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Money Saving Tips – 5 Ways to Change Your Ways

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Contributor:
Ruth Brown
Ruth Brown

For some, making the switch to frugal living is like coming home, it’s second nature.  For others though, forming those money saving habits can be a little more difficult.  Different approaches work for different people – here are five different suggestions for eating this elephant.

1. Awareness – before you know where to save, you’ve got to know where you’re spending it!   For many people, just being AWARE of where they are spending their dollars, will help cut down on the wastage.  So monitor your spending, keep your receipts and analyse yourself.

2. Reward System – if you (or your family) are motivated by rewards, set yourself goals and reward yourself when you achieve them.  Have a special dinner, schedule a massage, have a night at the movies, buy that outfit you’ve had your eye on (you realise that I’m not suggesting you do ALL of these, just one, otherwise you’ll be back to you eyeballs in debt!)

3. Road Blocks – for those who can’t resist the impulse buy (you know how it goes, you’re strong until you get to the shops and then you find a way in your head to rationalise it) – nip it in the bud.   For instance, don’t carry cash in your wallet or purse.  Don’t carry your credit cards.  Consider freezing your credit cards, so not only do you have to go home, you have to wait for the ice to melt – hopefully by then, you will have cooled down.  Give your cards to your partner or friend, before you buy anything you have to justify it to them (remember though, don’t get mean when they say “no”).

4. Group Challenge – if you have a family, enlist everybody’s help to reach your goal.  Have each member of the family nominate ways that they can save some money.  Put the savings in a jar and let everyone watch them grow.   Even better if you can tie it to a reward system.

5. Make it Visual
– Plot your progress either daily or weekly into a graph or spreadsheet.  A great one for families (or anyone who is a visual person) - use a savings thermometer, put your target at the top and every time you reach another milestone, shade in the thermometer and watch it climb!

You’ve got to find the way that works best for you.   So if at first you don’t succeed, look at it from a different angle and try try again!

How to save money and live more frugally

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