Friday, April 30, 2010

Saving Money In Small Ways

Many families continue to experience economic challenges. Regardless if your income has dropped or not, everyone appreciates finding ways to save money. Saving money includes spending less money as well as not actually spending any money. Look over the list below and see if there might be some tips for you to save money in some small ways:

  • Reduce your medical expenditures by practicing healthy habits like exercising and eating nutritious snacks and meals.
  • When possible request generic equivalents of prescription drugs. Determine if your prescription qualifies for a 90-day rather than 30-day refill. This can often save money as well as the cost of visiting the pharmacy and risking making impulse purchases.
  • Visit local farm markets and consider buying quantities of fresh produce that can be frozen. Visit the farm market at the end of the day as you may also be able to negotiate a bargain.
  • When eating out, look for “early bird specials” and restaurant discount coupons. Many small restaurants place coupons in the weekly localized papers to help support their community.
  • When visiting yard sales, flea markets, and small retailers, try negotiating lower prices. Ask “Is this your best price?” or “Are there any discounts if I…… (buy more than one thing) or (spend x number of dollars). You might be surprised by the response, saving you money.
For other tips I suggest you visit for more saving and spending tips under the "Small Steps to Health and Wealth created by Barbara mcNeil and Karen Ensle, Rutgers University Extension faculty.

Since we are talking about saving money in samll ways, think about your children and their money management skills. Unfortunately, no one is born with “money sense.” We learn about money by example and experience, beginning at an early age. Parents have a major influence on how children learn about money. For example, when playing store with my two year old grandson he knew I should pay for my “groceries” with a credit card. When and how did he learn that? Could it be that he watched his mother and grandmother make purchases?

Many high school kids will soon be getting out of school along with thousands of college students all with one thing in mind - making money. With that in mind, many will also be getting their first credit card. wWth a debt or credit card in hand it is too late to start teaching them how to manage money.

Parents, grandparents, or the primary adults in a child's life can begin teaching the basics principals as soon as a child can understand that money is needed to buy the things he or she enjoy. If you shop with a grocery list, encourage the child to help add to the list. Making a list helps you spend less money and is a good money saving practice. When you go to the bank to deposit money in an account, let the child add a dollar or two to their own account. Use your positive modeling behavior to leave a favorable money management impression on your child.

Much of what children learn about money is from observing the adults in the family. They will also pick up values, attitudes, and money habits by watching and listening. Remember, you pass along money habits and decision-making styles without saying a word.

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