August 19th, 2008 11:24 AM by Lehel Szucs
Money Savings Tips.
Try these at home!
For most Americans, saving money is a necessity of everyday life. We clip coupons, watch for sales, and hope there's not too much month left at the end of our paycheck. Today, the challenge is how to reduce spending on a longer-term basis. Here are some money-saving tips for everything from vacationing to laundering!
Airline Fares Make sure your trip includes a Saturday evening stay over and purchase your tickets in advance. Consider using alternative airports and keep an eye out for fare wars.
Auto Leasing Don't decide to lease a car just because the payments are lower than on a traditional auto loan. The leasing payments may be lower because you don't own the car at the end of the lease.
Auto Insurance Raise your deductibles on collision and comprehensive coverage to at least $500 or, if you have an old car, dropping this coverage altogether.
Life Insurance If you want insurance protection only, and not a savings and investment product, buy a term life insurance policy.
Checking Select a checking account with a low (or no) minimum balance requirement that you can, and do, meet.
Credit Cards Pay off your entire bill each month or use a check, cash or debit card for purchases.
Mortgage Refinancing Consider refinancing your mortgage if you can get a rate that is at least one percentage point lower than your existing mortgage rate.
Telephone Service Check your phone bill to see if you have optional calling services you don't use. Dial your long distance calls directly.
Food Purchases Shop at the lower-priced food stores. Convenience stores often charge the highest prices. You will spend less on food if you shop with a list.
Prescription Drugs Use generic drugs whenever appropriate. When taking a drug for a long time, consider using a mail-order pharmacy.
Around the House Savings:
Use compact fluorescent bulbs. They last 10 times longer than regular lights. Set your water heater to 120 degrees F.
Set your thermostat to 68 degrees, or lower if you're away from home or asleep.
Keep your showers to five minutes or less and switch to lower-flow showerheads.
If nobody's in a room, turn off the lights and any computers, stereos, TVs or other appliances.
Use toaster-broilers or the microwave whenever possible instead of the range.
The refrigerator should be kept at 38 degrees F., and the freezer at 10 degrees.
Try using the cold-water wash cycle, and use the coolest dryer setting you can. Only run the washing machine, and the dishwasher, when they're full. Make sure your home is insulated, and that all doors and windows are sealed properly.
If you have a fireplace, keep the damper closed when you're not using it and use a glass screen to minimize heat loss.
Don't Be Fuel-ish... Save at the Gas Station, too!
Choose the right octane gas for your car. The higher the octane, the higher the price.
Avoid topping off your gas tank.
Keep your tires inflated to the proper level.
Keep up with engine maintenance.
Avoid packing items on top of the car. It's better to place items inside the car or trunk.
Stay within posted speed limits. Driving at high speeds uses more gasoline.
Use cruise control; it helps maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, helps reduce fuel use.
Avoid "jack-rabbit" starts and stops.
Use air vents to circulate the air instead of air conditioning.