Saving Money Isn’t Just About Buying Stuff on Sale

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If you’re going to scale back in the hopes of saving money, it sure makes sense to do it smartly, ensuring that all your sacrifice and effort pays off.

A Chicago Tribune column points out some ways to get the most out of pinching pennies. For one thing, if you manage to cut back on what you usually spend at restaurants, use that saved money for paying off credit card debt—because if you don’t, any money saved by not eating out could wind up negated by interest payments. Also:

People who would drive across town to save $50 on a household item throw thousands of dollars away on unnecessary expenses related to financial products such as credit cards, mutual funds and annuities.

Cutting the fees you pay is one area you can control, and cheaper mutual funds that charge less than 1 percent of assets tend to perform better than expensive ones. The fee shows up as the expense ratio.

Good advice. And let’s not overlook that drive across town to save $50. Before hopping in the car, ask yourself if you really need the item in question, sale or no sale. Because the easiest way to save is by not spending in the first place. That’s certainly one area you can control.

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