The same gremlin that shrinks your jeans, hides your forks and runs your gas tank on empty is probably laying waste to your bank account. If your funds somehow dwindle to a few lonely dollars by the end of every pay period, it's time to regain control of your spending, cut a few costs and vanquish the gremlin for good. After all, he'll have his work cut out for him wrestling with your missing socks.
There are two ways to look at saving money: as a punishment, or as a reward. If you opt for the former, the continual squeeze will feel like a series of painful sacrifices. However, if you embrace the latter, making small budgetary concessions will help you reach your goals, whether it's hiking the Arctic Circle or enrolling in a master's program. Better still, saving money can be surprisingly painless, and you can take the first step by turning down the thermostat and then reading the first of our 10 tips on the next page.