For richer...For poorer... Live richer by watching the nickles and dimes.

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These days living within your means may not be good enough.   For many it may be time to live below your means.

Start with pen and paper and make an accounting of every nickle you spend over a monthly period.   Know where your money is going and why.    You'll be amazed at the amount of money you spend over a month on non-necessary items.   Reduce or eliminate accordingly.

Here are a few ideas that will help.  

- Increase your regular mortgage payments by $100 per month.
- Buy returned, refurbished, floor model or scratch and dent items.   Make sure the warranty still applies.  Ask the store manager what's available.   Look for items with damaged packaging and ask for a discount.    You can often save up to 50%.   Shopping online can also produce some big savings.   Check the internet before you head to the stores.
- Pack a lunch to work, rather than dining out and opt-out of the office coffee clutch.  Bring a Thermus to work.
- Pay your credit card bills on time.   CC companies charge huge interest rates on over-due accounts.  Use credit cards only in an emergency, not as a matter of everyday spending.
- Turn off not required lights and turn down heat.    Make sure your home is well sealed for winter and summer.
- Join a car pool for commuting.    I have a friend who lives 3 miles from work and rides his bike there 7 months of the year.   It's not only good exercise, it saves wear and tear on the car and gasoline.
- Set aside a fixed amount for saving every month.
- Clip grocery store coupons and stock up on long life grocery bargains.
- Save deductible business expense receipts to reduce income tax payments.
- Hand wash dishes rather than using the dish washer.

There are of course many more money saving ideas that you may think of.   Each may save only a few dollars each month, but when put together the savings can be incredible over the period of a year.

It's not a matter of living poorer or reducing your living standard.....but a matter of living richer.  You will not go without, but you will have more dollars ahead of you year after year.


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Pamela Stangler
Lisa Ferringo & Assoc., Coldwell Banker Schmitt - Cudjoe Key, FL
Florida Keys

David I am trying to implement small things in my life to help reduce my spending each week.  Yesterday I realized I didn't have a black shirt for my work wardrobe, so today I went to the local thrift store and found a brand new (tags still on) shirt for work for $5.  And hopefully the money I spent went toward a good cause.

I have also minimized the amount of times I get lunch and snacks outside of the home.  If I got rid of it all together I could probably save over $200 per month.  That's a credit card payment!  Thanks for the great ideas....

Jan 26, 2011 08:19 AM #1
Bob Force (REALTOR®)
Weichert Realtor - New Colony - Mount Airy, MD
The FORCE in Maryland Real Estate

Yes, some great suggestions.  One needs to do that cost tracking to really understand where it all goes.

Jan 28, 2011 05:20 PM #2
Charles Perkins
Charles G. Perkins, CPA - Burien, WA

Besides saving money, there are often little ways of making extra money. 

Feb 17, 2011 05:32 AM #3
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