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Simple Money-Saving Ideas that Actually Works!

Updated on January 9, 2011

Saving money doesn’t have to be as painful as locking up portions of your pay check every month in an inaccessible bank account (though that does work). Sometimes, all it takes is a few easy changes in your spending habits. They may only seem to make a little difference but over time, the savings do build up. Below are just some tips to help you save money, the painless way.

Change those expensive habits

Do you need a caffeine hit to wake you up every morning? Do you have an annual subscription to a major newspaper? These habits of yours may not seem to cost much but over the course of a year, they do add up. For instance, a large cappuccino, at $5 a cup for every morning of the working week for a year will end up costing you $1,300 a year. Instead, you should buy some apples as part of your groceries and much on one of those every morning. Studies have shown that eating an apple in the morning ends up making you feel more alert than a cup of coffee.

In addition, ditch the newspaper subscription, practically all major newspapers have their major articles published on the Internet which you can access everyday for free. If you really need to know what’s happening around the world, you should quickly browse the net for ten minutes in the morning before you start working. That way, you get to stay informed for free.

Ditch the plastic

Instead of making purchases with the swipe of your little plastic credit card, you should pay for most things using cash. Research has shown that people unconsciously buy less when they actually see money leaving their hands. In addition, if you only keep big notes like $50 or $100 bills in your wallet, you are less inclined to splurge on some snacks in the food court or that pair of earrings. 

Become a smart shopper

Always, always look around for the best deal. And now, thanks for the power of the World Wide Web, you are no longer limited to the shops in your local mall. There are websites like Amazon.com that sells literally everything you could possibly need in your life. Many clothing labels are also moving onto the web with their site selling new season arrivals as well as clearance sales.

But this is not the time to get all excited and throw your money-saving intent out the window. Whenever you are about to make a big purchase, you should slow down and really think to yourself, is this item essential, important but not essential, or other? If it’s the first, then you should look around for the best deal and buy it. If it’s the second, considering living without it, wait a few days for the excitement of purchasing to die down and then make a decision. But if it’s the third, then walk away – your mind has already decided that you don’t need it.

Know where your money is going

This does not necessarily mean you have to plan out a budget and stick to it. Instead, you should simply keep a log of how much you are earning, how much you are spending and most importantly, where are all your money going to. There are several websites that offer you the free service of logging in all your expenditures by categories so you get a clear idea of your spending habits. There are also plenty of iTunes apps that enable you to track your spending from your iPhone or iPod Touch. Once you’ve logged in a couple of months of records, look for areas where you can cut back on spending.

These are just some of the ways to help you save money. Over the course of a couple of months, you will notice the savings all adding up. That will inspire you to look for possible savings in other areas of your monthly spending. Before you know it, you’d be able to afford things that you thought you would have to save years to buy. 

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