By Kristine Sorensen

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – When we think of millionaires, we often think of big spending – homes, cars and vacations.

While they may be able to afford to spend more than the rest of us, most millionaires are also disciplined with their money and count every penny.

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KDKA-TV’s Kristine Sorensen explores nine ways Money Magazine says we can all spend and save money like a millionaire.

Financial advisor Rob Wilson helps millionaires and profession athletes use their money wisely and says they live on a budget.

“They know how much want they want to spend on housing, how much they want to spend on a car, how much they want to spend on going out to eat everyday versus just staying home and cooking, or taking lunch to work. So, you have to watch those pennies if you want it to grow over time,” Wilson said.

Start inside your home.

Did you know the average family tosses out 25 percent of the food and drinks they buy?

Tip No.1:

If you clean out your fridge once a week and your pantry once a month, you’ll see what you have, waste less and spend less on groceries. It works out to an average of almost $1,000 a year.

Tip No. 2:

Get a discount on your homeowner’s insurance when you make improvements, like installing storm shutters or a hail-resistant roof. Allstate and Nationwide offer up to 15 percent off if you have a home security system.

Tip No. 3:

Refinance your home because rates are historically low. The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.5 percent.

Experts say if you’re going to stay in your home more than three years, it can be worth it to refinance for even a half a percentage point drop.

Tip No. 4:

Keep your car as long as it runs.

“You don’t have that car payment to make every month and you can take that money and save it for your retirement,” Power of Bowser General Sales Manager Dave Ross said.

You could save an average of $6,000 a year by keeping your car. Just make sure you get regular maintenance so it lasts.

Tip No. 5:

If you need a car, buy used.

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“You’re gonna save literally in the thousands,” Ross said. “From just depreciation of driving it off the lot from new to preowned.”

Ross said a new car can depreciate up to 50 percent in the first three years and your car insurance will be lower too.

Tip No. 6:

While we all know to haggle over price for a car or a house, but did you know stores like Best Buy and Nordstrom will quietly negotiate?

Make the salesperson your friend and ask them to help you spend in your budget for what you want.

Tip No. 7:

Use cash instead of plastic.

“When you’re paying cash, you have to think about that decision right then, not have to pay consequences later,” Wilson said.

A study by MIT found people are willing to pay twice as much for things when paying with a credit card versus cash.

Tip No. 8:

You shouldn’t pay to get your own cash out of the bank. Try an online bank or online brokerage.

“So, I suggest to a lot of people going to online bank like Ally, or going to brokerage company that offers bank accounts as well like, Fidelity or Charles Schwab. A lot of these companies will give you bank accounts with a debit card that you can use at any ATM on the planet and not have to pay any fees,” Wilson said.

Tip No. 9:

Know your bank balance.

Researchers found that people who downloaded a financial app like Mint looked at their account 12 times a month and their spending fell 15.7 percent.

“Think about how much people are on their phone. So, after you check Facebook, you can also check your bank account. And what that’s gonna mean is you’re gonna be much more mindful of what’s actually in your bank account. So, that may mean maybe you don’t go out to eat as much. Maybe you make one less trip to the mall and ultimately, you’re gonna have a lot more money left in your bank account,” Wilson said.

A survey by PNC Wealth Management found that millionaires attribute their success to saving early and regularly, controlling spending and making smart investment choices more than simply earning a lot of money.

That said, Wilson added that earning more is important and there’s never been a better time to have a second income stream other than your main job, or to take advantage of technology to improve your position.

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Kristine Sorensen