Step1
Step2
Step3
Step4
Step5
Step6
Step7
Step8
Step9
Step10
Step11
Step12
Step13
Step14
Step15
Step16
Step17
Step18
Step19
Step20
Step21
Step22
Step23
Step24
Step25
Step26
Step27
Step28
Step29
Step30
Step 22

Identify ways to reduce spending

To create a balanced budget or increase savings, most people will have to find a way to earn more or spend less. If the idea of spending less sounds challenging, try starting small. 

It’s important to understand that every purchase we make — excluding such absolute necessities as food, rent, and gas for the car — is a choice. The America Saves coalition offers the following examples of how making some small changes can save you an impressive $150 per month.

Tip Monthly Saving
Save $.50 in loose change $18
Cut soda consumption by one liter a week $6
Bring lunch to work $60
Send one free e-card per month instead of buying a card $4
Buy grocery store brands $10
Use fewer phone features $10
Eliminate premium cable channels $20
Borrow, rather than buy, one book per month $15
Hand wash, rather than dry clean, one shirt per month $3
Comparison shop for gas (saving an estimated $.25/gallon) $4

Savings $150

 

Finally, in addition to making small changes, resolve to boost your savings by including all of your "windfall" money. This “free money” includes increased income from a pay increase, birthday gifts, insurance settlements, escrow overages, tax refunds, and inheritances.

For more advice, read Bargain Babe's 13 tips to reduce spending.