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Top 5 Things That We Waste Money On

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American’s waste a lot of money!  That is precisely why Dave Ramsey is practically a household name now.  People are scrambling to try and figure out how to save money and pay off debt.  It’s time to STOP wasting money!  Money truly is the root of all evil and when you have a better grip on where it goes and what it’s spent on, it doesn’t have such a hold on your life!  Maybe you don’t make enough at the end of the paycheck to have alot left over and that’s OK.  You don’t have to have excess to save money!

Here are 5 SIMPLE ways we can start SAVING MONEY!

Hungry shopping – don’t do it!  Shopping when you’re hungry means you are going to buy a lot more than what is on your list or you had planned for.  When your stomach is doing the talking, it’s also doing the spending.  Make sure you shop on a full stomach.  I can’t promise this will work for your kids though.  Those lovely little monsters will still ask you for everything they see 😉 It comes with the territory.

Use cash – I remember a time when my husband and I were buying furniture for our master bedroom and we didn’t want to use credit.  (We still don’t).  We went to the big box furniture store with cash in hands….lots and proceeded to purchase what we wanted.  Two things happened…the salesmen tried to get us to finance probably assuming we needed it.  And then when we got to the register to purchase, we proceeded to out all the $100 bills.  This hurt!!  Seeing that money sitting there on the counter made it a lot more real” in spending it.  It stung a little more than just swiping a debit (or credit) card.  Follow the Dave Ramsey envelope system and use cash – it REALLY helps in keeping your spending reigned in.

Use off-brand ANYTHING – at least try it once.  There are a few things that I will ONLY buy the name brand on but for everything else, I opt for the off-brand.  More often than not, these are just as high quality food as the name brand.  I once worked for Associated Wholesale Grocers and learned that companies work with name brands to offer their off-brand and 80% of the time they are just putting their label on it.  For example, you might have Green Giant green beans and Kroger Green Beans.  Kroger has contracted with Green Giant and they are simply placing their label on the can versus Green Giant’s.  So, off brand is OK!

Don’t buy pre-packaged – it is getting harder and harder to eat healthy and keep it cheap but a sure-fire way to bust any budget is to buy pre-packaged food!  Granted some things just make your life easier when it’s pre-packaged (like instant oatmeal) but when you start using those items to fulfill your main menu, it can get costly REALLY quick!  Steer away from the frozen pre-packaged section.  Another added benefit in addition to saving money – you’ll be eating healthier!

USE A BUDGET – this really should be in the number one spot!  No one should be spending any money without knowing exactly what that money is to be used for.  Last year, I took 3-4 months and tracked EVERYTHING that we spent money on.  It’s going to do two things for you. First off, you’re gonna get a HUGE reality check about money you shouldn’t be spending!  Secondly, it’s going to help you create your budget.  If you have and live by a budget – KUDOS TO YOU!  If you don’t, you can start now!

There you have it!  Five SIMPLE ways to save money that are way easier than you think.  If you start doing these five things, it will make it easier to start looking at other areas in which you can tweak and save a little more on.

What is one change that you’ve perfected when it comes to saving money??  What is a trick that you would share?

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