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Five Ways to Take the Sting Out of High Gas Prices

Published Jul 11th 2007, 10:17pm by

Familycreditcounselingservice_3 Are you one of many Americans stressed about rising gas prices and the affect it will have on your finances? Small lifestyle changes now could lead to major savings and less worries about high gas prices or future money problems.

Being "Nickeled and Dimed" applies to consumers unable to account for the money they spend: cash back from an ATM transactions, luxury spending or anything not categorized in a monthly budget. Luxury items like that morning cup of coffee may not seem expensive on your way to work, but over time can add up to the cost of a new car!

Family Credit Counseling Service offers some tips to save your money, and avoid money worries:

Starbucks_coffee_cup_3 1.  Morning Latte & Muffin Test: Your daily dose of caffeine and muffin on your way to work may run $7.00 per day or more. Consider breakfast at home and save $150 per month or $9,100 in five years!

2.  Soda/ Bottled Water Test: Purchasing that refreshment at the local convenience store could cost $1.50 per bottle, costing you over $45 per month or $2,700 over five years! Consider purchasing beverages from discount or wholesale stores to add even more money to your pocket.

Ap_cigarettesmoke_2 3.  Cigarette Test: The average cost of cigarettes is over $5. Add up a pack a day for five years and you've spent $9,125! Consider the visual motivation of saving a five dollar bill in a large jar every day. This might prove beneficial for your health as well as adding money to your wallet for that car.

4.  Take-Out Test: Eating out everyday is unhealthy for your body but even more for your wallet! A $10 meal every day adds up to $18,250 over five years. Challenge yourself to bring your lunch or eat meals at home Monday through Thursday and treat yourself on Fridays. You'll still be able to enjoy the company of your friends while saving a bundle of money throughout the rest of the week

Ap_atm_machine_illo_2 5.  ATM Fee Test: Are you an ATM junkie? If so, you could be paying as much as $5 per transaction. Two or three trips per week to another financial institution's ATM machine could cost over $780 per year or $3,900 after five years just to use your own money!

This is just a sampling of ways you can save money. These changes add up to over $43,000 in just five years, and this is tax-free money and doesn't include interest.

Forget worrying about the cost of gas, that's enough money to buy a whole new car!

Successfully managing your money requires finding creative ways to enjoy life without allowing conveniences to steal the pleasure of those experiences. For additional budgeting, general money management tips, or a copy of their personal budget guide, contact Family Credit Counseling Service at 800-994-3328.

By Brandy Schaffels
Contributing Editor

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