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Kelley Keehn's eight best money lessons she learned from her mom

Whether you’re on a tight budget or are simply looking for ways to help save a bit more money, these time-tested lessons can make a bigger impact than you may think! Personal Finance Author Kelley Keehn shared eight money-saving tips that she learned from her mother.

SAVE 10 PERCENT OF YOUR INCOME

Putting aside a bit of savings doesn’t always have to be hundreds of dollars a month. You can start with as little as $25 a month to get into the habit. Whether you automate your savings with a new account or ask your employer about a savings plan, it’s important to stay disciplined in any route you choose. Starting with $25 a month is less than $1 a day and you can gradually increase to 10% of your income when you feel comfortable.

ALWAYS HAVE CASH

In the age of digital wallets and smartphones, it’s becoming natural to never have cash in our wallets. Being prepared for emergencies, such as a city-wide blackout, is something we highly recommend. Always keep enough cash to last you a day or two in case there’s a time where you can’t access your debit and credit card.

PAY YOUR CREDIT CARD IN FULL EACH MONTH

It might sound daunting to completely pay off your credit card each month, but the gratification is worth it. You may not realize how much money you’re spending on interest until you sit down and add it all up. Rather than putting more money into the pockets of credit card businesses, get into the routine of only spending what you can afford and not letting the charges roll over onto the next month.

LITTLE SPLURGES CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE

If buying fresh flowers for your home brings joy and happiness to your atmosphere, don’t feel like you need to cut it out. Treating yourself is important, but stay within a reasonable range that you can afford. If you need to save a little bit extra for the things that you enjoy doing, that’s perfectly okay. Recognize that you can have what you want as long as you work towards it.

ALWAYS ASK FOR DEALS

Whether you want last week’s sales price or GST off, don’t be embarrassed to haggle a deal. Though this isn’t something that comes easy to everyone, asking for something doesn’t mean you need to be pushy or rude. Kelley bought a fall coat recently and asked the manager if she could have a discount for paying in cash. She was offered 30% off on the spot!

UNDERSTANDING WHEN A DEAL ISN’T A DEAL

If you’ve shopped at big department stores before, you’ve probably been offered a credit card that comes with “major savings.” While the concept of this sounds great, instant savings aren’t always worth it. Most of the credit cards that are offered by department stores have extremely high-interest rates and aren’t worth signing up for just to save a bit of money on one purchase. If you’re someone that loves to chase a good deal, we don’t blame you! However, it’s important to think about whether or not the deal is worth your time. For example, driving far to get a better deal on gas can be counterintuitive.

DON’T TRY TO KEEP UP APPEARANCES

Rather than digging deeper and deeper into debt, practice saying no to your friends. Set a monthly budget that you’ll actually follow and don’t be afraid to turn something down because you can’t afford it. Having a budget is nothing to be ashamed about! You might even motivate some of your friends and family to also set their own budgets.

FINANCIAL FREEDOM TRUMPS EVERYTHING

When you’re debating if you should make a big purchase or not, consider why you want it and if you actually need it. Is it worth sacrificing financial freedom to have a new cellphone? Are you okay paying hundreds of dollars in interest to hold a new handbag? While there are definitely big purchases we all need to make from time to time, separating your needs from your wants and deciding what you can afford is crucial. Financial freedom should always be your top priority before making money decisions.

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