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Money Tips From Real Simple 2008-02-18 14:11:41

Six Steps to Worrying Less About Your Money: Part I

Guess who made the cover of Real Simple's March issue? A cute piggy bank! It wasn't pink, but it served its purpose. I was so excited that the magazine was offering a plan to help readers quickly get their finances in order that of course I had to share them with you. The first worry Real Simple attempts to tackle is spending too much, because scientists have found evidence that your brain releases dopamine when you're about to buy something you desire. Turns out money, sex, and chocolate are even more related than we thought! To find out what steps the story recommends for cutting back on your spending, just

  • Make shopping harder: Delete the bookmarked shopping sites from your computer and have yourself removed from catalog mailing lists.
  • Open your wallet and remove all but one credit card: Take away temptation by storing your extra cards in a drawer or canceling them.
  • Change some of your everyday habits: Change your daily routes to avoid the places that tend to make you spend.
  • Cut out convenience foods: Prepare snacks at home and bring them to work. Step up the savings even more by bringing lunch, too, and planning your week's meals on Sunday.


Join The Conversation
antibalas antibalas 9 years
Sounds kind of counterintuitive, but one of the reasons I joined Sugar was to "make peace" with the more intricate, expensive clothes that would destroy my credit. Putting a killer pair of Rock & Republic jeans on my list or favorites psychologically puts 'em in the "I want a pony for my birthday!"-category of desirable material goodies, rather than going out to the store where trying them on in my size will increase my chances of impulse buying (even though I have chronic buyer's remorse).
elysa elysa 9 years
removing myself from catalog and email newsletters from shopping places really helped a lot for me. It's a lot easier to fight temptation when you don't have constant reminders.
creamytofu creamytofu 9 years
I know its kinda of dorky, but i bring my lunch each day. It really adds up into shoes, sweaters, and really nice bag in 2-3months. Don't deprive yourself but take out things you can live without. Plus its much healthy to bring you own lunch and you can do portion control. You can even loose weight. LOL
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 9 years
great tips! Yea one my way to the gym I pass my favorite shoe store and every month I purchase about 2 pairs of shoes (on sale of course)! I need to stop that. I work right in Times Square NYC, possibly one of the most expensive places in NYC - so buying lunch everyday really puts a hole in my pockets. From time to time I would bring lunch but Ive never stuck to a consistant routine. I NEED to start doing that too. Doing down time at work (like now) I tend to serf the net - especially clothes websites and that tempts me to buy things I can live without!!! I need to stop that as well! I have no credit cards so I think Im good with that.
prettypear prettypear 9 years
Never, ever, EVER cancel a credit card. Just cut it up and don't use it! Creditors and the credit bureaus look at your credit to debt ratio and when you cancel a card, you lower your available credit, thus instantly upping your credit to debt ratio.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
I like the snacks idea. I think I spend most of my money on eating out.
JEJJessica JEJJessica 9 years
These are good and I had already been doing this, but I still felt like I didn't have as much control of my finances. Other tricks I learned that have helped is if you want to go out to happy hour, only pay in the set amount of cash that you carry. I find that this works for clothes, plan your wardrobe ahead and see what you really need and stick with versatile pieces that can be worn in more than season and be dressed up and down. I also have found that not only planning your meals in advanced helps but also cooking extra of some and freezing them in individual portions for days/nights you need something quickly helps. I haven't bought a frozen dinner or splurged on fast food since!
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Great tips!
RosaDilia RosaDilia 9 years
I've taken steps 1, 2, and 3 into place and I've seen the difference. I've already cut up two credit cards after I've paid them off and only keep a major one for emergency purposes. I've spent a bit more on groceries due to that I wake up earlier so that I can make breakfast for both me and my son and I've started to bring lunch and a snack to work.
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
That credit card thing is a given. I used to spend money on stuff I didn't need simply b/c I had a CC in my wallet. Now I just carry my debit card and it feels like real cash so I think about it.
supercoolnat supercoolnat 9 years
I loved the Real Simple article! When I got my magazine in the mail and I saw it on the cover, I flipped right to that page and started reading.
emalove emalove 9 years
I just read this article last night in Real Simple...there are some great tips in there!
jspeed jspeed 9 years
Great tips, thanks!
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