Save Money by Stepping Down

If you're singing the budget blues, maybe it's time to change your tune.

Instead of eliminating spending altogether to save money, follow what's called the "step-down principle," which offers several options to make a purchase.

Here's how it works. First, imagine a staircase with five or six steps, with the top rung representing the most expensive way to make a purchase, and the bottom rung the least expensive. For clothing, the top rung may be a high-end department store, followed by a discount store, a factory outlet, a consignment store, and finally a garage sale. If you typically purchase children's clothing at high-end department stores, move down a few steps and purchase gently used children's clothing at a consignment store.

Identified by Dr. Alena Johnson, Utah State University, the step-down principle also works with frequency. For example, you may decide to eat out five times a month instead of 10. Or, use the step-down principle to reduce caloric intake. Rather than drink whole milk, step down to 2% or skim.

Find ways to stick to your budget without cutting out the things you enjoy. The step-down principle is a simple strategy that works. For more ideas to save money, check out our Interactive Coaches or utilize one of our quick and easy Financial Calculators. You can also stop by any of our branch locations, email us or call us at (617) 495-4460.


Return Home