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Get Addicted To Saving Before it's too Late

1. Spend less time feeling poor

Flipping through catalogs and going to the mall will make you feel like you need things.

2. Retrain you brain. Depriving ourselves of current pleasures is nearly impossible if we're not driven by a sense that the future will be more fulfilling.

3. Look around you. Are you happy with what your hard-earned dollars bought? If not, shift your spending to those things that bring greater long-term satisfaction, including retirement savings.

4. Assess Weaknesses. "If you were thrifty, how would you look different?" says Gary Buffone, a financial psychologist in Jacksonville, FL. Identify what you want to change: then shoot for specific targets, such as a six month hold on buying new tech gadgets.

5. Make Trade-offs. Substitute small, free pleasures for those that cost. Have a movie night at home with friends--you'd be surprised how many people are equally eager to cut costs. (you'll have fun too!)

6. Set goals. Meet weekly with family to discuss the spending plan (don't call it a budget) for the month and years ahead. This may involve tough choices, such as forsaking a family vacation. But think of the guilt free trip you can take after saving the necessary cash. Think of how happy you'll be when you don't have the dreaded credit card bills!

7. Resist your Children.

They're going to find it hard to change their expectations. How can you help? Stand firm. The next time they clamor for the latest videogame, remind them of the bigger prize (that family vacation), and tell them of their choices here and now are, say, a picnic or a movie rental. Offer options, but don't give in to their push for more consumer goods.

8. Enlist other people.

Many people are reticent to talk about many worries, but almost everyone has them, so open up and tap your allies. Hold a contest with friends to see who can save the most in a month, or agree with your spouse to talk before spending more than $100.

9. Post it. Remind yourself by putting post-it notes on your wallet, mirror or steering wheel with the mantra of your choosing: "I want to pay off credit card debt."

10. Automate it. Divert money monthly from your checking account to savings. It will force you to budget, based on what's left in your checking account.

11. Rethink Rewards.

What are some of your happiest memories? Those are the true rewards. Next time you're about to buy something because your deserve it, ask yourself whether there isn't something you deserve more, such as time at home cooking with your teenager, or a stroll with your husband or best friend.

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