Saving money in our current  economic environment is difficult. Now, more than ever, most people are trying to find ways to save money that will make paychecks go far enough to cover basic needs. Many don’t have enough to buy “extras” like car repair bills, new clothes, or taking the family out to eat.

Here are 20 personal financial tips you might find useful.

  1. Evaluate the cost of your current lifestyle.
  2. Track every penny of your spending for two weeks.
  3. Save your change. It adds up quickly.
  4. Change one spending behavior a week and put the savings into an account.
  5. Write down your financial goals and put them in a place where you can see them everyday.
  6. Take care of your own financial responsibilities before taking on those of others.
  7. Give yourself a weekly cash allowance for food and entertainment.
  8. Teach your children the difference between wants and needs.
  9. Plan your weekly food menu and shop with a list accordingly.
  10. Don’t go out shopping without a specific purchase in mind.
  11. Know the terms and conditions of every credit agreement before you sign them.
  12. Be a savvy shopper; do your homework to find coupons and sales before you leave the house.
  13. Use your network ATMs and avoid bank fees when possible.
  14. Know what is on your credit report. You are entitled to one free copy from each credit bureau once a year.
  15. Participate in your company’s 401K plan.
  16. Keep current with your car maintenance.
  17. Don’t co-sign on a loan if you are not prepared to pay for it.
  18. Recycle clothing through consignment shops.
  19. Create a plan to pay down debt.
  20. Start today.

Good luck!