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Making every dollar of your paycheck count

Posted at 3:45 PM, Apr 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-16 10:22:58-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — You work hard for your paycheck. So it's essential to make every dollar work for you. 13 Consumer Advocate Tricia Kean looks at five things you should stop buying right now.

Tina Balebone is a single mom with a full-time job. So she tries to be smart with her money.

"Personally, I feel like it's important to save money and have money on the side just in case," said Tina.

But Americans are guilty of wasting their wealth. Luckily, there are some simple changes you can make to help you save.

For starters, experts say stop buying lunch.

"I pack my lunch while I pack my son's lunch for school," said super saver and mother of three, Andrina Guerra.

She points out shelling out about $2 per lunch instead of $14 on fast food, adds up to $60 that stays in your pocket at the end of just one week.

Other working moms like Tina say, making lunch is sometimes tough.

"It kind of depends on how I'm feeling and how the night before went with my kid," said Tina.

But don't worry. Lunchtime isn't the only time you can save. Andrina says to hold off on eating dinner out, at least once a week. Her family loves using their slow cooker.

Best of all, the benefits go beyond just saving money.

"You pop it in there. It gives you four, six, eight hours to do other things; to clean the house, to run your errands, take your children to their extra activities," said Andrina.

Another great way to save: stop buying name brand products. When you compare ingredients, you'll realize the only difference between that well-known maker and the generic, is the price.

"We compared the almond milk brand to the store brand, and it's almost the same, and it's about a dollar difference," said Andrina.

She says buying generic can add up, helping you keep quite a bit of money in your wallet.

"And then you add the rewards card on top of that... it ends up being nice savings at the end," said Andrina.

Speaking of shopping, Andrina says stop buying the women's version of most products.

It's known as the "pink tax." On average women's care products, usually found in pink packaging, cost 13 percent more than the men's version.

"I've used my husband's razors, and they work just fine. So I don't spend extra money on the pretty packaging. I just buy what works," said Andrina.

Finally, consider working out at home instead of paying for a gym membership. If you're not stuck in a contract, Andrina says give it a try.

"It saves me gas, time driving, and money from having to pay the gym. 18.45 I've worked out at home for about three years now," said Andrina.

There are many home-based workouts online that are free. Andrina says you're guaranteed to find one that works for you.

"You don't even need equipment. You can work out with just your body weight," said Andrina.

The bottom line, saving money here and it isn't hard. But for Tina, there are just some things she's not willing to give up.

"I could do without Starbucks... I have a coffee pot at home. I don't use it as often as I use Starbucks," said Tina.