NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: A person shops in Whole Foods Market in the Brooklyn borough on May 7, 2014 in New York City. Whole Foods Market, an upscale grocery store that sells many organic and gourmet foods, has reported disappointing sales and profit outlooks. Shares for the company have dropped as much as 22% today, its biggest decline in years. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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Most of us like to save money. We don’t enjoy overpaying for things or missing sales. I started thinking about how much money I could save in a single week just by changing a few things I normally do that I don’t really need to be doing.

Change Some Common Habits

  • Stick to your shopping list: I know we all make grocery lists then throw several “impulse buys” in the cart too. If it’s not on the list it can wait for the next trip.
  • Smart Food Shopping: I don’t have to tell you that food is expensive. I invested in an upright freezer and a Seal-A-Meal to take advantage of sales of food that can be frozen. Plan these sales into your shopping budget.
  • Set Budgets: By keeping track of my expenses I know our average shopping bills each week. By sticking to my budget I know I will have some money left over to invest or save at the end of each month.
  • Credit Card Points: The use of credit cards requires responsible money management. If you have that mentality then by all means use your points or cash back rewards to help swell your bank account and take advantage of bargains.
  • Pay Yourself First: My Social Security and other payments are set up for direct deposit and I have also set up automatic savings. Part of every deposit goes into savings automatically. Check with your bank for setting this up for you.
  • Don’t Keep Up With The Joneses: Life if not a competition of material things with your friends and neighbors. Their new car doesn’t justify you taking on more debt to keep up with their perceived lifestyle. They have a nice big payment that you don’t. That would be more satisfying to me.

Some Final Thoughts

Start thinking 5 percent. Try to save just 5 percent of each dollar of income. That small sacrifice is going to add up over time. That’s a nickel out of each dollar. I think most every income can find a way to do that. If you make $2,000 a month you’ll save $100 each month and $1,200 each year.

Savings are not to be used for a Christmas shopping spree or some high-end vacation. Savings are employees that you put to work for you making more money. Check out automatic purchase of I-Bonds that start at $25 each. They are keyed to inflation so when inflation goes up so does your bond value.

Money is a tool. Use it incorrectly and it produces a substandard lifestyle. Use it wisely and you can life a happy satisfying life on almost any income. How much can you save by Memorial Day? Give me your money saving tips.

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