23 Painless Money Saving Tips
Here are some practical and painless money saving tips to help you save some cash each month.
- Earn cash back on every online purchase: Ebates is free to join and easy to use. You can earn up to 10% cash back or more on every online purchase. Cash back is available from retailers as diverse as Amazon, JC Penney, Rite Aid, and even Walmart and Kohl’s.
- Get cash back every time you shop online: Swagbucks is a free site that enables you to earn cash back whenever you shop online. It’s similar to Ebates (see below), but you can also earn cash by watching videos, surfing the net, or taking surveys.
- Use eBates. eBates is a website that enables you to earn cash back on virtually all of your online purchases. And eBates is totally free.
- Send away for and follow up on rebates. After you buy a product with a rebate, send in the form that day. Then mark your calendar to remind yourself to follow up with the rebate company if the check hasn’t show up.
- Buy Your Next Cell Phone from Amazon: It may seem odd to buy a cell phone from Amazon, but they offer all of the newest phones (e.g., Droid, Storm 2, Vibrant) from AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. Amazon offers free 2-day shipping and low prices without the hassle of mail-in rebate forms. To check out the deals, visit AmazonWireless.
- Request a reduction in the interest rate on your credit cards. As with home equity loans, credit card companies sometimes are willing to reduce the interest rate. It can’t hurt to ask. If your credit card company won’t help you, transfer your debt to one of several 0% credit cards
- Refinance you mortgage. If you can reduce your interest rate by one percent or more, it is often beneficial to refinance. This is particularly true for those with high rates due to less than stellar credit scores. If your score has improved, you may qualify for a better rate. I would start by asking your current mortgage lender about lower rates. Here’s a table of refinance rates that is updated daily.
- Get your books from the library. I love books and read every day. While I buy some of the books I read, most come from the library. Simply put, it’s hard to beat free.
- Get DVDs from the library. Many libraries now have movies on DVD that can be checked out. If your library offers this service, it sure beats paying Blockbuster or Netflix.
- Buy your car over the internet: Search the internet for information on the car you want and then send e-mail requests to dealers for the best price. Even if the dealer is located in another state, the cost to have the car delivered may still be worth it. I paid $500 to have a Honda Odyssey shipped 500 miles and still saved $1,000 over the best local price available.
- Request a discount on trash service. For some reason this is a highly competitive business. If you get a better offer in the mail for trash service, call your current trash company and ask them to beat the offer. My trash service has reduced its rates twice in six months to match competing offers.
- Never pay checking account fees. I hate bank fees. With so many free checking account plans available, there’s no reason to pay a fee. And if the bank happens to charge you one, ask them to reverse the fee or take your business to another bank.
- Get a rewards card. There are many reward cards that pay out in cash or points that can be redeemed for travel or products. Many of these cards don’t have an annual fee. I recently traveled to my college reunion for free using points earned from a credit card. My favorite rewards card is American Express Gold Card. It does have an annual fee, and the first year fee is waived. You can also check out my review of several travel reward credit cards.
- Don’t pay interest on credit cards. This is obvious, but I soon as you fail to pay off the credit card in full, the high interest payments start to eat away at your monthly budget. If the temptation to spend more than you can pay on a credit card is to great, get rid of the credit card (and ignore the previous tip!).
- Increase insurance deductibles. Most of us don’t need to be insured for all losses over $100 on our car, for example. Although we wouldn’t want to pay a $250 or even $500 deductible, we could. If that’s you, find out how much you’d save from raising your deductible. I’ve raised my deductibles on my auto insurance and home owner’s insurance and saved a considerable amount.
- Think before submitting an insurance claim. My rule of thumb is that I won’t submit a claim on a loss that is less than twice my deductible. So for a $250 deductible on an auto loss, I’ll pay out of pocket any loss up to $500. Why? The $250 I’d receive from my insurance company is not worth the increased premiums I’m likely to pay. You may want to call your insurance agent to find out how a claim will impact your premiums before filing the claim.
- Get rid of your home telephone. This is a great way to save money. Many don’t do it because of the 911 service, and that’s understandable. But if you’re comfortable relying on a cell phone, there’s no reason to keep a llandline If you do, consider reducing your service to the minimum and only use the phone in an emergency.
- Agree to limit gift giving. At Christmas our extended family and we go overboard when it comes to gift giving. Agree in advance to limit the gifts and save everybody some money.
- Take advantage of employer 401(k) matches. If your employer matches 401(k) contributions, do everything you can to take full advantage of that match.
- Get tires from Costco or other wholesale clubs. Simply put, they cost a lot less than buying them at the dealer or even a chain tire store.
- Get organized and avoid missed payments. I’ve missed a payment or two because the bill got buried beneath a stack of papers. Get organized and avoid those late payment penalties. If you do miss a payment, call your creditor and ask to have the penalty removed. They’ll usually accommodate the request, at least the first time.
- Use Open Source software when possible. I use GIMP instead of Photoshop. GIMP is free; Photoshop ain’t.
- Buy energy efficient appliances. Look for the Energy Star on appliances and consider the annual energy cost before buying. More efficient appliances cost more, but you make up the extra cost and then some over the life of the product.
From: Rob Berger – http://www.doughroller.net