Money Management: Living on Less

Managing money tips

  • Keep track, item by item, of where your money goes every day, week and month. Go over this spending record periodically with the entire family. Decide together if money is being spent the way you really want.
  • Do not carry more money than you can afford to spend. You can't buy impulsively if you have to return to make the purchase.
  • Have a garage sale to get rid of unwanted items. This frees up storage and generates dollars for other needs.
  • Pay bills early when creditors give a discount for early payment.
  • Check to see if you are eligible for the earned income tax credit. This federal tax credit can provide a larger tax refund or can cut the amount withheld from each paycheck.
  • Consider taking up less expensive sports and hobbies than you now have. There are many ways to have fun at little or no expense.
  • Take advantage of community recreation services such as concerts, fairs and public tennis courts.
  • Read magazines and books from the library. Cancel book club memberships and magazine subscriptions, especially for those that remain unread for a long time. Look for ways to enjoy the same resources at little or no cost to your family.
  • Analyze your insurance coverage to make sure you are adequately insured at the lowest price. Comparison shop for insurance; the cost for the same coverage can vary widely from one insurance company to another.
  • Stay away from malls. It's too easy to spend money on impulse when browsing at a mall.
  • Balance your checkbook soon after the bank statement arrives. Stay on top of where you are financially. Overdrafts can be expensive.