The LA Times recently had a story suggesting . I boiled it down to the best tips and added two of my own. Add yours to the mix!
1. Disconnect your land line. Or find a cheaper plan and call your current provider and ask them to match it.
2. Shop around for home and auto insurance policies. Spend an hour once a year checking if you can get a better price on your home and auto insurance. Do them together so you qualify for a bulk discount. Before you go for the absolute lowest price, check the insurer’s complaint ratio, which will indicate how happy their current customers are.
3. Pay cash (only if you really can’t control your credit spending because you are giving up a lot of perks and cash-back rebates).
4. Adjust your withholdings. The LAT says 70 percent of tax payers get a refund – which means we are letting Uncle Sam keep our money for a year, interest free! Instead, you could be earning interest or paying down debt.
5. Pay off high-interest debt. Focus on paying off your credit cards. It’s hard to get ahead when you’re paying 15-30 percent in interest.
6. Pay into your 401 (k). Making a $100 contribution costs you $70 because of the tax benefits, and if your company matches you are making even more for the same $70.
7. Set up an automatic savings deduction. It will force you to stash cash for a rainy day (which, in Los Angeles, is today).
8. Take care of yourself. Preventive health care really does pay off. Some health plans will reduce your premium if you quit smoking and if you reinvest that money on doctor’s bills and cigarette into your 401 (k), you stand to be $250,000 richer at retirement, the LAT story says.
9. Volunteer. Seeing how others live will no doubt making you feel better about what you have in life.
10. Budget! Check out my simple 15-minute budget. It really does work.
11. Exercise. Going for a walk, run, or bike ride is a cheap activity that can energize you and save you trips to the mall$.