Ten More Steps To Being A Super Saver

Want to find more ways to save some money this year? You are not alone! Two-thirds of post on parents.com say they “hope to get out of debt, save for specific projects, or eliminate excess spending this year.” With the right planning and some good advice, you will find that you can do it and help your spouse and children learn along with you.

“Adults who are expert savers usually started honing their money skills when they were young,” says Kelly Campbell, of Campbell Wealth Management. It’s never too early to get together as a family to set savings goals for the year and to discuss wants vs. needs. To help your kids have a visual idea of how saving works, set them up with some jars or shoeboxes. Get them started on charitable giving, short-term goals, and long-term goals (college) and see how they all add up. “To make their short-term goals understandable,” says Susan Beacham, a family finance expert and founder of Money Savvy Generation, “have kids draw a picture of their savings goal item, then label it with a monetary value.”

1. Draw up a new household budget this month; you can use online tools like mint.com. If you’ve got specific savings goals in mind, like a vacation or home renovation, you might consider opening accounts for these and having money directly transferred from your paycheck each month. It really helps at Christmas or birthday time if you put away a small amount, like $25-$30 each month, or if you can swing it, every week.

2. Take a break this month from any extra, unplanned spending. This will help identify the little budget-wreckers that really add up, like that emergency fast-food stop for dinner or the pair of on-sale shoes you didn’t really need. At the end of the month, add up your savings: you’re bound to be impressed.

3. Getting a tax refund? That’s great, but before you run out and spend, sock some of it away to meet those savings goals you set in January.

4. Here’s some real practical advice: pinch toilet paper rolls so they roll less easily. You’ll curb overuse and save up to $5 a month.

5. Got your kids’ time filled with extracurricular activities? Consider letting them choose just one physically-active class (like dance or hockey) and one art-music lesson at a time. By limiting the number of leagues, classes and lessons your child is involved in, you can save money, time, and gas. An added bonus: more peaceful time at home with the family.

6. “Research shows that you spend less when you pay with cash than with plastic because it hurts more,” says Dave Ramsey, nationally syndicated talk-show host and author. He suggests “an envelope system to help you stick to your budget: Mark envelopes with the names of items you can pay cash for, like gas, groceries, eating out, entertainment, and clothing. Put the amount of cash you budgeted for that topic for the month in the envelope. When the envelope is empty, stop spending.”

7. Steer clear of store cards. They’re too easy to lose track of how much you have on each card, and if you remember Ramsey’s rules, you spend more when you pay with plastic.

8. Hit the public library for DVDs and books instead of making purchases. You don’t even have to hunt the stacks anymore – many systems allow you to browse online and put items on hold.

9. Some nights you just have to have a quick meal, and pizza usually tops the list. A store-bought crust and sauce, plus your own healthy toppings, will save you $10 to $20 over takeout.

If you take these steps to heart, you’ll soon find that living frugally comes easier, your savings will start to add up, and you’ll be on your way to become a natural super saver!

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