66 Ways To Save Money.pdf

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F or most kinds of purchases, you can get valu-
able advice and comparisons on the Internet.
Ask a librarian or friends which Internet sites
they think are helpful, or you can use a search
engine like Google or Yahoo. Be aware that informa-
tion you find is often biased. At many websites, the
only products or sellers listed are ones that pay to
advertise. Before buying anything on the Internet,
check several websites and make sure you deal with
reputable dealers.
Airline Fares
1. Compare low-cost carriers with major carriers
that fly to your destination. Remember, the best
fares may not be out of the airport closest to you.
2. You may save by including a Saturday evening
stay-over or by purchasing the ticket at least 14
days in advance. Ask which days of the week
and times of the day have the lowest fare.
3. Even if you are using a travel agent, check airline
and Internet travel sites, and look for special
deals. If you call, always ask for the lowest fare
to your destination.
Car Rental
4. Since car rental rates can vary greatly, compare
total price (including taxes and surcharge) and
take advantage of any special offers and member-
ship discounts.
5. Rental car companies offer various insurance and
waiver options. Check with your automobile
insurance agent and credit card company in
advance to avoid duplicating any coverage you
may already have.
New Cars
6. You can save thousands of dollars over the life-
time of a car by selecting a model that combines
a low purchase price with low depreciation,
financing, insurance, gasoline, maintenance, and
repair costs. Ask your local librarian for new car
guides that contain this information.
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7. Having selected a model and options you are
interested in, you can save hundreds of dollars by
comparison shopping. Get price quotes from sev-
eral dealers (over the phone or Internet) and let
each know you are contacting the others.
8. Remember there is no “cooling off” period on
new car sales. Once you have signed a contract,
you are obligated to buy the car.
Used Cars
9. Before buying any used car:
• Compare the seller’s asking price with the
average retail price in a “bluebook” or other
guide to car prices which can be found at
many libraries, banks, and credit unions.
• Have a mechanic you trust check the car,
especially if the car is sold “as is.”
10. Consider purchasing a used car from an individ-
ual you know and trust. They are more likely
than other sellers to charge a lower price and
point out any problems with the car.
Auto Leasing
11. Don’t decide to lease a car just because the pay-
ments are lower than on a traditional auto loan.
The leasing payments are lower because you
don’t actually own the car.
12. Leasing a car is very complicated. When shop-
ping, consider the price of the car (known as the
capitalized cost), your trade-in allowance, any
down payment, monthly payments, various fees
(excess mileage, excess “wear and tear,” end-of-
lease), and the cost of buying the car at the end
of the lease. A valuable source of information
about auto leasing can be found in Keys to
Vehicle Leasing: A Consumer Guide, which is
published by the Federal Reserve Board and
Federal Trade Commission.
13. You can save hundreds of dollars a year by
comparing prices at different stations, pumping
gas yourself, and using the lowest-octane called
for in your owner’s manual.
14. You can save up to $100 a year on gas by keep-
ing your engine tuned and your tires inflated to
their proper pressure.
Car Repairs
15. Consumers lose billions of dollars each year on
unneeded or poorly done car repairs. The most
important step that you can take to save money
on these repairs is to find a skilled, honest
mechanic. Before you need repairs, look for a
mechanic who:
• is certified and well established;
• has done good work for someone you know;
• communicates well about repair options and
Auto Insurance
16. You can save several hundred dollars a year by
purchasing auto insurance from a licensed, low-
price insurer. Call your state insurance department
for a publication showing typical prices charged
by different companies. Then call at least four of
the lowest-priced, licensed insurers to learn what
they would charge you for the same coverage.
17. Talk to your agent or insurer about raising your
deductibles on collision and comprehensive cov-
erage to at least $500 or, if you have an old car,
dropping this coverage altogether. This can save
you hundreds of dollars on insurance premiums.
18. Make certain that your new policy is in effect
before dropping your old one.
Homeowner/Renter Insurance
19. You can save several hundred dollars a year on
homeowner insurance and up to $50 a year on
renter insurance by purchasing insurance from a
low-price, licensed insurer. Ask your state insur-
ance department for a publication showing typical
prices charged by different licensed companies.
Then call at least four of the lowest priced insurers
to learn what they would charge you. If such a
publication is not available, it is even more impor-
tant to call at least four insurers for price quotes.
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20. Make certain you purchase enough coverage to
replace the house and its contents.
“Replacement” on the house means rebuilding
to its current condition.
21. Make certain your new policy is in effect before
dropping your old one.
Life Insurance
22. If you want insurance protection only, and not a
savings and investment product, buy a term life
insurance policy.
23. If you want to buy a whole life, universal life,
or other cash value policy, plan to hold it for at
least 15 years. Canceling these policies after
only a few years can more than double your life
insurance costs.
24. Check the National Association of Insurance
Commissioners website (www.naic.org/cis ) or
your local library for information on the finan-
cial soundness of insurance companies.
Checking Accounts and Debit Cards
25. You can save more than $100 a year in fees by
selecting a free checking account or one with no
minimum balance requirement. Request a com-
plete list of fees that are charged on these
accounts, including ATM and debit card fees.
26. See if you can get free or lower cost checking
through direct deposit or agreeing to ATM only
use. Be aware of charges for using an ATM not
associated with your financial institution.
Savings Products
27. Before opening a savings account, find out
whether the account is insured by the federal
government (FDIC for banks or NCUA for
credit unions). Financial institutions offer a
number of products, such as mutual funds and
annuities, which are not insured.
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