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Painless Ways to Build a Fortune

You don't need more money, you just need to hang on to what you have. Here's some advice on getting more out of your dollars.simple ways to cuts spending and amass wealth

Saving money doesn't have to hurt. "Start small and make it painless," says investment adviser Brooke M. Stephens.

In her book, Wealth Happens One Day at a Time, Stephens provides 365 practical ways to cut spending and amass wealth.

Take a look at some of Stephens' wisdom:

Just Do It!
Cut up credit cards.
Don't buy something unless you really need it.
Recycle as much as possible.
Don't be impressed by status symbols.

Stop wasting energy. Put a timer on your air conditioner so you can set it to go on just before you get home. Adjust it to go down a few degrees at night.

Shop at consignment stores. Major department stores sometimes donate clothing to hospital or charity thrift shops.

Slash bank costs. The fees your bank charges for checks, ATM use and other services can really add up. Go through your statements to see how much you paid in the past year. "If it is more than $100," Stephens advises, "look around and talk to friends about finding a credit union or a smaller bank."

Drink smarter. Stop ordering soda in restaurants and drink water instead. Make coffee at home rather than buying it on the way to work. "I can buy a whole can of coffee for the same price as a cup at Starbucks," Stephens says.

Remember that little expenses add up. You may think "it's only $5" for a book or take-out meal and so you go ahead and buy it.

But let's say you take that modest sum of money and put it toward the $1,000 credit card balance you are paying at 17 percent interest. Instead of paying $15 a month, you pay $20.

The difference: "That $5 that you blew on a fast-food lunch or romance novel could mean the difference between being in debt for 17 years versus seven years," Stephens notes.

Imagine how bright your financial future would be, and how slim your waist would be, if you skipped a few meals a month.

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