I saw a recent post about Savings challenges such as the 52 week savings plan, no new clothes for a year and borrow anything you need. You don’t need to go to these extremes to save money, just be more conscious of how you are spending your money.

I realize there are some people that go into debt for reasons beyond their control such as unforeseen medical expenses and other reasons but many go into debt just for “stuff”. With the availability of credit it is easy to spend more than you earn. On the show Til Debt Do Us Part many of the couples on the show are spending many times more than they earn each month without realizing it. Many couples on the show also do not know how much they owe and usually underestimate their debt owed.

It is important to consider how much you are going to use the item before purchasing it. There are some cases that you purchase something and will only wear or use it a few times, such as for a formal occasion. I see many items listed for sale on line and for sale in resale stores that still have the original price tags on them or are almost like new. In many of the cases, the items are being sold for a fraction of the original price paid or donated. A few dollars here or there may not seem like a lot but when added up can make a difference with your finances.

If you charge purchases on your credit card and are not able to pay it off in a month or two it will end up costing you more with the finance charges. So if you bought items that were on sale, they do not end up being such a great deal if you end up paying more in finance charges.

If you are saving for a larger purchase such as a vacation or something else, think about how your smaller purchases are affecting your savings for the larger purchase. Can you cut back on some your smaller everyday expenses and put the money towards your larger purchase. Sometimes when people save up for something, by the time they have saved the money, they have changed their mind about making the purchase.

I am participating in the 52 week savings plan, in which the first week you save $1, second week $2 and so forth. Even if you can’t afford to save when it gets to the larger amounts, anything you can save is better than not saving anything.

Nancy Kvamme

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