smart spending

10 ways to make frugality fun

7. Find a money buddy.

Sharing your goals, problems and fears with someone can help you succeed in reaching your financial goals, Kay says. "You can get together and share all the latest savings tips and techniques. This can help keep you motivated." You can find an accountability partner at your workplace, school, church -- even your gym.

8. Make your goals visual.

"If someone is saving for a new automobile, it doesn't hurt to have picture of that car on the refrigerator or clipped to the visor of their current car," says Foreman. You can make a chart to track how your debt is going down while your savings is going up, or create a collage that expresses what you want your life to look like.

9. Go public.

When Ingram and her family first started belt tightening, she started a blog for accountability. "Even though I could have been writing to an empty room, I decided I would blog five days a week," she says. "I had to come up with story ideas and live them to provide relevant and truthful content."

That helped her stay on track. It also helped her win a book deal for "Suddenly Frugal." If a blog isn't your cup of tea, try joining one of the many online communities devoted to personal finance and/or frugal living. For example, you can sign up for Bankrate's Frugal News. Or join face-to-face meetings sponsored by Debtors Anonymous.

10. Avoid traps that prolong the agony.

"Any time you're promised something that seems too good to be true, it is," says Kay. "Beware of credit consolidation companies -- they can cost more than they seem to. Beware of transferring credit card balances from one card to another. This can cause your credit score to deteriorate. Beware of the trap of refinancing, which can also cost more than you think. Beware of the tax credits for upgrading. Crunch the numbers first to make sure any of these things are really worth it."

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