Tips for Budget

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  • Learn Self Control

    Although you can effortlessly purchase an item on credit the minute you want it, it's better to wait until you've actually saved up the money.

  • Plan Ahead

    Research large purchases and investments. Think ahead when buying things like a car, and always take your time making big financial decisions.

  • The Warranty

    Decline extended warranties on electronics purchases. The pricing strongly favors the insurer and your electronics are typically under a manufacturer’s warranty for the first year anyway.

  • Know Where Your Money Goes

    By budgeting, you can see how your morning java adds up over the course of a month, and you'll realize that making small, manageable changes in your everyday expenses can have just as big of an impact on your financial situation as getting a raise.

  • Cup of Joe

    Make your own coffee at home.  Coffee chains collect billions of dollars from coffee drinkers every year.  How much of that money comes out of your pocket?  A calculator tool at www.hughchou.org/calc/coffee.cgi explains that if you spend just $3.50 every workday for your latte or cappuccino, you're losing over a thousand dollars per year.

  • A Bag Lunch

    Learn to cook.  A twice-weekly Chinese takeout habit can easily drain you of about a thousand dollars per year.  Similarly, pack a lunch to take to campus or to work.  Sure, this isn't as fun as grabbing a bite with friends, but it saves you time and money.  How much?  Check www.hughchou.org/calc/lunch.cgi to get an idea, and in the meantime save lunch dates for special occasions.  

  • I'll just have water

    When you do go out to restaurants, avoid—or seriously limit—the alcoholic beverages.  Mark-up on beer, wine, and cocktails can be anywhere between 75 and 400 percent!  

  • Don't Smoke

    Quit smoking. Doing so saves people an average of $2,560 per year, not to mention potential medical expenses.

  • Don't spend that raise, Save it

    Don't splurge when you get a raise at work. Save the extra funds until you get a chance to rework your budget. At that point, you may find the extra cash more appropriately spent on bills, debt, or something you've been saving for.

  • It's the little things

    The little things really do add up. Kick the bottled water habit; your local tap water is free and, once filtered by an in-home device, will taste just as good as from the store. Spending too much at movie theaters? Choose the matinee showings and bring a snack!

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