Saving 101 – Pay Yourself First

by Marcel 31 March 2011

One of the biggest excuses people give for not saving is that they have no money left at the end of the month. Those would-be savers can do themselves a world of good by turning things around and making their savings into just another bill that must be paid.

This is known as the pay-yourself-first strategy, and it is both simple and effective. With the pay-yourself-first strategy you treat your investments as just another monthly bill. So if you want to put away €50 a month, you write a check to your favorite mutual fund, or transfer the money electronically, at the beginning of each month, before you have a chance to spend the money elsewhere.

You can start this strategy with just a few dollars if you wish. You do not have to cough up $50. Instead you can start with $10, or even $5. The key is to get started and get into the habit of savings. Once this strategy is in place, you will find it much easier than you ever thought to save and invest for the future.

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Three All Time Cheap Dates

by Marcel 28 March 2011

The sad state of our economy has lots of people feeling down in the dumps about earning money, spending it and maintaining their current lifestyle. In times like these, don’t let the important relationships in your life unravel. Here are some ways to keep the love alive.

Find Great Art
If you and your lover are fans of visual art, look online for a list of local murals, statues and installations that your city boasts. Some cities even have a map with public art noted so you can make a tour of it. Don’t forget to stop for a bite to eat at your favorite chic café or grab a cocktail from your favorite lounge.

Drive the Day Away
Get some fresh air by heading out of town for just the day. Leave the narrow city streets for the wide country roads in your nearest, scenic rural area. The pavement will be a little bumpier out there, but the clear air, the feel of nature surrounding you and the intimacy of rushing through this beautiful world with someone you love sitting next to you is what you will remember.

Get up early together and prepare your things for the day. Bring comfortable, car riding clothes that you are also ready to wear outside on picnic breaks. Make a few mix CDs or play lists of music you both enjoy and leave the busy, busy world behind while the wind whips through your hair.

Do Something the Old Way
Where has your relationship led you so far? What do you miss from the old days? It’s probably cheaper than a nice dinner out and is way more intimate. Whether it’s your old favorite hamburger spot, the college campus you met on or the park where you or your spouse ask you to marry them, you can make a simple outing a romantic date by choosing the right spot.

Don't Underestimate the Little Things
These dates can be a low-cost way to keep romance alive, but ultimately, in times of strife, it is the little things that get couples through. Don't skip that morning snuggle so you have enough time to get a latte before work. Remember special days, even if it means keeping it on your home calendar, phone and work schedule. Don't let the hard times put a damper on how much you love spending your life with the person by your side.

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