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How To Spend Smarter Without Cutting Back.

February 7, 2011

With the new year upon us and all the Superbowl bets over, the desire to save money seems to be a common thought. Have you ever looked at your paycheck and wondered, where does all my money go? If you are like me, I put aside money for rent and my living expenses each pay check and with the rest I should be able to live comfortably until my next pay period. So then why do I find myself rummaging through my purse for loose change to get on the bus? I needed to re-evaluate how I spend my money. Ideally living expenses should only include household utilities and groceries. The morning coffee and afternoon snacks shouldn’t be bundled in with them. Here are a few tips on how to  cut back on the cash going out without cutting back on the things you enjoy.

  • Change how you obtain your “non-necessity” necessity items. Like many people, I need my morning coffee but at $4 bucks a cup something had to give. For starters I added up all the money I spent on my morning coffee and the $11.50 I spend for lunch daily. I was startled to see it added up to over $75 dollars. Whoa, that’s a new pair of boots. For a fraction of that I purchased a one pound bag of coffee for $6.99, which gives me at least 20 cups, and made my own lunch. The best part is that it fits perfectly into my grocery expenses and leaves me with more cash in my wallet.
  • Taking public transportation can be cheaper. Many companies, Gunwel included, offer programs like Commuter Checks, a pre-tax commuter benefit program. A pre-determined amount is taken out of my check  pre-tax and deposited into a credit card I can use for all my transportation needs. This saves me over 40% annually.Since it’s my transportation costs are taken out pre-tax, the total amount being taxed on my pay check gets lessened too. Oh and did I mention your job can also save by reducing their payroll taxes?  Sounds like win-win to me.
  • Name brands aren’t always better. I come from a generation where wearing Seven jeans and Juicy couture are the in things. These brands though come at a hefty cost. I live by the motto, “If it fits I’m buying it”. That’s even if it’s a sweater from, dare I say it, K-Mart. I don’t believe in buying brands at a higher cost simply for the name. Shopping smarter doesn’t make you any less stylish ladies.
  • Try to make it or fix it before buying new.  When moving into my apartment I had always dreamed of a lush fabric headboard, like the ones you see in fancy hotels. The problem is I didn’t really want to spend the extra $300 plus dollars to get one. For a total cost of $150 smackers, I made my own. Some plywood, foam, batting, stunning fabric and about 30 minutes equated to a headboard that would make HGTV jealous.

There are so many ways you can spend smarter without eliminating your desired items. The key to look outside the box and be creative. Our motto at GAI (www.gunwel.com) is “You work hard for your money, let us work smart to help you keep it!” .  For more tips and to create a savings plan stop by or give us  a call at 212-979-6830. Don’t forget, its tax time, let us make sure you get all the deductions your entitled to!

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