7 EASY WAYS TO SPEND LESS MONEY
Don’t give in to the cultural temptation to buy more and more things you don't need! You can cut back on unnecessary spending when you take these steps.
Stick to a weekly plan
Every Sunday, plan how much you will spend that week. Withdraw precisely that amount of cash and stash your credit cards and ATM card at home. Most people aren’t convenient with carrying cash around in that case, you have to stay committed to a weekly spending plan for your money. It might seem hard to cut down on unnecessary spending at first but you have to.
Make a list
Before every shopping trip, make a list of what you’ll buy and decide how much to spend — including sales tax. Take that amount of cash with you but leave your credit card at home. This will help you buy only what’s on your shopping list.
If you find something that you or your children simply must buy, put it on layaway. If you don't need it, you are less likely to take the time and trouble to go back for it.
Don’t fall for “tricks”
Retailers make less money when you spend less, so they attempt you with enticing ads and sales. Even with little or no discount, retailers can boost sales with prices ending in 9 or with“sales” signs that don't say how much much you save. Gaurd against pricing tricks like these and fight back with a little planning.
Shop only when you need to, advises Cynthia Yates, author of Living well on income. Spend less time in stores and you’ll have less time to be tempted to buy. Be wise about when you shop too. “The best time to shop is when you are alone, unhurried, and well-fed says, Yates. “Stress and hurry don’t allow for thoughtful purchases.”
Try comparison shopping to find out where you're paying too much. Grab a notebook and start writing down what types of items sell for less at different stores. For best results, start with things you often buy.
Check newspaper circulars for prices. Many stores will match competitors’ advertised prices so take those circulars with you when you shop.
Use it or lose it
Buy economy sizes or buy in bulk to save money but only when you'll use what you buy. “if you need one can of anchovies for a special recipe, spring for the grocery store price instead of buying a half-dozen shrink-wrapped at the warehouse store,” says Yates.
Put your goals to work
Make your goals easy to measure and create a plan to reach them. take jane, for example. She set a goal to pay cash for the coat she needed for next winter. Every weekday, she dropped two quarters in an envelope instead of buying a soft drink for 50 cents at work.
At the end of each month, she deposited the resulting $10 in her savings account. After three months, she had $31.20, including interest. In 12 months, jane saved enough to pay the $120 price plus sales tax.
Avoid spending more when you can use up what you have. “I believe with all my heart that most of us could feed our family for weeks with what we have in the cupboard,” Yates says. “Using things up is my all-time favorite principle in life.”
Find a bulletin board in your community —at a church or grocery store, perhaps — where you can put your name, phone number, and a list of things you need.
Swap before you shop
Invite interested people to participate in a swap meet where everyone can exchange items they no longer use for things they need.