The key to reducing your spending is to cut back a little in every area. Start with simplifying your life. We fool ourselves by never thinking about the total annual costs of the things we spend our hard-earned money on. Spending $100 for cell phone service may not seem like much on a monthly basis, but that's $1200 in one year!

I want you to rethink your values, particularly those related to money. Focus on what you've determined is really important in your life and the lives of your family members. We get so caught up in our lifestyles that we fail to realize we're spending a great deal of our money on things that don't even fit into our value system.

This Instructable gives you 21 tips for simplification that might work for you. Perhaps they'll help you think of other ways that you can cut back financially, slow down, and enjoy the things that really matter. These tips will help you get started on a life-long journey of frugality.

(Photo: MissHarey)

Step 1: Stop Unnecessary Shopping.

I'm not talking about purposeful shopping for necessary items. I mean strolling through the mall, window shopping, or surfing online stores with nothing particular in mind, simply looking for great bargains and things that happen to strike your fancy. This kind of "shopping' is a very dangerous thing to do.

I'm not suggesting that you never buy anything again, but that your spending should become a planned act, purchasing the goods and services you need, not spur-of-the-moment, impulsive spending.

(Photos: asnagpal, Alton Ryder)
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<p>Ayy Lmao</p>
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<p>or just DIY everything.</p><p>TAADAA! ;)</p>
<p>Rule #1: Pay yourself FIRST.<br><br>Rule #2: Don't let greedy salesmen/brokers/agents take any of your money in fees, commissions, loads, etc. Do the paperwork yourself with a discount broker - Fidelity, Vanguard, TD Ameritrade, etc., then invest in no-load mutual funds with no front loads, no back loads, and certainly NO 12b1 FEES whatsoever. It will make a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars by the time you retire!<br><br>Rule #3: Don&rsquo;t waste money on stupid stuff you don&rsquo;t need. Don&rsquo;t get $100/month smart phone. I pay $20/month with tMobile. Don&rsquo;t get $100/month auto insurance. I pay $24/month with Insurance Panda. Don&rsquo;t spend $50/month on your gym. I spend $15/month at Planet Fitness. All these expenses add up and end up cutting into your savings.<br><br>Rule #4 Save at least 10% of your gross income. Join your 401k at work, set up IRAs on your own.<br><br>Rule #5: Again - Pay attention to your savings. As they grow you will feel empowered</p>
Ravenmaxs, you are right about online coupons. They are simple to print right from your computer to scan at the stores' registers.
There are many different ways for consumers to save money in a tough economy. Using <a href="http://comcoupons.com" rel="nofollow">coupons online</a> is one of them. People can save money by earning discounts from stores that feature coupons online. Some offer a percentage off, while others offer a certain number of dollars discounted with a minimum purchase.
Using an efficient dishwasher is cheaper than hand washing. <br> <br>http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=dishwash.pr_handwash_dishwash <br> <br>I love the list though, especially the exercise on your own. I've never understood gym memberships. Then again I live in Alaska, my &quot;neighborhood exploration&quot; usually takes place in the woods. <br> <br>25) fancy multi blade shave systems are a waste of money, learn to wet shave for a better, much cheaper shave.
AKDoug, thank you for your comment. Whoo--Alaska!! Yep, I imagine there's plenty of nature to explore. I'll research some energy efficiency options as you suggested, and will consider adding in the near future.
Very good instructable. I suggest some adds: <br> <br>23) Don't throw to the waste that device, fix or upgrade it. <br>24) Don't be a slave of fashion. <br>
Good suggestions, rimar2000. I'll do some research and consider the additions. Thanks for commenting.

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