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

(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.

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  • 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.
(Read more finance stories.)

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