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December 28, 2012

7 resolutions for saving money in 2013

(Continued)

— Clip coupons for everything

We've talked about smartphone saving and the benefits of cutting coupons for everything. Whether you're receiving print coupons or downloading them from coupon sites such as couponsherpa.com, the savings add up if you're using them for your everyday shopping.

— Save more than you want to for retirement

Some of our most important saving tips deal with retirement, and the news is grim: Most people do not have enough money saved for retirement. Twenty-somethings, start saving now! Our favorite retirement statistic comes from Ameriprise Financial: If you invest $5,000 every year beginning at age 30 instead of 31, you will have $109,000 more in savings when you retire, assuming an 8 percent compounded annual interest rate. So get started in 2013.

— Play the points game to win

We interviewed Brian Kelly, The Points Guy, and learned that savvy spenders should not pay with cash. If you don't carry interest on your credit cards, you should be getting free flights and hotels a few times a year. Sign up for rewards credit cards that fit your lifestyle, and check out our interview with The Points Guy for all the must-do tricks to rack up points quickly.

— Keep your receipts

We were blown away when we read an investigation from Consumer Reports' advocacy division that found that eight out of 10 hospital bills contain pricing mistakes. The auto-pay world makes it easy to overlook mistakes and forget what you're spending. Check your receipts to eliminate errors and keep yourself on track.

— Auto-save and earmark expenditures

While automatic bill pay can hurt your budget, automatic savings are the pathway to success. Personal finance experts recommend setting aside a fixed amount for entertainment each month and dividing savings into different bank accounts. They also recommend automatically transferring a fixed amount from checking to savings at the beginning of each month. Have the bank do it for you, and you won't know what you're missing.

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