Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

Posts Tagged ‘savings

Give Yourself a Few Thousand Dollars a Year

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This is for those of you who are members of a household with two or more cars.

You can gift yourself more than $9,000 a year, because that’s the average cost of auto

ownership, according to an American Automobile Association report.

As a neighbor commented, “That buys a whole lotta cab rides.”

Your car payments, interest on those payments, insurance, maintenance, gasoline, tires,

repairs, parking, license, depreciation and other auto-allied costs may not amount to that. Maybe

they’re more than that.

Doing a bit of arithmetic should be enlightening.

If you still have a job, check out the public transit-system service to and from the work site. Most urbanites live within half a mile — about a 10-minute walk — of a bus, trolley, or subway stop.

Public transit in most cities is likely faster than motorists’ commute time during rush hours

getting to and from work.

If you think it’s too far to walk to nearest transit stop, get a bicycle. Most transportation systems are equipped to allow bikes on board or on racks. And most stations have facilities for locking bikes.

If this is unworkable, see if carpooling is an option. If you go to a gymnasium regularly or to a particular restaurant or hangout or to regular service-club luncheons, check with those around you for rides. When all else fails, take a cab.

Remember, too, that you still have a car in the family. You’re only selling one, yours or your spouse’s.

If you’re no longer tied to an office or other workplace, the problem is much simpler.

Think about when you need a car and where you need to get to. You can take public transit to

sports events or for doctor or dentist appointments. Cabs are at the ready and your other

family car is your backup.

You’ll still use this vehicle to get groceries, visit relatives and go on motoring vacations.

The money you save can be used to pay off credit-card debt or to buy yourself goodies

you’ve always wanted. And you don’t have to do all the driving.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

December 22, 2021 at 3:00 am

Posted in Finance

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Frugality Firms Fiscal Muscles

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By Cecil Scaglione, Mature Life Features

There’s a myth perpetuated in the saying “If you have to ask how much it costs, you can’t afford it.”

Nonsense. Even the wealthiest nabobs want to know the price of a product or service they’re buying. It doesn’t  mean they won’t spend the money. They just want to know what value or return they’re getting for their money. That’s one  reason they have money. They keep an eye on it.

Most people don’t know how much money they have in their pockets or purses. Even more have no idea how much credit they have on their cards. Those who know how much credit remains on their credit cards at any particular moment are pretty well nonexistent.

How do they expect to win at any financial game, which is measured in dollars, when they don’t even know the score? There are some simple economic exercises you can take to become fiscally fit.

For one thing, you can look at your credit cards to determine how much total credit you have. Then subtract your credit-card debt against that total  find out how much credit you have left. And keep a running account of your available credit.

Then see how much money you have in your checking account. And in your savings account. Did you know what the totals were before looking? You shouldn’t have had to check. You should have known before looking.

If you didn’t know any of the above figures, it’s like playing a game of baseball, football, hockey, golf, you name it, and never knowing the score. How can you expect t be a winner?

Now count the money in your pocket or purse. Did you know how much you had? Put the change in a piggy bank, cigar box or whatever is handy. Never spend pocket change you carry home. It can accumulate and become a handy pool for spending for birthday or Christmas gifts.

All this is aimed at making you take account of every penny you spend. Do you leave the television set running while you take a shower? Or while you’re out cutting the lawn? Do you switch off the light when you leave a room? Why do you have two lights on in the same room?  All this costs money that you can save by simply flicking a switch.

And it turns the spotlight on your money game.

Another exercise is the simple one your mother probably taught you: “gluing” the final small sliver of soap to a new bar. You can cut down the amount of laundry soap usage around the house if you wear those pair of casual jeans one day longer than you had planned. Same with that fleece vest.

These moves of economy stretch out to other areas. Why spend big bucks on movies when you can watch them on the Internet at home eating much cheaper popcorn? The same with pulling in books from cyberspace.

These simple moves should leave you with a clearer picture of what the money game is all about and lead you to more powerful exercises to help boost your financial fortunes.

Mature Life Features, Copyright 2003

Written by Cecil Scaglione

March 17, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Posted in Finance

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