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Four things you can do right now to save more money

Gas prices are again on the rise, and that can cause some financial stress. Instead of letting the rising cost worry you, create the space in pocket book to make it work. I always say that it’s either your time or your money. When money gets crunched, you may just need to spend a few extra minutes each day to stay on your financial plan. Here are a few things you can do right now to save money.

Cook More                  

Eating out take a chunk out of our monthly money plans – or it busts it completely. I’m not telling you to go cold-turkey on dinners out with friends. But consider just cutting back on your daily trips to the deli or your go-to take out dinner. Taking 10 minutes to cook breakfast instead of grabbing it on the go every day adds up, and so does packing a lunch instead of heading out with coworkers.

Take public transportation

What would you do with an extra thousand dollars this month? If you leave your car at home for four weeks, you’ll soon find out! A recent American Public Transportation Association study showed that taking public transportation instead of driving saved $1000 in the month of February.

Adding up the cost of maintenance, gas, wear-and-tear issues and your time – arguably the most valuable asset – going from a two car home to a one-car one for a year could save you $12,000. What could you do with an extra $12,000 at the end of the year?

Walk or ride your bike

It’s April, and pleasant weather is here to stay with warmer temperatures and plenty of sunshine. Instead of being cooped up in the car, consider walking or riding your bike. Chicago is the 4th most walkable city in the United States according to Walk Score. Walking gives you valuable time outdoors; and being in the sun not only helps our bodies produce vitamin D, but also improves our moods.

Get rid of things you don’t love

Look around at your life right now and consider the things you could do without. Rank what’s the most important to you (Gym membership? Book club? Shopping sprees?), and then cut the things that you don’t love. If you don’t absolutely have to go to that painting class, let it go. Or if your morning latte is a non-negotiable, keep it and get rid of something else.

Another thing to consider is eliminating some of your cable. Almost all of your favorite shows are online, and the majority of them are completely free. Check out the different network iPhone and iPad apps (ABC, for one) for free content anytime. Also, you can check out both Amazon and iTunes to purchase your favorite shows.

Action step

The main goal here is to know where your money is going. Take an hour this week to just lay our your finances so you can see what you spend the most on. Once you know where you are spending your money, you know where you can make cuts.

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