Best Ways to Save Money That Few Ever Do

If you’re a financial blog reader, you are most definitely being bombarded by “good advice” almost every day and I have to admit myself that sometimes the advice is complex and hard to understand. Any time someone swears that their ideas are foolproof and guaranteed to bring you financial peace of mind and success, you should be just a bit skeptical when it comes to your money and re-read the words a few dozen times before you jump right in to changing everything about your money and life. That’s one “blog tip” I will share and stand by, for sure. But sometimes, the advice you read about can be pretty simple and really basic and practical. Yet, despite that fact, many people read about those best ways to save money, understand them, and never do them! Why is that?

Knowing the best ways to save money isn't enough; you actually have to do something! Here are 6 things you can do to get your finances in shape.

Is Anyone Really an Expert When It Comes to Money?

When it comes to money, there are lots of people claiming to be experts. No doubt some actually are just that. Either they have learned about financial success through their own experiences or they have studied about it and learned to apply what they have learned to real life. Some of these people are household names like Dave Ramsey or even Suze Orman. But what about all the other hundreds of people (like me) who are willing to share some saving tips that we think are right on? Should you believe and trust our advice?

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The Best Deals and Discount Savings on Gas

All of us car and truck owners spend our money on gasoline every week and it’s especially true if you commute to work by driving as the main way you get there. The price of gas can fluctuate these days almost daily and fortunately in most states it’s been staying under $3.00 a gallon for some time now. But as we all know it can spike suddenly depending on world events. That’s why getting discount gas is so important.

If you're a driver, you're bound to spend a lot of money on gas. But there are plenty of discount gas programs available if you just use a loyalty card.

It’s not that difficult these days as there are over 20 different gasoline discount programs being offered right now nationwide around the U.S. These national chains offer fuel rewards programs. Is there one near you?

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How Your Life and Career Parallels Baseball

This post was originally published on March 17, 2015 and was updated on February 11, 2020.

Several years ago, I wrote a post about one of my very favorite subjects. It was kind of a twist on getting yourself prepared for your life and career, but looking at it from an unusual view: comparing the parallels to your being a success in life to that of being a success in baseball!

Life is like baseball: the trajectory of a baseball career is much like the phases we go through in life. Learn what it means for your career and finances.

As we here in the Northeast pine for warmer temps and bluer skies, we know that spring is just around the corner and that soon the flowers will return and getting out in the sunshine will be an everyday affair again. Whenever my mind thinks spring, it can’t help but drift to what it always does this time each year… baseball.

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Planning a Summer Vacation in the Dead of Winter

If you are anything like me, you are sitting and staring out your window at a very gray and cold afternoon, daydreaming about relaxing at the pool or beach soon, and the sooner the better! Assuming you don’t already live near a beach or the pool, I think we all can easily relate to taking a nice summer vacation to relax or to see the sights of some far-off exotic or romantic place. Heck, even a family vacation sounds pretty good when the snowflakes are piling up, doesn’t it? So, why not plan for that getaway right now. It makes perfect sense and you can save an awful lot if you do right now!

There are some good reasons to plan your summer vacation in the dead of winter. Here are some of those reasons plus tips on how to afford your vacation.

Why Now?

Let’s get the boring part out of the way: The best way to save for a fabulous summer trip is to start early—like six months early (so…like right now). Starting now lets you grow your vacation fund in small ways over a period of time.

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The Screwed-Up Social Security System

Based on what you earn throughout your lifetime, you become eligible for Social Security retirement benefits when the time comes. That time can vary from person to person for many reasons, because once you hit age 62 you become eligible to get it, but you can wait for years if you choose to, even up to age 70.

When it comes to the Social Security system, there are a few things that can keep you from maximizing your benefits. Here are some of the gotchas to beware.

But despite the success and importance of the Social Security plan, the system suffers from problems and mistakes. Sometimes mistakes are made by the Social Security Administration (SSA). And sometimes you make them yourself. Why?

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Why You Shouldn’t Want a Huge Tax Refund

For the umpteenth time, I have to rail about tax returns and big tax refunds as I always do at this point in the year! Right now is the time of year taxpayers are thinking about their taxes and that long awaited tax refund. Nearly 72% of taxpayers received a tax refund last year, and the average direct deposit tax refund was close to $3,000 according to the IRS. And that’s even in the real life case that so many filers feel like their tax refund was actually a little low.

If you get huge tax refunds, I have one question for you: why? A smaller tax refund can mean you get your money every month instead. Here's how to do it.

But since I opened up the box, I now have to ask the question:

Why does getting a tax refund (of your own money) make you so happy?

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How to Avoid Paying Income Tax in Retirement

Everyone has to deal with taxes; they’re oftentimes unavoidable. But if you play your cards right, you can spend as little money as possible on them. You may even be so lucky as to avoid paying income tax altogether in retirement and get this… the government might actually give you money when tax season rolls around in a little something called the EITC, the Earned Income Tax Credit.

You can maximize your finances if you avoid paying income tax in retirement. Here are 9 types of money that aren't taxed, plus money you might get for free!

Retirement won’t save you from the tax forms and some headaches, but there is money you get that Uncle Sam can’t touch, as long as you play by the rules. And you have to know and understand the rules to win this game. So pay attention now and learn how you can actually avoid paying any income taxes on these things when you hit retirement!

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Saving Money Should Be Easy, So Why Is It So Hard?

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With early and continued exposure to personal finance and economics, kids today are growing up to be better savers, investors, and borrowers, according to the Council for Economic Education. The expectations are that they can and will make better financial decisions for themselves and their families in the future. But, then what about you?

Saving money isn't as easy as it should be, so follow these saving money tips to increase your funds.  Every little bit helps!

If saving is just a matter of “education”, well you aren’t living on a remote island someplace, are you? It’s the 21st century and you are getting money advice from everywhere these days, so what is the problem? If saving money is just a matter of educating yourself, then saving should be easy. So why is it so hard?

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