Joseph Doohan is the creator of the popular and fast-growing Moneyjojo.com personal finance blog. We recently caught up with Joseph to learn a few tricks on how to save money on products, services, monthly expenses, and entertainment.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Why are you so passionate about saving money?
I have been a blogger since 2013, when I started Moneyjojo.com. Employment opportunities were scarce at the time. I had just graduated from university, and in my spare time outside of seeking a job, I started writing about my experience with managing my money. Over time, Moneyjojo has grown to be a popular personal finance blog while also becoming known for researching and publishing data on consumer trends for small and large enterprises.
I am extremely passionate about earning money; it is like a bug that you cannot just shake off. I would argue that I was born to save money; however, it is the gradual accumulation of wealth that is what drives me on to keep saving money and finding new ways to reduce my outgoings.
Could you share one interesting way that you managed to save a little money this week?
This week, I have saved money by forgoing my evening time snack (which was usually junk food) in favor of different juice recipes I have been trying out with my new juicer.
I do have a sweet tooth; I enjoy chocolate and ice cream a lot! I sat down to look at my expenditures for the month and realized how much I was spending on junk food. I recently bought a juicer which I found online at a good price, and I decided that this week was going to be the time to start juicing.
Quite often I discovered that I had leftover vegetables for dinner, yet not enough for a meal the next day. The solution was juicing it! Leftover carrots and orange juice is my new treat, and it has the all the sweetness I need in my life right now. At the moment, I’m feeling great and full of energy, saving money by not buying junk food, and using vegetables and fruit that I might otherwise be throwing out later in the week.
What are some important financial goals which millennials can save money for that they might not be aware of?
Millennials should set financial goals for buying a home and even for their retirement. If you are just starting out in your career, it is difficult to set financial targets for later years; however, I think it is best that you are prepared. I think home ownership is going to be more and more difficult in the years to come, so to save for a mortgage down payment should be a goal to work towards.
I also mentioned retirement as a financial goal. In the years to come, how will we how much what healthcare will cost us? I would argue that it is better to be prepared financially for the future than not prepared at all.
What are some of the lifestyle habits that are the biggest money wasters?
Two lifestyle habits spring to mind straight away: smoking and paying for subscriptions that people no longer use. Though I am not a person to judge, smoking to me has no benefits whatsoever. Cigarettes are costly, and all they do is damage your health. If you are a smoker and you stop, you will see real benefits to your health and in your bank account!
Paying for subscriptions that you do not use can really drain your savings. Anything like gym memberships, cable subscriptions, or other memberships should be cancelled if you are no longer getting value from them.
Given how people love their technology and devices, what are some ways they can save money in this area?
There are lots of daily deals and coupon websites that you can find online. Competition is tight among e-retailers and coupons are now widespread. People who are looking to buy something online should start making a habit of searching for coupons for products or for a coupon code at their favorite online store so that they can save money on their purchase. There are many apps that provide coupon codes, while others offer cash back on purchases made at your favorite online shop.
What types of services are people able to save money on?
Entertainment (such as days out) and restaurant specials spring to mind. If you sign up for free notifications from daily deal and coupon websites, you may get offers for exciting days away to theme parks, entertainment events, or even two-for-one meal deals at your favorite restaurant.
How often should people check the Internet for deals or online coupons?
In my opinion, you should check the internet for deals and online coupons daily, if not at least 3-4 times per week. Most coupons only last for a short period of time, so you should bookmark your favorite coupon and deal websites so that you can find coupons for products that you might buy frequently. If you are able to stay up to date on great deals, it can really save you money if you are looking to bring down your monthly expenditures.
Finally, name one thing that most households can do today to lower their monthly expenses.
One thing that a household should do right now is make a list of all monthly expenditures and identify one way to save themselves money. For example, if there are essential items which are bought online that they could save money on, then they should look for coupon codes each month to save money on purchasing those items. The best way to save money is to work on reducing expenditures and concentrate on reducing costs in one area each month.
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