29 Sep 100 Tips to Help You Save
I wanted to call your attention to a useful article that appeared on the FoxBusiness website – a reprint of an article from Bankrate.com called “100 Tips to Help You Save.” Some of the tips refer to “big ticket” decisions like choosing light colored roof to save energy, but many of the tips discuss changes you can make in your financial affairs today. Among the tips I find most helpful:
- Every few months, comparison shop on your communication services like telephone, Internet and cell phones. I did this last week and I traded a $49.95 DSL line for a $24.95 cable modem that is more than twice as fast. I also canceled a second line that I had for the DSL. Interestingly when I called to cancel the DSL, the representative offered to match the cable modem price – so even if you are not necessary thinking about changing your service, you may still be able to negotiate a lower price by threatening to change.
- Use your cell phone for long distance calls on nights and weekends. I canceled my land line long distance several months ago and have not noticed a difference
- Switching to an Internet/VOIP phone system. I haven’t done this yet but I did install Skype and I use it to make free video calls to several of my friends and relatives from out of state – people who I used to call long distance.
- Online offers for magazines – I am a big reader and I subscribe to several magazines. I did a search for “waiting room magazine subscriptions” and I was able to get a number of subscriptions for around $10 each. Many of these sites do not ask for proof, or you can subscribe as “John Smith Enterprises.”
- Avoid credit card fees – I have a habit of sending in the minimum payment (usually $25 to $50) immediately when I receive my bill. I pay my bills using Quickbooks so I can analyze my spending but that can take a little time to itemize the charges. I always send in enough to avoid a late fee immediately in case I don’t get the itemization done in time. I also make note of the date I receive the bill – sometimes I get my bill a day or two before it is due – if that happens I call the lender (always before the due date) to ask for a fee free extension.
- Buy a one or two year old car – while I love the smell of a new car, I haven’t purchased a new one since the early 1980’s. I usually buy a two to three year old car – it will cost about 1/2 to 1/3 of a new one and I usually keep my cars 8 to 10 years.
I think that there is an overall theme here:
- if you don’t ask for a better deal, you won’t get one
- competition is a good thing and can save you money
- many companies make a lot of money when they “nickel and dime” you with late fees and interest charges. Don’t hesitate to protest and take your business elsewhere
- technology tends to drive prices lower – always be on the lookout for alternatives to what you have
Jonathan Ginsberg, Esq.
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