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Budgeting Tips For The New Year

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Korky Vann, the Hartford Courant’s “savvy shopper,” has some tips on how to save some money if those January credit card bills from your Christmas shopping are catching up with you.

  • Stop the steady flow of bargains into your mailbox. Unsubscribe to some daily deal sites. Those countdown clocks on sites like Groupon and Living Social are powerful motivators to grab deals that we may not need. UnsubscribeDeals.com lets you opt out of some or all of your daily deal emails and provides a forum for recovering daily deal site users.
  • Stay out of online stores after hours. Retail stores have regular hours, and when they’re closed, they’re closed. Online retailers, on the other hand, are always open. If you’re a 3 a.m. Amazon impulse spender, set some closing hours for your web browsing.
  • Use the services you’ve already paid for and get rid of services you’re not using. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you have access to streaming video of television shows and movies. Check it out before you sign up for Netflix. If you’re subscribed to, but not using, premium stations on cable, call and cancel.
  • Stop throwing money down the drain. Americans throw away about 40 percent of the food they buy, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. That’s a cost of about $2,275 for the average family of four. Vegetables, fruits and cooked leftovers make up most of what we toss out. Better meal planning means more money in your pocket. Great free menu planning apps include “Love Food, Hate Waste” and “Ziplist.”

For more tips on saving money, visit www.courant.com/savvyshopper

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