Monday, April 25, 2011

Simple Ways to Stop Wasting Money and Pocketing More!

One of the best pieces of advice if you want to stop wasting money is to never cash your paycheck and pocket that money.  If you carry cash, then you are more tempted to use it on little things without realizing where that paycheck went. 

Deposit your check directly in your checking or savings account that does not charge a fee to hold your money.  Some banks charge $3 a month or more for handling your money.  However, there are still banks that do not charge for either checking or a savings account.  Always make sure you do your homework and check out bank fees first.

Keep a special notebook dedicated to your expenses.  Jot down and subtract all your monthly expenses such as rent, mortgage, health insurance, food, car payments, gasoline, clothing, etc. When you write down each expense, you will see more clearly how that money was spent.

Try to not buy convenience foods.  Learning to cook more from scratch will always be cheaper than already prepared items. 

Next time you go to the grocery store be prepared with a list of items that are on sale.  Try to utilize recipes around the sale items, if possible.  If not, just make sure you buy only items that are on your grocery list to make those recipes you planned for that week.

Coupons can be a great way to save--only if those products are really worth to buy in the first place.  Figure out the itemized cost to see the true price.  Take in consideration, the size of the product with coupon and without.  Often, the smaller sizes are more cost effective when couponing. 

Generic products are often as good or better than the name brand products.  Often these same products are manufactured by the same companies--only without the fancy, colorful packaging.  My advice is to experiment and taste test.

Rebate programs at the drugstores  are also a wonderful way to save and often result in free products!

Avoid those early morning coffee runs or even eating breakfast out before you go to work.  Eat at home instead or take advantage of a coffee maker on the premises or bring your own.  Pack your lunch or also use the microwave at your workplace if one is available.  For every cup of coffee, breakfast, or lunch you skip out, the more money you will save.

Resist impulse shopping.  Don't watch those infomercials and buy something that you see on the screen.  If you hate this product, you will pay either return shipping, which can also include a restocking fee. 

Try to buy items that you physically need to touch.   Be sure you don't get lazy if you need to return something; otherwise, you could end up with an expensive mistake!

A tremendous way to save is to ask this one question.  Do you really need the item you plan to buy--or do you just want it?  Of course, we all love pretty things, but how many of us can really afford everything?  If you practice that one little rule, then you will reduce stress from overspending, accumulate more money, and simplify your life. 

There are lots more great things you can do to stretch that dollar and cut out that waste.  These are just a few tips that can put you back on track because often you don't know where money goes until it's gone. 

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