Sunday, February 22, 2009

Painless Ways to Save $50 a Day From Kiplinger's

This guest post from Kiplinger's Personal Finance caught my attention: "How can you save $50 a day—and feel no pain?

From heating to haircuts, food to flights, the March issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has found ways to trim costs, delivering big gains with little pain. Kiplinger’s 50+ smart money moves, totaling $18,250 per year in savings, include:

Boost Your Deductibles. Increasing the deductibles on your comprehensive and collision auto coverage from $500 to $1,000, or even $2,500, can reduce your premiums by 12% to 18%. ANNUAL SAVINGS: $648

Install a Smart Thermostat. Why heat or cool your home when you don’t need to? With a programmable thermostat, you can put your temperature preferences on autopilot.

Master Tickets. Online reseller often beats prices on and, especially for games that season-ticket holders want to unload. For instance, best priced tickets to a New York Knicks vs. New Jersey Nets game run $91 on StubHub—while comparable seats at Ticketmaster are $196.

Belly Up to the Bar. You can eat well at a fraction of the price if you stick to the bar menu—and we’re not just talking wings. For example, at Morton’s Steakhouse, a New York strip steak entrée runs $86 compared to the bar’s petite filet mignon sandwiches at $30.

Lose the Locks. Salons charge $90 or more to trim women’s tresses. Dropping in at a beauty school such as Paul Mitchell’s with a stylist-in-training chops that cost to $17.

Get Free Checking. Brick-and-mortar banks charge an average fee of $12 per month in checking accounts and require an average minimum balance of $3,500 to avoid it. With an online bank such as Salem Five Bank, pay no monthly fees and earn 2.75%.

Travel Last-Minute. Whet your wanderlust and save big by booking an impromptu, package-deal vacation on Reserved a week or two before departure, a trip for two from New York to Amsterdam costs $2,000—compared to booking the same trip several months in advance at $2,500.

Switch Supermarkets. Six-word strategy for saving on food: Get in car. Drive to Costco. Kiplinger’s compared prices on 37 staples at Costco, Safeway and Whole Foods—and found a substantial price discrepancy (even factoring in Costco’s $50 annual membership fee).

Swap Sitting Services. Round up another family or two with cabin fever and take turns baby-sitting the kids. If you go out for four hours every month, paying a sitter $10 per hour, you can save $40 per month.

Here's a link to the full article.

Here's how to buy my book:

@ Barnes & Noble
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Liz said...

Good list! Unfortunately, I think Kiplinger sort of missed the mark. There are an awful lot of us out here that can't afford $90 haircuts, event tickets, yearly vacations and expensive meals out to begin with. I don't feel too sorry for people who have to cut back in these areas. Instead, I say "welcome to my world!"

Cheepdate said...

Sharon; I used to get cheap haircuts at chains but local small barber shops and beauty parlors are hurtin' for certain and I pay about $15 for a haircut and it looks great. Same thing with my wife and daughter ... when they don't do it themselves.

I also got my daughter a prepaid cell phone. I make it a part of her allowance an she actually got into budgeting it so that she doesn't run out of minutes before the end of the month!

Ha! It's a good way for her to learn the value of money and staying within a budget, too.