Three easy steps to saving money

By Sydney Horton
Times-News correspondent 

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[Metro Creative Graphics

   Editor’s note: Teens & 20s writer Sydney Horton will explore issues    affecting twenty-somethings in this column, Adulting 101.

Have you ever wanted to save money but didn’t know how?
In these three steps you’ll see just how easy saving can be, regardless of income.
Start by setting aside $5 from every check you earn. — If you have direct deposit and a savings account you can set up an auto draft of $5 from each check. By starting small, you’ll slowly build up your savings over time thus making larger savings commitments easier.
Each year, increase your savings by five. If you can set a aside $5 daily by this time next year, you’ll have saved $1,825. Even if you don’t have a formal savings account, set aside $5 in cash in a safe place where you won’t be tempted to use it.
   Don’t eat out all the time. — Sometimes you don’t feel like cooking. However, the average American spends $1,200 on fast food annually, according to www.creditdonkey.com.
Start by cutting one fast food meal a week. Learn to make the foods you love, and buy non perishables in bulk. While the upfront cost is high, the long term savings are worth it. You can meal prep and freeze food, or plan a menu for each week.
Start by spending $20 for each week if bulk buying seems daunting. Buy foods that can be used in more than one way, this was you can make your $20 budget go far. Don’t be afraid to use coupons, just read the fine print.
Save up for things instead of buying them outright. — Calculate the the amount of hours per week needed to purchase the item you want, and ask yourself if it’s worth your time and effort. If you wouldn’t stand in line for 30 minutes to buy it, then you don’t need it.
Try to avoid shopping until broke, it’s OK to splurge once in a while but don’t make a regular habit out of it.

Sydney Horton is a Michigan State University student and a Teens & 20s writer, who enjoys writing when she’s not working or studying.

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