Boost Your Financial Fitness With These 11 Small Money Moves

These tweaks to your finances will patch the leaks, bolster your income and streamline your expenses. The sooner you start checking them off your list, the better.

1. Modify your spending habits

Photo (cc) by Lindsey TurnerPhoto (cc) by Lindsey Turner

Many people complain about not having enough money to make ends meet, yet refuse to cut back on discretionary spending. Can’t think of anything to cut back on? Try those quick runs to the nearest fast-food joint, daily trips to Starbucks or cable upgrades, just to name a few.

You can also improve your spending habits by shopping smarter. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Buy secondhand. Craigslist and garage sales are my best friends when I’m searching for big-ticket items because I simply refuse to pay full price. In fact, I’ve saved more than 50 percent in some instances on items that would have easily cost more than $1,000 in the store.
  • Bargain shop. You can also reduce your spending drastically by avoiding full-priced items in the store. I can’t remember the last time I paid retail for a piece of clothing; the clearance rack is my best friend. This may seem difficult initially, but the best way to avoid temptation is to embed in your brain the following: “If it’s not on sale or clearance, I’m not buying it.” Sounds corny, but it works!
  • Never pay full price. As I said before, avoid the regular-priced racks altogether. Also, check online for promotional offers and check the store policies to see if they allow price matching.

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