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8 Tips to Save Money

If saving money and cutting expenses has been a struggle, here are some simple – and relatively painless – ways that will help. Now’s the time to get rid of those bad financial habits, and start replacing them with good ones!

For example:

1. Use your local library to check out “must-read” books, videos and CDs instead of buying or renting them. You’ll be surprised how much you might be able to save.

2. Dine in. You can save on beverages, tips, and tax when you dine at home, even if it’s take-out from a restaurant or cooking for friends and family potluck style. If you have children, this can save on babysitting costs, too. If you must eat out, try to use coupons or neighborhood discounts.

3. Be a bargain shopper. Compare prices, utilize local coupons, or shop during post-holiday sales to get the deepest discounts on everyday items. If you’re in the market for large items like a new car, consider insurance, maintenance and repair costs before you buy. And, if you’re a technology lover, consider data plan and accessory pricing before committing.

4. Choose affordable entertainment. If you have children, be sure to tap into community newsletters and join organizations that offer free entertainment like the zoo, aquarium or art center. You can also take advantage of “kids eat free” nights at local hot spots, and see movies in the afternoon for less expensive options.

5. Use online banking and bill pay. These services can help you keep closer track of your spendable balances and save cash on stamps and envelopes.

6. Keep your debt under control. If you can, put yourself on a “cash/debit” diet. However, if you’re a strong credit card user, pay off your balance in full each month to avoid the interest fees. If you must carry a balance, develop a “pay-off” plan and then stick to it.

7. Make your money work harder. Seek out credit cards with lower interest rates, transfer extra money to interest-bearing accounts, and review your investments on a regular basis, paying close attention to fees and account charges.

8.  Save your change! Put the extra change from your pocket, purses, washing machine, and cars in a designated place and give it a purpose. Whether it goes toward a date night with your significant other, a tropical vacation, or that new pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing, giving it some purpose will make it more fun. And, it will add up faster than you think!

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