People who manage to sock away money – even on a tight budget – all live by this motto: Make it over, use it up, make do, or do without. Now you can learn from their secrets!
Step 1: Do your homework Do your homework before buying anything, especially big-ticket items. With the internet, comparison shopping is easier than ever.
TIP: Once you've made a buying decision, search online for "promotion codes," "coupons," and "free shipping."
Step 2: Invest in quality Buy quality merchandise. It's cheaper in the long run because it won't need to be fixed as often or replaced as soon.
Step 3: Check every receipt Check every store receipt and restaurant bill to make sure you've been charged correctly. If you put a meal on a credit or debit card, keep the restaurant receipt to compare with your credit card or bank statement; some restaurants engage in so-called "tip-jacking," – adding in a tip or increasing the one you gave them.
TIP: Know the store policy on price accuracy; some give away an item if it's scanned higher than the advertised cost.
Step 4: Ask yourself this question When buying a non-necessity, like clothing, ask yourself if you really, really love it. If not, put it back. Even if you do love it, wait a few days before buying it; by then, the urge may have completely passed.
Step 5: Become a do-it-yourselfer Become a devotee of do-it-yourself. Learn how to make simple home repairs, do basic sewing, and cook meals from scratch.
Step 6: Establish priorities Set priorities, such as home ownership or early retirement. Saving up is easier if you have savings goals.
FACT: Researchers have discovered that thrifty people and spendthrifts tend to marry each other.