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Smart Spending

You’ve probably read a lot of articles about saving money and how important it is to save for the future. And that’s true; it is important to save. But you also need to spend money, so it’s also important to know how to do that in a smart way.

What does it mean to be a smart spender? Well, several things can help you, but one of the main ones to keep in mind is that just because you have some money, you don’t have to spend it. For help, try these 6 Smart Spending Tips.

  1. Comparison shop – When you comparison shop you don’t spend any money. Instead, you see how much money different stores charge for the same product. Separate your comparison shopping trip from the trip where you’ll actually make your purchase. One way to comparison shop is to read the ads and sales paper that different stores have. You can also look at different stores’ Web sites. That way you can see how much something will cost before you go to the store.
  2. Develop a budget – When you come up with a budget (or make a plan) for spending your money, you’ll have a guide to help you not to waste your money. Click here for tips.
  3. Look for alternatives and substitutes to spending – You don’t need to spend a lot of money to be entertained. Instead of buying the newest best-seller, visit the library and check out a book—for free. Rent a movie rather than paying $10 or more to see a movie at the theater. Don’t go shopping just because you’re bored. If you do, you run the risk of spending money that you should save.
  4. Manage your credit card use wisely – If you have a credit card, keep these three tips in mind: a) don't exceed your credit limit; b) keep track of your purchases; and c) make the largest monthly payment you can afford. Click here for more tips about handling credit.
  5. Record all purchases – Write down everything you spend money on. Include cash purchases, checks that you write, and credit card charges. Click here for tips on using a checking account
  6. Use coupons – Coupons, either from the manufacturer or from a store, can help you buy a product for a less money. Of course, coupons won’t help you save money if you use them for products that you don’t need. But if you were planning to try a new product anyway, look for a coupon. That way, you can save money and try something new! Where you can find coupons? Take a look through the newspaper on Saturday and Sunday; you should find lots of them.
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