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Down Payment Money Saving Blog Archives - March 2008

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Saving Up Money For A House
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March 27, 2008
Save Up Your Mortgage Down Payment, It's A Game

Stressed out about saving money for your mortgage down payment or other large savings goal? Don't be! Life is meant to be fun, saving money too. I came across a really cool site which I just had to share with you, Save Money Games. As the name implies, this site contains a lot of really neat games all about saving money. If you are saving money anyways, why not have fun doing it?

Saving money for your home loan down payment can be stressful. Most recently, the stock market has been really volatile, the economy is not doing so great, and I'm getting worried about inflation taking a toll on my savings. Moreover, I'm a little upset because I made some big purchases which I know are going to set me back from my goal of saving up my down payment. At the same time, I know worry and stress is counterproductive, both for my health and wallet. My personal goal is to use some of the games on Save Money Games to get my focus back on track and have some fun saving money. It will be so rewarding when I have saved my down payment and own my first house.

March 24, 2008
Some Neat Tips To Save Money For Your House

In general, I try to avoid buying magazines at the supermarket. The cost can really add up at around $3 or more per magazine. In fact, I estimate that I'm saving around $72 per year by cutting back on my magazine purchases, one of my top 10 simple ways to save money. At the same time, you can't put a price on education. If you see a magazine that's educational, I think that the learning and satisfaction you get out of reading it will far outweigh the cost. I had this exact experience with the March, 2008 edition of Money magazine. In general this is a good magazine if you're new to investing, finances, and saving money. Of particular interest in the March 2008 edition is an article on page 46 about some neat tricks to save money titled, To Be a Better Saver, Try These Tricks by Walter Updegrave.

The article presents some really neat money saving tips, whether you are just trying to save money in general during our rough economy or saving to buy your first house like myself. The overall premise of the article is that saving money is a mind game, one that you must battle all the time. While your mind is geared toward short term gratification, saving money is a long term strategic initiative. The author presents several money saving strategies but my favorite by far is dangle a carrot. This means you reward yourself for hitting your goals, much like salespeople are rewarded via commissions. For example, if you save $5,000 why not reward yourself with a weekend getaway? (Just make sure to spend no more than a few hundred on your getaway.) Other tactics discussed are punishing yourself with a fine if you miss your savings goals and also making your saving automatic. Automatically deduct an amount from your paycheck and deposit it in a savings account that you don't touch, ideally a high yield savings account (although high yield savings accounts aren't exactly yielding so much in this low interest rate environment). This will eliminate temptation and allow you to stay on target to hit your long term savings goals. I am a big believer in the mental side of saving money and battle myself with temptations to spend money everyday because I dream of a luxurious lifestyle. At the same time, I know that if I can save for my own condo or townhouse down payment, I will be living a much nicer lifestyle than I am now. This is the image I think of over and over again to stay motivated.

March 16, 2008
Saving Money Vs. Making More Money

If you are a regular visitor to my site, you may have noticed that the volume of new blog posts has slowed down. There is good reason. I have been spending most of my free time trying to make more money. There are two ways to save for home loan down payment or other money saving goal. The first is "saving" money. Saving means you spend less. Looking at yourself objectively like a business, you are cutting costs. I like saving money because it is usually a game of willpower. Can you trick you mind into thinking about the long term advantages of savings versus the short term enjoyment of a fancy dinner out?

The second way of reaching a savings goal (or just improving your personal finances in general) is to make more money. Making more money involves additional work. You need to spend more of your time at a second job or start your own business, preferably at home. There are pros and cons of making more money versus purely cutting costs. Making more money involves a lot of time and it's easy to burn out. At the same time, making more money is a form of financial leverage. You're going to reach your savings goal a lot faster if you make more money (you can only re-coup so much by cutting costs). Moreover, if you start your own business, making more money can be a lot of fun and boost your personal morale. It's a really neat thing to know you own the business you are creating. That's exactly what I'm doing right now and why I haven't been writing quite as many blog posts and articles for this site as I used to. I am trying to make more money for my house down payment by starting income producing websites. I actually have launched two sites in addition to this one, both with completely different topics. I would encourage all of you to consider making more money in addition to saving money. If you combine these two tactics, you will reach your savings goals and improve your finances with a lot more leverage. Just remember to get some sleep. Also, does this mean I will not be writing more blog entries and articles for this site? Absolutely not. I have some really neat money saving articles in the pipeline, just in time for spring and summer.

March 2, 2008
Money Saving Tips For Easter and Holidays

Easter is coming up and today's article is all about ways to save money during Easter and holidays in general. I'm thankful to my girlfriend for the inspiration behind this money saving tip. Her family has been saving money every holiday forever by leveraging these great strategies. Rule one: Always buy decorations and cards after the holiday is over. After Easter is over, nobody is going to be interested in Easter decorations. Retailers will discount them very heavily, sometimes by 50 percent or more. If you think ahead to next year, you will save a bundle. The decorations and cards will be exactly the same next season, only you will have to pay full price. This rule doesn't just apply to Easter. You can also save a ton of money in the post-holiday sales after Christmas, Halloween, and Valentines Day. Money saving rule two: Shop for bargains. Each holiday, there are always bargains to be found. You can find money saving bargains by comparison shopping online or by being a savvy shopper in the malls. My girlfriend and I personally always find great bargains at Target's "the dollar spot." They always have some great deals on holiday decorations for one dollar. Rule number three: Why not make your own decorations and cards? You can save a lot of money by avoiding shopping altogether and making your own decorations. Plus, it's a lot of fun and adds a great personal touch to your decorating. Why not have a fun family activity making decorations one weekend? Money saving rule four: Have a pot luck dinner. If you like entertaining, don't always pay for everything. Have your guests each bring a dish so you can even out the expenses. It's always fun to try out different dishes and your wallet will thank you too. This Easter, it's time to have more fun than ever and also save some serious money towards your down payment or other savings goal.

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