This year, it's time to go back to basics with your finances. And the easiest way to save is to take a second to consider each purchase before you pull out your wallet.
Consider these questions adapted from Erin Doland's book, Unclutter Your Life in One Week.
- Do you already own something that serves the same purpose?
- If so, will you get rid of the older item and replace it with the newer one?
- Will this make your life easier/fulfill a need/save time and money?
- Have you researched to find the best product at the best price?
While this won't work for every item you purchase, it can definitely help you cut down on impulse buys.
If you're ready to completely remake your finances, sign up for the two-week Cut Your Costs Bootcamp from Real Simple and Learnvest. For two weeks, you'll receive a daily email with a step to getting your spending (and saving) on track. You can sign up here: Cut Your Costs Bootcamp.
How do you keep your spending on track? See how other Real Simple readers save money here.
(photo by James Baigrie for Real Simple)