How to Keep Money in Your Wallet This Year

Let’s start off 2009 on a positive note, shall we? Americans everywhere were more than relieved to say farewell to 2008 and all of the baggage it carried with it. Today, there is a renewed feeling of hope and if channeled, you can use that optimism to take your economic situation out of the red and into the green.Let’s ignore words like recession, bailout and Great Depression Part 2. Honestly, focusing on our country’s economic downturn is not going to do us any good. Instead, focus your attention on your own personal situation. Are you struggling? Living paycheck to paycheck? Counting down the days to your tax return?You’re not alone. But try to keep in mind that with discipline and a stringent financial plan, you can cushion your bank account and give yourself some much-needed relief.1. Be lean for more green.It’s common sense that spending less means you save more money. However, what many consumers don’t realize is that there are ways to spend money utilizing savings and coupons they never knew existed. For example, if you’re a fan of shopping online and making the most of those clearance sales, search for additional coupon codes. Simply Google coupon codes for the store and you’re likely to find codes for an additional percentage off or free shipping.2. Karmic spending.No, this is not some kind of yoga-induced way of spending your money; rather, it’s all about putting money out to pull money back in. Several credit cards as well as member savings cards give shoppers rewards for spending money. Rewards include coupons and points systems that can lead to anything from free movie tickets to a vacation. Also, if you have children, soup and cereal companies offer rebates. You register their school, buy their products, collect the proof of purchase tabs and turn them in. The schools then receive items like school supplies.3. Budget your little heart out. The economy is hurting and the government would like nothing more than for consumers to buy like there is no tomorrow. Simply stated, we spend when we can but for right now, budgeting is our favorite buzzword. If you’re unsure of how to budget, the best way to go about it is to write out every single one of your expenses over the course of 2 months. Write down everything including that munchies run to the drug store and that impromptu shopping spree. The point of this is to help you understand exactly how much you’re spending and whether that amount is necessary. Odds are there are several expenses that can be avoided and at the very least, toned down. Remember, the key is to start off the year by giving yourself some cushion in your bank account.It sounds trite but we will get through this and the economy will turn around. These suggestions are designed to provide some relief to your bank account though we all know emergencies happen and sometimes spending can’t be avoided. If such a financial emergency arises, know your options and try to have an exit strategy, including a savings account, a low-APR credit card or a payday loan consultant. With these kinds of options, you can take care of the situation without being buried under it.