8 painless ways to save money

I saw this list on US News and thought I’d give my take on it.

  1. Get healthy. They are right.  It is cheaper to be healthy…in the long run.   Short-term, eating crap food is cheaper and obesity doesn’t get expensive until you are older.   But remember, long-term planning is important.  I intend to enjoy my old age, so I am working on losing weight and exercising.  Fat and lazy is easy, but it won’t be in 50 years.
  2. Rethink your auto insurance. I don’t have an argument here.  When I established my initial emergency fund, I set my deductibles to match it.  We regularly review our policies to make sure they match what we need.
  3. Improve your credit scores. I don’t know what they were thinking with this one.  If you’ve got lousy credit, it’s hardly painless to improve it.   Digging out of a pit of debt hurts.
  4. Invest on the cheap. This is another one that’s hard to argue with.  Low-fee funds are, by definition, cheaper.  Will you get a better return on a fund with higher fees?  It’s worth checking the historical return to see if the fee is justified.
  5. Think triple play. They recommend bundling your internet, TV, and phone.  It is cheaper, but I don’t recommend it.  I don’t like putting all of my eggs in one basket.  If the cable goes down, or the the power goes out, I’d still like to be able to make a phone call, if I have to.   My landline is independently powered, and I always make sure there is a corded phone plugged in somewhere.  My basic landline only runs $35/month, so a bundle won’t save anything for me, anyway.
  6. Go prepaid with your cell phone. I have a coworker who pays, on average, $5/month for his cell phone.   I use mine far more than he does.  If you don’t talk much and don’t use data or texting, this can work out well for you.
  7. Shop online. I do shop online for a lot.  I even buy my toilet paper online.  For some things, I prefer to shop locally.  When a store owner gets to know you, he can get you some fantastic deals, and give you advice that can save you a ton of money.
  8. Get cash back. I have a couple of decent cash-back credit cards, but I won’t use them.   Until all of our credit card debt is paid, I won’t consider making regular use of any form of credit.  Your mileage may vary, but that’s the condition I had to set on myself to make our debt plan work.

How many of these ideas do you use?

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  • 3 comments

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    1. I’m working on the Getting Healthy too. Since July 4th, eating better food and smaller portions has successfully gotten me from 183-185 to 171. Woot!

      We also do as much shopping as possible online and use our cash back rewards cards for almost everything (obviously not a great suggestion for people that have credit card issues, but it works for us).

    2. My plan(and it’s a new plan) is the “Hara Hachi Bu” diet. It’s Confucian and followed by traditionalist Okinawans. Eat until I’m 80% full. That should make me feel completely full 20 minutes after I finish eating.

      And it should be painless. 🙂

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