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Saving Money Tips

1. Make more money.
2. Lower your bills.

Making more money is easier said than done. Most people only get a salary increase that barely covers inflation and the increased cost of living. Add in the increased cost of healthcare, and many people actually have less money in their paycheck!

You can get a promotion and earn more, but that can take time. And in this day and age of massive layoffs, how secure do you feel at work?

You can find a new job that pays more, or get a second job. But take it from someone who has worked part-time jobs to get by…it’s exhausting, and you’ll have to say goodbye to a lot of your free time.

Lowering your bills is less likely to cause major strife in your life. Cutting your expenses and finding ways to save money is not as difficult as you might think. All it takes is a little thought, creativity, and perspective.

Sit down and take an honest look at where your money is going. You are likely to be surprised. Most people throw money down the drain everyday, often without even realizing it. Ask yourself these questions…

Did I really get the best price for the blouse I am wearing?

Could I have paid less for that new car in my driveway?

Am I going to be able to retire when I am ready or will I have to keep working until I die?

Hopefully, your answers were yes, no, and yes. If not, you probably lost out on an opportunity to save money.

Learning how to save money and achieve financial security is a skill that not everyone learns. After all, it is not something that is taught in schools. Here are some ideas to get you thinking about how you can improve your financial situation…

Set your priorities. Decide what is important to you. Do you want to retire early? Afford a bigger house? Go on a dream vacation? Set those goals, and keep them in mind whenever you’re about to spend. Before you drop $5 on a latte, consider whether or not it is worth putting off your dream.

Think about how you can lower your bills:

If you own your own home, can you refinance your mortgage at a lower interest rate? Even though interest rates are starting to creep back up, they are still at historic lows. You could save hundreds of dollars by refinancing.

How about your credit cards? If you are paying a high interest rate, you can transfer your balance to a card with a lower rate and save big money. Many cards now offer 0% introductory offers for a year or more! Transfer the balance and then pay off as much as possible before the 0% offer ends. Just be sure not to run up a big balance again.

Keep an eye on your credit report. So much depends on your credit score. How would you know if there is a problem or mistake on it? You should keep a close eye on it at all times. If you notice something is inaccurate, get it corrected immediately.