spend the allocated savings funds on other expenses.
When you receive your annual pay raise, do not include the increased funds in your monthly budget. Instead, automatically set aside these funds for savings. Since you already have a functional budget without the increased funds, using these funds for savings is usually a realistic method to jumpstart your savings.
Actively look for discounts and coupons that save you money. Choose to purchase specific items you need when discounts or coupons are available. Also, ask merchants if they offer discounts for any applicable memberships you have including automobile clubs and professional associations. At the same time, don’t purchase items you do not want or need solely because of a discount. This is a common mistake that can negate the long-term savings associated with using discounts and coupons.
Additionally, always compare savings accounts available at financial institutions before selecting an account. You should consider the interest rate paid by the account, fees charged by the financial institution and other costs and benefits associated with the account.
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.