10 Tips for Everyday Saving

Everyday expenses (e.g., housing, bills and food) can keep you from saving for long-term financial goals—such as retirement, debt repayment and paying for your child’s education. However, setting aside even small amounts can have a surprising impact on your finances. Consider these practical saving opportunities:

  1. Trim your medical expenses. Ask if generic versions of prescription medications are available and appropriate. If you must take a brand name formula, check and see if the manufacturer offers a copay assistance card. Also, consider using a mail-order prescription program, if your insurance plan offers one.
  2. Cut your energy bills. Choose appliances that have earned the “ENERGY STAR.” Besides lowering your utility bills, with these energy-efficient appliances you might even qualify for tax credits. A home energy audit—generally offered at no or low cost from utility companies —might identify additional opportunities to save on energy bills.
  3. Choose credit cards carefully. Read the fine print before applying for credit cards that offer rebates, travel perks or cash back. These cards often carry higher fees or interest rates.
  4. Pick the right cell phone plan. Make sure your plan is appropriate for your phone usage. When the contract expires, reevaluate service carriers—there might be a better deal elsewhere—or you could renegotiate your plan. Carriers often provide discounts to customers who keep their phone.
  5. Consider bundling insurance policies. Purchasing auto and home (or renter’s) insurance from the same company could save you money.
  6. Check your magazine rack. Cancel the subscriptions to any magazines you don’t read.
  7. Avoid duplicative car-rental insurance. Check your auto insurance policy and contact your credit card companies before renting a car to avoid duplicating coverage you might already have.
  8. Stick to the grocery list. Avoid impulse buying by making a list and not shopping on an empty stomach.
  9. Get your carry-outs at home. Brew coffee at home and pack a lunch to save several dollars a day.
  10. Do your homework before buying a car. Get quotes from several car dealerships—and tell the salespeople you are comparison-shopping! Choosing a car with high gas mileage, and low maintenance, financing and insurance costs can save thousands of dollars over the life of the car.
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