budgeting

US Fed Rate – A Persisting Dilemma

dollar_1999092bFinancial pundits have been forecasting US Fed rate hike for quite sometime now. However, many internal and external factors have resisted the Federal Reserve from hiking it from the persisting 0.250 per cent. Though the market expected the fed rate to increase in September 2015, it didn’t because the central bank was worried about derailment of resurging U.S. growth due to instability in Chinese economy and economic slowdown. If the minutes of September 16-17 discussions by the board members of Federal Reserve are taken seriously, it might take 9 years to increase the concerned rate.

Why US Fed failed to increase Fed Rate in September 2015?

One of the reasons that restricted board of Federal Reserve from increasing Fed Rate in September 2015 is the dismal job growth data. Per official figures, in September 2015 just 142,000 jobs were added, which is 64,000 jobs lesser than analysts’ expectation. Another figure published by US Labor Department is the “zero” rise in average pay. More alarming is the fact that thousands of workers left their jobs and the participation rate of workers fell to a dismal low, last seen in 1970s. In fact, slow down in Chinese economy also held the board back from increase interest rate.

To top it, US Consumer prices fell by 0.2 per cent during September. In fact, inflation rate has been steadily falling since May 2015, signaling persistent sluggish pace of inflation. This persistent fall is exactly opposite of Fed’s stated target of 2 per cent. All these phenomenon including slowing economy of China, falling inflation (both globally as well as domestically), and market disruptions are again making it difficult for Federal Reserve to increase the interest rate, which is stuck to the current near-zero level (0.25 per cent) since 2008 (the year US economy was in deep recession).

What analysts are Predicting about Fed Rate Hike?

On the expectation of US Fed holding interest rate hike till 2015-end, gold buying is witnessing rally since mid-September. Strength of dollar is also weakening. US Dollar has fallen significantly with respect to other currencies such as Euro in the recent past. Last week, Euro was up against US Dollar by 2.3 per cent, which is a striking phenomenon as Euro fell sharply in the past touching a 12 years low earlier in 2015. These phenomenons gave overall market all the reasons to park its money in the yellow metal for hedging risk.

Colin Hamilton, head of commodities research at Macquarie, said that they conducted a poll in their base metals summit survey earlier this week and found out that most of the audience is expecting a Fed rate hike only after December 2015.

Gold_industryJessica Fung, analyst of metals and mining at BMO Capital Markets, said during a press meet that overall market is currently expecting Fed rate hike around March 2016. She went on to explain that expectation of US Dollar drive gold price and pricing of the futures market is indicating towards a steeper gold price rise in latter part of the year. The momentum of gold price hike is expected to go on along 2016. Along with this increase in price of yellow metal, interest rate increase is expected to be during March 2016.

 

Ref: http://www.global-rates.com/interest-rates/central-banks/central-bank-america/fed-interest-rate.aspx

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/15/us-ecb-fed-idUSKCN0S906320151015

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/fed-minutes-september-1.3263358

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/oct/02/us-economy-adds-only-142000-jobs-raising-doubts-about-interest-rate-rise

http://www.investordaily.com.au/markets/38362-fed-rate-hike-good-for-economy

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/10/15/gold-price-move-points-to-fed-rate-hike-in-2016.html

http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-consumer-prices-fall-0-2-in-september-1444912347

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/10/21/is-the-us-headed-for-negative-interest-rates-commentary.html

http://www.forbes.com/sites/samanthasharf/2015/10/21/ben-bernanke-fed-rate-hike-is-a-risk-management-decision/


How to Redesign a Movie Auditorium on a Budget

Redesigning a movie auditorium is a really exciting project, and one that could potentially be used to make a profit. Whether you’ve purchased a movie auditorium for personal use or have dreams of setting up your own independent cinema that will be open to the public, making sure that your auditorium is comfortable and set up properly is a priority. Depending on the amount of work that you’d like done and how you’re picturing the result, the amount of money that you’ll need to spend on the redesign can vary. However, if you’re looking for some great ideas that are likely to fit into almost any budget, read on!

Seating

The seating is an important part of any movie auditorium – it’s got to be comfortable, stylish and fit as many people as possible inside. Depending on the size of the auditorium and how many people you expect to be using it at one given time, the amount of seats you will need to use can vary. If your auditorium already has seats installed that are in good condition, you may be able to get away with cleaning them up and continuing to use them. For auditoriums in need of further refurbishment, you can purchase a range of seating options from auditorium seating manufacturers.

Ceiling

Acoustic tiles are the best option for the ceiling of your movie auditorium, and you’ll be glad to hear that this is also one of the cheapest ceiling coverings to obtain. Most movie theaters use this type of covering; go to any cinema and you will probably see fiberglass panels much like those used in offices. If your auditorium ceiling is unfinished, acoustic tiles or fiberglass panels are the least expensive way to complete the job.movie-theater-inside-amc-pacific

Flooring

For acoustic reasons, you should never choose a floor for your movie auditorium that is made of wood, tile, concreate or linoleum. Instead, opt for a plush carpet whenever possible. Depending on the size of the auditorium the price that you will pay for carpet will vary, and will largely depend also on the type and quality of carpet that you choose. Industrial wear carpets are good for those who plan to open their auditorium for public use as these are less susceptible to wear and tear. Opting for a stain resistant carpet will also reduce dirt and debris stains and help the auditorium appear cleaner. It is far better to spend more on a high quality carpet initially than pay to replace a poor quality carpet in the future due to damage.

Color and Themes

When designing your movie auditorium, you should consider using colors that will control the reflections of the light from the screen, and also make the room appear larger. Darker colors such as navy or black are an excellent choice, combined with lighter, contrasting colors.

Are you an interior designer who would like to share any helpful ideas for redesigning a movie auditorium? Or, have you redesigned a movie auditorium yourself, and would like to tell us your story? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Image Credit: http://www.filmadvocacy.org/2013/05/


6 Tips for Creating a Better Household Budget

Building a budget is one of the best ways that a person can get the most from every dollar that they have and save more money for the future. Using a budget may sound like a basic task to some, but many people still do not use a budget regularly or even know how to create one.

There are a lot of ways that anyone can improve their current budget or easily begin to create their first budget. People can use these tips to make their budgets more effective than ever before. Here are six tips for creating a better household budget.

Start combining expenses to lower the total cost

There are a lot of separate bills to consider in the household finances. Most people do not think about bundling services that they use in their homes, or think that bundling will not make a big difference. The truth is that bundling services on http://www.direct2tv.com/ can not only lower prices that a person pays each month, but it can also make handling the monthly bills much easier. Home owners should talk with their providers to see if there are any other services that can be combined in the home to save money and create easy budgeting.

6 Tips for Creating a Better Household BudgetFind a great personal budgeting app or software

Sitting down with a pen and paper may have been effective for some people in the past, but today, there are much easier options that people can use to make their budget. There are a lot of personal budgeting apps or software that anyone can use to easily track their expenses and figure out where all of their money is going each month. These apps can also remind people when certain bills are due, so they will never have to pay a late fee again.

Determine what expenses are really necessary

There are many luxuries that people can have in their homes. Although these luxuries are very nice, they are not always essential. Most people can save a lot of money in their budget by taking a good look at what home expenses are really necessary. For example, does a person really need a cable subscription and an online streaming subscription for TV? Eliminating these expenses can make a big difference in anyone’s budget.

Plan for special circumstances

There are some expenses that people can plan for every single month without fail. However, there are also expenses that people do not have to pay each month, like holiday costs and birthdays. Anyone can create a budget plan not only for each month, but also for the entire year to plan for these special occasions.

Work in debt repayment into the budget

Most people will have to deal with debt at some time in their lives. Debt can be manageable if it is appropriately planned for. Adding debt into the budget will help people not only control their debt, but also pay off each debt faster.

Use the budget to plan for future financial goals

Budgeting is valuable not only because it can help people avoid financial issues, but also because it helps people financially plan for wealth in the future. People who use their debt wisely can save more money and plan for investments in the future.

Image: http://pixabay.com/en/home-money-euro-coin-coins-167734/


Student Advice – Budgeting & Money Saving

Money Saving TipsThe first few days at college or university are pretty exciting, you get registered, find your home for the next year, bid your parents farewell and you are finally on your own and ready to start a big adventure.

For most students though, this will be the first time they have lived on their own and had to fend for themselves. Cooking and washing often come as a shock, but perhaps the biggest challenge is learning to manage money effectively.

If this is something you are worried about, it is important to plan early.
Here’s how to make sure you don’t run out of money!

What Can You Afford?

The good news is that predicting your cashflow for the next 3 years should be pretty simple. You need to start by figuring out exactly what you have coming in. You can add up what you expect to get from student loans, jobs etc…

Now factor in your living costs and tuition. Your tuition fees are probably set at a certain amount per year, so you can take off that amount easily enough. You should also know what you will be paying in rent (and you can estimate bills if necessary); so take off that amount too.

It is easiest to work with your total income over a year and take off your costs. Then just divide that number by the number of weeks in a year (use 52 unless you intend to work over the summer) to find out what you actually have to live-off each week.

Track Your Spending

Once you know what you can afford to spend in a week, start tracking what you actually spend. This may seem like a pain, but it will help you to keep on top of your finances.

Make a note of everything you spend (except for rent and tuition) and each week work out your total outgoings. You can average your spending over a few weeks and you should easily be able to see whether you are sticking to your budget.

If your spending is regularly going over what you can afford, you obviously need to be more careful (or find some additional income).

Learn To Say No

Some of your friends will seem to have more money than you (and some will just not realise how little they have). In the first few weeks especially, it can be tempting to go out all the time, but that is a sure way to over-spend.

It is important to say no when you can’t afford to go out. Or better yet, suggest staying in and everyone cooking together, followed by drinks and games.

Living in student accommodation can be a lot of fun without the need to go out and spend money and if you are careful you can have a lot of fun on a tight budget.

Running Out Of Money

If you keep a budget, you should be able to tell right away that you are going to be short by the end of term, and if that is the case, take action right away.

You could consider moving to a different (cheaper) accommodation if that is an option. Otherwise though you will either need to spend less money or earn more.

One option is to apply for an overdraft to tide you over, and then you can get a summer job to pay it off and hopefully save some extra money ready for the following year. Alternatively; in your first year especially; there is no reason not to get a part-time job to supplement your loan..

This post was contributed by Rick Peterson who writes for a private tutoring website called Uk Tutors. Rick is a mathematician and a lover of science and education.

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/44549151@N03/4794592887/


The Cost Of Living The Celeb Life

Everyone has their own vice, but when you’re a celebrity, they are usually more expensive…and everyone seems to have an opinion about it!
Some people, while judging celebrities’ expensive lifestyles think it’s an absurd and pure ostentation, but until what point is it really?

Put yourself in their places and reflect, ; if you were a celebrity that makes enough money to cover your vices, wouldn’t you do the same?

Products as Personal Branding

Celebrities also get a lot of products just to be seen wearing it or even get it for modeling the product. Ashley Olsen who got the Louis Vuitton Urban Satchel for modeling for the product, and she’s not the only one, there’s plenty of others. A lot of celebrities buy it not only as an impulse buy or because of a vice but also as an investment, because they understand that they are ‘the product’ and that they HAVE to invest in the product to make more money. And of course, having limited edition products that cost a lot when you purchase it means that in the future it’s going to be worth so much more, so it’s a good investment both ways!

How much for the…

Handbags have always been the mother of every girl addiction, it’s a must have item for girls of every age, an item that every girl everywhere when asked, will always tell you that got her first one in their childhood. They are a great way to carry stuff and accessorize your look, so why not love it? Every woman probably has already experienced stars in their eyes when seeing the most beautiful handbag that they have ever seen. At that stage in time it’s a done deal; if the value is reasonable, the girl will put their time and effort to save money enough to buy it. When the price is completely outrageous, the bag’s worth will grow even more, and before they know it, every conversation will start with “I saw the most beautiful handbag’.

But when you are a celebrity, most of the times the dream become true, even if it is not something you have seen already, it’s just something you have thought or even dreamed about one night, like Lady Gaga ‘s Meat Handbag, Emma Watson’s Chanel Classic Diamond Forever Handbag price tagged $261,000 and Victoria Beckham Hermes Birkin Bag that cost $120,000.

It isn’t only female celebrities who spend a lot on their vices, celebrity men have been speding just as much, if not more than the women.

Men and their Motorcars

How can we expect that the male celebrities should sit at home and watch the football game while their female counterparts are out on the town spending money on fashion and fois grass. These guys have been working just as hard, and their innate need for anything that speeds, cannot be ignored.

Like Jerry Seinfeld’s sport Car Porsche 959 that costs $7000,000, Nicolas Cage’s Ferrari Enzo price tagged at $670,000 and David Beckham’s Custom Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead price tagged $407,000.

Party Rockers in the House

Then there are habits that didn’t come with them since their childhood, these habits and hobbies were born in their teenage year. One of these status symbols is most defintely being the host of one of the biggest parties in Hollywood. As a celebrity host, nothing can be average when it comes cuisine, champagne and entertainment. Not all these real estate expenses are just for entertainment and display of wealth, but because these stars live their lives in the public eye, they make purchases focus on privacy as well.

Think in the lines of Private islands and mansions, a hidden place where they can go to escape the high life, the paparazzi, drama and bustle of their lives, but also, it’s an easy way for them to estabilish themselves as members of the high society.

Rihanna’s Pacific Palisades Mansion with 11,000 square-foot, 7 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, 14-foot ceilings, a hot tub, swimming pool, sun deck and a 6,000-sq.ft. Garden is valued at over $12,000,000. Ozzy Osbourne’s Mansion with 10,953 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, swimming pool is worth $10,000,000 and Billy Joel’s Miami Beach Mansion with 303,310 square feet worth $35,000,000.

These are just a few things that celebrities like to spend their time and money on. “Lifestyles of the rich and the famous, their always complaing” as Good Charlotte would say, does not seem to be very far from the truth. One thing is for certain, if this had to be one of our lives, you wouldn’t hear us complaining.

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Having attained a formal education in Finance (Msc. in International Economics) Simon was inadvertently drawn towards finance blogs and extended successfully upon it by contributing to savings and family finances blogs as well. He is a long time contributor of the financial Blog of the UK short term loans provider Poundaccess, where you can read many of his writings.


5 Financial Expenses To Get Rid Of Today

BudgetingIt is difficult for everyday people to stick to a strict budget with rising and inconsistent interest rates, increase in consumer product prices and many general temptations available in the market. These fluctuations encourage people to take out excess loans and increase credit card limits to simply be able to live comfortably in society. There are numerous expenses encountered that residents could simply avoid paying. All they have to do is re-evaluate their lifestyle and determine what is important, against what is not! Here are 5 general expenses that you could get rid of today and help stick within your budget and help increase the savings account.

Consolidate Your Loans

The first step and possibly the most rewarding long-term would be to consolidate all your loan accounts. This would include all credit cards, personal loans and store loans. By consolidating these accounts, you would manage one simple monthly expense and only generate interest on the one loan. This will eventually save you thousands of dollars as your total loan account develops interest on one sum, opposed to several different sums. This is a highly beneficial long-term saving and available through Fox Symes debt consolidation.

Excess Registration on Vehicles

Depending on the size of your family, it may be beneficial to sell any unused vehicles that you may either own, or have finance on. This may include any trucks or boats that are simply used for vacation purposes. The end result will have you saving money monthly on insurance, and repayments and will also save you annually on registration. Most families could potentially manage with one or two cars, anymore is simply an unnecessary household expense that will chew into your budget.

Home Phone

We are in an era where home phones are simply becoming needless. Most people only use the phone line for internet access. Many providers will sell bundled packages where you are granted internet access and home phone calls at a specified rate, however your mobile service is more efficient and can easily be the sole use for phone calls. Removing the home phone line or package is an immediate cost saving idea.

Unnecessary Subscription Packages

If you really want to save money, here is your chance to remove some of your lifestyle products. Most people will have a subscription to some service. This may include pay TV, magazines or music subscriptions that are simply for entertainment purposes. This will be a difficult expense to remove, however the saving is sufficient, as some subscriptions can total up to $200 per month.

Avoid Eating Out

Pesonal FinanceNot so much an expense in which someone will simply have. However many people will eat out a couple times a week, if not every night. Lunch is the simplest expense that occurs on a daily basis, as you are strapped for time and only have 30 minutes to buy foot and eat. It is financially worthwhile to buy food in bulk at the grocery store and prepare lunch every day. Be sure to cook your own meals for dinner to. Buying lunch everyday can cost up to $150 per week. If lunch is prepared, that’s a weekly saving.

There are many ways to save money and several expenses that could be removed to save money. There are always ways to stick within your budget, you just may have to give up some of your entertainment or favoured lifestyle products in order to do so.

Michael is a Writer from Brisbane, Australia, who covers the topics of personal finance and debt. He says that everyone has expenses that are not necessary and you would be surprised at how much money can be saved. If you are experiencing problems with debt, Michael recommends considering Fox Symes debt consolidation as a possible solution for your problem.

Image Credit: 1&2


How to Holiday on a Budget

Saving MoneyWith economic uncertainty still affecting most businesses and families we are all having to still cut corners in our monthly budgets and bring down our outgoings throughout the year. More and more of us are being asked to take a salary reduction and worse still, people are being laid off from their jobs. Simultaneously people are also seeing prices shoot up in the store and at the petrol pump. As such it is necessary to find ways to make massive reductions in our spending and changes to our lifestyle while things are tough. And one obvious area ripe for cutting back is where, and how, we go on vacation. This is often easier said than done however. For most of us our holiday is the one chance in the year when we get to spoil ourselves, to cut loose and not worry about the problems of the rest of the year – trying to holiday on a strict budget can be counter intuitive. Nevertheless this article will try to offer some pointers on how to do exactly that by suggesting some ideas on how to have a tip top holiday without breaking the bank.

Firstly, try to visit somewhere close to home. While money is tight, don’t go for the exotic (and expensive) island adventure. Instead, think of some places in your own country that you have always wanted to see and book a holiday there. Try and book the least expensive travel option too – save your money for the holiday itself.

When it comes to accommodation the best way to save money is to book something that’s a little further away from the popular tourist areas that you would normally go for. Rather than booking hotels slap bang on the beach or in the centre of the historic district you should look at hotels ten minutes away. Not only will you see a massive reduction in the amount you have to spend, you’ll also have the extra benefit of discovering places off the beaten track (like restaurants, parks, statues and galleries) that you might not have seen before. Thus if you were to go to Paris but stay further out you would (hopefully) find that by walking back to your hotel you might see old cemeteries, amazing buskers, beautiful courtyards, charming cafes and bookshops and all kinds of other wonders. If you take a camera chances are that the best photos of your holiday would be from the things you didn’t plan on, rather than the monuments and ‘must-see’ sights.

Similarly, if you really want to save money, think about booking into hostels rather than hotels. They’re more fun, more sociable and a whole lot cheaper than regular hotels. Add in the fact that they have kitchens so that you can cook your own meals and you’ll find they are an excellent way to holiday on a budget.

When it comes to going out and seeing things on holiday, aim for stuff that doesn’t cost money. Instead of theme parks head to state parks and national  parks – you’ll be able to spend days on end in them and you’ll see more incredible stuff than you could have seen in a man-made theme park. Get yourself a guidebook and take a couple of tours if you want to splash out, but if you wanted you could spend days soaking in these incredible places and not spend a penny. Before you go simply find a guide to all the national parks and gardens in the area you are visiting and then plan your trip accordingly.

The same thing applies to other free stuff in the city you will be visiting. As well as the museums and art galleries you can use your imagination and visit famous skyscrapers, historic buildings, and movie locations that are no doubt dotted around the place. With a bit of free research on the internet it is possible to plan an entire holiday without paying for any attractions.

Just remember, when it comes to holidays, expensive doesn’t necessarily equate to fun!

Esther is a financial journalist and business blogger based in Chicago. She writes about all areas of personal finance affecting the consumer from tax relief to credit and store cards to where to find a good purchase order financing company.


Holiday Budgeting: How to Avoid Last Minute Surprises

Holiday Budgeting: How to Avoid Last Minute Surprises

It’s easy to spend more on holiday than you intended to. We jet off with the best intentions of sticking to a strict daily budget, only to spend a fortune before leaving the airport, returning home to a devastated bank balance.

Some might say that it’s all part of the holiday experience and it’s true that an overly regulated vacation isn’t likely to be much fun, but a little bit of common sense and forward planning can be the difference between slightly overspending and digging yourself into a real financial hole.

Your first step should be to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money in the first place. If you’re going somewhere that requires a change of currency, don’t hand over your cash to the first travel agent you come across. Numerous banks and retailers have their own bureau de change, and their exchange rates vary significantly. Take the time to shop around and get the best deal.

It’s all too common for holidaymakers to try to cut corners by ‘taking a risk’ and travelling without insurance. It may be a little irritating to pay for something you might never see the benefit of, but many travel insurance policies protect you from a remarkable number of potentially expensive issues – from lost luggage to medical treatment and transport issues. So it’s well worth investing in.

By the same token, if you’re driving in Europe don’t forget to get car insurance for European travel. Your regular car insurance may well not cover driving outside the UK, so don’t be caught out. If you’re in the market for holiday car insurance, this is another opportunity to shop around for a better deal. For example, if you’re over 50 you may well be able to get better value car insurance by going with an insurance provider like RIAS. They’ll be able to offer cover from their panel of selected insurers, so you get insurance that best reflects your needs. Last but not least – protect your belongings! Stolen money and the stress of replacing a passport can put a real dampener on your trip. Ask if your hotel has a safety deposit option, and take out only what you need for the day. This could also be a good way of encouraging you not to blow your daily budget – and you can always pop back for a top-up if necessary…


Seven Simple Ways to Cut Household Costs

Seven Simple Ways to Cut Household Costs

Household bills continue to be a major drain on family finances. While people cannot avoid them completely, there are things that can be done to cut expenses and make them more manageable.

Clean up your finances

Cleaning products can make an expensive dent on your supermarket bills. The various sprays, scrubs and wipes that you can buy can really add up. Take a look at how much you are spending on these items. There may be cheaper products you can use; for example, cleaning wipes will be more expensive than simply spraying cleaner onto a cloth yourself. There are also natural products such as lemon juice and vinegar that you can use to clean in the house. These can be effective as well as economical.

One of the easiest things to do is to reuse items you already have when it comes to household cleaning. Cloths can be expensive, so try turning old towels or clothes into rags for cleaning. Pop them in the washing machine to keep them fresh.

Budget-busting tips

Actively look out for vouchers and coupons you can use to set against the cost of shopping, products and services. There are plenty of websites now that specialise in daily offers of discount vouchers that can give very significant savings and manufacturer websites often have deals on their items too. You can also take the old-fashioned step of cutting and clipping out coupons from food packets and tins.

Energy costs have soared in recent years but there are ways to cut bills. Buy energy-efficient appliances to help the environment and your budget. Modern household essentials such as washing machines, dishwashers and fridge freezers are now marked with a rating that shows which use the least amount of electricity. The best performers will shave pounds off your energy bills.

Shopping around is a tried and tested way of saving money. Research on the internet to find the best prices for pretty much anything you are buying, especially big household items.

Look out for finance deals that have 0% interest rates over several years to take the sting out of a big purchase and spread the cost. If you can afford it, bulk buy items you would be putting in your shopping basket anyway. Special offers (especially buy-one, get-one-free deals) on non-perishable food items can be a great way to stock up.

Keep items in good condition to ensure they last longer. Follow the maintenance and care instructions for appliances, vacuum cleaners, etc., to ensure they stay in tip top working order. When buying items look out for offers of free or cheap extended guarantees so that if something does break down you don’t face an expensive repair bill, perhaps for up to five years.

Having several pots simmering on the stove can get the electricity and gas metres ticking over, so find some great one-pot recipes to save on the utility bills and the washing up.

Apply as many of these money-saving tips as you can and hopefully you’ll soon notice the difference in your household expenditure.

This guest post was written by British financial blogger Francesca who writes on behalf of IVA Expert. Share your best money saving tips by leaving a comment or by Tweeting @franki_blogs!

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10 Extreme Ways to Improve Your Savings Accounts This Summer

10 Extreme Ways to Improve Your Savings Accounts This Summer

Sometimes regular budgeting just isn’t enough. If you need extra money, then some extreme lifestyle changes can be made to find some extra money within your income. If you’re looking to enjoy yourself this summer, you might want some extra money in your savings account. Here are ten extreme ways you could save money to such an end.

  1. In The Shower

This option is practical because it can be done to different extents. For example, in extreme cases you could shower every other day, but simply learning to take quick effective showers can shave a surprising amount on the water bill. Further reductions can be made by skipping the shower on a Sunday – if you’re not going out it can occasionally wait till Monday.

  1. Your Mobile Phone

At the end of the day, a mobile phone needs to make calls send texts and, depending on your immediate needs, access the internet. Since most phones can do this these days, there’s no need to upgrade to this year’s latest smart phone. By downgrading or keeping your phone, you’ll save money.

  1. Grow Your Own Food

While vegetables can often be cheap, growing them yourself can be even cheaper. Doing this regularly will reduce your shopping bills. Plus, you get vegetables at their freshest, with the added benefit of knowing you prepared them yourself. Even if you live in a flat, there are ways to grow your own vegetables, you just need soil, water and sunlight.

  1. Buy Second Hand

Not the most extreme option, buying used goods can save a lot of money. Whether it’s clothes, DVDs or other products, the quality is often very close to brand new products at a fraction of the cost. This is can be rather easy to keep up once you get into the habit, and you’ll save a surprising amount.

  1. Wash Clothes In Cold Water

 Hot water doesn’t always have its benefits. It costs you more and cold water will still wash clothes all the same.

  1. Compare Everything

More than just utility bills, check for cheaper options everywhere. Being complacent and accepting the current prices won’t reduce the costs, finding a cheaper solution will.

  1. Negotiate

Whether you find somewhere cheaper or not, never be afraid to negotiate. More than just your utility bills, you can let other services know if it’s cheaper elsewhere. This includes the likes of computer repairs and garages, where your custom is appreciated. Letting them know of a better deal elsewhere might reduce the costs for you.

  1. Walk

A simple option, yet many don’t consider the benefits. Not only will you save money, you’ll get some exercise too. You don’t need to drive everywhere, it wastes fuel and money. If the weather’s good, a long walk can be rewarding in itself.

  1. Car Share

If you have to drive somewhere, and public transport isn’t an option, consider joining or setting up a car share. If you know people who need to go the same way you are, then sharing the costs of driving can benefit everyone.

  1. Nights In

While nights out are always fun, they are expensive. Instead of buying lots of drinks at a bar, invite your friends over with a cheap bottle of wine. It may not sound as exciting, but the end result is usually the same.

Author | Amie is a passionate about personal finance in her spare time she enjoys reading about high interest savings account deals, and looking at savings and investment plan sites like Fair Investment Company

Image courtesy of tomazstolfa from Flickr


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