7 Money Saving Tips for September 2011

7 Money Saving Tips for September 2011
  • Opening Intro -

    You can save money on big and small things, but sometimes the savings comes from things that are not so obvious such as bundling insurance policies, using regular gas when premium is not required and buying hotel and airfare packages.


With the economy flagging, finding ways to save money is of critical importance to everyone. The following seven money saving tips are timely and just the tonic needed to help you hold onto more of your cash.

1. Drop PMI — If you bought your home and you put less than 20 percent down, then you may be paying private mortgage insurance. This cost is a requirement of your mortgage holder, but can be gotten rid of in two ways: you make enough payments to increase the equity in your home to 20 percent or your home’s value has increased enough to where PMI is not required. In either situation, notify your mortgage company to begin the process of not paying PMI.

2. Pay Insurance Annually — You’ll pay more for your car, homeowners and life insurance if you spread out your costs in installments. If possible, make one annual payment or, in the case of car insurance, make your payments twice a year. Say good-bye to costly surcharges assessed for the “privilege” of making monthly or quarterly payments.

3. Lose the Landline — Home phones are going out of style, especially for those consumers who are tethered to their cell phones. If you really don’t need a home phone, then cancel the landline. You can always adjust your cell phone minutes to compensate, but don’t change it so much that your savings evaporate.

4. Combine Utilities — Let’s say you still need a landline. And let’s say that you have cable and Internet connection. By combining all three to be handled by one provider, such as your cable service provider, you’ll gain a hefty discount for consolidating services to one company.

5. Get a New Credit Card — Far be it from me to suggest that anyone take on additional debt. Instead, why not transfer balances from high interest rate credit cards to zero percent cards? If you have very good or excellent credit, likely you’ve been receiving offers in the mail again touting these cards, which nearly disappeared following the market meltdown of 2008. Avoid transfer fees and other costs with making a switch as these fees can offset any savings you might gain.

6. Shop the Thrift Stores — You don’t have to buy your entire wardrobe at thrift stores, but if you need a dress that you’ll use for just one occasion, these shops make sense. Find matching bag and pumps, and you’ll save a bundle.

7. Don’t Fix It, Lose It — Major appliances have changed in efficiency so much in the past 10 years, that if you have an older appliance you might do better by buying new instead of getting the old stove, refrigerator, dishwasher or washing machine repaired. Visit your appliance retailer and familiarize yourself with each product’s Energy Star ratings. You’ll pay more for new than fixing used for the short term, but your energy costs should make up for the extra cost over time.

Don’t look for a big raise at year end either. Companies are continuing to hold the line on spending which means a raise of 1 or 2 percent will be more common than those for 3 percent or more for the coming year.

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Categories: Consumer Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".