Reply
Community Manager
Community Manager

How do you make the most of your money?

How do you make the most of your money? Get to know the real possibility of taking control of your finances. Find easy-to-use tools and helpful tips for making the most of your money. Go to AARP Money>>

43,321 Views
54
Report
Honored Social Butterfly

We pay for virtually everything with a credit card. That includes all the utilities that allow it (or don't charge), insurance payments (again, allowed without charge),etc. We Get large amounts of cash back doing this. In short, you get 2%-5% discounts on everything that you use a credit card to pay, depending on what type of cash-back card you have. Plus, this boosts your FICO score making it less expensive on some types of loans (we qualified for 1% car loan, for instance). 


"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
0 Kudos
2,568 Views
0
Report
Periodic Contributor

I use Ibotta and check 51 when grocery shopping at Krogers and Walmart.   Also use Ibotta for mobile shopping.    I have received back over $2000 in past 3 years.    I did donate 15 bags of any extras to Hurricane Florence victims in the hygiene department that I had accumulated.  Any food that was either free/Krogers here in Va Beach / has Free Friday downloads I donate to church food pantries or keep for myself.   Also at Krogers when they have their 4x’s the gas point value on gift cards i try to always reach $1000 points which is equal to a $1.00 off per gallon on the gas.    So I save on my gas. My groceries and give back to others...,Luv it

0 Kudos
2,653 Views
0
Report
Regular Contributor

Forget the big name grocery stores and shop instead at Aldi, Walmart, Save-A-Lot, Family  Dollar, etc. We save hundreds over the big store.

Contributor

Whenever we can, we make use of a credit card that offers cash back (varies from 5% to 1% depending on what is purchased). We also make use of the Members Club rewards program that offers cash back on items we frequently buy. This saves hundreds a year. Of course, we pay this card off in full each month.

 

We have cut back on all our extra spending - we use Netflix and basic cable instead of going out to the movies....except for free movies for adults AARP puts on from time to time. When the promotional offer of our cable package ends we will cut that out as well. Will likely only pay for internet service. No land line anymore. Just our cells and we use Consumer Cellular which has the least expensive plan I've ever seen. And they will upgrade your service plan only when you go over. Which you can then set back to a lower plan. No penalties. Ever.

 

We're diligent about keeping track of when special offers end by setting reminders in our phone calendars which sends us an alert when we are a week out so we can notify companies of any changes without incurring late fees or additional upcharges.

 

We buy groceries in bulk which saves us a lot in the long run. But on the other side of that coin, we don't waste food either. We freeze what we won't use in the next week. Freezing it in easily defrostable portions for one or two people.

 

We use coupons.

 

We stopped buying the latest fad...only buying what is needed. We typically do staycations instead of fancy trips. We make it a challenge to make a really nice afternoon out of something that is inexpensive. An afternoon of a home made picnic and a visit to the dog shelter to pet adoptees is a nice afternoon out for us.

 

We only buy what's on sale. Sometimes if you go late at night to the grocery store with a deli, they mark down the items in the deli when it has reached its shelf life limit they set.

 

We keep the car maintained so that repairs are not astronomical.  We only buy used instead of new. A car is not a status symbol for us - it is a means of transportation. Reliability is more important than a hood ornament. 

 

For a major purchase we check Consumer Reports first.

 

We do not impulse buy.

 

We have a water softener - which helps reduce our consumption of cleaning products and our last water heater lasted 31 years!

 

We buy sensible clothes when it is needed. Not just to have designer this and designer that.

We dress for comfort.

 

We check interest rates....we invest in a diversified portfolio....we keep an eye on our money by setting a budget and sticking to it. We use a spreadsheet to do this.

 

We free file our taxes.

 

All of these little things help.

 

 

 

Periodic Contributor

Manage the money you have, your income and expenses. Always know what your net worth is, what your assets and what you owe.  Stay out of debt. Dont take more risk than you can handle. Use the internet to save and generate income. Maintain your health.

Honored Social Butterfly

@Epster - I made the point to a friend yesterday, that when people are secure with themselves, they don't fear being open with other people. For example, if someone is smart & self-confident about it, they aren't afraid to ask for help with something, because they know it just means they don't know that one thing .. not that they're dumb. Yet someone lacking self-confidence about their intelligence, may be less likely to ask for help (or accept it graciously), because they think the implication is that they're stupid & can't figure it out for themselves.

 

So when people are self-confident & trust a partner, they're open with each other, and work well as a team. Society often misjudges relationships, only seeing things from the outside. A co-dependent & secretive relationship may look fine, but it's not a mature way to operate, and if they wind up separate it's very hard for them to become whole people individually.


Registered on Online Community since 2007!
0 Kudos
5,725 Views
4
Report
Honored Social Butterfly

 
"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
Honored Social Butterfly

@Pster wrote:

 

Right on. Exactly. Yes. Un-huh; word.

 

Shoot, sometimes asking for help is the fastest way to gain knowledge. Didn't Einstein say that he didn't know everything, but he did know where to find the answers? 


I remember going out with someone years ago, who was self-confident. One day I mentioned having to fix something, and he said he wasn't handy .. but knew all the best people to get work done right! But I knew people who aren't self-confident, and if you make a suggestion (like a shorter way to go), they take great offense that you might be implying they don't know what they're doing. They'd rather do things THEIR way & save face, than learn a better way.


Registered on Online Community since 2007!
Honored Social Butterfly

 
"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
0 Kudos
5,227 Views
0
Report
Honored Social Butterfly

 
"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
Honored Social Butterfly

@Epster - I know a lot of men from work (power plant), who treated their wives like children, and for all I know, the women might have liked that system. Very gender-based responsibilities, and everything else on a need-to-know basis. But that's how women become widows, and know nothing about family finances, or how to make important decisions, because they've had no education or practice. On the other side, that allows some women to spend as much as they want because "no one told them they had a budget" .. a slightly passive-aggressive response; waiting for their husband to say something or stop them. Eeeew!


Registered on Online Community since 2007!
Honored Social Butterfly

 
"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
Honored Social Butterfly

@Epster - I always thought it was ridiculous, that dating experts tell people not to talk about money, religion or politics, early on, because they're controversial. Duh .. that's the point, if you're looking for a serious relationship; not that topics are "controversial", but that attitudes about them are part of the fiber of our being. Isn't that important in selected a mate?!

 

Look at the battles here in Online Community; would I want to date someone, if I knew their attitudes on those 3 basic things were the exact opposite of mine? NO!!


Registered on Online Community since 2007!
Super Contributor

You never know. People will tell you what they think you want to know and then change once the I do's have been said.
0 Kudos
3,272 Views
0
Report
Honored Social Butterfly

 
"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
Honored Social Butterfly

I would never have a debit card either, but I understand some people use it to control their spending .. or that of a spouse/child.


Registered on Online Community since 2007!
0 Kudos
9,835 Views
4
Report
Honored Social Butterfly

 
"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
0 Kudos
5,485 Views
3
Report
Honored Social Butterfly

@Epster wrote:
Umm, but that's like saying 'Sweetheart, I adore you, can't live without you and the risk of your bad money management.' As for the child, let me echo traveler: the corruption begins.

 

Better to learn wise money management than to be allowed to risk family finances because of poor impulse control. True love doesn't enable.  


Hey, don't "shoot the messenger" .. I'm just reporting what other people have mentioned to me.

 

It may also be why I'm single; once I became an adult & responsible for my own finances, I saw money behavior in other adults that I didn't like. Fine to have people like that as casual friends or activity buddies, but not a serious relationship.


Registered on Online Community since 2007!
Honored Social Butterfly

 
"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
Super Contributor

You are wearing that one out.
0 Kudos
3,272 Views
0
Report
Contributor

Spend less than you bring in. Never ever finance anything but an affordable house. pay it off asap if you can not pay cash. Use charge cards but pay them off at the end of the month. If you do not have the money to spend wait until you do. If you need to make a big purchase wait a month before buying. After a month you might not need it. I have almost bought a new truck, motor cycle, ATV, condo in Florida, new roof, siding, garbage disposal and new suite this year.

If you have an old car drop all the insurance except liability. When things break do not fix unless it is safety related. My old car runs great and is well maintained by me. I use it for all erands. However, the air conditioner, radio, cruise control, ignition switch, windshield etc. are broken. Paint is not good. If I need a nice care I drive my wife's newer car. When her car gets too old I will buy her another one( pay cash) and replace my old clunker with her old car.

Use You Tube to learn how to fix things around the house from clogged sinks, broken washing machines and replacing fixtures to auto repair and insect control. Do not run the air conditioner unless you are sweating. Just the oppisite for the heat.Eat well and exercise to stay healthy. Eat out less often to stay healthy. Eat alot of pinto beans at home. Good for you and cheap and easy. Mow your own lawn and let a few weeds grow so what. wait another year to paint your house. Clean your own house. Don't give money to your children unless they earn it. Keep your wife busy so she will not shop. Have separate checking accounts. Drop the cable tv. Build your own antenna from watching You Tube. Get netflix or just watch the local channels. I save $1000 per year for the last 20 years.

Buy ETFs or low cost mutual funds from Vanguard. Just call Vanguard and tell them your situation and they will tell you what to do about your savings for free. Take it or leave it. Have enough money in your .90% interest savings account to last about a year for your expensives. Play golf often only if you have alot of money.

Honored Social Butterfly

hs41239655 ---- like the posting!  DW and I have done many, if not most, on that list. I found one comment interesting as I believe (don't know for sure), that boomers have not caught on to it --- using Youtube to learn how to fix things. I didn't get into that until relatively recently as I thought Youtube had nothing but dancing babies and stupid pet tricks kind of thing.  I have used the PC for some time to get written explanations of how to fix things, but more recently started bringing in the videos, which have been more helpful.

    I'm not so sure about the anti-pc comment about keeping the wife busy so she won't shop! I don't have that issue --- I have to force DW to go shopping sometimes. She hates to go to stores other than food stores.


"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
Periodic Contributor

What list???

0 Kudos
2,618 Views
0
Report
Contributor

Sounds like you have a good wife.
I recently used You Tube to show me how to diagnose a parasitic voltage draw on my car. Saving money is as good as making money.
11,003 Views
0
Report
Contributor

I make the most of my money by prioritizing,the things that bring me joy I spend the most on like travel. I have found that being "green" usually also end up saving money. I am a credit counselor and I see how people waste money fancy electronics and eating out. I don't deny myself but I make sure that what I buy is of value to me and eating out less often makes it more special.

1
Kudos
9414
Views
Honored Social Butterfly

"...I am a credit counselor and I see how people waste money fancy electronics and eating out....".

 

    I hope you get combat pay. I can only imagine the kind of 'push-back' you must get from some clients. I wouldn't be able to counsel anyone --- I have no tolerance for people getting into money problems of their own making (I realize there are some that have issues beyond their control and need to learn how to deal with them).


"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
Honored Social Butterfly

@retiredtraveler wrote:

.. I wouldn't be able to counsel anyone --- I have no tolerance for people getting into money problems of their own making (I realize there are some that have issues beyond their control and need to learn how to deal with them).


Friends have suggested I counsel people on managing their finances and/or de-cluttering, in retirement, but I feel the same way you do; I'd probably run out of patience. While some people sincerely would want to change, many would just fight tooth & nail not to have to change. They couldn't pay me enough to try to convince people that they need to change.


Registered on Online Community since 2007!
Newbie

I was raised  by poor parents, but I never knew we were poor, we always had a garden, and food to eat, mama had farm animals, cows, chickens , gees., And they  always found a way to pay for what they needed, mostly on time, but always making the payments when they were due. One of the things I can remember when we were in a store with mama and we would see a toy or something we wanted, she always said " Money doesn't grow on trees".  I guess I grew up with some of those same values, seldom thinking if I needed something I could just put it on a credit card, but saving until I had enough money to pay out right for it. My parents had good credit and I am 64 and have excellent credit, am I rich, nothing even close to that, but i do always try to make my payments on time and I often pay more than the min. payment.  I didn't go to college, because I wasn't interested in school that much but went to tech. school so I could go to work sooner.  My son didn't go to college either but I am hoping my grandchildren will have the opportunity  to.  I firmly believe that they should teach, " life skills" in school and have it in every grade so it is firmly planted in their brains.  Learning to be responsible for your own actions.  I always told my son to learn as much as he could as in trades, learn how to do many things as he never knew when he would need to  use it. And he has.  He is comfortable in his life right now.  One other thing I always tried to do was  live with in my means, dont over extend myself.

Contributor

I was taught to buy cheap stuff and never go anywhere fun or do anything fun and to always worry about money.  I worked many years and paid my bills on time and balanced my checkbook and never borrowed money from anyone (although I did loan money, but it got paid back!),  but made a few mistakes about men.  You also never know what will happen to you healthwise, or accidentwise.  You put money aside hoping to have a nice house, an easy retirement, then it all goes to medical bills. So it must be a balance between being irresponsible and never having any fun. At some point you're too old or sick to do the things you never did.

cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Users
Announcements

AARP Virtual Community Center 

Offering a wide variety of FREE interactive, online events and classes designed for learning, self-improvement, and fun. Learn More

AARP Games

Throw it back and play Atari's Missile Command. Grab your arsenal to neutralize your enemy and protect your cities from a missile attack. You got this!

AARP Games Atari Missile Command

Music and Brain Health

From soft jazz to hard rock - discover music's mental, social and physical benefits. Learn more.

Music and Brain Health

Let Us Work for You

AARP is your trusted friend and fierce defender. Membership unlocks powerful benefits to help you in your life. Join today for just $12 per year with Automatic Renewal.

AARP Membership