- Find a budget system that works for you and your life, my sister in law does envelopes with cash, my neighbor puts everything on her credit card and then pays it off, we like Dave Ramsey. At the root of them all is this simple truth: spend less than you earn and know where your money is going.
- Get rid of your car payment. Anyone that knows me even a little bit knows how I lust after a new Suburban but it ain't gonna happen, at least not any time soon. Our cars aren't great but they run and more importantly, thanks to some great people, they're paid for.
- Decide what your priorities are. We are trying to pay off a grundle of student loans and at the same time save some money for those rainy days that always seem to come.
- Settle for less. There are a lot of things that I want. Not a lot of things that I need. So sometimes I just say no and walk away.
- But be willing to pay for quality. My running shoes are not what I'd call a bargain buy, but I use them everyday and it's worth it to shell out a 100 bucks every couple of months because my running makes our family happier.
- Stay out of the store. If I don't see it, I don't know I need it and I don't feel deprived because I can't have it.
- Pay your tithing, your offerings, your donations. I am LDS but giving offerings is not unique to my religion. There is something about giving part of what you earn back to God that changes the way you look at money and makes the money you have left stretch to cover the necessities.