Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Tap into Savings on Bottled Water

Bottled water is one thing that has puzzled me for years.

I understand that there are many areas of the world where bottled water is a necessity but, as a Canadian who has access to excellent water out of the tap, the concept of paying more for bottled water than gasoline has me puzzled.

While I've been known to buy the occasional bottle of cold H2O on a hot day and I do like "Fizzy Water" at dinner the prospect of paying for $1.00 for 500ml of water has never sat well with me.

Yes you can buy a case of water at a lower price, this still does not compare to the savings you can achieve if you buy yourself a reusable water bottle and bring your own.

Consider the cost and environmental savings that can be had by investing in a durable nalgene water bottle and filling it regularly from your tap.

Based on recommended water intake calculations, one can save approximately $3-8 per day if you substitute your own water for bottled.

With regard to fizzy water, consider a 2l bottle of club soda rather than a name brand savings will be in the area of 50%.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Warnings on Credit Cards

A recent story out of the UK got me thinking that there might be a good reason to print warnings on credit cards and credit card statements.

The article tells of store braned cards that charge 30% per month interest rates compared to 10-15% for conventional credit cards.

After looking at the interest and ancilliary rates charge, The Competition Commission in Britton is telling
card providers, who charge an annual percentage rate (APR) above 25 per
cent to print warnings on monthly statements that cheaper credit may be
available elsewhere.

Not unlike warnings that are common on tobbacco and alcohol, the credit warning may serve to protect both the consumers and credit card companies.

A Trillion here A Trillion There...Soon It Adds Up To Real Money

There is a very interesting article at AlterNet that pretty much sums up how the U.S. Economy is adding heaps of debt to an already strained tax payer.

In the year this blog has been in existence, I've had a gut feeling that something was wrong in the economy as there was no real indication that people are saving money. This revelation came after moving into an established neighbourhood where everyone on the street tends to be 70+ years old.

What the Geezers have taught me is to save for a rainy day because it will likely come sooner than later.

With the U.S. economy carrying the burden of over $5 Trillion dollars (and growing rapidly), the interest payments alone suck over $350 Billion out of the economy.

But, like those who need to raid their retirement savings to pay off their credit debt, there are href="http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/03/06/politics/main1374280.shtml" that the U.S Treasury Department is raiding the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund to provide it with a "Few Billion" dollars of extra borrowing capacity.

Friday, March 03, 2006

How to Save Money with your Income Tax Refund

As the income tax deadline nears, there are approximately 102 million Americans who will get an average tax refund of $2,154.00.

Considering the the average american carries around $8,500.00 in credit card debt with interest rates around 17-20%; now is the time to take charge of your finances and do something that will help you reduce your debt and save money.

The first step in building savings and getting off the credit card tread mill, is to forget about the Plasma TV or new computer, and invest in yourself.

Look at paying off your credit cards as an investment. By taking your Tax Refund and investing in your own credit card debt, you're guaranted a return of 17-20%. Over the next 5 years, you will save around $1,300.00 in interest charges simply by paying $2,154.00 on your credit card bill.

The challenge is not to ramp up your spending, but, this is the price that must be paid to become cashflow positive and save money.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

-0.5% Savings Rate But Where is the Recession?

A recent article in USA today, questions the validity of the negative US savings rate suggesting that the calculations are off base considering that during The Great Depression of 1933 the savings rate of the day was -0.7%.

While the article questions the way the Government calculates the savings rate, the fact remains, consumer debt is growing and people are inflating their networth with inflated home prices then adding on more debt by taking equity out of the inflated price of their home.

If you're trying to save money, and build equity, relying on the inflated value of your principle residence is not the way to go about it because it is not a liquid asset and in most cases does not produce a revenue stream.

Consider focusing on eliminating your mortgage debt as soon as possible as it will free up cash flow that can go into a cash generating asset rather than being tied to capital appreciation .

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Payday Lenders Shut Down in North Carolina

News reports out of Charlotte North Carolina indicate that Payday loan companies in that state have been effectively shut down by the State.

This is a significant victory for consumers as the practice of payday loans tend to prey on those who can least affort the high intrest rates charged by these firms.

I guess the loansharks will be happy now that their competition has been eliminated
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