5 Ways to Be Responsible with Money

6

moneyI went to the grocery store yesterday and was shocked. How could five bags of stuff possibly cost that much? I freaked. I got sweaty, and my heartbeat was fast and heavy. The line was long, so I couldn't put things back without looking ridiculous. Besides, I needed baby food, meat and something to feed the cat.

I need to be more careful with my money. I am hoping to save more this year if at all humanly possible.

Since saving money is one of the most popular New Year's Resolutions, I thought I'd share these tips I just received from Citi. Here are 5 ways to be more responsible with our money.

Tips are from Dara Duguay, Director of Citi’s Office of Financial Education:

  1. Don’t treat money as taboo. Whether managing finances yourself or with a spouse/partner, avoiding money issues in the hopes that they will just go away or until you have a financial crisis only guarantees stress and arguments. Set aside time every month--or schedule regular monthly “money meetings” with your partner--to review the bills, money goals, investment portfolio, college savings and any other money topic that is relevant. This monthly review could coincide with bill paying or when your bank statement arrives.
  2. Create an emergency fund. Emergency savings are, in effect, a form of insurance. It will protect you from life’s curve balls. Open a savings account and don’t stop contributing until you have saved enough to cover at least three months of monthly expenses. If you can save six months worth, even better. This will prevent you from having to take cash advances, which while helpful in emergencies, come with fees and interest rate charges that are usually higher than your credit card purchases.
  3. Pay more than the minimum on your credit cards whenever you can.  Even a small amount more than the minimum can make a big difference in the time it takes to pay off your balance. Also, be sure to make your monthly payments on time, every time. Even one late or missed payment can be recorded in your credit report and affect your credit history. 
  4. Contribute the maximum to a retirement savings plan. Approximately 50 percent of Americans who have the opportunity to contribute to a company retirement plan, choose not to. In many cases, contributions are matched by the company. This is free money that is being thrown away by opting out. Remember that your contributions will reduce your taxable income and will only be taxed when you start to withdraw them at retirement age. 
  5. Get adequate insurance protection. There is nothing like an emergency to wipe out your savings or add to your debt level. Protect yourself financially from as many emergencies as possible by ensuring adequate insurance for health, life, auto and home. Confronting these issues can be difficult since no one likes to think about possible illness or death, but you have to be realistic.

I'm still reeling from the price of milk and cat food and a few chicken breasts earlier today. I'm definitely checking out the private group Coupon and Bargain Loving Mama's. Do you get sticker shock at the grocery store, too?

emotional health, energy & fatigue, in the news, mental health

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LoveM... LoveMyDog

3. Pay the entire balance on your credit cards or switch to cash.  Unless you have a an emergency such as a broken car during a trip or a root canal with no dental coverage you must only spend what you have and live within your means or you will never be free of debt!  This should be #2 on your list.  there is no point in having an emegency fund if you are already spending more than you take in. 

Erica37 Erica37

I always use coupons at the Grocery store,And save a ton.they will double the coupons up to a dollar,So if you get the ten for ten items,They will be free,If your coupon is .50,or more,Its a great deal.Of course,I don't always need whats ten for ten,But look for the sale items,And compare to your coupons,And you will save a lot at the grocery store.

nonmember avatar mary109

saving money is on a lot of minds (can't read a paper or watch the news without hearing about the economy). Thank goodness for others out there reaching out with ideas. The easiest or maybe the hardest way to start on the road to saving is to take a simple notebook & for one month record all your expenses. The key is to write every expense down (haven't we all sometimes wondered where the shrinking paycheck goes). It can be an eye opener bank fees (sneaky & if you read your statements ever increasing) late fees, entertainment, eating out, misulanious it all adds up. At the end of the month you will have a clear picture of where your money goes. It may sound simple but you will be challanged.

dorte... dortega0422

It is important to treat your money as you treat humans! Respect your money has it cost you great work to earn it!

socce... soccermom07223

yeah I am really trying harder this year to save money and learn to live with in my means. I really am feeling the pinch at the grocerie stores these days. I pray that prices come down soon. It will make it easier on us all

posit... positiveMom

sorry to change the subject a little but I couldn't work out how to send you a private message so anyway.....i live in Zim where we've recently changed over to the US dollar but I don't think people here have a clue how the US dollar works, and so they just take their prices out of the air, and now I cant tell what prices should be anymore.  Could you tell me the prices of things in the states?  Eg coke in a glass bottle, pizza, bread, dog food, sausages, milk, as well as things like furniture.  Anybody able to help me out?  I'm trying to work out a budget but its really hard!  Thanks for your help

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