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Home Despair: Saving money on home can be dicey situation

Everyone interested in saving money looks just about everywhere to find a few dollars to spare or expenses to cut, even if it means going without or using every skill imaginable, even if it isn't necessarily one that isn't one of your strong suits.

The expense cutting is rather simple when you consider all of what you're paying for and ultimately determine what is needed versus what is considered expendable or, perhaps a luxury. Your rent, car payment, utilities, food and gas probably can't be manipulated much (aside from maybe taking the bus a few days per week).

The real cost cutting comes in the form of restaurant dining, cable television or phone bills, the frills of spending money on clothing or taking vacations when the “staycation” is your most viable option.

The restaurant dining is an interesting point based on the idea that those aforementioned skills you might want to tap into could come into play in a positive way. Let's say you start using that expensive at home interest service to start researching recipes and that translates into buying food to prepare and cook versus the huge markup that is restaurant food.

Seems simple enough, right?

The dicey part comes when you start looking around the house at home repairs that seem easy enough to tackle but ultimately could lead to you causing more harm than good. That equates to not saving money but rather having to spend more to have a qualified repair person do what you couldn't.

When it comes to saving money on your home as it relates to fixing it in truthfully any room, you not only have to rely on your skills but tap into those of the people who work at various home improvement retailers. They're often not prepared to tell you home to build an entire home addition or even an outside deck, but they can be a money saving resource of the rudimentary.

Fixing a leaky sink pipe or drain, repairing the runny toilet tank with a new “flusher” or even that stubborn drip on your air conditioning unit are the kind of run of the mill messes that you can tidy up rather easily with either the help of a Home Depot or Lowes personnel or just assessing the situation with common sense and the little bit of do it yourself wherewithal that you already possess. Often things might need an inexpensive washer, plastic fitting or just a quick tightening. In those instances, your money is better spent buying what you need and avoiding the high cost of hourly work that typically comes with at home repairs on any level.

Leaving it to the professionals always is a prudent move but not all incidence or issues require that kind of money out of pocket. Saving money starts with surveying what you have on your plate first before you start shelling out cash for perceived convenience.


E-Mauled: Is your email costing you a fortune?

Those interested in saving money, the ones that make it a point to budget, save and spend pragmatically, often consider themselves part of the elite, intelligent group that feels wholeheartedly like they know a thing or two about money.

They pay attention to their expenses, income and aren't quick to buy when maybe fixing or forgoing would work better from a money standpoint. Even the most headstrong and competent money manager, however, might have a vice that is preventing them from truly reaching their peak performance as it relates to budgeting.

Pinpointing exactly what that is can be difficult, particularly if you're not looking in the right places or if you are oblivious to the problem because you really don't see it as one.

One area often terribly overlooked is your email inbox.

What exactly does your electronic mail have to do with saving money?

Think about what the majority of your inbox consists of; perhaps a joke of the day or recipe might pop up from time to time, but you probably would be hard pressed to disagree that most of what you see is advertising and marketing as it relates to retailers barraging consumers with email offers to elicit the response they want.

In short, you see promotion, and you buy what's on “sale.”

That email inbox is filled with filler but what some may view it as is a ticket or justification to start spending because of how much money they'll be saving by buying. But before you begin your assault on your neighboring shopping mall, you have to really determine if what you are buying is a need or just a want that looks good on paper (electronically, anyway).

Plenty of emails that come and go actually do provide plenty of worthwhile discounts on anything from clothes to services that you may, in essence, need at the moment. If your roof is leaking, and you decide to take advantage of an email promo from a reputable company, that's money well spent and hardly should be considered poor judgment.

That same email inbox also could be overflowing with ads for clothing stores or electronic retailers enticing you to replace your whole wardrobe with $50 off coupons or upgrading that old (although not really) cell phone with something better, respectively.

What those emails don't put in quite the same amount of bold print is that $50 savings only occurs when you spend $200. And nowhere does it mention that the latest and greatest cell phone is only a little better than what you have.

Ignoring the power of promotion might be the difference between saving money and spending just fr the sake of doing so. Something as simple as hitting the delete button on those emails could prove just as potent as showing some buying restraint.


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