Top Ten Money Saving Hints

1.  Use a notepad, computer or telephone app for you and your spouse (if applicable) and record every monthly expense from mortgage payments to a toll.  At the end of the month, determine whether the expense was worthless (i.e. late payments); necessary (mortgage); desirable (eating out); and frill (jewelry).  By just keeping track of your spending, some experts estimate that you can cut spending by up to 20%. As long as you are spending money, you might as well spend it on what is important to you.

2.  Sit down and brainstorm ideas about how you can save money.  Write down 20 ways you can save money.  It doesn't matter if it is silly or brilliant, just get it down on paper.  Do this for five days in a row.  Then pick out what works for you.

3.  Think of things that are good for your health and environmentally friendly.  They also may be good for your pocket book.  For instance, if you grow your own vegetables, you save money, get exercise and may help the environment.  Moving closer to work might permit you to bicycle or walk.

4.  Read the book 365 TV-Free Activities You Can Do With Your Children for Free.  Or visit one of the many frugal living sights on the internet.

5.  Keep thinking of a less expenseive alternative.  For example compare the cost of a 1st run movie to a less expensive show, to dvd rentals, to library rental (free).

6.  When eating out, order only water to drink.  The same goes for fast food meals.  Drinks are often the highest profit item for these venues.

7.  Cook from scratch.  One day a week, see what you have leftover in the refrigerator or pantry or have breakfast for dinner.

8.  Most clothes can be cleaned in cold or warm water.  Modern detergents make this easier.  Try using less than the suggested amount of detergent.

9.  Plan your grocery shopping from the sales flyer.

10.  Hold a pot luck instead of a dinner party.