Friday, June 23, 2006

10 things you can do to save some money

These days, advertisers can reach consumers from all sorts of mediums you can imagine. They might like you as a person but one thing they want you to do is to buy from them. If you are not careful or not pay attention, you will be overpaying for things.

There are so many ways to save money just by becoming a smarter consumer or change your spending habits. The following are some ways you can do to stretch your money, so that you get more from the same money you spend.

1. Get a good credit card or use a
debit card

Cancel credit cards with membership fee, department store cards ,high interest rates. Department store cards are amount the highest interest rate cards. Don’t fall for that 10 % off purchase. The interest they charge might up to 30%.

There are so many good cards deals out there, some offering $100 reward, like SonyCard, Citi Card. Apply only the cards with no annual fee cards, low interest 0% APR for a year or so.

Don’t spend on the things you can’t really afford. Use debit because what you have in your account is what you can spend. Don’t use credit card is the best policy but if you can payoff the debt in full or regularly then apply for the rewards cards. For every dollar you spend you can earn points for airline tickets, gas, and merchandise. Also consider the cash back cards.

2. Don’t go to the movies

With move tickets cost over $10 nowadays plus the cost of popcorn and the sodas, you can easily spend $30 to $40 dollars a trip for 2 people.

Use DVD rental service from Netflix, BlockBuster. For a small monthly fee, they will send you the movie in the mail, you can watch the movie as long as you want with no late fees. Or you can download free movie online with P2P or torrent sites.

Many movies have the free advance screening for the people before the release date. You can often find them at ,

3. Don’t join health club

I want everyone to be fit but you don’t have go to the health clubs to get in shape. You need to eat right and get enough sleep. Do some exercise like jogging, basket ball, swimming pool, running, bicycling.

Use guest pass if possible. Save the enrollment fee and the monthly fee for better use. And it can hurt your credit score if you miss the payment.

4. Shop online

Online shopping is nothing new and it is much saver now. Some people only shop online and never go to B&M stores. The benefits for shopping online are lower prices ( some offer price match, lowest price grantee ), don’t need to pay sale tax.

Sites like,, offer price comparison services. So, you know you got a good deal. Some even pay you when you shop, like Ebates .

5. Don’t buy books or magazines

Public libraries and the internet are the best place to find the information you need. Try subscribe magazines and you can get much cheaper price per magazine. Free magazines and online magazine are more and more popular. Just look around and search.

6. Say no to extended warranty

Don’t feel pressured by the salespeople. They will to convince you to spend extra bucks for protection that isn’t necessary. In most cases you will need to pay more to get the things fixed.

Consumer products are very durable now, they last, last and last forever. That’s why manufacturers introduce new products to the market to lure people to buy to replace the old ones. So, it is not worth the extra dollars for the warranty when the product will be outdated in a short period of time. Save it for the next purchase instead.

7. Dining out for less

Use dining certificate can greatly reduce the cost of dining out. You can get a $25 certificate for $10 at You can also use coupons from the entertainment book. Many fast food restaurants give out coupons too.

Besides going out, why don’t you cook for yourself. You never know who is preparing the meal in the kitchen, but when you do it yourself, you don’t have to worry about it. You can learn to cook just by watching TV. Food network has many shows to watch. Learn from the great chefs.

8. Avoid ATM fees

Financial intuitions often charge non-member users using their machines. Why you have a fee to withdraw your own money. Use the ATMs that your bank owns. Be aware your own bank not charging you for not using its own ATM networks. Open account different account from different banks, so that you can get the most ATM courage.

Some banks do offer ATM refunds:

- Etrade : if you maintain a balance of $5,000

- First internet bank: offers up to $6/month when you maintain $500

- TD Banknorth : no minimum balance, unlimited free transactions

Find out free ATM locations at SUM, Allpoint

9. Don’t smoking cigarette

I don’t know why people smoke. It is not good for your health and you don’t needs cigarette to survive.

I know it is an addiction but don’t let it control you. Cigarettes are heavily taxed; it is not worth the price you are paying for. Let’s say you smoke a pack a day that costs $5 for a year, then you are giving $1,825 away. That is a large sum of money isn’t it.

10. Buy hybrid cars

Gasoline price have increase during the last few years. When you are relying on automobile to make a living, it could have significant negative effect on your income. Hybrid car is the way to go, If you want to save on gas. You can get as much as 100 % more mileage for the gallon of gas. There will be more hybrid vehicles on the market in the future to choose from. Right now, Toyota prius and Honda Insight Hybrid can get up to 60 mpg. That’s a lot of mileage for a gallon. 06-2006


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