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Spend-Thrift: The Savvy Way To Spend Money

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

Dh and I recently got back from our vacation. And, despite our respective paychecks, loading up on our own snacks and beverages, staying at “less luxe” hotels, etc. we still managed to spend more money than we calculated or anticipated. And, what’s left over MUST be spent on things that NEED our immediate attention. And, that means a few more essential expenditures; none of which either one of us is assuming will be cheap.

In fact, we often joke that we have champagne taste on a beer budget. And, especially since we live on Long Island, we KNOW we are not alone. Between (saving) to fix up our home, keep up with our cars and/or save up for new ones, set some aside for weekly necessities, including our one “date” night per week, building up our retirement fund and saving up for next year’s getaway, it sometimes seems like “upgrading” our lifestyle is impossible, almost more impossible than it seemed when we first got out of college and into the “real world”.

Still, experts suggest that a few savvy strategies can put a few coins, if not dollars in our pockets.

· Shop “designer” brands online. There are several online “outlets” that allow you to shop luxe for less

· Get frugal with friends. Rather than having your hair (regularly) styled, cut, and blown out at the salon, consider hosting a gal’s night in before your big night out. Enjoy pampering each other by doing each other’s nails, and styling each other’s hair.

· Host afternoon get-together’s rather than evening soirees. According to some, the treats (such as sandwiches and finger foods) can typically be cheaper and so are the drinks.

· Go shopping during the off-season. Stock up on winter essentials during the spring and summer months when they are most likely to be “out of season” and on sale. Shop for summer clothes in the winter for the same reason.

· Place some spare change aside in your purse or car astray for “emergencies” and toss the rest into a “savings” fund. Cash it out once a month or once every few months and see what the spare change has “earned” you.

· Buy books that are used instead of new and/or organize a book/magazine club with some friends. Pass along monthly mags as well as some of the year’s best sellers. You can all enjoy the hottest reads for a fraction of the cost.

· Think about bartering YOUR services for what you need.

· Make travel arrangements online via discount travel websites. And, experts suggest looking for unsold plane tickets and hotel rooms that are typically MUCH cheaper than even regularly discounted rates. However, you may be required to leave at the spur of the moment.

· Check out yard sales and student fairs for a cheap, yet avant-garde way to decorate your home on a budget. Plus, you’ll be helping out someone else.

Long Island Money & Careers Articles > Spend-Thrift: The Savvy Way To Spend Money

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