That $5 thing in the bargain bin is a real deal, isn't it? Maybe not. Researchers have demonstrated that people are much more likely to make small purchases than big ones. That's not frugality: it's human nature. You're almost certain to weigh the pros and cons of a big-ticket purchase than something costing just a few dollars.

If you're in the habit of using a debit card, look at last month's statement. What do you see? If you're like most people, lots of small transactions — and they add up fast. Want to save money? Pay particular attention to purchases of less than $10. Carry larger bills: you'll be less likely to break them. Be slow to use plastic. And smile when you see how well this works the next time you check your balance.

Copyright Lighter Footstep 2009

Small purchases can squeeze budget
Small transactions can add up fast so here are a few tips to shrink some bills.