1. Eliminate unnecessary fees. Avoid ATMs outside your network. Check with your bank to make sure you have the best type of account for your needs. Buy standard issue checks or rely on online banking.
2. Sign up for automatic bill pay to avoid late fees.
3. Set up your accounts to automatically deposit any extra cash (bonus, tax return, etc) to go into your emergency savings fund, retirement account, or investment account.
4. Monitor your mortgage. If you are not underwater on your mortgage, now may be the best time to refinance to a fixed rate.
5. Shop around the internet for auto and home insurance quotes. You may be able to find a better rate.
6. Shred old financial documents. A study by Utica College’s Center for Identify Management and Information Protection (CIMIP) found that the median dollar loss for identity theft victims was $31,356.
1. Maintenance. Taking good care of your furnace, roof, and air conditioning can save big bucks.
2. Hold a yard sale or sale unwanted items on Craig’s list or Ebay.
3. Turn off the lights when you’re not using them.
4. If you have homeowner’s insurance, video everything in your home and keep a copy outside the house in a safe place. This is the best way to offer “proof “of what you own in case of a disaster.
5. Watch less TV. Do you really need that many channels? Going down one tier in your cable service will save you money.
6. Cell phone can be a big saver. Match your plan with your usage. Don’t pay for services you don’t use.
1. Check the end date. Buying outdated or soon-to-expire medication is as good as throwing money away.
2. Generic. Ask your doctor if you can safely substitute a generic brand for your prescription drugs.
3. Shop around. There are price differences between pharmacies. While it’s advisable (for safety’s sake) to establish a relationship with one pharmacist for your prescription drug needs, the pharmacist may be willing to match another pharmacy’s lower price if you ask.
1. Compare costs via the Internet. Online coupons can be found at www.nwsteggz.com
2. Credit cards. Use your plastic wisely. Research which cards offer perks such as cash back, airline miles, or even money toward college tuition. Better yet, cut up credit cards and pay cash for your purchases
3. Make secondhand a way of life. Shop at yard sales, consignment stores, Craig’s List and Ebay.
4. Shop at discount stores such as T.J. Max and Marshalls.
5. Be a smart shopper by buying quality when it counts. Consumer tools such as Consumer Reports and Good Housekeeping reports can help you to get the best quality for the least money.
6. Delay gratification. Giving yourself more time to think about a purchase means you’ll make a more informed, less impulsive decision.
1. Grocery shop on a full stomach. Junk food and impulse items look that much more tempting on an empty stomach.
2. Arm yourself with a list and only purchase what is on the list.
3. Plan your meals. Meal planning will help cut random purchases.
4. Cut out the beef. Decreasing your meat consumption or eliminating it altogether can spell big savings.
5. Buy non-groceries at a non-grocery store. Purchasing pharmaceutical items like eye-care products can ratchet up your grocery bill unnecessarily; better deals can be had elsewhere.
6. Leave children at home. Kids tend to toss high-priced junk food into the cart when you’re not looking or pressure you to buy items that you weren’t planning on buying.
1. Make saving a family affair. Like dieting, it’s easier to trim the fat from your budget if your loved ones are onboard.
2. Quit your more expensive “bad” habits. Alcohol and cigarettes are expensive.
3. Use unexpected refunds, monetary gifts, etc to pay down debt and pad your emergency savings fund.
4. Enjoy home-cooked meals.
1. Keep your tires properly inflated. You’ll prolong their life and save on gas.
2. Buy regular unleaded gas. Check the octane requirement in your owner’s manual. Most cars were built to run on regular unleaded.
3. Maintain your vehicle. Make it part of your routine to check the car’s fluid levels and tire pressure. Copy the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and put it in your glove compartment for handy reference.
4. Keep your old car another year or two. Many cars today can last for a long time if properly maintained.