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What are easy ways to save money?

Lifestyle changes that can help save money.

Altering one's spending habits is the primary way to save money. [©Shutterstock, 2010]
©Shutterstock, 2010
Altering one's spending habits is the primary way to save money.

The most effective practices for saving money involve organization and self-discipline. First, take inventory of your daily spending, and come up with a value for how much you aspire to save in a given period of time. With some perseverance and helpful tips, you’ll find that spending less might not be as hard as you think. Before embarking on a savings plan, it's important to know about savings accounts and federal insurance protections on them. As laws and regulations can change or alter, always be sure that savings accounts and programs are protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation before placing your hard-earned money into an account.

Change Personal Spending Habits

Changing your personal spending policy is one of the biggest and most helpful steps in improving finances, and there are many tricks to help keep shopping habits in line. For example, practice a “wait-a-day” rule by waiting at least one day before buying any luxury items. By the time the day has passed, you may find you no longer want or need the item. You can also make certain commitments, like preparing meals at home instead of eating out, and try to stick to them for as long as possible. Finally, if you’re in need of a certain item, don’t be afraid to ask friends and family if they have an extra they don’t need; you can probably get it at a discounted price compared to what you’d pay at the store.

Increase Energy Efficiency

Increasing your energy efficiency can also help you avoid reckless spending. Start by buying products with theEnergy Star label, which is applied by the U.S. government. These products can save individuals up to 50 percent of what they would normally pay in energy consumption. In terms of your energy bill, consider getting a free energy audit from the local gas or electric company; they’ll look at your house and offer advice on how to insulate or otherwise protect it from losing excess energy.

Manage Credit Cards

Credit cards are an easy way to spend money recklessly, and one of the biggest steps to saving money is learning how to manage credit cards. Make an effort to understand the cost of your credit: Small differences in annual percentage rates and hidden fees can make a big difference to your bank account. But you can also take steps to abstain from using credit cards quite so often. Try leaving them at home or removing them from accounts at online stores so they’re not so easily accessible. Most importantly, never pay credit card fees: If you can’t afford something, then simply do not buy it.

Improve Health

Finally, improving your health can actually go a long way toward saving money. Better health often leads to lower health or life insurance premiums, and spending less money on unnecessary food will help you lose weight and fatten your wallet at the same time. You can also improve your finances by cutting down on unhealthy vices, such as alcohol and smoking.

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