Million Dollar Neighborhood
Bruce's Tips - Finding Hidden Money: 3 Tips to Help You Uncover a Stash of Cash
Posted: Wed 06/13/2012 03:31 PM
Don't you love it when you put on a jacket you haven't worn in awhile and find a crumpled 10-dollar bill? Well your closet isn't the only place to find 'hidden money.'
1. Get fanatical about fees: You drive out of your way to save a dollar on diapers or a dime on gas, but don't give a second thought to the fees you're paying for cell phone plans, Internet service, banking, and investing. Take the time to figure out what you're paying then shop around to see if you can get a better deal from a different provider. Then call and ask your current company to put you on a better plan. If they won't, saunter on over to their competition.
2. Put your credit card on ice: Store your credit card in the freezer and live 'cash only' for one month. Yes, it is totally inconvenient and annoying, but it will make you more conscious of what you spend your money on. And this will help you find some surprising places to cut back. Credit cards mask over the "pain" of spending, which is one of the reasons why consumer debt levels are so frighteningly high. Pain can be a good thing because it helps us avoid danger. Going cash only will help bring back the pain and reduce the danger of over-spending.
3. Take a second look at past tax returns: Consider using a professional tax preparer to look at old returns and see if there are tax credits or deductions you may have missed. Savings aren't a sure thing of course, but if you find some the effort could be well worth it.