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How to Stretch Your Paycheck

No matter how much you make or how carefully you budget, chances are your family income simply doesn't stretch far enough. Between diapers and day care, groceries and gas, and clothes and commuting, your money disappears faster than a pint of Ben & Jerry's on a hot summer day. In fact, after you've written the check for the mortgage, paid the baby-sitter, replaced the clothes that the kids have outgrown, and forked over a few bucks for takeout on the nights you were too tired to cook, your checkbook is hardly in any shape for you to even think about putting money aside for long-term goals like your children's college tuition or your own retirement.

In the end, that's the true price of living from paycheck to paycheck: You're unable to provide for your family's financial future.

To break that cycle and start putting money away for your financial goals, try these tactics:

Contributing editor Diane Harris is writing a book on women and finance.

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