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Friends can Help you Save Money

Posted: June 5, 2011

If your goal is to save money, then tracking your spending is the first essential step. Writing down what is spent on groceries, utilities, gasoline, mortgage, insurance, newspapers is fairly easy to do, and the foundation of a Spending Plan.

But here is a place that is often illusive yet, has a major impact on your spending. Tracking how much you spend on items like morning stops for coffee/Danish, dollar in the soda machine, going out to lunch with a friend, taking advantage of an organization’s sub sale at work can give insight to additional spending habits.

If you are like me, I could track where my money was going for the big ticket items, but didn’t realize how often I forgot to pack a lunch, how easy it was to meet a friend for lunch or before work stop by for coffee. In a week’s time, I could account for $21.43 that was ―drop by spending.‖ If this pattern continued for the next 48 weeks, I will potentially spend $1,050.57!

After giving some thought to this and knowing that saving money was a goal, but conflicted over time spent with friends while eating, I knew I had to come up with a plan. The work friends convinced me I could remember to bring a lunch – put a note on my refrigerator, do better at meal planning to include leftovers, and keep a few canned items bought on sale in my desk. Since we all wanted to save money, we now bring our lunches, eat outside and enjoy saving money and enjoy our friendship.

This is only a small step I took to enable me to save money. Each person or family can find their own methods, but they first must be willing to review their spending habits or patterns in establishing a plan of action.

If you would like to join me on my quest to save, visit http://njaes.rutgers.edu/sshw/ to learn more steps to enhance your financial management skills.
Resource: ―Small Steps to Health and Wealth,‖ an outcome based program designed by Barbara O’Neil, PhD, CFP and Karen Ensle, EdD, RD, FADA, Extension specialist from Rutgers Cooperative Extension.

Jane Landis, County Extension Director, Dauphin County