Thursday, March 1, 2007

20 Small Ways to Save Big

Kiplinger's posted a great article about 20 easy ways to save money. How many do you do?

  1. Give yourself a raise and bank it. Don’t lend Uncle Sam free loans. Adjust your tax withholding rate and get yourself a bigger take-home check.
  2. Open a 401(k). If your employee offers 401(k) with company match and you decide not to participate, you simply let the free money slip away.
  3. Raise your car insurance deductible. Higher deductible means lower premium. Go with $1,000 instead of $250. You might as well drive more carefully.
  4. Pay off your credit card. What’s the chance you can earn a 18% return? Paying off the 18% APR credit debt will give you just that.
  5. Go green. Buy a programmable thermostat and save on your energy bill.
  6. Bundle up. Buy a bundle (phone, Internet and cable from one provider), save a bundle.
  7. Use your employer’s FSA. One dollar saved on taxes is one dollar net income. That’s why you should contribute pre-tax dollars to flexible spending account.
  8. Get a credit card with rewards. Why refuse the cashback for the money you have to spend anyway?
  9. Kick the habit. Smoking can burn a hole on your wallet and your lung.
  10. Brown bag it. Instead of spending $8 on takeout every day at work, bring a home-cooked meal with you.
  11. Negotiate your rate. Got a good credit? Then call your lender for a more favorable rate.
  12. Travel on the cheap. Forget about Travelocity, Expedia and Orbitz. Go to or to find a better travel deal.
  13. Insure yourself. Use a high-deductible medical policy together with a health savings account can save your money on premiums now and medical bills in the future.
  14. Make media free. Why buy DVDs and books when you can get them from your library for free?
  15. Change your calling plan. If you use your cell phone for less than 200 minutes a month, you may be better off with a prepaid plan instead of a subscription-based plan.
  16. Park your car. With gas price again on the rise, why not use public transit or carpooling (if possible) to save money on gas?
  17. Ditch your gym. Check out your community centers first. Or better yet, put on the running shoes and hit the road because you don’t have to pay to stay in shape.
  18. Reshop your auto insurance. It pays to shop for everything and auto insurance is no exception.
  19. Learn to cook. Cooking at home is good for your body and your wealth.
  20. Keep track of your money. How can you cut your spending if you have no idea where your money went?