Saving money can seem like a real chore, but actually, a few simple rules can help you get a grip on your finances. We got these from the researchers at Woman’s Day magazine.
- First: “Snowflaking” can work wonders, no matter how tight your budget is. Carolyn Kepcher is the founder of WorkHerWay.com, and a former executive vice president with Donald Trump. She suggests doing this: when you use coupons, keep track of every dollar you save. Remove that exact amount from your wallet and put it aside, either in a jar or savings account. She says this really does make a difference. All of those tiny, unnoticeable “flakes” of money will build up into an avalanche of savings.
- Buy multi-purpose. That comes from Linsey Knerl, blogger for WiseBread.com, a top personal finance site. She says when you purchase a product, do some research to see how else you can put it to use. Can your dish soap be used for hand-washable clothing? Can you use vinegar to clean up pet stains? The answer to that second one is YES, by the way, so try to buy things that offer you the most bang for your buck.
- Lower your expectations. J.D. Roth is the editor of the author of Your Money: The Missing Manual. He says it’s our expectations that get us in trouble. We think we need the latest clothes or gadgets, so we spend more than we can afford. One way to counter this is to make use of the stuff you already own. Watch the DVDs that have been sitting under your television for the past five years. Read those books you bought and never opened. Wear those clothes sitting in the back of your closet. Roth says if you treat your home like a shopping mall, you’ll be surprised how much good stuff you already have.