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Spending 101

There's a big difference between spending money and spending money wisely. Being aware of your spending habits can not only save you money, it can help you avoid financial disaster. Knowing where your money is going enables you to make positive changes and can also alert you to areas where you need to be cautious- such as impulse buying. You will never be able to successfully manage your money until you learn to control your spending.

Here are some tips to remember when shopping:

  • Don't jump at the first chance for a sale item. A sale price isn't necessarily the best price. Many stores offer discounted prices all the time, so investigate thoroughly before parting with your cash.
  • Check online. There are websites which allow you to compare prices from different venders. If you use an online retailer, be aware of the delivery time and also the shipping charges.
  • Whenever possible, price match the item you are looking for. Some merchants will match or beat a competitor's advertised price.
  • Use coupons for items that you need. Don't buy unnecessary products just because you have a discount coupon.
  • Pay with cash. It's a known fact that consumers spend less and are more thoughtful about their purchases when they use cash instead of a credit card.
  • Apply the “24 hour” rule before committing to a purchase. If you wait at least a day before buying an item, many times you will discover you don't really need it.
  • If you know you have an impulse buying problem, avoid the temptation. Stay away from the mall or anywhere else that might cause you to make purchases that you will regret. It might sound like a drastic approach, but impulse shopping can wreak havoc on a budget. Do whatever you need to do to stay in control.
  • Keep your receipts so that you can track where your money is going.

Causes of Overspending

There is a very simple formula for building wealth and becoming financially independent: you have to spend less than you earn. While most American consumers understand the concept, they have a hard time putting this idea into practice. In order to reach your financial goals, it is important to understand the causes of overspending.

How to Save Money on Your Food Expenses

One of the most positive aspects of having a budget is that it allows you to see exactly how much you are spending and on what. Other than a mortgage or rent payment, the amount of money you spend on food is probably your next biggest expenditure. The good news is your food budget offers many different ways to cut costs and the resulting savings can be significant.

Ways to Cut Health Care Costs

Obtaining affordable health care can be challenging. With more and more insurers raising deductibles and switching from fixed amount co-payments to co-insurance, it's important that consumers understand how to have more control over their health care spending. By taking a more active role in your health care and living a healthy lifestyle, you may be able to significantly reduce your health care costs.

How to Find a Nice Home at a Reasonable Price

The decision to rent a place to live is a very personal one. Maybe you don't want the responsibility of homeownership at this time or perhaps you aren't quite ready financially to purchase a new home. Either way, finding a nice home that fits comfortably within your budget can be a challenging proposition.

How to Get More for Your Money

Almost everyone wants to get the most bang for the buck when they shop. By learning to balance quality and cost effectively you can determine when to spend a bit more for an item or when to look for something less expensive.