A big part of managing your finances and staying out of debt is making sure a portion of your income goes to savings. Here are three savings strategies to help you manage your money and stay out of debt.

Save for purchases. When you use a credit card to make a purchase, you then create a monthly payment. A better option is to set aside the amount you would pay on the credit card each month until you have enough money to pay cash for your purchase. It will be less expensive in the end because you won’t have to pay interest.
Save for emergencies. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is to forgo emergency savings in order to have more now. If you don’t already have a plan in place for saving money for unexpected major expenses such as medical or auto trouble, start a savings plan. To make it easier, have the money automatically deducted and deposited for you (ING offers a good option) and you’ll never miss it as your savings account grows.
Save for your future. Anyone who works for an employer that offers a 401k plan should take full advantage of this great savings tool. This employer-sponsored retirement plan offers you the opportunity to set aside a portion of your wages before taxes. Additionally, many employers contribute a portion to your account. No, you can’t touch it before the age of 59 ½ without paying a penalty along with the deferred taxes. However, if your goal is to stay out of debt now and in the future, you will need to have money for retirement.

One last tip for staying out of debt: look for the most economical ways to save money. Cut back on monthly expenses, learn to do things yourself, shop for discounts, and use coupons – all practical and logical ways to conserve.

Whether you wash your own car and change the oil, or shop at a discount warehouse store and stop drinking lattes, there are plenty of actions you can take to stay out of debt.

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