Action Tips: Tighten Your Budget

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In the current economy, everyone's working to stretch their pennies. Here are a few small steps you can take to track your expenses and learn to save:

Create An Expense List

Start with required monthly costs (gasoline, food, etc.) then add other expenses, like movie tickets, clothes, etc. Keep track of how much you spend on each category monthly.

Lower Your Spending

Now that you know how much you are spending, it's time to cut down where you can...

At Home:

  • Install a programmable thermostat that flips the heat every morning, lowers the heat when people are at school/work.
  • In the summer, turn off the A.C. when you’re out of the house.
  • Install a low-flow shower to save on the water bill.
  • Wash clothes in cold water rather than hot.

Transportation:

  • Decrease amount of cars in the family. Is it necessary to have a his and hers, and kids cars? 
  • Make use of public transportation or,if you can, walk.

Entertainment:

  • Make restaurant outings occasional and a special treat.
  • Rent DVDs and make popcorn at home for a cheaper movie-watching alternative to going to the theater.
  • Get a library card and borrow books and videos from your local library – talk about cheap entertainment!

Purchases/Shopping

  • Buy generic drugs.
  • Use grocery store coupons and print coupons off the internet.
  • Shop at sales, thrift stores and consignment shops.  Discount stores are good too, but thrift stores tend to have higher quality for low prices.

Save that Extra Money

Opening a Savings Account with this extra money you've saved. It will earn a small amount of interest on your original deposit, so you'll save even more over time.

Sources:

Minyanville.com

 

 

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