By Moe Lastfogel
Director of Sales and Marketing for The Retail Observer
Well, another year is almost over. You have about three months left to make year-end sales quotas and meet VR levels. What will the economy do after the election is over? What new options and products, money savings devices, and money wasting schemes will appear? I don’t have a crystal ball — nor do I have the answer, sorry. However, here are some pointers that may help you pinch some pennies and catch up from a roller coaster year.
• Drink water rather than soda. I haven't run a cost comparison between an ounce of Coca Cola and an ounce of filtered tap water, but I’m fairly confident that filtered tap water is infinitely cheaper and healthier too.
• Work out at home versus at the gym. Being healthy can save you money, but exorbitant fees and inflexible contracts can make gyms a less desirable option than working out at home. Instead, use that money to build a gym at home with previously owned equipment. Heck, you’re already moving boxes at your business, so who needs a gym?
• Ask creditors to lower your interest rate. Creditors are feeling the crunch and recognize that it takes more money to find a new customer than to retain a current one. Your creditors might give you a lower rate if you tell them that you don’t want to keep your account unless the rate is lower.
• Don’t pay for banking privileges. There are too many free checking accounts out there to pay even one penny in fees for the right to write a check or use a debit card. Many banks and credit unions only require that you use direct deposit or use your debit card a minimum number of times per month to qualify for fee-free accounts.
• Adjust your W-4 at work. The fastest way to give yourself a raise is to increase the number of exemptions on your W-4 form to reduce the amount your employer withholds from your paycheck. If you received a huge refund this year, check the IRS website to calculate the number of exemptions you need to reduce the amount of money withheld from your paycheck to an amount equal to your tax liability.
• Quit smoking. Besides being an incredibly unhealthy habit, smoking is expensive! Many pack-a-day smokers could easily trim $200 from their monthly budget by kicking the habit. That’s $2,400 a year! If you can’t find any other motivation to quit, use finances.