Planning saves cash
Not planning ahead can be the cause of some of your biggest expenses. For example:
- Skipping preventative maintenance on your car can cost you a lot in repairs or even the cost of replacing your car.
- Not keeping track of your cell phones usage can result in very expensive overages.
- Poor emergency fund planning can result in high interest debt when something vital breaks and must be replaced immediately.
- Poor planning can easily double the number of trips you make to the grocery store and the amount of food you must throw out.
Plan Your Trips
A trip to the store may not seem like a very big deal, but many people can cut their trips in half with a little bit of planning ahead of time. Keeping a simple grocery list helps make sure you don't miss anything and helps make sure you remember to get everything you've thought of in the previous week. Proper planning can also help you buy things in appropriate quantities to get the maximum savings with minimum waste.
Good planning is also a boon to coordinating family schedules. Coordinating a trip to pickup the dry cleaning with picking up the kids from school can save you gas money and time.
Everyone is going to have emergencies in life. You may get sick and need to go to the doctor. Someone may run into your car and damage it so it needs repaired. Your refrigerator may decide to stop working forcing you to quickly buy another one before the food spoils. Planning ahead for these types of emergencies can save you a tremendous amount of money. Here are some basic emergency preparation tips:
- Make sure you have some form of health insurance. Even a high deductible health insurance policy will help keep you from being totally wiped out financially if some type of health issue comes up.
- Keep an emergency fund. Not only do you want to be able to handle replacing a major appliance or fixing your car, but it is wise to have several months worth of living expenses on hand in case you lose your job.
- Keep some emergency vacation time. There are many emergencies that are far cheaper to deal with yourself than having someone else do it for you. Be sure to keep some vacation time to use for emergencies that might come up.
Many times an emergency situation is preventable by proper preventative maintenance. Skipping preventative maintenance rarely saves you money. Instead it just enlarges the extent of the problem when something does go wrong. Here are some areas that require preventative maintenance:
- Your computer needs to be backed up and kept clean. Hard drives do eventually fail and you need to make sure you have a way to recover all of your important information.
- Change your car's oil regularly. Also follow your car's preventative maintenance schedule for replacing belts, hoses, etc. It is far less expensive to fix things ahead of time on your own schedule than get stuck in some small town waiting for a mechanic when you are supposed to be closing an important deal or on a family vacation.
- Have your heating/air conditioning unit inspected and maintained every few years. Simple maintenance can keep it operating a peak efficiency and reduce your heating and cooling bills.