Many Americans are struggling this year to save their hard-earned cash and August and September is generally the time when people wonder how they can use the remaining months of the year to bulk up their savings as much as possible. While four plus months may seem like a small amount of time to save a vast amount of money, (http://www.ieke.com/save_money.html)saving money is within your control.
Start saving today with these tips provided by ChicagoHealers.com practitioner Julie Murphy Casserly, CLU, ChFC, CFPR:
. Make sure a sale is a sale.
. With back-to-school shopping season in full swing, many retailers will be promoting and advertising sales. Make sure to do price research before heading to the store. Be certain the sale really is a sale and not the store’s creative marketing strategy to encourage you to spend your money without thinking.
. “Buy one get one free” and “50% off”, will only help save money if the actual price paid is lower than what would be paid somewhere else for exactly the same product.
. Set a budget and shopping list before leaving for the store. This helps to keep the focus on buying necessities and spending within the allotted budget.
. Use less.
. In a society where consumption and waste is a huge problem, it can be difficult to keep in mind the importance of maintaining the environment.
. Consider using less shampoo when washing hair, turning the air conditioning off, or cooking in bulk and freezing the left-over’s rather than throwing them out.
. Turn off lights, the TV and the computer when not in use.
. If possible, consider walking or biking to the store or to work rather than using more gas. Each of these efforts will help save on utility bills, which leaves that extra money for savings.
. Plan tax savings now.
. Consider itemizing taxes and start thinking about ways to save on your 2010 tax bill now. Wait until April and it could be too late to take advantage of tax-saving maneuvers.
. Make a donation to a favorite charity. Donations made to qualified charities before the year’s end can result in some serious tax savings, and good feelings to boot.
. Check with employers to see if they offer a (http://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/flexiblespendingaccount.asp) flexible spending account (FSA) and inquire about enrollment. Under a flexible account program, funds are taken from the paycheck on a pretax basis, which reduces taxable income. Refunds are given when the appropriate claim forms are submitted to the benefits department.
Chicago Healers (www.chicagohealers.com) is the nation’s pioneer pre-screened integrative health care network, offering a comprehensive understanding of each practitioner’s services, approach, and philosophy. Our holistic health experts teach and advocate natural and empowered health and life choices through their practices, the media, educational events, and our website. With close to 200 practitioners and over 300 treatment services, Chicago Healers has provided nearly 400
free educational events for Chicagoans and has been featured in 300+ TV news programs and print publications. For more information, visit www.chicagohealers.com.
Julie Murphy Casserly, CLU, ChFC, CFPR is a 15-year veteran of the financial services industry, founder of JMC Wealth Management in Chicago and author of the award-winning book, “The Emotion Behind Money.” Julie helps people understand how their emotional attitudes and behaviors affect how they earn, spend and save. For more information, please visit http://www.juliemurphycasserly.com.