Saving money means you'll have more to invest or to spend on things you enjoy. Here are some cost saving ideas and strategies to use right now.
AAA and AARP Both offer a wide variety of travel discounts for their members. If you are a member, you'll be saving money if you remember to mention your membership when you make reservations for cars, hotels and resorts.
For more money saving ideas and discounts, click here on saving money.
Airlines #1 A senior discount fare may not be the best deal. Airlines typically offer their lowest fares on the Internet.
Airlines #2 If you already plan to rent a car at the airport, but your favorite low-cost airline doesn't fly into that airport, consider flying Southwest, ATA or Jet Blue into a nearby airport instead. You could save hundreds of dollars (or more) in air fare if you're willing to drive an extra hour or so.
Credit Cards #1 Call your card company and ask them to cut your interest rate in half and drop your annual fee. While you won't get everything you want, most people end up with a better deal. (Negotiating tip: ALWAYS ask for more than you expect to receive.)
Credit Cards #2 Invest in your credit cards. If you are like most people, you don't pay off your balances each month. As a result, you've created the best fully guaranteed, high yield investment opportunity available today without realizing it! Where else can your investments grow 14% per year? go to complete article
Tires Keep them properly inflated. Check tire pressures monthly (don't forget the spare). If they are underinflated by 5 pounds, your gas mileage will be reduced 10%. One in 4 cars has at least one tire that is underinflated by 8 pounds or more. Low tire pressure is a major cause of accidents.
Air Filter Check it every time you have the oil changed. A dirty filter cuts air flow to your engine; that cuts your mileage. Most cars should have their air filters changed every 10,000 to 15,000 miles more often if you drive in dusty conditions such as new housing developments and other construction.
Air Conditioning Keep it on when driving in hot weather at highway speeds. It will reduce your gas mileage a little. But, today's cars are aerodynamically designed. If you turn off the air conditioning and roll down your windows, you will cut your mileage even more.
Check Engine Light If it's on, there's a problem; your engive isn't operating as efficiently as it should. Have your car checked by a trusted mechanic. Your mileage will improve when the problem is repaired.
Octane Despite what the oil companies say, your car probably doesn't need premium grade gasoline. If it doesn't, your car won't run any better than it would if you used the right octane. Check your owner's manual.
Gas Cap After you fill up your gas tank, be sure to tighten up your gas cap when you put it back on. If it doesn't fit snugly, your gas can evaporate easily.
Trunk Check it out. A lot of people store heavy things in it and then forget about it. Any additional weight in your car means your engine has to work harder. That burns more gas.
Tune-Ups Do routine maintenance on the schedule recommended in your car's manual. For example: dirty spark plugs can cut your mileage dramatically.
Errands Combine your daily errands and appointments into one trip. Plan your grocery shopping; don't drive to the grocery every day or so "just to pick up a few things."
Save up to 30% by adding insulation and weather stripping, and sealing gaps around windows and doors, chimneys, furnace and gas water heater flues, water pipes, dryer and bathroom vents, etc.
Save up to 20% by lowering your thermostat 10 degrees during the day if no one is home, and 5 degrees at night.
More energy-saving tips are available at:
Insurance Auto If you have a teenage driver and 2 cars, designate him or her as the principal driver of the older car, and as only an occasional driver of your newer car.
Insurance Deductibles Cut your homeowners and auto insurance premiums as much as 25% by raising your deductible from $100 or $250 to $1,000. If you are over 50, you could save even more with AARP's auto insurance.
Insurance Premiums You can often save 10% or more by insuring your home and cars with the same company.
Life Insurance Our need for life insurance changes as we grow older. What was the "right amount" while our children were growing up may now be too much. By adjusting the amount to fit today's needs, you could save hundreds of dollars maybe even thousands every year. To find out how much you really need, here's a valuable life insurance needs calculator.
Lighting Bills Cut your lighting costs up to 50%. Replace your old single wattage light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. (There's no replacement yet for 3-way bulbs.) Tip: Home Depot sells a 6-pack of the new bulbs for about the same price as 2 bulbs cost at other retailers.
Mortgage Refinancing Refinancing your mortgage a good idea or not? For the calculators to help you decide click on mortgage refinancing.
Pill Splitting Many prescription drugs cost the same (or nearly the same) regardless of the dosage. Research shows that for many medications, pill-splitting is entirely safe when done correctly. As a result, you can often save money by asking your doctor to write your prescription for twice the dose you need, then cutting each pill in half.
Prescription Drugs Always ask your doctor for the generic versions. They are much cheaper.
Retirement 401(k) Plans Earn FREE MONEY now! Enroll in your employer's 401(k) plan, then contribute enough to receive your employer's full matching amount. It's free money! go to complete article
Tax Refunds They're a nice "surprise," but the IRS is no fool. They keep your excess payments for a year and don't pay any interest. The solution? You may be entitled to claim additional exemptions to reduce your withholding. The IRS even shows you how in their Publication 919.
Wait for Sales Nearly everything goes on sale at one time or another during the year. If you can wait, you can save substantial amounts of money. Find out when you can get the best deals at The Frugal Shopper.