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Saving money -- New Year, New Budget and How to stay on track

It's no secret the start of the New Year brings last year's economic issues. What can you do this year to get a budget and stay on track?

Tip#1 Write your budget on paper and sign it like a contract.

You can find many budget templates on the Internet.   Choose one that best reflects your personal spending habits.  Get your spouse or yourself together to sign it after filling it out.  Signing a budget  like a contract is a great physical and psychological way to show commitment and the seriousness of sticking to it.

Tip #2 Cook affordable meals at home.

Go to www.mygrocerydeals.com  You have to be a savvy consumer and find out who as the best sales, coupons, and plan your menus based on the sales.  Stock up on bulk items and use your FREEZER!  Buying in bulk means you can feed your family and save $100's of dollars per year.  You can feed a family of four for around $8.00 on the average.

Tip#3 Cut the excess spending on household products.

Buy multi-purpose products that save you time and money. www.mrclean.com   www.swiffer.com Too often we buy 6-8 different cleaning products when we really only need one multi-purpose spray that does all surfaces. Shop at the dollar store for paper products, spices, beauty aids.

(Props:  Laura brings dollar store items versus grocery store costs and a few multi-purpose that can save you money)

Tip#4 Cut your clothing expense.

Don't pay full price for clothing for your kids or yourself. You can get clothes for free for kids at www.zwaggle.com You pay for shipping only and donate your gently used clothing to accumulate points to buy for free. Shop for clothing on clearance web sites, sometimes they have the same department store clothing less expensive on line. You can also leave your name and number at department stores so the sales person can call you when the have a 25% off sale.

Tip #5 Cut down on Entertainment.

Stop spending $75+ for movies for you and the children -renting a RED BOX DVD movie cost you $1. Go to FREE places, museums, library, public skating rinks for free entertainment.  Many cities offer free happenings weekly.

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