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Money Saving Solutions

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/21/2006 | Finance
Wouldnt it be great to get a little help with your money handling? Here are a few simply solutions to try.

1. COUPONS These are not just for food! Check online, in print media and in your postal and email boxes for money saving coupons to use with your next computer, software, bookstore, office supply store or any store purchase. Enjoy a social life, too. Head to the fitness center, take your spouse out to eat and get your pet groomed all with coupons. Plan ahead and keep the in a drawer or specially marked container. Purge monthly or quarterly. Trade with friends, neighbors, co-workers, church and organization member, colleges and family.

2. INCENTIVES Many credit cards, restaurants, movie theaters, stores and other places offer incentive programs. Find one or more that fit into your purchasing plans and earn things like free air travel miles, movies and pop corn, gasoline, meals, a percentage back in the form of a check, gift certificates and more back in exchange for your participating in their program. Keep up with the times, too. If your child is grown, no need to use your Toys-R-Use Visa and get back certificates for toys any longer. Call the bank and see which other programs they have, ask your friends which ones they use, surf the Internet for new offers - and switch.

3. ALTERNATIVES Look for alternative solutions before you spend. Often there are generic packages of the products you want (items with no brand names) and there are home remedies and local pharmacists to ask for alternatives to expensive medications and treatments. And many places offer discounts for package deals, like family haircuts instead of individual ones.

4. ATTITUDE Dont focus on what you dont have. Instead, focus on what you do have. Make lemonade out of those lemons; recycle what you can, reuse what you can, donate what you can. No need to have new things all the time, or even part of the time. Be happy with what you have now and make it work for you! Head to the library for free help in thousands in books that can show you step by step how to get exactly what you want.

So look before you leap to grab your wallet. Take a time out, sip some tea and plan ahead with coupons, incentive programs and alternative buying solutions. Make your money stretch just a little bit farther and give yourself a raise!