101 Ways to stop the money leak

Published: 17th March 2009
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101 Ways To Stop The Money Leak





101 Ways To Stop The Money Leak

Introduction



People are always trying to save money, especially with today's

economy. No matter what your reason for saving, through this ebook,

you will discover ways never considered.

The price of everything has gone up, requiring people to be more

conscientious about money. The problem is that by the time the

mortgage, car, utilities, and credit cards are paid, there is little money

to put aside. Saving money is not that hard, just a matter of learning

all the different options and being creative.

In addition to the obvious of putting money into a retirement fund or

savings account, there are hundreds of ways to save money. Although

some ways of saving may not seem like much, once you add them up

at the end of the year, you will see how substantial the savings really are.



Keep in mind that saving is more than a single lump sum of money put

aside. Saving is something found in your everyday life by the way you

live and the choices you make.

Rome was not built in a day and neither will your bank account be.

Each penny saved is one more penny than before. If you have the

ability to save big, that is great. However, most people are not in that

position, which is why this e-book will show you how little savings can

add up quickly.

Be encouraged that it is never too late to start saving, regardless of

your age. Set your mind that now is the time to start building your

future.

Before we start I just want to remind you of the water pot analogy you

read on the sales page before purchasing this book...



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101 Ways To Stop The Money Leak

Imagine you have a huge water pot. Each morning you fill that water

pot to the brim with lovely refreshing clean water HOWEVER you don't

realize that the water pot has numerous leaks in it.

What happens?

Of course... During the day that water pot slowly runs empty because

of all of the leaks. You come home from work dying of thirst and you

go to your precious water pot and it's dry.

Sadly this is what we do with our money too... Unless we find ways to

save it our financial life resembles very much that of the water pot.

Unless we plug the leaks there will come a day when we need to buy

something but the money pot will be dry.

It all starts with plugging the biggest leaks first...

Plug just one big leak and that will keep the water and money pot

fuller for longer. Manage to plug a few other leaks and your money pot

will not be empty when you need it most.



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101 Ways To Stop The Money Leak

1. Holiday Gift Giving

This tip is especially helpful for large families. Although it is fun

buying for and receiving from everyone, it can be very expensive.

Make an agreement with your family that you will continue to buy

for the children but that the adults will go with a name exchange.

This way the children are not disappointed and you can spend a

little more on one or two people rather than spreading your

money thin. For the members that you did not pick to exchange

with, bake a loaf of their favorite homemade bread or cookies.

Here's another way to give gifts to everyone for less then

$1.00 each...

Do you own a computer?

If so the chances are you will have all the equipment you need to

implement the following money saving gift strategy.

You will need to already own a computer, scanner or digital

camera and CD burner.

The idea is to take photos... either with your digital camera or scan

in photo's from your existing album of your family.

Create a slide show and burn both the individual photos and slide

show onto the CD. This will cost you less then $1.00 for each CD

and your family members will love it.

By having the individual photos on the CD your family members

can print out there own images afterwards.

This is especially great if you have photos of major family events

throughout the year such as reunions, gatherings and birthdays.

You could also create calendars and even video shows with the

same content and burn them on the CD as well.



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101 Ways To Stop The Money Leak

2. Clearance

Always head straight for the clearance rack where you can find

amazing bargains. Sometimes you may have to dig a little to find

the right item but the savings will be well-worth your time. Most

clearance racks offer variety, current trends, and great value. For

example, Bed, Bath & Beyond has a clearance section where you

can find all kinds of wonderful household items for a fraction of

the original cost.

Another great way to save money is to shop on the Internet.

There are big savings to be had from online auctions especially

eBay

Be careful to take into account the cost of shipping before buying

a product this way.

Other huge savings can be made from online stores because in

most cases you are purchasing direct from the wholesaler. Here is

a list of just a few items you can save money on...

Top Selling Footwear

Hobbys and Toys

Contact Lenses

Accomodation

Telecommunications

Baby and Nursery Items

Dental Coverage with Huge Savings!

Oriental and Persian Area Rugs

Treadmills

Womens Clothing

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101 Ways To Stop The Money Leak

3. Thrift / Surplus Stores

Unfortunately, thrift and surplus stores have been given a bad

rap. Many of these stores are filled with hundreds of top quality

items.

Name brand merchandise is easy to find but just like clearance

racks, it takes some time to find. Find a thrift or surplus store

close to where you live and then plan spending some time to find

those outstanding bargains.

One woman in Kansas City, Missouri located such a store about

20 minutes from her home. After shopping through every isle

over the period of two hours, she walked out of the store with

eight huge garbage bags filled to the brim with designer clothes

for her and her children, many with the original tags still attached.

She even found a couple of Liz Claiborne suits for herself at $5.99

each and a Dooney & Burke purse normally valued at $225 for

$19.95. Her children had an entire season of school clothes and

best of all, she paid less than $200.

Do you know you can make money from

this as well?

I know one family who find brand name

clothes at these stores and then sell them on

eBay. It's amazing... they are consistently

making about $300 profit every week

working part-time at this.

It certainly helps pay the bills.

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101 Ways To Stop The Money Leak

4. Wrapping Paper and Bows

Create your own wrapping paper, which is not only unique, but

also fun. Use plain brown grocery bags and craft-like paints to

make your design.

After wrapping the gift, let your creative juices flow. For example,

using black and yellow craft paint, create a miniature road. Then

dipping toy truck tires into red paint roll them along the paper

making tire tracks.

You can then draw free hand a stop sign, yield sign, or stop light.

Next, using a hot glue gun, glue a couple of the miniature trucks

to the paper. This is perfect for a young boy. He will be just as

thrilled with the wrapping as the actual gift.

For a girl, you can simply create miniature bows from existing

fabric or lace and glue them on brown paper then free hand draw

colorful flowers. Just use your creativity and look around for

items you already have on hand to use.

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101 Ways To Stop The Money Leak

5. Reuse

When you shop, look for items that can be reused. Rechargeable

batteries are a perfect example.

Even though the initial purchase may be more than nonrechargeable

batteries, there is a definite saving over a long

period.

Another way to save lots of money on batteries is to buy them

online from here.

Another option would be to purchase a nice artificial Christmas

tree. Many of the current artificial trees look amazingly real and

with the right lights and ornaments, you can change the look from

year to year.

We actually purchased one of these trees this year and the kids

absolutely loved it and now we can use it every year without any

further expense.

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101 Ways To Stop The Money Leak

6. Landscaping

If you are considering creating a nice flower garden area,

shopping for plants even on sale, can be expensive.

Before you go out and start spending, look around to see if you

have other plants that can be split from your existing flowers.

Also compare prices before you go. Check out this Outdoor Decor

online shopping center to get an idea of what the prices should be

before you venture out.

Additionally, if you have a good relationship with any of your

neighbors, you might ask them if they have any plants you could

use as a starter.

Another great idea is the next time you are in the market to buy a

lawnmower, purchase one that mulches leaves. This way, rather

than buy mulch for your flowerbeds every year, you can simply

use the mulch you make.

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101 Ways To Stop The Money Leak

7. Budget

Everyone should create a budget. If you are not sure how or just

not good with money, many businesses such as H&R Block, offer

free financial consulting to help you put a budget together.

Knowing where you are spending your money is by far the best

way to save. In most cases, people have no idea where their

money is really going and once they see it on paper, not only are

they surprised but also eager to change their spending habits.

If you are wondering where to start go to Google and search for

budgeting tips and you will find plenty of free advice including

spread sheets.

Another great place is to try your banks web site and go to the

loan application area and they should have some free budget

sheets as well.

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101 Ways To Stop The Money Leak

8. Plan

Planning is a great way to save. Before you go to the grocery

store, make a list and stick with it.

If considering a vacation, plan everything.

Heading out with no set direction will certainly lead you to

impulsive spending.

This sounds so simple and obvious you may even overlook it.

For example do you know that the supermarket is deliberately laid

out to entice you to buy more then you planned to?

If you don't write a list and then stick to it then you WILL

definitely buy more then you budgeted for.

Same goes for vacations. You can save a lot of money by booking

ahead of time. In fact you can save money on accommodation

just by booking online.

Accomodationonline is just one such place where you can make

hotel reservations for huge savings.

And another is RatesToGo where you can get unbelievable

savings for late bookings.

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101 Ways To Stop The Money Leak

9. Buy in Bulk

It is true that warehouse shopping can save a lot of money. Even

if you have a small family, you can always split large quantities.

The price of items in bulk is generally a great bargain.

If you are single, you might go in with friends or family on bulk

items.

Every town usually has a warehouse of some sort where you can

buy bulk purchases.

Another place to find bulk items is eBay

Most of the time when we think of bulk purchases we think of food

or cleaning items however it doesn't have to stop there.

Most search results in ebay also offer bulk lots.

For example if you need a new camera you could buy a bulk lot

and sell them individually to others and share in the savings. You

would even be saver teaming up with 10 other people who needed

the same item before buying then the cost is covered with no risk.

You can buy all sorts of things in bulk from ebay and it's well

worth the effort to keep an eye out for a bargain.

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101 Ways To Stop The Money Leak

10. Allowance

Do not forget to give yourself an allowance for things you enjoy.

Even if on a tight budget, buy something that you enjoy, which

could be as simple as buying a new shirt or grabbing lunch at your

favorite café.

If you do not allow yourself this small "splurge", you could find

yourself in the same position as if dieting. Total deprivation leads

to overindulgence.

The whole idea of this book is to show you how to save money

while at the same time living a normal life.

What's the point of scrimping and saving to only live a miserable

live. You can still spend money and be generous to others and

perhaps even more so by being smarted with money in other

areas of your life.

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101 Ways To Stop The Money Leak

11. What Matters to You

Make a list of the 10 most important things in your life. Next to

each item, rank them in order of importance using numbers 1

through 10.

The purpose of this exercise is to help you see the things you

consider the most and least important and to provide you with a

visual of why you need to save.

Some examples of things that a person might put on their list

include new home, car, special trip, artwork, starting a business,

or pay off debts.

Sometimes it pays to itemize how you are going to get those

items. For example if you go for the new home first you could use

the equity from the home to purchase a car.

However if you went for the car first you would more then likely

struggle to get the home.

See what I mean?

Sit down and itemize what you want and then draw up a plan for

how you can achieve those results.

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101 Ways To Stop The Money Leak

12. Setting Goals

Break your goals into short-term, intermediate-term, and longterm.

Being able to see your accomplishments is a great

motivator for you to work hard at saving.

If you set a short-term goal of saving for tickets to the symphony

and reach that goal, you will be encouraged to keep saving for the

intermediate and long-term goals.

13. Be Realistic

When it comes to saving money, make sure the goals you set for

yourself are realistic. If you earn $50,000 a year, saving $20,000

would be nice but it is very unrealistic. Make your goals

attainable or you will never save.

14. Flexibility

Once you have set your goal for saving, realize that things can

and will change. The secret is learning ways to be flexible. If you

normally save $150 a month, when something unexpected

happens, you may only be able to save $50 that month. This is

fine as long as you focus on getting back on track.

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101 Ways To Stop The Money Leak

15. Insurance

Shop around for insurance and work with a good agent that can

provide information on discounts such as good student, multi-car

discount, etc.

Some people think the price of insurance is the same from one

company to the next. However, prices can vary dramatically and

to ensure you get the best deal, you need to consider all your

options.

A good place to find savings on insurance is

http://www.affordable-insurance-cover.com

This is not to be ignored.

You can save enough from your insurance costs to pay for a

decent end of year holiday.

16. Coupons

Okay, maybe you used to laugh as you watched people pull out

their coupons at stores but the truth is that using coupons can

save you hundreds of dollars every year.

Coupons can be used at grocery stores, retail chains, any store

where the item is sold. Some stores offer double coupon days,

which is an extra bonus.

On average, you could easily save from 5% to 15% on a bill for

$100 simply by presenting a coupon. Coupons are not just for

food items and by scouring your local newspaper you can find

coupons for all sorts of merchandise.

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101 Ways To Stop The Money Leak

17. Credit Cards

Use credit cards only for emergency.

Although convenient, credit cards are dangerous and damaging.

In addition, if you have a credit card that has a $1,000 balance

and you pay only the minimum payment each month, it will take

you between 20 and 30 years to pay off that $1,000 balance since

the majority of money is going strictly toward the interest and not

the principal amount.

Sadly the incorrect use of credit cards is the major cause of

bankruptcy.

18. Mortgage Payment

Paying one additional mortgage payment each year, whether in a

lump sum or monthly increments can lower a 30-year loan down

to 18 years.

If you pay more than one extra payment, the number of years will

decrease even more. Since this additional payment will be applied

only to the principal and not the interest, you end up saving

thousands and thousands of dollars once the home is paid off.

If you are budget conscious then home-equity loans will provide

even greater savings.

19. Credit Card Interest

If you have credit cards and your credit is in good standing, call

your credit card company, and ask for your interest rate to be

lowered. It is truly that simple. Unfortunately, most people do

not even realize this is an option so they never make the call.

Just tell the representative that you want a better rate on your

credit card and they will take care of your request.

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101 Ways To Stop The Money Leak

20. Patience

Be patient when it comes to saving. This means that you need to

accept that it will take time to save and good planning. Be patient

and remember that just because you want something, do not rush

to buy just to satisfy your urge. Instead, wait for sales in order to

get the best price, which in turn will save you money.

21. Financial Consulting

Many financial companies and even churches offer outstanding

classes on how to manage money. While some of these programs

are free, others may have a nominal fee of around $35 to attend

but the money is well spent.

Another great option is consumer-counseling services. This is a

great option for people in over their head with debt. The

counselors will work directly with your creditors to lower your

balances, interest rate, and establish workable payments that you

can afford.

22. Break old Habits

Take time to learn the various things that "trigger" your spending.

When you are depressed, lonely, sad, anxious, excited, whatever

it may be, do you spend more?

Once you can identify these triggers then you can learn how to

control them. As an example, if you were just laid off from your

job, although money is tight, you may have an overwhelming

"need" to spend money.

Perhaps you notice that when you are bored, you head for the

shops. Knowing what affects you will help you to discipline

yourself to find other ways of comfort.

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101 Ways To Stop The Money Leak

23. Avoid Temptations

If you have a particular weakness, stay away from it. If you love

to gamble, stay out of the casinos. If you have a weakness for

shoes, drive past your favorite shoe store. While avoiding

temptation is hard, it is also necessary in order to save money.

When you want to give into your temptation, this is the time to

use your "allowance".

24. The Right Time to Shop

Studies have proven that when shopping while hungry, depressed,

tired, and stressed, you buy more. Before you head to the

grocery store, eat something. If you are upset or feeling a little

blue, calm yourself down or wait until you feel better before you

head out to shop. As funny as it may sound, having a clear mind

is important when it comes to shopping and spending money.

25. Make your Own Gifts

If you ask people if they prefer a store bought or handmade gift,

the majority would choose the latter. Handmade gifts are

individualized and come from the heart.

When you have a birthday, anniversary, baby shower, wedding, or

Christmas gift to give, make the gift. For Christmas, you could

make a beautiful ornament or door wreath, for a baby shower you

could purchase an inexpensive bib pattern and make special bibs,

or for a wedding, you could create a wonderful album of photos

showing the couples dating life.

Other great options include making homemade hot chocolate,

soaps, candles, or lotions and placing them in inexpensive glass

containers or baskets purchased at a thrift shop. If you use a

mason jar, add foam and fabric under the lid for added color, use

a label to write the contents and a message of endearment, and

wrap a nice piece of ribbon around the ridge. The options are

endless, so get creative.

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101 Ways To Stop The Money Leak

26. Barter System

Gather friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers and set up a

bartering system. Offer babysitting to one family in exchange for

them mowing your lawn or offer to clean someone's house in

exchange for a week of car-pooling your child to school. You

would be amazed at the opportunities and the money that can be

saved using a bartering system.

27. Matinee

Do you love the movies but hate the prices?

Switch your nighttime show to the late afternoon or early evening

matinee. The price is about 50% less and when taking an entire

family, that is a nice savings.

Pop your own popcorn, put in a plastic bag, and place in a large

purse and make or buy your own candy, leaving only drinks to

buy.

Food at the theater is outrageously priced.

The next time that you head to the movies, hit the matinee, stuff

those jellybeans and licorice sticks in your purse, and enjoy the

savings. Also, check for movie tickets online, which can be

discounted.

28. Comparison Shop

Comparison-shopping can make a big difference in the price you

pay. You might be looking at a barbecue grill at one place for

$350.00 and by making two more stops, find the exact grill or one

comparable for $300. In addition, consider the price of items

assembled versus unassembled. For example, you might find the

barbecue grill unassembled for $250. A couple of hours of "fun"

assembling the grill is certainly worth a $100 saving.

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101 Ways To Stop The Money Leak

29. Stop Competing with the Jones'

You do not have to compete with anyone. Be proud of what you

have and who you are. If you can only afford an inexpensive sofa

from a thrift store, find a nice throw, make a few pillows, and be

proud and thankful.

Competitiveness is a part of nature and to a degree, healthy.

However, when competition creates a buying war to see who can

have the "best" when they have no business buying at all, then it

becomes damaging. Stick to what you can afford regardless of

what anyone else has or pressure you might be feeling.

30. Sales Clerk Compliments

Sales clerks are often paid on commission. Therefore, when you

walk into a store and try on an expensive suit, you can be

guaranteed you will hear several times over how wonderful you

look, how great that suit fits you, etc.

Because this is how the clerks make their money, they will say

whatever it takes to make the sale. You probably do look good

but do not allow yourself to be pressured into buying something

beyond your means.

Know what you want, the price range you can work with, and stick

with your own rules, not theirs.

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101 Ways To Stop The Money Leak

31. Incentives - Reward Plan

To help you and your family spend more wisely, set up a system

where rewards are given when the rules set forth are followed.

For example, if a family decision was made to start making lunch

and brown bagging it to work and school instead of paying each

day, the incentive might be that if this is followed strictly for one

month, the entire family can spend a Saturday at the Zoo or

favorite theme park.

32. Dollar Stores

Many years ago, dollar stores offered only off brand products or

poorly made merchandise. However, that has completely

changed.

Now you can walk into a dollar store and find the same name

brand laundry soap, cleaning supplies, clothing, school supplies,

everything for a fraction of the cost.

Where a store name brand bottle of laundry detergent might cost

$6.50 at a grocery store, you can find the identical product and

size at the dollar store for $2.50.

Check out your local dollar store and enjoy the mountains of

savings.

33. Don't Give up the Good Stuff

A misconception is that while trying to save money you have to

deal with sub-par merchandise, which is untrue. If you love fresh

breads and pastries, visit a bakery thrift store. For your fresh

fruits and vegetables, visit your local farmer's market. Try eBay

or other auction sites to buy top quality merchandise for a huge

discount. Watch for neighborhood garage sales or estate sales

and auctions to find items you need. Just because you are looking

for bargains as a way of saving money does not mean you have to

skimp on quality.

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101 Ways To Stop The Money Leak

34. Utilities

Set up some rules in your home such as turning lights off when

leaving the room, having only a parent adjust the air or heat,

leaving the doors or windows open when letting either cold or hot

air into the house.

Utilities are expensive and a great money saver is to monitor how

they are used in your home. Another great idea is the investment

of buying an energy-efficient hot water heater.

If you cannot afford one, lower the setting so you are not heating

water so hot. The hotter the setting, the more energy used.

35. Check the Garbage

One woman had her teenage daughter clean her room. The

daughter proudly did just that, filling two huge trash bags of

things she no longer wanted.

Out of curiosity, the mother peeked into one of the bags to see

what was being thrown away. In shock, she found a new tube of

suntan lotion, two perfectly good sweaters, makeup, lotion, a

picture frame, hair curlers, all good things.

The daughter did not realize that just because the items were of

no interest to her, they might be to someone else. After talking to

her daughter, the mom turned around and listed the items on

eBay, making a $35 profit on her daughter's "junk."

36. Written Plan

When a person goes into business, they create a Business Plan,

which becomes the blueprint of their business. The same should

apply if you are trying to save money. Create a master plan that

the entire family can get involved with and learn their role. When

you start to spend too much, go back and look at your plan to see

where you are messing up and how you can fix it.

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101 Ways To Stop The Money Leak

37. Attitude

Good money management is an acquired skill. As you go forward

with the process of saving money, you need to have a good,

positive attitude, which is often what will keep you and your

family heading in the right direction. If you think you cannot

save, then you probably will not. Be determined and stay positive

about saving.

38. Unsecured Creditors

Make a list of all your unsecured debts along with creditor contact

information and payoff amount so you can have an accurate

record of how much you owe. Choose one creditor, possibly a

credit card, and focus on paying off that bill. Once you have

achieved that goal, choose another. Start with the debt that has

the highest interest rate since it is the one costing you the most

money.

39. Off-Season

The next time you plan a vacation, consider off-season.

Generally, the prices for airfare, hotel, and cars are substantially

lower than traveling during peak time.

If you look at all your options, you will find that in many cases,

you can come close to the date you would like to travel. As an

example, flying to Hawaii through June 8 is considered off-season

while June 9 is peak.

One day makes a huge difference in price.

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101 Ways To Stop The Money Leak

40. Buy versus Rent or Lease

When looking at homes or automobiles check the rent and lease

options. Depending on your particular situation, renting or leasing

may be a better financial decision. Weigh all your options and see

which choice makes the best sense from a financial standpoint.

41. Buffet Meals

When taking the family out to dinner, consider restaurants that

have buffets. In many cases, the prices are outstanding and a

parent can share with a small child. In addition, many buffets are

"all you can eat" and of course, there is something for everyone.

42. Cable Networking

If you have a computer upstairs and another downstairs and you

use high-speed data, have one of the computers as the primary

computer and the other as the backup. This way, you are only

charged once for Internet access and a small fee of $10 to $15 a

month for the second computer. This is a great bargain!

43. Proper Maintenance

Purchase an annual home warranty policy. These policies can run

from $350 to $500 a year and offer extremely valuable options.

The way most of these policies work is that if you have something

break, such as your garage door, dishwasher, air conditioner, etc.,

for a minimal fee, usually $50 to $100, a serviceperson will come

to your home to fix the item.

Best of all, if you have five things broken and the same

serviceperson is qualified to fix all of them, you are still charged

the $50 to $100 fee once, not five times. For your automobile,

you might look into purchasing an extended warranty. If you ever

need either one of these policies, they will save you tremendous

value.

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101 Ways To Stop The Money Leak

44. Company Stock / 401K

Contributing to employee stock options or a 401K plan is a

wonderful opportunity to save. Most companies will match your

contribution, sometimes dollar for dollar, up to a maximum,

generally 6%. From each paycheck, you can have a small amount

of money deducted (1%) and up. Over time, that money grows

and since the business is providing a match, you get free money.

45. Family Haircuts

Look for hair styling shops that offer family deals or learn how to

cut hair yourself. Many families take care of their own haircuts

and put the money they would have spent aside as a vacation

fund. This system works out perfectly.

46. Wants versus Needs

Make sure the thing you want to spend your money on is a "need"

and not a "want." Sometimes this can seem like a fine gray line

but if you stick to the need list, you will spend less.

I know one guy who used to say "If I still want it in 3 months time

then I'll get it".

9 times out of 10 in 3 months time he found that either he or his

children had forgotten about that particular want and therefore

had saved themselves from wasting money on an impulse buy.

47...



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