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Why Save Money Now? 9 Reasons That Will Help You Start Saving

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Learning to save money is one of the best things you can do for yourself. 

Saving money can help you prepare for emergencies, start a business, retire, and more.

Financial security is one of the best reasons for why you should save money, and being prepared financially is one of the best feelings in the world. You can travel more, pursue your passions, quit a job you don’t love, try new things, and more.

But, I hear over and over again from people that they don’t want to save money now because they think they have the rest of their life to do so.

However, that’s far from true, especially if you want to be prepared for emergencies or retire.

When you decide to start saving money now, you will be ready to live the rest of your life. 

You can take chances, try new things, and be ready in case something awful were to happen. Saving money gives you the freedom to worry less and live more.

Now, there are some situations when people do have a harder time saving money. Maybe you are living paycheck to paycheck, are working to eliminate high amounts of debt, etc. 

Even though learning to save money can be hard, small amounts of money add up over time, and this is very true when you start now. Plus, there are lots of great ways to make extra money to make saving now easier.

Saving money takes discipline and some people may need to take extreme measures, but starting to save money now is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

Related content:

Below is why you should save money even if you think you have the rest of your life to do so.

 

Learning a good savings routine now will help you later.

One of the top reasons for why many don’t start saving now and/or invest for retirement is because they claim that they don’t know how. Yes, it might feel overwhelming in the beginning – how to start investing, where to save your money, etc. But, these are things you can learn so it doesn’t have to be hard.

Once you get over the hump of getting started, you can create a routine where you regularly make contributions to a savings account or a retirement account. There are even investing and savings apps available to automate the process for you.

Acorns is a popular micro investing app that you can use to schedule deposits into your investment account – even just $5 at a time. You can also set up Acorns to round up transactions from a linked card to invest passively.

However you start to save and invest now and the sooner you do it, the more it becomes a habit and the easier it will become. By saving money as soon as you can, you will learn good financial habits that will help you well into the future.

Learn how to start investing at How To Start Investing With Little Money

 

You don’t need as much money as you think.

More and more people are choosing to live a minimalist lifestyle because they have realized that less is more. These people are living in smaller houses, not buying as much stuff, and being more thoughtful when they do make purchases.

These choices can lead to significantly spending less money on things, which makes it easier to save your money.

Now, leading a minimalist lifestyle isn’t for everyone. But, material items do not always equal happiness. Sometimes they just add stress, debt, and more. Think about it – the more stuff you have, the more likely that something will break, something will get lost or tossed to the side, and so on.

And if you think about the fact that the average household has 300,000 items (not a typo), that’s a lot of money spent on stuff.

However, do we actually need all of that stuff?

Probably not.

Spending money on a bunch of unnecessary stuff does not mean that you will have a higher level of happiness than someone else.

When you learn to live with less, you will find that you don’t need as much money as you thought.

Related: How A Minimalist Lifestyle Can Bring You Happiness 

 

An enjoyable life doesn’t have to be expensive.

One of the other things I hear about saving money is that it’s boring.

Yes, I have heard that if you are saving your money that you’re having no fun. In fact, here are a few myths I’ve heard about saving:

  • “I can’t save money because that means I’ll just be eating rice and beans and sitting on my couch all day long.”
  • “That person is only able to save money because they have a boring life.”
  • “I’d rather enjoy my life now and worry about saving money when I’m old.”

These are not true, at all. You know what they say when a person complains about being bored – that they are actually a boring person.

If you think spending money rather than saving money will lead to happiness, then you need to change your mindset.

Life is all about a comfortable balance. You can save money, spend money, and have an enjoyable life. It’s not one or the other. And, really, it’s all about knowing what you can actually afford and thinking about whether buying something will actually benefit your life.

There are plenty of ways to live an awesome life while saving money. Yes, you can still see your friends, have fun with your loved ones, go on vacations, and more, all while staying on a realistic budget.

Instead of going out to eat three to four times a week, you can prepare meals with friends or family or host a potluck.

Instead of taking an expensive vacation, you can do a roadtrip or plan a staycation.

Instead of spending lots of money on an expensive weekend out with your friends or significant other, you can go for a hike, bike ride, and more.

There are so many ways to have fun for free or cheap, and finding new ideas now can help you start to save money.

Related: 

 

Compound interest matters.

Learning how to save your money is a wonderful thing, especially if you start investing. When it comes to investing, time is on your side because of the powerful impact of compound interest.

Compound interest is one important reason for why you should start to save your money now instead of waiting until you are older.

To put it simply, compound interest is when your interest is earning interest. This can then turn the amount of money you have saved into a much larger amount years later.

This is important to note because of inflation – $100 today will not be worth $100 in the future if you just let it sit under a mattress or in a checking account. However, if you invest, you can actually turn your $100 into something more. Investing for the long term means your money is working for you, potentially earning you an income.

For example: If you put $1,000 into a retirement account that has an annual 8% return, 40 years later that would turn into $21,724. If you started with that same $1,000 and put an extra $1,000 in it for the next 40 years at an annual 8% return, that would then turn into $301,505. If you started with $10,000 and put an extra $10,000 in it for the next 40 years at that same percentage rate, that would then turn into $3,015,055.

Side note: I recommend you check out Personal Capital if you are interested in gaining control of your financial situation. Personal Capital is similar to Mint.com, but much better. Personal Capital is free and it allows you to aggregate your financial accounts so that you can easily see your whole financial situation, including investments.

Related content:

 

There’s no need to waste money just because you can.

There is no reason to spend all of your money just because you are able to. In my opinion, finding ways to save money will bring you greater security and peace of mind.

I’ve heard of people (even many who are close to me) say, “If I have money, I’ll spend all of it.”

If you decided to save your money rather than spend the last bits of it until your next paycheck, you will be on the road to saving more in the long run, meaning you can start to break free from a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle.

Even if you are only able to save a small amount, that is much better than not saving anything.

Like I said above, time and compound interest are both on your side, and this can turn the small amount of money you have saved into a much larger amount.

Related: 16 Alternatives To Cable TV That WILL Save You Money

 

Stop letting others dictate how you live your life.

One of the reasons that people spend more than they should (and save less now) is because it looks like that is what everyone else is doing.

We’ve all seen the pictures on Facebook or Instagram of a friend with their brand new car, someone on an amazing vacation, or in brand new clothes. But, just because other people have something, that doesn’t mean you need to as well.

You have no idea how someone paid for those things. Maybe they make more than you think, maybe it was a gift, or maybe they are going into debt to “afford” things.

You are the only one who gets to dictate how to spend your money. And you can choose to save instead of spending money on things to keep up with others.

In 10, 20, 30, or 40 years, you could be living a comfortable life without debt, not stuck in a job you hate, and be pursuing your passions. Doesn’t that sound so much better than a life of debt and comparison?

 

The less money you spend now, the less you need in the future.

By spending less money, you’ll decrease the amount of money you need in the future. This includes money for emergency funds, retirement, and more.

This will help you build your emergency fund quicker and reach retirement sooner.

Just think about it: If you are already living a frugal lifestyle, then you will be used to living on less in the future. This means your retirement savings doesn’t need to be as large, which means it may be easier to reach that savings goal.

Also, if you spend less money, you probably won’t need as much in your emergency fund, which can also help you fund that sooner!

When you spend less money now, you can save at a higher rate, and that means you can reach your goals that much faster!

For example, Mr. Money Mustache has a great graphic in his blog post The Shockingly Simple Math Behind Early Retirement that shows you how your savings rate can dramatically impact when you’ll retire. For example:

  • Saving at the average personal savings rate of 5%, it will take you 66 working years until you reach retirement.
  • A 25% savings rate means it will take you 32 working years to retire.
  • A 50% savings rate means it will take you 17 working years to retire.
  • A 75% savings rate means it will take you 7 working years to retire.

So, by saving more of your money, you are likely to retire sooner. Sounds amazing, right?

 

There’s no guarantee that you’ll always have that income stream.

Time and time again, I hear from people that say they don’t need to save money now because they have a job.

Yes, you may feel safe and secure in your job, but the truth is that you never really know how long you’ll be making money or how long that job will last.

Many other people think, “But, I enjoy my job!”

While it’s great that you enjoy your job, you should still learn to save your money. Too many people think they can work forever because they love their job.

However, what happens when you can no longer work? You don’t know what the future will bring – you may encounter a medical problem, a serious life event, you may hate your job 20 years from now, and so on.

Why do people save money? One reason is because nothing is guaranteed.

So, instead of spending every last penny that you have, you should find ways to save more money.

Related: 12 Passive Income Ideas That Will Let You Enjoy Life More

 

 

The best things in life are free.

Stop for a second and think about your life. Do you have a friend you can count on? A family member who cares for you? A significant other to share your life with? Did a stranger hold the door open or offer you a smile? None of those things cost a dime.

Even if you just have one of these, you are still experiencing the happiness in life that comes free of charge.

There are so many free things in life to enjoy!

There are libraries, parks, free concerts, music on the radio, and more.

All of these amazing free things mean that you can stop spending as much and start to save money now.

Living a frugal life means you are taking advantage of what’s already around you. For some, this can be a hard mindset to get into, but when you realize you already have the most important things in life, you will realize that money isn’t the be all and end all.

There are many reasons to save money, and it’s never too late to start.

 

Starting to save money now will change your life.

Saving money is a mindset that you have to put yourself into. You have to make routines, make sacrifices, and change the way you spend money.

I know all of that is hard to do, but there is no greater feeling than being prepared.

And please don’t think that it’s too late to start saving. It’s never too late!

By learning to save at any age or stage of your life, you are making one of the smartest decisions you can for your future, even just a month or five years down the line.

What do you think? Do you think you should save money now? Or enjoy life and save later?

The post Why Save Money Now? 9 Reasons That Will Help You Start Saving appeared first on Making Sense Of Cents.



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How We Deal With Picky Eaters

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When I talk about cutting your grocery bill, I often will hear from people who will ask, “What do you do about picky eaters?”

As you probably have gathered from our sometimes non-conventional menu plans, we don’t base our menu plans upon picky eating palates. Instead, we based them upon what’s on sale at the store and what we have on hand.

Our kids have learned from a young age that I don’t cater to their whims and wishes when it comes to food. We stick with a budget and we shop the sales and markdowns.

Much of the time, that means I find at least a few great deals each week on some of their favorite foods (and I try to stock up as much as I can when I do!). However, sticking with a budget means that I’ve at least somewhat regularly served things for meals that the kids didn’t think they would like.

When it comes to encouraging our kids to eat foods they either don’t really like (or just haven’t tried and think they won’t like), here’s how we approach it at our house:

1. You have to eat three bites.

I know it might almost sound a little juvenile, but for some reason, limiting it to three bites seems to be very doable for our picky eater(s) and they rarely complain because they know that three bites is all that is required.

Note: The adults need to set the example here. If Mom and Dad are picky, there’s a good chance that it’s going to trickle down to some of your kids, too. Set a good example of gratefully eating food set in front of you and not complaining about food… your kids are watching and picking up on your example more than you know!

2. If you complain, you have to eat three more bites.

It is such a gift to have food to eat and I never want my kids to forget that. Even if you don’t like something, you don’t have to complain about it.

So we’ve instituted the rule that if you complain about something, you have to eat three more bites. This cuts down significantly on any complaining! 🙂

3. Once you’ve eaten three bites, you can make something else for your dinner.

We’ve found that oftentimes, the kids will think they won’t like something at all, but then they’ll change their mind once they’ve eaten three bites and they’ll end up eating a full serving. If they still decide that they don’t like something after three bites, they can eat the sides fixed for dinner and fix something else, as well.

The kids know that they can fix themselves yogurt, oatmeal, cereal, scrambled or fried eggs, oatmeal, or mac and cheese to go along with dinner at any time — so long as they’ve eaten their required three bites.

That’s right, I let them fix it themselves (and they are expected to clean up after themselves, too). This keeps it simple for me, but it still makes sure that they are eating enough at dinner time.

As our kids have gotten older, we’ve found that they’ve become more accustomed to different foods because of this simple system. In fact, these days, it’s rare that they fix something extra for dinner — because the three bites rule really helped them to slowly expand their palate.

They’ve now become quite adventuresome in their eating and will often choose to eat something that they don’t think they’ll like just because they want to try it! I can’t guarantee that what has worked at our house will work at yours, but hey, if you’re struggling with picky eaters, let me know if you give it a try!

An Important Note: I know that some kids genuinely have severe sensory issues when it comes to certain textures of foods or certain other issues that are very legitimate reasons for them having a “picky palate”. I’m not saying you need to or should force a child to eat three bites of something — especially in this case. You know your child and their unique needs and I think each parent should decide what would be best for each child.

How do you deal with picky eaters at your house? I’d love to hear! Tell us in the comments!



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Here Are 6 Ways to Have a Blast at a Drive-In Movie Theater

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Summer is on its way. Wahoo!

That also means it’s time to start planning affordable family nights, now that the kiddos are home and don’t have homework to worry about. But that seems to be getting harder and harder these days, especially in a way that’s safe for everyone.

That’s why you should consider the closest drive-in movie theater.

Drive-ins aren’t merely a relic of the past — you might even have one in your backyard. A family of four can see a movie with snacks and drinks for around $25, at most.

Check out this database from DriveInMovie.com to see if there is a drive-in in your county. Next, here are some hacks to make sure you get the most out of your drive-in theater experience.

Tips to Help You Have a Blast At Your Local Drive-In Movie Theater

I know what you’re thinking: “What could be so difficult about putting a car in park and watching a dang screen?”

Well, it’s not difficult. But if you want to be comfortable and have as much fun as possible, here are eight tips for your first drive-in experience, courtesy of patrons and staff at the Lakeland, Florida-based Silver Moon Drive-In Theater.

And because it seems like everything can change on a weekly — or daily — basis, we’ve included Pro Tips to help you prepare for social distancing restrictions. But check with your drive-in before you go for location-specific updates. 

1. Get There Early and Grab a Spot Near the Exit

As the only option for big-screen movies in some areas, the drive-in is becoming a lot more popular. The Silver Moon’s website specifically asks you to try to get there early. 

Pro Tip

Many drive-ins currently require you to pre-purchase tickets online and restrict capacity to allow a full space between each car.

One, you won’t have to sit in a long line of cars and burn that precious gas. And two, you can snag a parking space close to the exit so you avoid the slow-moving caravan after the double feature.

2. Bring Your Own Radio and Extra Batteries

A battery-operated radio sits on the dashboard of someone's car.

Here’s the scene: You’re out with the guy of your dreams, who is totally impressed with your choice of a classic date night. But when the movie’s over, you turn the key to start your car and hear that dreaded clicking noise. Your battery is dead.

Don’t let this happen to you; bring a portable radio with extra batteries. You have to stream the movie’s audio through a radio, and using your car radio will drain the battery.

Pro Tip

Some drive-ins will not allow you to leave your car — even for the restroom. Plan accordingly.

Also, if you plan to set up chairs in your pickup bed or behind your vehicle, you’ll need a portable radio to hear the movie anyway.

Alternatively, you can recharge your car battery by turning on your car every half hour or so and letting it run for a few minutes.

3. Bring Bug Spray

Bugs are an annoying part of life in the summertime.

You’ll be outside for a few hours — whether you’re allowed to sit outside on your lawn chairs or even if it’s just with the windows rolled down — so pack that bug spray so you don’t feel like you’re actually in the jungle while watching “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.”

4. Pack Dinner, Snacks and Drinks

A box of pizza with a beer is photographed.

One of the best parts of the drive-in is that you can bring your own food. Why spend $12 on movie-theater nachos when you can bring some chips and dip for less than half that?

Pro Tip

Some drive-ins have had to close concession stands due to social distancing restrictions — and relaxed their rules on outside food. Call before you go to ask if you can bring your own snacks.

Not all drive-ins allow outside food, so check the rules before you arrive. Silver Moon does allow you to bring in food, but its patrons rave about the food. (I recommend glass-bottle Cokes, some popcorn and a Silver Moon pizza.)

5. Wear Comfy Clothes

A little girl plays in the parking lot of a drive-in movie theater.

Here’s another drive-in advantage: Nobody will judge what you’re wearing.

Break out your pajamas for an extra comfy drive-in experience. Or dress up like one of the Avengers. 

6. Bring Cash, Just in Case

A woman buys food at the concession stand at a drive-in movie theater.

Remember when people actually paid for stuff with those green paper thingies?

Drive-ins dredge up feelings of nostalgia for much simpler times. That might mean simpler times for your wallet as well. Bring some cash just in case.

Now that you’re a drive-in expert, all you need is a cherry red 1950s convertible and you’re ready to hit the theater. Just kidding.

Alex Mahadevan is a former data journalist at The Penny Hoarder. 

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.



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Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers – June 2020 (Updated)

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Updated June 2020. I’m still collecting points and miles and maximizing the value of my credit card spending. Things are quiet as credit card issuers get conservative, but that just means picking up some slightly lesser bonuses that I passed over previously.

That space in your wallet or purse is still valuable, and you should be the one to get that value. Selected banks are offering strong perks and $500+ value for a single card during the first year to encourage you to apply and try it out. These are the top 10 credit card offers that I would personally apply for right now, if I didn’t already have most of them. Notable changes:

  • IHG Hotels 140k/75k – 140k still highest ever, new 75k traveler with no annual fee.
  • Sapphire cards add some short-term benefits.
  • Removed NavyFed, added US Bank Altitude card.

If you pay off your balances every month, then you can join me and many others in funding a huge chunk of your annual travel budget with cash credits, points, and miles. You don’t need to be a “I only fly business class” world traveler. I mostly use my rewards points on domestic economy flights, mid-class hotels, and cheap car rentals. If you have credit card debt, you should focus on paying that off first as the interest charges could offset most of the perks.

This is a companion post to my Top 10 Best Business Card Offers. Small business bonuses are on average even higher than those on consumer cards.

Note: Certain Chase cards have a “5/24 rule” which is an unofficial rule that they will automatically deny approval on new credit cards if you have 5 or more new credit cards from any issuer on your credit report within the past 2 years. This rule applies on a per-person basis, so if you are new, you might want to start with those Chase cards.

IHG Rewards Club Premier Card

  • 140,000 IHG Rewards club points after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • Free Night after each account anniversary year (valued up to 40,000 IHG points).
  • $89 annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.
  • Want something lower risk? The no-annual fee Traveler version is now offering 75,000 IHG points.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

  • 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points (worth $750 towards travel) after $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • Short-term COVID-related benefits including 3X on groceries.
  • 2X points on Travel and Dining at restaurants worldwide.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.
  • Alternative: Chase Sapphire Reserve Card. 3X on Travel and Dining, Priority Pass airport lounge access, $550 annual fee, $300 annual travel credit, 1-year Lyft Pink membership.

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Mastercard

  • 60,000 American Airlines miles after $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • First checked bag free on domestic AA flights ($60 value per roundtrip, per person).
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $99.

JetBlue Plus Card

  • 60,000 TrueBlue points after $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days. Limited-time offer. See link for details.
  • Free first checked bag for you and up to 3 companions when you use your JetBlue Plus Card.
  • $99 annual fee.

Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard

  • 60,000 American Airlines miles after any purchase in the first 90 days and paying the $99 annual fee. See link for details.
  • $99 Companion certificate offer. Earn a certificate good for 1 guest at $99 (plus taxes and fees) after making your first purchase and paying the $99 annual fee in the first 90 days.
  • First checked bag free on domestic AA flights ($60 value per roundtrip, per person).
  • $99 annual fee.

Citi Premier Card

  • 60,000 points (worth $750 towards travel booked at ThankYou.com) after $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • 3X points for every $1 spent on travel including gas stations.
  • Must not have gotten bonus from or closed a Citi Rewards+, ThankYou Preferred, Premier, or Prestige card in the past 24 months.
  • $95 annual fee.

Bank of America Premium Rewards Card

  • 50,000 points (worth $500 towards travel) after $3,000 in purchases within the first 90 days. See link for details.
  • 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • $100 annual Airline Incidental Statement Credit.
  • Up to $100 credit towards TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee.
  • $95 annual fee.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Card

  • 50,000 miles (worth $500 towards travel) after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • 2% cash back on ALL purchases. Plus earn 10X miles at Hotels.com through January 2020.
  • Up to $100 credit towards TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard

  • 50,000 Hawaiian miles after $2,000 in purchases within 90 days. See link for details.
  • Free first checked bag for primary cardmember when using your card to purchase eligible tickets directly from Hawaiian Airlines.
  • Receive a one-time 50% off companion discount for roundtrip coach travel between Hawaii and The Mainland on Hawaiian Airlines.
  • $99 annual fee.

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Credit Card

  • 50,000 bonus points ($750 value towards airfare) after $4,500 in purchases within 90 days. See link for details.
  • $325 in annual statement credits towards travel per Cardmember year (based on account opening date)
  • Up to $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
  • Priority Pass Select membership for airport lounge access.
  • $400 annual fee. (Bigger bonus, big annual fee.)

Chase World of Hyatt Card

  • Up to 50,000 Hyatt points. 25,000 Bonus Points after $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. Plus an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after a total of $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months. See link for details and rough valuation of points.
  • $95 annual fee, free night award upon card anniversary.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.



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Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers – June 2020 (Updated) from My Money Blog.


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