Thursday, August 20, 2009

Freeloading is just one way to stretch a budget

I picked up a lot of free pens and other office gizmos at a job fair today. Picking up freebies gets to be a habit quickly when money is tight. Heck, I've even mapped out when our supermarket puts out free food samples so I know when to run grocery errands.

More important, though, there are a lot of free things you can do to save money more effectively too. You already know many of them: plan your spending, pay bills on time to avoid late fees, live within your means, and things like that.

Money pros know them too. And recently three of them - coming from widely different vantage points -popped out their lists of some of the biggest money mistakes many of us make. Some of the candidates may surprise you.

Forbes, once required reading for aspirants to the uber-rich, cautions against hitting the snooze alarm. Ken and Daria Dolan, nice folks who would welcome you to their upscale suburb, talk about managing your credit carefully. And, written by and for the kids that our kids went to school with, offers some timeless tips that some of us may wish we'd listened to.

Start planning ahead and you'll come up with your own list pretty quickly. Meantime, I've got to find someplace to stash the little paper cup that my chicken salad sample came in.

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