Most of us give in to temptation from time to time. Whether its buying on impulse, choosing name brands rather than generic, taking a taxi instead of a bus, or splurging on an expensive meal, indulging is fun and even healthy in moderation.
But watch out. Not enough attention paid to the small purchases will result in big money lost. The path to savings (for things that you really do want) is paved with pennies. It starts with awareness. Each time you make a purchase, consider the cost. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Brown bag your lunch. $7 per day totals $140 a month.
- Substitute water for juice. A family of four can save over $500 a year by cutting just one glass of juice per person per day.
- "Health" bars run about $2 apiece, and are often no more than glorified candy bars. Switch to a banana and whole-wheat bagel for half the price.
- Use coupons at grocery stores and buy house brands instead of name brands whenever possible.
- Prepare meals in advance and freeze them to avoid the temptation of ordering pizza at the end of a long workday. Cooking at home will make your food budget go much further.
- Throw pocket change in a jar and cash it in when it's full.
- Review your phone bill and drop unnecessary services like Caller ID and Call Forwarding.
- Cut your cable television down to basic.
- Hand wash instead of dry cleaning.
Chances are you can spot - then stop - spending leaks simply by paying closer attention to everyday expenses.
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