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A. Saving Tips

1. Learn to distinguish 'needs' versus 'wants' and use that knowledge to your advantage.

We are bombarded by commercials telling us that we 'need' certain material goods, but in truth commercials give us 'wants'. Look at your lifestyle and determine your basic 'needs': shelter, clothing, food, and transportation. Then look at your buying choices in those areas. Do you spend a lot on furnishings simply because you like shop? Are you a 'clothes horse' with too many outfits to squeeze into your closet? Do you eat out in restaurants every night because it's easier than cleaning up the kitchen? Do you insist on driving to work for the convenience it provides when the bus is a cheaper alternative? See where you can cut back without severely impacting your lifestyle, keep your needs but trim your wants.

2. Make a budget.

Once you can figure out your needs, you can take your monthly income and make a budget. There are several tools to help in this area, but be sure you are honest with yourself. If going to the movies once a week is something that provides immeasurable enjoyment, put that in your budget. Don't think that since it's a budget it can't have enjoyment factored in. Maybe you are willing to 'brown bag' it for lunch to catch the latest film. Understand that budgets are not punishments; they are a realistic way of dealing with inflow and outflow of cash so that you don't spend more than you take in. Don't forget to budget some money for unexpected expenses -- a flat tire, your college roommate coming to town, etc.

3. Make cutting expenses enjoyable.

Do you like to get together with friends? Instead of going to the local pub, why not have everyone over for dinner and games. Everyone provides food for the meal and beverages. It's much cheaper than going out and can be done on a rotating basis with each person taking a turn as 'host'. Do you love to watch the Food Network but hate cooking and eating alone? Try posting to Instagram your food prep and cooking. Be sure to take a picture to show your friends the finished product. They might even ask for the recipe in the comments. Worried about the environment and find brown bags boring? Spend a little money to get reusable lunch containers that resemble bento boxes, they will pay for themselves in no time.

4. Make saving automatic.

That's what InvestToday is all about, making saving easy because we remind you of your own saving choices. You use your phone to remind you that it's garbage day, that you have a dentist appointment, that there is a sale at your favorite clothing store, that the movie you've been waiting for comes out on Friday. Use InvestToday to remind you that you are saving for the future, keeping track of your long term goals and protecting what you have.

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