Monday, February 27, 2012

Draft Setting: Save on Printer Ink

In the not too distant past, businesses required tons of paper forms, which were either mailed or kept around the office. In the electronic world of today, most documents have become digitalized and are even transferred by electronic mail. But often these forms have to be printed in order to be signed or stamped. Compared to the dot-matrix printers of the past, printers today use up more ink to get those crisp, pixel-perfect documents and graphics. More ink equals more money, and it's important to know how you can help your bottom line by reducing printing costs, and better utilizing your ink cartridges and printer.

One of easiest and quickest ways to save ink is by the click of your mouse. Just make some slight changes in the printer settings of your printer's menu. Printers usually offer a variety of different print settings from a basic Draft to sharp Photo quality. Each setting is used for a specific purpose. If you want to print the pictures you took on your vacation, you'll need the Photo quality setting. For professional documents and resumes, you would find the Automatic Sharpening quality most appropriate. For normal use, it would make most sense if you use the Draft setting. This setting uses less ink, which means that you save more money.

Usually printers automatically stay at the last used setting. If the last time you used the printer was with the Photo quality settings, your printer will probably give you photo quality for your current print job as well. So, it's best to check your printer settings every time you start a print job. Another money saving setting is the black and white color setting. Color cartridges cost more than black ones, so it makes more sense to just print in black and white when color is not necessary.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Using a water bottle saves money

How many have you filled up on gas and spent an extra $1.50 on a bottle of water? If this is a regular occurrence, think about how much you are spending during the whole year? A little over a $100? Maybe more?

Instead of buying branded bottled water from gas stations, convenient stores and vending machines at work or in school, you can carry with you a water bottle and refill it with tap water from the water fountain. Did you know that Americans spend $1 billion dollars annually on bottled water alone? Tap water in most homes is safe, and you can make it safer by investing in a good water filter. It could also save you and your family hundreds of dollars every year.

You can take the water with you to work, out walking or to the gym. You can keep a bottle in the car to avoid buying bottled water at the gas station. A reusable bottle in your car's cup holder could save you a lot of money!

Calculated at a per gallon rate, bottled water actually costs more than gasoline. The water in those plastic bottles, however, is clean and inexpensive. By filling your eco-friendly bottle with tap water, you can make small savings that add up to a substantial amount over the long term. This will help you balance your family's budget.

A reusable water bottle is not just easier on your wallet, but also on the environment. Manufacturing bottled water costs the United States 32 to 54 million barrels of oil’s worth of energy every year. To top that off, every bottle ends up in a landfill. All that costs you further tax dollars every year. Carrying a reusable water bottle is smarter, cheaper and environmentally friendly.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Do Your Own Taxes

Let's be honest; everyone hates tax season. That time of year when you have to get everything in order to ensure that you get the right amount of money back, if you are owed any. One of the easiest things that you can do to make your tax season a little easier, is to be completely prepared and know when taxes are due. Unfortunately, many people do not manage to do this alongside their already hectic schedules and busy lives. If you are one of those people that do not have a lot of time, the tip that you are about to hear may seem completely ludicrous, but if done properly and with the right amount of organization, this tip will be fruitful for you.

Do your own taxes. You may laugh and turn away from the computer screen right now, but look at the huge amount of money you will save by doing these taxes yourself. Accountants and professional "tax preparers" can charge hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of dollars to figure out your money situation. With the influx of tax software and online programs, there is no longer any need for you to pay someone a small fortune to do the job that you can very easily do yourself. This means that the costs that you will have to pay for filing will be a fraction of the cost that you usually end up paying, and these savings can always be better spent elsewhere.

There are a number of tax programs and types of software on the market that ensures you the ability to do your taxes in the comfort of your own home, even in your night clothes if you so wish! This also saves money in transport costs. You will no longer have to cart all of your paperwork to the local accountants or tax preparer's office and the time will be minimal, as long as you follow the instructions given in the program or software, word for word.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Retirement Money Management

Two of the things that you have to worry about when it comes to retirement age is how much do I need for retirement and how are you are going to manage your money. Get too frisky with the pennies and you will soon find that you are running out, but if you prepare and have a little bit of organization, you will find that your money works well for you before, during and after even retirement.

One of the first things that you must do when it comes to good retirement money management is start as early as possible. This makes sense – the earlier you start, the more you will have saved, and this in turn means that you will have a lot more fun and more money to play with when you eventually give up work. Start a pension plan early and make sure that you use a plan that is going to work for you. You should alert the appropriate people that you are going to be retiring soon as well – you want the pay checks to stop and the pension to kick in. Waiting around for money that you “hope” will come soon is never fun and could cause more undue stress than is necessary.

Budgeting is essential when it comes to have good money management during your retirement. Before you know it, all those expenses can mount up, especially if you had a good life before you gave up work. It’s wise to make a note of how much you are spending on a monthly basis, and perhaps make a few cuts here and there – do you really need all those cable TV channels when you only watch a handful anyway? Be sensible! If you don’t use something, what’s the point in paying for it?

If you have long term assets, stocks or anything similar, make them work for you. It is wise to speak to a good financial advisor at this time of life to ensure that the money you have invested is working well for you. If it's not making you money, it’s not an investment and it might be about time to cut ties.

Retirement doesn't have to be a worrisome time – as long as you manage your retirement money properly, you will have a blast!

Monday, February 06, 2012

Pay More than Minimum Credit Card Payment

Almost everyone has a credit card these days; some people even have a few! When you bear this in mind, it is understandable how so many people manage to get into debt with their credit cards. Although credit cards have benefits such as air miles or other reward schemes, this doesn’t always outweigh the costs that can accompany them.

When you spend money on a credit card, you accumulate interest until the total balance is paid off. This brings us to our credit saving tip – always pay more than the minimum balance where possible. For the most part, the minimum payments that you are making are only really covering the interest that has accrued on the account. If it says that you only have to make a minimum payment of $50, don't rejoice and think to yourself that you have a few extra pennies to spend somewhere else, make a payment of $100 if you can afford it. Better yet, start a debt snowball. You will have less interest to pay off and in the long run, you will be much better off.

Not only will paying more than the minimum balance be a great help financially, but it will also help your relationship with the lender and in turn, your credit score overall. Once you have built up a good relationship with a lender, when you do reach dire financial times, they will be more likely to help you out with a better repayment plan and you will avoid the nasty black marks against your name on your credit report. It just makes sense when you think about it. One last reason why you should be paying off more than the minimum – you pay off the balance much quicker so you will be back to not having credit card debt. Then the credit card's full balance will be there, should you ever need it in a case of a large and expensive emergency.