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Save Big With No Sacrifice
Stewart H. Welch, III, CFP®, AEP
While July 4th represents Independence Day for Americans, let’s use it to declare our financial independence as well. At least we should commit to increasing our saving towards that goal. Many dentists, even those who have been practicing for years, have told me they have trouble saving for their future.
Everyone can save. Sometimes you just have to get a bit creative. It has been my experience that I can easily show couples how to save 10% of their income with little or no sacrifice. Here are 10 of my top strategies. See how many ideas you can add to the list and send me an e-mail if you think of a great strategy. I’d like to hear from you.
1. Pocket-change investment program.
At the end of every day put all of your spare change in a (large) jar. When it is filled, take it to the bank and deposit it into your investment account.
2. Clip coupons.
The key to success is to only save coupons for items you normally buy anyway. Make certain that the coupon price is lower that what you would pay under bulk purchases (see item #7).
3. Sign up for the “Upromise®”college savings program.
Go to the Resource Center link at www.welchgroup.com and click on “Upromise-College Plan.” Get family and friends involved to magnify your savings. This is free money!
4. Use rebate credit cards.
Rebate credit cards give you money back, money toward purchases or free airline tickets, all at no additional cost to you. Go to the Resource Center link and click on “Best Credit Cards” to find the best deals. Caution: Do not use this as an excuse to abuse your credit cards!
5. Invest your rebates and refunds.
Income tax refunds and retail purchase rebates are all opportunities to save. Think of it as “found money.”
6. Buy generic.
Whether you are buying prescription medicines or Band-Aids®, generic brands can save you money. Most generics are as good as the name brands and costs 20% to 50% less.
7. Buy in bulk.
For nonperishables, buy in bulk (and share with a friend). Top stores for bulk purchasing include Sam’s Wholesale Club and Costco.
8. Use store discount cards.
Many national chain retailers and some local retail stores offer discount cards for their regular customers. For stores that you regularly visit, such as CVS/pharmacy® and Winn-Dixie, you can receive instant savings.
9. Research big (and small) purchases.
A little homework goes a long way toward reducing costs (car, home, appliances, etc.).
10. Have a HUGE garage sale.
You might even consider joining forces with neighbors or friends to put on agarage sale. The rule is: “If you haven’tworn it or used it in the past 24 months, sell it!” Make this an annual event.
Does this sound like chump change? Try it for a year and keep up with the savings. I think you’ll be very surprised at the results. Best of all, there is little or no sacrifice required on your part.
Stewart H. Welch, III, CFP®, AEP, is the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting Rich (Alpha Books) and J.K. Lasser’s
New Rules for Estate and Tax Planning (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). He is the ownerof two fee-only financial advisory firms. The Welch Group LLC (www.welchgroup.com) works with high net-worth families while Fee-Only Planning Professionals (www.fopp.net) provides advice to families on an hourly basis. Mr. Welch has been recognized by Money, Worth, Mutual Funds Magazine and Medical Economics as one of the top financial advisors in the country. Consult your financial advisor before acting on this advice.