Money Matters

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Money-saving tips for working professionals

Working professionals know that going to work every day can be costly. From commuting costs to the expenses necessary to maintain a professional wardrobe, going to work can be hard on the pocketbook. The following are a few ways workers can save some cash.

• Embrace direct deposit. If your company offers direct deposit, take advantage of that offering. Having your paycheck directly deposited into your savings or checking account can eliminate some unnecessary spending, and your bank may even waive monthly fees if you have a certain amount of money directly deposited into your account each month.

• Get creative with kid care. According to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures, concerns about child care cause more problems in the workplace than any other family-related issue. Child care can be quite expensive. If your employer does not offer on-site child care, find out if a parent or another family member can care for your child at no cost.

• Bring your lunch. Bringing your lunch to work each day can save you a considerable amount of money. Limit lunches out to one day per week.

• Enroll in pre-tax savings plans. Explore the various programs that enable you to set aside pre-tax dollars for expenses like child care, medical expenses or commuting costs. A certain portion of your paycheck is withdrawn before it is taxed, saving you money when it comes time to file your income tax.

• Share your commute. Carpooling is an easy and economical way to get to work. Split the expenses with your coworkers who live nearby. A company carpool can save you money on fuel and add years to the life of each participant's automobile.

• Shop smart. Take advantage of sales or shop consignment stores when supplementing your work wardrobe.