If you find yourself throwing away spoiled food too often, take a little time organize your refrigerator. A picture is worth a thousand words, so just check Google Images for the term, 'organized fridge' to get some really-quick ideas that work for you.
Some common sense is required when buying in bulk. Obviously you don't want to buy food that will spoil before it is used, but also think of exactly where you will store these items.
If you have come to the conclusion that your personal-spending habits need a little work, consider keeping your credit cards out of easy reach. Pay for all of your purchases with cash instead. Psychologically, there is something very different about 'breaking a twenty' versus just 'swiping' your credit card or debit card. This will make you think twice about impulse purchases.
Some financial advisers recommend to certain clients with serious-debt problems that they actually cut up their credit cards with scissors. Other advisers recommend placing credit cards into a container of water and then freezing that container in the freezer. This institutes a certain 'cooling off' period before making a purchase. If your situation is less extreme, you can invent your own minor inconvenience that keeps credit cards out of easy reach. For example, you could simply create a paper 'envelope' for your credit card with paper and tape it shut; then write the current date on the envelope. Now, see how long can you go without opening it! Make a little game out of it. No matter how long you make it, it can only be positive on your finances.
This very rough estimate is based on a person that is in the 25% federal tax bracket and a 4% state tax bracket. To state this another way, if this person made an additional $1,390 one year, they would only be left with an additional ~$1,000. So, $1,000 saved is worth an additional ~$1,390 in earnings for this person.
The math for arriving at the factor of ~1.39 works like this:
Note that a portion of the formula calculates the Effective State bracket:
- Let F = Federal income bracket = 25%
- Let S = State tax bracket = 4%
Effective State bracket = S * (1 - F)
Of course, each individuals personal tax situation is likely to be very different then the above example. There is also the issue of work related expenses, some of which may not be deductible. If your inclined to adjust the given '1.39' figure with one that more accurately reflects your tax situation, then just insert your own federal and state marginal tax rates into the above formula. If you don't have a calculator handy, here is a handy Google-based calculator for your convenience; just replace both tax rates (.25 and .04) wherever they appear in the formula.
1. This is a roughly true but due to the complex nature of tax law, it is intended to be a rough estimate (hence the tilde slashes).