These are simple money saving tips that anyone can do. With an unsure economy, the first thing to do is work on paying off your debt. If you are not in debt, these same money saving tips will keep you that way.

1. Paying on loans.

If your loan is $529.00 per mo., try to add a little extra money to that payment..say $30.00 a mo. You will reduce your loan by years. Look into making Bi-monthly payments. Again, you will reduce the number of years. ( Use free mortgage calculators on the Internet.) It could also be more convenient to get a quick payday loan (approved literally in 1 hour or even less) and solve your cash emergency.

2. Credit Cards.

The frugal thing to do is try to use cash whenever possible. Using a plastic card doesn’t always “sting” as much as counting out your hard earned money and paying for things. If you use your credit card, keep your balance paid off monthly.

3. Vehicles.

Try to pay for your vehicle in cash. If you cannot do this, at least have several thousand to put down on it. You don’t have to buy a brand new vehicle, you have to buy one that is in good running order. Be frugal and carpool with co-workers. Carpool with kids’ events. Combine your errands and do them all in one trip. Take good care of your vehicle whether it’s brand new or used. It will last you longer.

4. Food.

Save money by being frugal in the way you buy and prepare it. Look for sales on foods you use. Make dishes like vegetable soup in volume when you make it. Freeze the leftovers. Ditch the already prepackaged/prepared foods. Start cooking from scratch. It will taste better, cost less and probably be healthier.

Carrying a homemade lunch to work and the school can save you money over a years time. Look into gardening or buying from farmers’ markets. If you invest in canning jars and a canner, you can save money doing your own preserving of meat, vegetables, and fruit. No additives make these both frugal and healthy money saving tips.

5. Clothes.

Keeping up with the latest fashion fads. Is it worth going into debt for? If not, go to second-hand stores and yard sales. A lot of the clothes being offered are like new and can be purchased cheaply. Have kids? Pass from the clothes down from one to the other. Learn to sew.

6. Bartering.

You have something someone else wants. They have something you want. You barter (trade) so both of you are happy. We have meat, we barter for hay, computers, etc. You may have a babysitting service but need a used car. How much do you get for babysitting? How much do they want for the car? Barter them!

7. Don’t spend the change!

At the end of the day when you are emptying your pockets. Stow the change in a piggy bank ( I use glass milk jars.) Put the change in and leave it. Over time, you will be surprised at how much that adds up. Handy for a dire emergency or buying something with cash instead of on credit.

8. Don’t buy things on a whim.

If you want something, don’t rush out and buy it. Think about every purchase you make. Is it necessary? Is it a luxury? Can you do without it? Can you wait until you can pay for it in cash? Is it worth spending your hard earned money on?

9. Pay yourself.

Literally, put yourself on the list of bills every month. I don’t care if its $5.00 or $1,000.00. Put yourself on the list and pay it. Save that money. Whether in a cd, bond, savings account or under the mattress. Save as much as you can.

10. Be yourself.

Quit trying to keep up with the Jones. Frugal living means making sacrifices and keeping out of debt. This tip is not one that usually gets said, but I think a lot of people feel they have to drive as new a car and have as big a house as the people they know. This is what drives people into debt.

I am no financial wizard and don’t play one on TV. This is a common sense approach to money saving tips and frugal living to stay out of debt in these challenging times.…

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Budgeting is an important part of independent financial well being. Budgeting can be painful and difficult to stick to; it can also be helpful. Most people use budgets for making sure that they can have savings in case of an emergency, to plan retirement and a key to getting them out of debt.

Using a budget can help you understand your spending habits, and show you where you may be spending too much money.

Once you understand your spending habits, you can monitor and control them, then you can change them. Budgeting can help with making your financial future secure and predictable.

Look at your expenses.

expensesCategorizing them is the best way to monitor them, such as auto expense, groceries, electric and gas, credit card debt, etc. Go through a couple of months of records and categorize everything that you spent, make sure to include your credit card expenses.

Find an average of all expenses in all general categories for the months that you included. Are you spending a lot in the entertainment category?

Are you spending more in the entertainment category than you are putting into savings? You are never too old to start planning for your retirement; with the inflation of the US dollar, you need to start thinking about it now.

Think about this: If you are 25 years old, your annual income is $32,000 and this is a comfortable lifestyle for you, you currently have no savings, but you are currently putting away $100 a month into a 401K or IRA.

You will need $1,739,000 to retire at the age of 65, but you will only have $403,000 at the age of 65 even using the most aggressive of investing if the market performs averagely and if you continue of to invest $100 per month.

Looks like you may come up a little short. (If you are not sure about how much you will need to retire, look for a retirement calculator on the internet, Fidelity has a fun little interactive calculator that you can use.) A budget can help you with figuring out just how much you can get into a savings plan comfortably.

Look at your income.

incomeWhere does your income come from? Is it steady or sporadic? Categorize your income as you did with your expenses.

Subtract your expenses from your income. Are you coming up negative? If you did, then you are overspending and you need to get it under control. Over-extending yourself will cause you to end up with nothing but problems later on, so it is to your benefit to fix the problem as soon as possible. A budget can help you see where you are overspending and where you can cut back.

Do you really need that new DVD? Did you really need to stop at the coffee house every morning? Even though these are little purchases, they add up quickly! Frivolous spending is a killer if you can afford it, good for you, but most people cannot afford it. Unfortunately, most people don’t understand that they can’t afford it. This is where a budget can help you. It will help you understand just how much you are spending and on what, it will also allow you to see where you can cut out some unnecessary spending habits.

Budgets also help with long term planning and cash flow.

Cash flow is important and poor cash flow can lead to an additional credit card or revolving debt.

If you need to pay your electric bill, but you overspent at the grocery store, then you might choose to pay your electric bill with your credit card or line of credit.

Maybe you know that you are going to be missing a week of work in two or three months, so you will lose the income.

You can plan on stashing enough money to make up for the missing income. Consider making a budget three months at a time, or using a cash flow chart for a six month to a year period.

This may make a large difference in understanding the dynamics of your spending and income. It will also help you plan if you can afford to make large purchases such as cars, boats, and homes.

Getting out of debt is the biggest reason for using a budget.

In 2006, revolving debt reached $876 billion in the United States. Financial stress also became the leading cause of divorce in the US in 2004.

It hasn’t changed since then. Rich and poor can improve their financial situation from budgeting. I recommend budgeting for every household in America, let’s get this country out of debt!…

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Fact: if you wish to work your way to financial freedom, you must track your spending habits.

It is common knowledge that the best route to avoid financial hardships is by monitoring how much money you are spending versus how much money you are bringing in.

It’s imperative that you bring in more money than you spend, obviously.

How do you track this information?

You could spend hundreds of hard-earned dollars on specialized budgeting software to track this information for you.

Most of this pricey software can provide you with the tools you may need to help you in this endeavor.

However, to use these tools you actually have to spend money to get them! Isn’t the point of creating a budget to save that money?

Solution: Use Microsoft Excel or Google Spreadsheets instead!

Some of the benefits of using Microsoft Excel or Google Spreadsheets to plan your finances and manage your budget are as follows:

1. No Cost – Most of us already own and use Microsoft Excel, either at home or at work in the office.

However, if you are one of those rare cases that don’t own or have access to a copy of Excel, don’t bother purchasing it just yet!

You can achieve the same results, and do the same work with Google Spreadsheets, and best of all it is free!

Spreadsheet’s uses are so varied that you can make them do almost anything for you, and your money.

Almost all of the fancy financial software is going to end up costing you hundreds of dollars over time.

It seems to be a waste to be spending that kind of money on software which is supposedly going to be used to save you that very same money.

Save that money and time, just use a spreadsheet to do your financial planning and budgeting.

2. Easy – Neither Microsoft Excel or Google Spreadsheets are particularly difficult to set up and use. If you’re willing to spend a few minutes to learn a few of the simple formulas, you will be able to quite easily have them automatically add, multiply, subtract, and divide where and when you want and need them to.

3. Simple – Most specialized financial budgeting software is just not all that easy or simple to use.

Take the ever-popular software package, Quicken, for example. For simple home budgeting and financial planning, it really was overkill. What I needed was something simple and easy to use, to set up to take care of my personal finances.

However, Quicken was so complicated to set up that I found I just didn’t want to bother using it. When it comes to a personal budget, I want something that’s easy to use, and Quicken was definitely not easy to use. By using a free spreadsheet application like Google Spreadsheets you will save a lot of time when it comes to learning how to use the program, and obviously, it saves you a lot of money, as it is free!

4. Customizable – Wouldn’t you like your budgeting software to allow for easy customization? Excel and Google Spreadsheets allow you to select your own colors, categories, sizes, fonts, styles, and structures to get what you need to be done. Everyone is different, and being able to customize your software to fit your needs is very important.

If you’re looking for a cheap or even free way to keep track of your personal budget and personal finances, I highly recommend using Microsoft Excel or Google Spreadsheets. I wouldn’t waste my hard-earned money on bloated, specialized financial software. At the end of the day, your wallet will thank you for choosing the cheap or free method!…

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