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Five Ways to Save More than You Spend

Jul 2, 2008
Is it just me or do paychecks seem to be spent as soon as we get them? Then you look around and wonder where the money went. We have probably all had that problem at one time or another. Here are five ways to help you save more and spend less each month.

1. Have a financial plan. This is a necessity. Separating ten percent of paycheck right away and designating it as savings will help you keep it from being spent. Although this isn't always possible, setting it as a goal is very beneficial. Remember that failing to plan to save will end in no saving at all. At first, use this plan with only one paycheck a month. To ensure that your savings aren't used up, have it put into a savings account automatically, straight from your paycheck.

2. Grocery shop with a shopping list. A good shopping list will keep you from going into the store needing one or two small things but leaving with several carts full of things you never did and never will need. A list keeps you focused on what you need and blocks out what you don't. Make a list at home based on what you see is missing from kitchen cupboards and cabinets. Keeping a running list of the things that you need on the refrigerator will help you make sure that all the essentials make it onto your grocery list.

3. Clip coupons. Coupons are generated mostly for the grocery store, but department stores have store coupons that offer a percentage or a specific dollar amount off of your purchases. Get that sweater at the end of the season when the store marks clothing down forty percent and offers additional coupon savings. Don't shop at a store just because it has a coupon. Chances are the price has been marked up before the coupon is applied to make you think that you are getting a deal. Only use coupons for items and stores that you frequent. Stores that offer free discount cards also have weekly specials that, when combined with a coupon, could save you even more money.

4. Don't impulse buy. The first time you see something expensive like an appliance, some furniture, or a car is not the time to buy. Instead of making rash decisions, take time to investigate the prices at a few different stores and make an informed decision about where to purchase the item you want. If the thing you want isn't really necessary, giving yourself some time to evaluate prices might save you from buying it at all.

5. Reward yourself. Make a list of your wants and reward yourself for saving money by making a well planned purchase of something you truly want. Decide not just what things you want but also which will be the most useful to you. Then start saving until you can earn your reward.

While saving up to buy the first thing on your wish list, you will be building up your savings account, preparing it for a dream purchase. Keeping your goals firmly set in mind will help you reach them faster.

Saving money is a good practice. Not only does it make your finances more stable, but there is also money for a rainy day.
About the Author
Get more simple debt control methods on the Debt Smackdown website. Quit scraping by every month, never getting your debt paid off. Learn how you can get out from under your debt at DebtSmackdown.com
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