Twenty five ways to save money each month

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<ul><li><p> AOKliving---Enjoy Real Perfect Living Everyday</p><p>Twenty-Five Ways to Save More Each Month </p><p>The more we spend unnecessarily, the less money we save for our true priorities and </p><p>future needs. That's especially important in challenging economic times. </p><p>BusinessWeek asked financial advisors for tips on how to reduce expenses and boost </p><p>savings. Changing spending habits can be difficult, but here are 25 suggestions to get </p><p>started. </p></li><li><p> AOKliving---Enjoy Real Perfect Living Everyday</p><p>Track Every Expense </p><p>Financial advisors say the best way to control your spending is to know precisely where all </p><p>your cash is going each month. There are several options: Make a budget; keep a </p><p>spreadsheet of all spending; or buy a computer program designed to help manage your </p><p>finances. </p></li><li><p> AOKliving---Enjoy Real Perfect Living Everyday</p><p>Vacation in the Off-season </p><p>Reston (Va.)-based financial planner Frank Boucher says he is taking his beach vacation </p><p>in early September, when he found a luxury condo for half its cost during July and August. </p><p>Vacationers can also save by staying with friends or visiting low-cost locations like </p><p>developing countries. </p></li><li><p> AOKliving---Enjoy Real Perfect Living Everyday</p><p>Cut Out Investment Charges and Fees </p><p>Jeff Seymour of Triangle Wealth Management in Cary, N.C., points out that many </p><p>investors end up paying 2% to 3% off the top each year for investing costs. Lower-cost </p><p>mutual funds and index funds can slash that bill, savings that compound over several </p><p>decades of investing. </p><p>Also, save more by taking full advantage of your employer's matching contribution to your </p><p>401(k) account. </p></li><li><p> AOKliving---Enjoy Real Perfect Living Everyday</p><p>Cut Back on Eating Out </p><p>Food is a daily expense that can add up quickly over time, so office workers can save a lot </p><p>just by bringing their lunches to work rather than buying every day. Meals eaten at home </p><p>almost always cost less than evenings out, even at more casual restaurants. </p></li><li><p> AOKliving---Enjoy Real Perfect Living Everyday</p><p>Downsize Your Car </p><p>Drivers stuck with a gas-guzzling SUV might consider selling it and finding more </p><p>fuel-efficient wheels. (Of course, that could mean a financial hit given falling prices for the </p><p>behemoths.) You can save on fuel and also on auto loan payments. High car payments </p><p>are a frequent budget-buster, financial advisors say. </p></li><li><p> AOKliving---Enjoy Real Perfect Living Everyday</p><p>Cut Utility Bills, Especially Electricity </p><p>Experts are full of advice on lowering electricity and heating bills: Buy efficient light bulbs; </p><p>lower the thermostat; turn off the air conditioning whenever possible; turn off lights and </p><p>unplug appliances when not needed. </p></li><li><p> AOKliving---Enjoy Real Perfect Living Everyday</p><p>Make Sure You Don't Have Too Much Insurance </p><p>Life insurance can be a bad deal if you don't have dependents. For auto and home </p><p>insurance, deductibles are often too low, advisors say. "You can save quite a bit by going </p><p>from a $250 to $1,000 deductible," says Kirk Kinder of Picket Fence Financial in Bel Air, </p><p>Md. "Also, shopping these for prices every couple years is important." </p></li><li><p> AOKliving---Enjoy Real Perfect Living Everyday</p><p>Find Cheaper Beverages to Drink </p><p>If you can break your addiction to fancy coffee, the free office coffee can be a money-saver </p><p>over time. Unwilling to give up out-of-office coffee breaks, some thrifty consumers switch </p><p>to a cheaper drink at their local Starbucks (SBUX) or other coffee shop. For alcoholic </p><p>drinks, quality wines, beers, and liquor can be found at lower prices with a little research. </p></li><li><p> AOKliving---Enjoy Real Perfect Living Everyday</p><p>Examine Your Phone Service </p><p>Do you need both a landline and a mobile phone? If you have a cell phone, do you need </p><p>long-distance service on your home phone? Canceling one line could mean one less bill </p><p>every month. Many people have phone packages that are too expensive for their needs, </p><p>so read your bill carefully. </p></li><li><p> AOKliving---Enjoy Real Perfect Living Everyday</p><p>Stop Paying for Premium Cable </p><p>Some penny-pinchers cancel cable service entirely to save $100 or more each month. </p><p>Others lower their bills by cutting out premium movie channels. </p></li><li><p> AOKliving---Enjoy Real Perfect Living Everyday</p><p>Drive Less; Consolidate Trips </p><p>Think before jumping in the car. By planning and running many errands on the same car </p><p>trip, you cut your fuel usage. Rather than driving, consider using public transportation, or </p><p>walk, bike, or rollerblade somewhere nearby. </p></li><li><p> AOKliving---Enjoy Real Perfect Living Everyday</p><p>Use Warehouse Stores Wisely </p><p>Warehouse stores like Costco (COST) or Wal-Mart's (WMT) Sam's Club can be great </p><p>places to get deals, but they can also encourage over-spending. "Just make sure you go </p><p>with a list and only buy those things that you are actually going to consume," financial </p><p>planner Frank Boucher says. "It makes no sense to get a 'bargain' on a bulk item if you are </p><p>going to throw half of it away." </p></li><li><p> AOKliving---Enjoy Real Perfect Living Everyday</p><p>Lay Down the Law with Your Free-Spending Friends </p><p>It can be hard to keep up with wealthier or less thrifty friends. Some financial planners </p><p>advise cash-strapped clients to seek out social companions with similar budgets. However, </p><p>if you're honest about your spending limits, true friends should be willing to adjust their </p><p>plans by, for example, choosing a less pricey restaurant. </p></li><li><p> AOKliving---Enjoy Real Perfect Living Everyday</p><p>Find Free Entertainment </p><p>Movie rentals, cable TV packages, book purchases, concert ticketsit can all add up. Use </p><p>your local public library to read books and rent films for free. Depending on where you live, </p><p>it might also be possible to find free concerts, performances, and readings. </p></li><li><p> AOKliving---Enjoy Real Perfect Living Everyday</p><p>Consider Alternatives to a Gym Membership </p><p>The health benefits of a fitness club membership are only worthwhile if you go often. But </p><p>there are other options: Exercise at home, outside, or at a local parks facility. Or, sign up </p><p>for individual exercise or yoga classes rather than a full membership. </p></li><li><p> AOKliving---Enjoy Real Perfect Living Everyday</p><p>Cut Your Own Lawn </p><p>Michelle Goldstein of Goldstein Financial Future in Dallas estimates her family saves $40 </p><p>each time they mow their own lawn instead of calling a lawn service. </p></li><li><p> AOKliving---Enjoy Real Perfect Living Everyday</p><p>Be Smart with Credit Cards </p><p>Financial advisors admonish clients to pay off their bills each month to avoid interest and </p><p>finance charges. For those stuck with debt, move cash to cards with low interest rates. </p><p>Some find they spend less on impulse purchases if they cut up their credit cards and use </p><p>only cash instead. </p></li><li><p> AOKliving---Enjoy Real Perfect Living Everyday</p><p>Annualize Your Expenses </p><p>When reviewing your spending habits, roughly calculate how much they're costing over </p><p>the course of a year. "Realizing how much things cost over the course of a year can really </p><p>help put things in perspective," says Bob Nusbaum of Middle America Planning in </p><p>Pittsburgh. For example, if you spend $10 for snacks and lunch each weekday, that adds </p><p>up to $2,500 in a year. </p></li><li><p> AOKliving---Enjoy Real Perfect Living Everyday</p><p>Force Yourself to Save </p><p>One way to save more is to trick yourself. Transfer money automatically from paychecks </p><p>into savings or investment accounts. With less available in your checking account, you'll </p><p>be more careful about your spending. Gradually increase your automatic savings rate over </p><p>time. </p></li><li><p> AOKliving---Enjoy Real Perfect Living Everyday</p><p>Institute a Waiting Period for Major Purchases </p><p>Wait at least 48 hours before deciding to buy anything over a certain price limit$50 for </p><p>example. After the waiting period is over, "You may decide that the object desired really </p><p>isn't worth the price," says Jennifer Hartman of Greenleaf Financial Group in Los Angeles. </p></li><li><p> AOKliving---Enjoy Real Perfect Living Everyday</p><p>Pay Bills OnlineSave on Stamps, Avoid Late Fees </p><p>Set up your finances so bills are paid automatically or online at the click of a mouse. </p><p>"There's no reason to pay for stamps and envelopes and run the risk of a late-payment fee </p><p>when bill-pay programs are usually free," says Walt Mozdzer. </p></li><li><p> AOKliving---Enjoy Real Perfect Living Everyday</p><p>Make Sure You're Deducting All Business Expenses </p><p>Chris Long of Long &amp; Associates in Chicago says clients often make the mistake of mixing </p><p>personal and business expenses on one credit card. That makes them less likely to get </p><p>reimbursed for expenses by employers or to deduct expenses from taxes. </p></li><li><p> AOKliving---Enjoy Real Perfect Living Everyday</p><p>Buy Generic Drugs and Groceries </p><p>Store-brand products in grocery stores are often made by the same manufacturers as the </p><p>brand-name items. If you take prescription drugs, ask your pharmacist if a cheaper, </p><p>generic version is available. </p></li><li><p> AOKliving---Enjoy Real Perfect Living Everyday</p><p>Buy Used </p><p>Cars, books, furniture, and even clothing can be bought used for a fraction of their original </p><p>cost. New cars in particular often aren't worth the extra cost; a lightly used vehicle can </p><p>save you thousands of dollars with little or no extra maintenance expenses. </p></li><li><p> AOKliving---Enjoy Real Perfect Living Everyday</p><p>Shop Smart </p><p>Coupons are a classic way for shoppers to get great deals. Supermarkets vying for </p><p>shoppers will frequently run "double coupon" promotions. Comparison-shopping on the </p><p>Internet is easy thanks to a variety of sites designed to help shoppers find the best deals. </p><p>When retail Web sites ask for "coupon codes," try to find one by using a search engine. </p><p>But whether online or in person, avoid the temptation of bargain-hunting for items you </p><p>don't really need. "Most of the time if an item is 20% off, we waste $8 to save that $2," says </p><p>Neerja Bhutani of Bhutani-Palmin Financial Planning in Walnut Creek, Calif. </p></li></ul>