Finance Week- Show Me the MONEY!

We have all probably heard about the "Latte Factor". Theory is that you buy a latte every day, maybe a muffin, maybe go to Marshalls (had to throw that in), there's the extra money you should be saving. It's hard to live with no lattes, but maybe a limit would be good.

Even better than the "Latte Factor" is the "Pay Yourself First" plan. This is the key to saving and not having to be disciplined! Hooray! Here's how it works: Whatever you start or currently have whether it's an IRA or a money market account or whatever, set it up so that the money automatically comes out each month. For me my IRA is set up to take out money from my checking account every two weeks. Guess what? I don't even miss the money! That's why I just upped it this week. This is a must and I am telling you it works. Pay yourself first before you pay bills or Uncle Sam!

Here are a few other suggestions and tricks I found out about to help you find more to save.

1. gas prices going insane find out the cheapest place to buy it! Go to this site and plug in your zip code!

2. Meal planning. Go to Organizing Junkie and learn all about Meal Planning Monday. I have saved so much in groceries sticking to the plan!

3. Home phone and Cell? Some of our friends have dropped their home phone lines all together! Saves you money!

4. Credit Cards- Get rid of you debt and save a ton of cash. Until then go to and find the lowest rates on every type of loan including credit cards.

5. Start Paying Cash- Spending hurts when you don't take out the plastic.

What are your saving secrets? How do you find money to save?


Lauren said...

My husband and I only have cell phones. Even though a home phone isn't that expensive, it is something we don't need.

Enjoy your week!

Feener said...


also collecting change always makes me feel like i am doing something. we have a jar and take it to commerce where you can put it in this great counting machine

Em said...

The menu planning is a great idea. The weeks I do it, I find are less stressful and definitely more healthy for us and our bank account! This is a great list! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I've tagged you in a post!

magnolia mama said...

Direct deposit into savings. We've been doing it for years so we don't even notice the difference.

Belle in Bloom said...

We paid off our credit cards four years ago. We only work with cash/debit cards. It does hurt to spend when you're using cash, so that has helped. Weekly menus are a must. If I don't have a list, I will spend at least $100 more on groceries. No joke. I'm loving this! Be back tomorrow!

Pink Flamingo said...

DH and I bank at Bank of America and participate in the *Keep the Change* program…I save automatically with every debit purchase I make…it is amazing to see how quickly it adds up!

Jillian, Inc. said...

Well, I really suck at menu planning. I wish I could say I do it, 'cause I think it's really cool. But I'm terrible at it. We do save money by paying ourself first, as you already mentioned. We also rarely eat out...meaning many once a month. I do clip coupons and watch the ads for things on sale that we use a lot of. I combine errands to save on gas and I take my lunch to work. We also save by doing a lot of "free" stuff with the kids like park, swimming, biking as opposed to bowling and movies. They have just as much fun and we get exericse to boot! Great series this week.

Tres Poshe Preppy said...

Great list!

Ahh, the Latte Factor. I have to admit, that is what really got me thinking different about my money and how I spend it. I seem to be an all or nothing kind of gal and got overwhelmed with it all and when I saw this (in easy simple numbers), I was inspired!

$5 per day (the average cost of a latte and a muffin) x 7 days = $35 per week

$35/week = $150/month

$150 per month invested at a rate of 10% annual return =

1 year = $1,885
2 years = $3,967
5 years =$11,616
10 years = $30,727
15 years = $62,171
30 years = $339,073
40 years = $948,611

I'm on gas buddy daily as my tank always seems to be empty.:(

I like to have envelopes. It sounds corny but I have one for hair, facial, massage, or a special thing I'm saving for, etc. I put a little in them each week or here and there and when I go to the salon, I don't feel the pain of $200 all at once. It's easier to put $25 a week in there and you don't even know it but after 8 weeks (I save money pushing it out from 6 to 8 weeks), and voila my cut and color plus tip is taken care of. I know that it's not really saving but it's an easy way to prevent putting something on the credit card, etc. if you don't have the cash handy at the time.

LOVING this! Can't wait for more. I'm a big fan of Suzie Orman, I think she empowers women to make the most of their money without making us feel stupid or afraid. I love watching when people call in and ask "Can I afford it"! :)

BTW- TOO funny you know Lori! I totally agree, Jeff's lips seem much plumper this season. What a riot he is!

Anonymous said...

we have a no store cards policy. we also only allow one credit card each. i'm not sure how much it saves but it's our little rule.

Somewhere Between Pinot and Pacifiers said...

Since I quit working, I have really gotten into coupons and sales, whereas I used to just shop anytime. I try to hit up end of the season sales for my daughter. Also, I pay A LOT more attention at the grocery store now to when things go on sale, like soft drinks, etc.

I am definitely not good at saving and it is something I am having to work on!

Life is what you make it said...

We do the envelope system too. I like it. We also start off the month paying ourselves first, (by transferring some to a savings account) but then sometimes end up transferring some money back for treats at the end of the month. Guess we should put it in a 'no touch' account. The one thing I'm a big sucker for is my coffee! I can give up a lot of things, but need my mocha pretty much daily. I think communication between spouses is key. Kind of a no-brainer, but really true.

Mom on the Run said...

Well, I'm a little older than most of your readers and we've been through this "bad economy" situation before. Luckily, we got frugal the first time around (The Tightwad Gazette newsletter and books, all pre-internet). Before Dave Ramsey there was Larry Burkett giving seminars in churches. A year ago, we paid off our mortgage after ten years in the house. We own all our cars (five of them) and don't buy a new one unless we can pay for it. It just takes time, it doesn't happen overnight, but it is worth it to keep at it. The main thing is that you can't feel "poor me", even though it's hard. DOTR's sibs both have big new houses, leased cars, etc. so it sucks to look like we're the Po Folks of the family.

It helps to have a husband who squirrels away money and has you thinking you're always almost broke, too. I used to be the spender, now I'm the one who's more of a tightwad than DOTR.

Brie said...

Oh wow - organizing junkie and gas buddy are great tips! Can't wait to check them out more. I really try to plan out meals esp during the school year but I definitely get into ruts!