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Your friends or family may be influencing your spending. If you are spending, shopping, eating out too often, etc. Look at the reasons. Are you keeping up with the Joneses? Are your friends spendthrifts? Are they in debt too? Are you looking to fill a void in your life? Is it an emotional release? Associate yourself with people who have the same intentions; Living within their means. Talk to your spouse, family and friends and include them in this process. The more support you have, the better.

Find inspiration on the Internet as well. Subscribe to money saving newsletters. http://www.stretcher.com and http://www.thefrugallife.com both have great and inspiring newsletters and forums to meet other people who are living within their means. Join in on frugal and money saving forums. Watch out for get-rich-quick schemes. They will never make you money.

Of all the books I read, I have found two of them to be most helpful. The first book is “Your money or your life”. As with any self-help book, you will find points in this one that no longer make sense in our economy. However, the first few chapters are eye opening. Changing your view of money is critical in changing your financial picture. The second is “The tightwad gazette” this one is fun to read from cover to cover. It’s full of great tips and stories to keep you motivated. I don’t rewash plastic Baggies, but I love the pizza dough recipe and it’s written in an easy to read manner.

One last thought; everyone has an opinion, advice, tricks and tips to help you. Pick and choose what works for you. Not everything will be right for everyone. You control your own destiny and financial future. The hardest part is to get started.

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