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7 Easy Ways to Eliminate Wasteful Spending

By Kim Moore

Tips to Help you keep more of your Money

Many of us feel powerless when it comes to our finances. Luckily, we can reclaim our power and take charge of our financial lives. As parents, we have a responsibility to our families to make the most of every dollar.

If things feel especially tight right now, consider that there are ways to save money that you may not have thought of before. Here are some tips to help you eliminate wasteful spending and keep more of the money that your family earns.

  1. Eliminate the fees. Sure, bills are inevitable, but fees aren’t. The money that banks and bill collectors charge when you’re late with a payment is pure waste. And it can really add up. Make a vow to not be late on a payment so that you don’t waste money on late fees. Another area of fees that you can eliminate is what your bank charges for checks. It is easy and convenient to use a check company and order online.
  2. Review your monthly expenses. Knowing where your money goes each month is the single biggest factor in reducing wasteful spending. There are things we pay for that we don’t even realize… or use. Examine your monthly charges to see where you can cut back.
  3. Pack a lunch. This is an easy place to save money. Between school lunches and quick trips to the fast food takeout, lunch can really add up. For a family of four, it’s not uncommon to spend up to $500 a month on lunch alone. Instead, make a little more for dinner and pack it up for lunch the next day. You’ll be surprised just how easy it can be to save up to $6,000 a year!
  4. Be frugal. There may have been a time when being frugal was looked down upon. Well, no longer. Frugality has become a competitive sport among smart moms. By changing the way you think about spending, you can save a bundle and still have fun; for example, instead of heading out to the movies, how about a movie night at home? It can be a fun and rewarding experience, especially when home-made popcorn and s’mores are added to the event.
  5. Be a bargain shopper. You most likely do some of this already, but there are ways to save that you might not be taking advantage of. First off, always make a list and don’t deviate from it. Impulse buying is a huge source of wasteful spending. Browse the fliers and clip coupons, but also consider that there are online sources for coupons that might not be available in your local paper. Never pay full price. Whatever it is, it’s likely on sale somewhere.
  6. Set financial goals. Work on creating goals that will allow you to add to savings, create an emergency fund, and still have money left over for fun. The goals should be realistic and specific, and should focus on eliminating debt and building financial security. Also, consider what financial institution you use. Is it a big faceless bank? How about trying a credit union? You can also get low cost checks to offset bank fees.
  7. Change your attitude towards money. Most of us view money management as a temporary chore to get us through an immediate crisis, if you want to have a secure financial future, start viewing money and saving as a lifelong endeavor. Create a budget and stick to it. Know what your expenses are and eliminate the wasteful ones. Most of all have fun with it; because having more money is always a fun place to be.

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