6 Areas of Your Life Where You Can Save Money

Manage Your Credit

Do you dread seeing that credit card statement in the mailbox every month? Or maybe you realize you need to start putting money away for retirement. Whether or not the recession has hit you directly, almost everyone is looking for a way to save a few dollars. Here are six sure-fire ways to save more of your paycheck:


  1. Home
    • Take advantage of low interest rates by refinancing your house if you plan to be there for at least three years.

    • Get a roommate to help split some of the expenses.

    • Challenge your property tax assessment (be sure to note the time deadline to challenge when you receive your assessment).

    • Slash home insurance premiums by raising your deductible, bundling with your auto insurance, asking for loyalty discounts, and installing a security system.

    • Eliminate premium channels from your cable or satellite TV service.

    • Ask your utility company for a free energy audit, or do it yourself at energystar.gov.

    • Use fluorescent light bulbs instead of incandescent. Fluorescent bulbs use 75% less energy and last 10 times as long.

    • Turn off unused lights, TVs, computers, and other electronics. Put as many of these as you can on the same power strip, and turn the power strip off when not in use.
  2. Transportation
    • Buying a used car and driving it for many years is a great way to reduce your overall transportation expenditures.

    • Cut your auto insurance premiums by raising your deductibles and getting all the discounts you deserve, such as good-driver, good-student, and multiple-car discounts. Cancel collision and comprehensive insurance on cars older than five years.

    • Check into carpools, public transportation, biking, or walking, and see if your employer offers any subsidies.
  3. Groceries
    • Dining out can eat up half of the average family's food budget, so eat more meals at home to save money.

    • Plan the week's menu using store ads to see what's on sale, then make one grocery-store run per week.

    • Brown-bag your lunches and snacks to work and school.

    • Check out coupon sites such as mygrocerydeals.com, , dealcatcher.com or thecouponclippers.com.
  4. Finances
    • Use your bank's ATM exclusively to avoid any "foreign fees" for cash withdrawals.

    • To avoid overdraft fees, set up e-mail and text-message alerts at your bank's website to let you know when bills are due or when your checking balance drops below a certain amount.

    • Call your credit card company's customer service to ask to have your interest rate reduced. If they refuse, consider transferring the balance to a lower-interest credit card. Pay your credit card bills on time to avoid late fees and interest-rate increases.
  5. Medical
    • Buy your prescriptions through your health plan's mail-order program, or better yet, buy low-cost generics at chain stores. Also, ask your doctor's office if they have any drug samples that you can try before filling your first prescription.

    • Most companies hold their annual healthcare enrollment late in the year, so sign up for your company's flexible spending account, and pay for your medical expenses with pretax dollars.

    • For savings on prescription glasses, consider ordering them online.

    • Don't forget about co-pays and balances to avoid medical bills affecting your credit score.
  6. Leisure
    • Check out your local library for books, magazines, DVDs, and CDs.

    • Drop the health club membership. Go out for a bike ride or a walk, and play tennis at the public courts.

    • When dining out, try these tips: make reservations for lunch (when prices are cheaper) instead of dinner; order appetizers instead of full-course meals; or go out for dessert after eating your meal at home.

    • Catch the matinee at the movie theater instead of the evening show.


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