Money is a commodity that people can seem to get enough of these days. People are always looking for ways to get more and save what they already have. This may seem like a difficult task considering the present state of the economy, but it’s possible. With a little work, saving money can become a reality.

To continue our “Avoid Complete Financial Meltdown” series, today we’ll go over 5 easy ways you can start saving money NOW.

1. Stop Buying Name Brand Products

When you take a trip to the grocery store, you’re probably bombarded with overpriced name brand products. The truth is, most of these items are only expensive because of their brand name. Store brand products generally have them same grade of quality that name brands do.

Various blind taste tests have concluded that the majority of people cannot tell the difference between the two until they see the packaging. Instead of paying five dollars for a popular brand, consider spending two dollars on a comparative brand.

These savings may not seem like much at first, but they do add up.

2. Purchase Some Clothes At A Thrift Shop

Some believe that only poor people shop at thrift stores. This isn’t the case. A great deal of clothing found at these businesses are only slightly worn and are still of off the rack quality. Especially with children’s clothes, people donate items to these stores when they have become outgrown or they need more space at their home. Buying a considerable amount of clothing at a thrift shop can save you a great deal of money than buying brand new clothes.

It is entirely possible to go there with a hundred dollars and leave with a whole new wardrobe. Goodwill Fashions baby, oh yeah!

3. Don’t Waste Your Utilities

This is one that a lot of people are guilty of. Leaving all the lights on in your home when no one is there, or taking unnecessary showers because you are bored. Cutting off unused lights and not wasting water for the fun of it will put money back into your pocket. It will drastically decrease your bills and it is something that is very easy to do.

4. Cut Back On Credit Card Use

It’s very easy to lose track of your expenses when using credit cards. Consider using paper money to pay for your transactions. It will help limit impulse buying by giving you something tangible to use. Also, you won’t have to pay for those pesky interest rates every month.

As I’ve mentioned before, if you know you have a big check coming (income taxes, bonus, etc.) stop paying high interest rates in credit cards and bank overage charges and apply for an online payday loan. While I would never recommend you get one if your already in high-water, I do recommend it over paying expensive bank fees which cost more than what a payday loan will. As always, pay the loan back RIGHT when you get the money - don’t use it for something else!

5. Quit Joyriding

A good amount of money can be saved by not consuming so much gas. Many people go for rides because there’s nothing better to do. While fun, it’s not very practical. Gas is expensive and should be rationed somewhat. Cutting costs at the pump will put more dough into your piggy bank.

With a little planning and common sense, saving money can be easy. All you have to do is try. With a little practice, you’ll be saving money in no time.

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