Trying to kick bad money habits? Instead of taking the negative approach of trying to eliminate a behavior, try to make a positive change by adopting a good money habit. Here are five money-saving tips to get you started:

Put purchases in perspective

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, the creator of the Making Sense of Cents blog, asks herself before making a purchase how long she would have to work to pay for it.

"Thinking about a car, a house or even small purchases such as clothing this way can really make you debate how badly you need an item," she said.

Pay yourself first

Barry Choi of the Money We Have blog says getting into this habit is "incredibly easy if you simply set up automatic withdrawals and sync them with your pay cycle. This way, your money will go right into your savings account without you even noticing it's gone."

Brown-bag your lunch

When Grayson Bell of Debt Roundup was knee-deep in debt, he stopped eating out at work and started bringing lunch from home every day — something he still does now because it's become a habit. Bell calculated that he saved about $125 a month by brown-bagging his lunch, and he put that money toward his debt.

Walk everywhere

Amanda Abella, the author of "Make Money Your Honey,' has never owned a car. "I learned at an early age how to get around walking or with public transit in a city, and it saves me a ton of money," she said. According to AAA, the annual cost of owning and operating a vehicle is $8,698. So walking rather than driving can save you thousands.


If walking to work isn't an option, you still can save money on transportation by carpooling. Esther Kim, who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, joined a carpool with her work colleagues. With everyone pitching in for gas and parking, carpooling is cheaper than public transportation, Kim said.