Personal Finance Tips for 2013
Stop eating out, haggle with your cable company, and 'imagine you're dead'
By Liam Carnahan, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2012 12:23 PM CST
Want to save big bucks? Then stop going to restaurants.   (©)

(Newser) – The Wall Street Journal has some "smart money" tips on how to save in 2013:

  • Stop eating out: That $10 sandwich you ate for lunch today would have cost $2 if you made it at home. Unless you earn $96 an hour after taxes, then you should think about eating out less often. WSJ suggests you try "homemade month," 30 days of making every single meal in your own kitchen.

  • Time to haggle: Getting serious with some customer service reps could help you cut costs every single year. Calling up your phone or cable company and haggling on that $200 per month bill might be a pain, but there's a chance you'll get a better deal.
  • Turn to Craigslist: Take a look at your attic or basement and get ready to hold an at-home auction. You can make a pretty penny getting rid of your old electronics and home goods on sites like eBay and Craigslist. An added bonus: Eliminating clutter can reduce stress.
  • Investments: Once you've saved up all that money, think hard about where you want to invest it. The paper recommends a Roth individual retirement account for both you and your spouse, and says emerging markets offer the best return on investment.
  • Plan to live longer: There's a good chance you'll live for as long as 30 years after you receive your first Social Security payment, and if you haven't started saving to cover the rest of your living expenses after 65, then you need to start ... yesterday. Odds are you'll need to save about 12 times what you earn annually.
  • But just in case: On the flip side, around 1 in 8 people who are 40 now will die before they hit 65, which means you need to consider what will happen to your family if you bite the dust early. It costs $250,000 to raise a child for 18 years, not to mention the expense of higher education. And if you haven't done so yet, make a will.

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Showing 3 of 8 comments
Dec 26, 2012 5:46 PM CST
translation to every one of those "Tips": Become a lower class citizen because our leaders suck. my whole life all I've ever heard is "we gotta tighten our belts". These are just more symptoms with band aid solutions, while the real problem is greed and corruption at our political and corporate core. The end. My Tip for 2013? Wake up.
Dec 26, 2012 3:22 PM CST
How about asking a few questions before you spend that money: can you make do with what you have. Do you really need a new one? Can you make it yourself? If not, can it be fixed, repaired or bought used or second hand. Can I find it cheaper on ebay, craigslist or freecycle? Is there a sale or coupon? Can you fix it yourself or do you need professional help? Google and You Tube have helped me so many times in figuring out easy fixes to hard situations. Do you have a reliable friend or family member that could help and is there something you can give in trade? My husbands family is great at helping when you need and everyone is willing to share whatever talent they may have. I do everyone's taxes, can paint, tile/caulk and can help with computer software, my hubby can fix what I can't with the hardware/software, knows basic plumbing and he knows how to fix most common appliance breakdown issues. One brother can do mechanic repairs and the other does heating/cooling. We never "charge" each other for help. We are family, it's what you do. I'm the same way with some close friends as well. Let's just say that when a water heater went out, we did buy a new one on a great deal. That was the only cost we incurred. A friend helped pick it up in a truck and helped with installation. We then repaid him and his family by having them over for dinner and sent home some awesome treats. When we updated light fixtures in a home recently, a friend came over and installed them and he left with all the old fixtures to be used in his rental properties. Plus I helped his wife with her laptop problems and taught her how to use her new photo printer. Knowing when we are in over our heads and it's time to call in the pros will help save you too. I can't tell you how many stories I hear of repairs costing more because someone tried to fix it themselves and ended up causing worse problems.
Dec 26, 2012 12:45 PM CST
You could just not have something as useless as cable tv. While you're at it educate your damn selves on your taxes, learn what the word marginal means and take 1 hour, estimate your income for the year and estimate your damn taxes. I don't wanna hear one more person complain about bush tax cuts who can't figure out what their effective tax rate is or even means.