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  Q Success: 9 Smart Money Moves
By Yelena Pecheny
Monday, July 30, 2007
 

1)Don’t Buy On Impulse!
Spending can turn into quite a slippery slope once you get your first credit card, or if you’ve had a few already. You see something online that you just have to have or something in that store window that is calling your name, and before you know it, there goes another $50 on your account balance. True, this problem may be more typical in the female population, but men have some of the same tendencies; therefore, it is relevant to all. Do your research beforehand so that when you buy you buy with a clear conscience and a rational mind rather than in a jittery burst of spending excitement.

2)Shop With a List
Whether its online or in the store, shop with a predetermined list of items you are going to buy. This way, you don’t purchase more than you came for or more than you need. Shopping with a list gives you a tangible check on yourself and helps keep you accountable for the things you are buying.

 

3)Don’t Be Deceived!
Don’t fall for the assumption that its common to be in debt. It is not true that the whole U.S. population is in credit card debt. Actually, only 1 in 14 households has credit card debt of $10,000 or more. Once you start believing a lie you give yourself more leeway to act in the same manner. Be a revolutionary! Be more than concerned about your debt and show some initiative in paying it off. Don’t talk like you care, act like it.

 

4)Save, Save, Save!
Every chance you get, save! Whether it be a little or a lot, every penny counts. Have leftover change from buying that Starbucks Frappaccino? Toss it in a jar and watch it add up. Don’t take those few dollars for granted. Start a 401 (k) plan and contribute often. Start any savings plan. Join one of the many message board savings communities and get support in your saving efforts. You’re not alone.

5)Change Your Mindset
Don’t constantly buy on credit planning to pay it off later. Instead, save for what you want, i.e. an iPod, phone, car, etc…. It’ll take a little longer and you won’t have that instant gratification consumerism is all about, but you won’t regret it in the end. Best of all, you won’t be surprised by your account balance next time you check.

6)Fill ‘Er Up!
Fill up on gas when you see a cheap gas station. You never know when you’ll find one as cheap again. You save more when you fill up all the way rather than waiting until you’re on empty and then only filling up half way. Be done with it so you’ll have to worry about running out of gas less often.

7)Food? Food.
Gas prices directly affect grocery prices on account of transportation costs. Buy groceries wisely. Try visiting the grocery store less often and purchasing everything you need in one turn instead of many. Avoid fast food joints and eating out frequently. Dollar by dollar, cent by cent, and that’s the way your money’s spent. It really does add up. Also, try visiting your local farmer’s market. The fruits and veggies are guaranteed fresher, healthier and cheaper than those in your grocery store.

8)Arrange Reliable Transportation
Having a car you can count on is invaluable. You can spend a ton on fix-ups so its better to have a car you can count on than one that’s cheap but requires a lot of repair. You want to have the security of knowing you’ll get to work on time all the time, impress your boss, and possibly get that raise.

9)Spend Less Than You Earn!!!
This is probably the most important point to remember. In order to decrease debt, or stay out of it, you must spend less than you earn. Similar to losing weight, you want to burn more calories than you consume, except money-wise you must outweigh the deductions with the additions. This requires making some sacrifices and working out a practical budget. It is possible. Spend less, work less, more free time for life.

Bonus Tip from Andrey
Don't talk to strangers who are offering free credit cards. Hint: They are not free.

Hopefully these 9 simple tips can be tools for your journey into smart money management. Life is meant to be enjoyed. You don’t want to spend the rest of your life working to pay off those credit cards, so get your head in the game and put that debt behind you!

 

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