This is pretty typical: your paycheck is direct deposited into your account on Friday, you pay some bills, buy some groceries, go to a movie, meet some friends for a drink and before you know it Monday is here and you're broke. Where does all that money go and what can you do to save some of that hard-earned cash? Well, here are four pretty common reasons your paycheck is disappearing way too fast:

  • 1) You have too much broadband. Most Internet service providers offer several levels of connection speed and most people pick one of the faster plans. A study by the Federal Communications Commission found that 80% of us don’t use the extra bandwidth we buy. Downgrade to a slower speed to save several hundred dollars a year. It's pretty easy, just call Optimum or Century Link and ask for the slower speed and you'll have about $20 a month. Plus, you'll never even notice the difference.
  • 2) Travel-size and mini-size products. On average, ounce per ounce, tiny sizes cost twice the price of standard containers. Don't buy the 100-calorie snacks, buy the large size and portion them out yourself. Same goes for everything from body wash to shampoo, buy bulk and then use refillable containers.
  • 3) Paying for credit reports. Credit monitoring services can cost hundreds of dollars a year, instead take an hour and your own leg work. At AnnualCreditReport.com, you can get a totally-free credit report from each of the three major reporting agencies. If you stagger your requests and make one every four months, you’ll easily be able to spot identity theft or other suspicious activity. This really works, I've used it myself and is super easy!
  • 4) Paying premium for meat and cheese, don't do it! Every store has a spot where they move meats and cheeses that are close to expiration and deeply discounted. Look for these special sections at Safeway, Albertsons, Rosaures, etc. then freeze anything you won't use right away for use later. I've bought everything from steaks to lunch meat to shredded cheese at 50, 60 even 70% OFF.