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'The craziest thing I did to save money'

Creative and crazy ways to save money
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You consider yourself to be a smart person, right? Well that may be the case, but even smart people occasionally make some financial mistakes, which could jeopardize their savings goals.

Here are 3 mistakes you need to avoid if you want to save more money:

The airlines recommend you put the oxygen mask on yourself before assisting other people. And the same advice can apply to your money. Before you pay any bills, make sure you transfer money to your savings. If you wait until you pay for everything else first, you probably won't have anything left over.

Automating your savings is an even better idea. Schedule a certain amount of money to be directly deposited into your savings account every month, or every paycheck, so you don't have to remember to do it manually.

It may not seem like a big deal at the time, but all those little purchases you make, can really add up.

If you're only focused on your biggest expenses, like your mortgage, insurance or car payments, you'll never save as much money as you potentially could. When you want those little indulgences, ask yourself if that one magazine, latte or trip to the drive-thru is helping you to achieve your financial goals or is it self-sabotage.

One of the easiest ways to save money is to contribute to a work retirement plan, like a 401(k). Money is automatically deducted from your paycheck, so you won't have a chance to spend it. If you're worried about how it might affect your monthly budget, start small by contributing just 1% to 5% of your pay and continue to raise that amount gradually. If your company offers to match a certain amount contribution amount, and you're not meeting that amount, then you're missing out on free money for your retirement.

Creative and crazy ways to save money

Trying to save money can be boring. Then again, some consumers find weird but creative ways to make their dollar go further.

Bankrate asked its readers to tell us the most unusual ways they employed to save a buck or two. What follows are the six craziest and most creative ways we found to save money.

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