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This Week in Money Management: How to Make 2012 the Year of Spending Less?

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We all talk the talk: “Next year, I’m going to quit buying things I don’t need and save more.” How often do we really follow through, however? Determined that you can do anything you put your mind to, we’ve compiled some strong evidence that you can stop overspending and make 2012 the year you put some of your hard-earned cash away for a rainy day!

1.  Ring in the savings. Not everything is getting more expensive as time goes on; Deal News shares its predictions for items that will actually be more affordable in 2012. (You can finally pick up that iPad 2 you didn’t get for Christmas!)

2.  Keep it under $5Erin Chase is a wizard at putting together meals for under a five-spot. Check out her Chicken Spinach Enchilada recipe, and tell us that you feel deprived. We dare you.

3.  Snowflake. If you’re not familiar with the practice of paying down debt with this popular technique, you’ll want to study up, and then check out Money Crashers advice for finding extra cash to put towards the cause.

4.  Protect your online identity. An important part of having more money to save is keeping it safe to begin with. Bargaineering tells you how to be careful with online social media platforms; your hard-earned cash is at risk!

5.  Plan ahead. Not sure that you can commit to cooking at home all 365 days of 2012? Give it a try. Kelly at The Centsible Life has taken much of the guesswork out of the process.

6.  Buy on sale.  This seems like common-sense advice, but what if you don’t know what will be discounted this month? Wise Bread has compiled a quick list of do’s and don’ts for buying in January, and it’s the next best thing to a magic 8 ball that actually works.

7.  Understand the costs. Mutual funds are just one example of investments that require a basic understanding of the fees to be successful. Money Under 30 did a little digging and gives an upfront breakdown of why they cost what they do.

8.  Be open to baring it all. While taking off your garments has generally been a taboo way to make some extra cash, retailers may be following the trend by offering big discounts for little clothing. The Consumerist sheds light on this marketing ploy, but would you be willing to partake?

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