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October 10th, 2010
03:07 AM ET

Change Your Spending Habits

From finance expert Clyde Anderson:

Well fall is here, and as the seasons change, there is always an opportunity to change your spending habits. In the current economy people are looking for ways to stretch their dollars and save a few as well. Here are 4 fall money tips to help you save.

Buying Lunch vs. Packing

Buy Lunch Daily- $10.00/day= $50.00/ week
Brown Bag Lunch- $13.00/week

Brown Bag Lunch Savings- $37.00/week = $1,700/year

Of course it takes a little more thought, but in the end it’s worth it.

Buying Coffee vs. Packing Your Own

1 Bag of Coffee= $10.00= 30 cups of coffee
1 cup of Store Bought Coffee= $2.00/cup x 7 days = $14.00

Buying A Bag of Coffee Savings-$36.00/month or $432/year

Also consider this: winter-proofing your house can save you a lot of money. The government provides a resource with a plethora of information and ways to save money when it comes to energy use. One easy-to-follow tip is reduce "phantom energy" by turning off the surge protectors that our computers and other electronics are plugged in to.

Many of the electronic devices in your home stay on, even when they're "off." Chargers for cell phones, digital cameras, power tools and other gadgets draw energy even when they're not in use. Televisions, computer monitors and DVD players can also draw power whenever they're plugged into an outlet. All together, "phantom energy" use accounts for about 5% of a home's electricity use.

It’s even possible to be entertained without your wallet being drained. Take movies and restaurants for example:

Entertainment Savings

Family Of Four: 1 trip to the Movies = $50.00 (without refreshments)
Family Of Four: 1 home movie= $6.00 to $9.00 (without refreshments)

Entertainment Savings= up to $500/year

Restaurant Savings

Restaurant.com offers 80% off gift cards

-Get $25.00 gift cards for $2.00
-Get (10) $25.00 gift cards for $20.00 vs. (10) $25.00 gift cards for $250.00

Ultimately, if there is a will there is a way to save. We just have to be more concious of our spending and be willing to explore alternatives. The tips listed above alone can save you about $2,700 annually. Do you think you could use an extra $2,700?

Change your mind, change your life!

Look for Clyde Anderson's Home School segments in the 7 o'clock hour of CNN Saturday Morning with T.J. Holmes.

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