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Tips For Containing Spending

It feels so wonderful paying off the holiday bills early in the year, and then receiving the tax refund money. Life is good! And then, the cycle begins again. Beginning sometime early to mid summer, the cost cycle begins to ramp up – and you may be feeling the stress now.

First, there is the family vacation.

Second, if you have kids who are in still in school, or you are heading to college yourself, then you could be facing back-to-school expenses in less than a month.

Third, from September onward, there are the roller-coaster months that lead up to the most expensive time of the year – the period between Thanksgiving and late December.

Facing such expenses, and/or others, you might be asking, “How can I save more money!” To answer your question, below are a few suggestions regarding where making simple adjustments can keep more cash in your pocket.

  • Spread the word about your savings goals and garnish support from family and friends.
  • Have a certain percentage or amount of funds taken automatically from your paycheck and put into savings.
  • Pay off high-interest credit/debt.
  • When making major purchases, give yourself two days before buying to reconsider if you really need the item/service/work.
  • Keep credit card use to a minimum and pay cash for more purchases.
  • When you pay off a credit card, take the monthly amount you had been paying on it and put it into savings.
  • Keep only one credit card with you—store the others in a safe place.
  • Cut back on visiting the ATM to once a week and have the cash you take out stretch the entire week.
  • Cut back on the number lunches you eat out each week and place that cash into your savings.
  • Carpool if possible.
  • Buy the mid-grade gas instead of premium if you can (check your car manual).
  • Don’t forget to track debit card purchases.
  • Cut back on Department store visits – hit yard sales!
  • Cut back on the number of vending machine sodas and candy bars you buy each week.
  • Collect your spare change (don’t spend it) — it adds up.