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Money matters: Keeping spending simple means cutting across the board

Ask around about money and saving it, and you'll undoubtedly hear how “hard” saving money is. Whether you believe that rhetoric still is debatable.

Money and budgeting only becomes overly difficult if you take the simple idea of how much you make versus how much you spend and begin deviating from the obvious.

And that obvious is spending more than you actually make, and then in an inane fashion wondering why you can't save money. A lot of what ails those actions is essentially ignoring prudent spending and booking vacations you can't afford, buying televisions you don't need and lavishing yourself in cars and homes that go far beyond what you not only need but can afford.

Should you already be in a predicament that you have to turn around, and your paychecks at the moment are inefficient compared to your expenses, you'll have to begin sacrificing a few monthly bills and other amenities you may have been enjoying, even though you couldn't afford them then, either.

The obvious culprits are cable and phone bills, most of which can be cut back or eliminated all together if things are remarkably bleak. If you live alone and your apartment or house is big enough, you might want to consider a roommate to help defer some of the cost, including rent or mortgage specifically.

You also can contemplate other simple, cost cutting measures like shopping at a discount grocery store or big box bulk club to save trips to the store and overall cost or rethinking that new car purchase and instead opting to buy used, a move that can save you thousands of dollars.

Of course budgeting is only a good as your next major expense or repair, so what are you supposed to do if your washing machine blows up on the spin cycle or that living room furniture is filled full of holes on the cushions?

Rather than go further into credit card debt, why not consider furniture or appliances that are gently used or even free? You might be surprised to learn that a majority of people simply want to get rid of their furniture all together, and aren't necessarily consumed with making a major profit on the deal, if any at all.

That's why garage and yard sales sound like wonderful ideas if you're pinching pennies but still need a place to sit in the living room. Washing machines, dryers and refrigerators also can be purchased the same way or through Craigslist for 70% less than what you'd spend at a retailer.

No one likes the feeling of struggling to pay bills and worrying about the next big appliances or electronic that is going to break. If you've made the necessary cuts and learn to be a little more creative with how you shop, you'll no longer sweat the small, or for that matter big, stuff again.

Previous: Gluten freeze: How eating healthy can destroy your budget

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