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7 ways to save money without sacrificing your lifestyle

Michelle Maffei is a freelance copywriter covering a variety of topics both online and in print, from parenting to beauty and more. Combining her two favorite loves, writing and motherhood, she has found joy in even the most challenging ...

Family finance tips

How do you save a little dough and still keep your family happy? From changing how you eat out to using your tax savings, here are seven ways to save money without sacrificing your family's lifestyle.

Woman shopping with coupons

The challenge to save money without changing your family's standard of living can be easier than you think. But you can't expect to go at it alone. "What many people don't realize is that saving money and changing how you spend your money is something that should include the entire family," says Linda Vertlieb of Frugal Philly Mom. "Emphasize to your entire household the importance of setting your budget, ways of sticking to it and your goals as a family. It is definitely a team effort!"

7 Easy money-saving tips for your family

Now's the time: Hold a family meeting, get everyone on board and try these seven money-saving tips that are almost as good as finding money.

1

Serve up savings

If dining out is a favorite family activity, cut down your bill instead of cutting out restaurant fare all together. Split a meal, check with your credit card company for rebates and incentives for major dining establishments, or order to-go and save on the tip.

2

Reduce interest expenses

Money spent on interest rates could be money saved when you transfer high balances to your lowest interest rate card, negotiate interest rates on current cards or consider a bank loan to consolidate balances less than your lowest interest rate.

3

Ditch preventable fees

Put money back into your bank account by scoping out avoidable charges like monthly fees, bounced check fees and cash advance fees.

4Bag your grocery bill

Cut monthly grocery costs by using coupons and shopping weekly sales, buying regular-size items instead of lunch-size -- then split them up as needed, or use free delivery when you grocery shop online to cut down on impulse snack shopping.

5Stay up-to-date for free

Software and game systems can cost big bucks, but if you check out free versions of your most common services and software, like openoffice.org and avast.com free antivirus, or free game sites such as miniclip.com and clubpenguin.com, you can have fun without the added expense.

6Invest in a piggy bank

Don't discount the impact loose change and small bills can have; use a piggy bank or money jar to save money for a rainy day, a family trip or a luxury item.

7Maximize your tax benefits

Talk to your financial advisor about how to reduce your taxes by using a flexible spending account (FSA) through your employer; money deducted from your paycheck for medical and dependent care expenses is not subject to payroll taxes, meaning tax savings for you.

Although most people cringe at the word "budget," it's easier to save money without sacrificing your lifestyle when you lay out your income and expenses. Once you realize all the easy ways to reduce spending, you'll not only save money without changing, you'll be reducing your family's financial stress and enjoying your lifestyle more!

More money-saving tips for the new year

Live large... but spend small. Read more!

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