March 23, 2011 9:13 am
By Barbara Pronin, RISMedia Columnist
RISMEDIA, March 23, 2011-If you are trying to save money for a car, a vacation, or a down payment on a house-or simply trying to tighten your belt-there are at least 10 ways to stop wasting dollars that could be stashed in your savings account. So say the money mavens at Kiplinger.com, who offer these suggestions for meeting your saving goals faster:
Buy used instead of new. Whether books, exercise equipment, cars or children's clothing, pre-owned is cheaper and often as good. Check eBay or Craigslist for gently-used local bargains.
Cut down on impulse purchases. From fancy coffee to another pair of shoes, it's tempting to buy because you want something. Before you make any purchase, stop, think and if you can do without, stash that money into savings instead.
Look for better buys. It's easy to stick with the same plans and providers we've been using for a while. Is it time to look around for a better buy on credit card companies? Cable service? Insurance?
Loosen up on travel. Discounts are available for flexibility on travel dates, booking at the last minute, or blind-booking through sites like Priceline.com. Look around before you book your next trip.
Don't pay for what you don't use. Are you getting enough value from your Netflix or magazine subscriptions? From your gym membership? Break old habits and pay only for what you really use.
Pay on time. Don't rack up fees and late charges by paying bills late. Return library books and rentals on time. Submit expense reports in time for reimbursement. Procrastination can cost plenty.
Make your money work for you. If your savings are earning scant pennies, look for high-yield CDs and money-markets. Consider free, online checking that pays better interest, like ING Direct.
Get it free. Why pay for books, software or even tech support? You can find plenty of freebies at the library or check online for free stuff.
Buying brand names. Clever advertising and fancy packaging doesn't ensure a better product. Try generics in canned foods, clothing, over-the-counter drugs and more.
Don't pay ATM fees. Find a bank that doesn't charge ATM fees and reimburses you for fees other banks charge. Or skip the ATM and get cash back when making a purchase at the grocery store.
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