Ways to Save Money From Readers Digest
These are several tips for people to save money as per Readers Digest.
1. Get bargain electricity.
Mr. Greenblatt was spending almost $250 a month on electricity in his house in Potomac, Md and he needed help with his bills. When he contacted his utility company to learn how he could get help and why his electric bills were so high, the utility company offered to provide him with a free home-energy audit. Greenblatt then learned that doing simple things like running his dishwasher at nighttime rather than during the daytime could lower his utility bill by 40 percent. By taking advantage of such easy things as off-peak rates, consumers can save over $100 a year.
You can also get savings under "load management" programs. You can also get help on your bills by receiving a utility bill discount for allowing your utility company to put a device on your air conditioner and water heater that will switch them off for very short periods during periods of peak energy demand. Electric bill assistance programs also exist.
2. Automobile-insurance rates.
You can save a substantial amount of money by increasing the deductibles you need to pay on the collision and comprehensive portions of your automobile policy. Per the Insurance Information Institute, raising the collision deductibles from $200 to $500 could lower your comprehensive and collision by 15-30 percent. You can squeeze out additional savings by asking the insurance carrier about every possible discount, such as air bags, for carpooling, annual mileage below 10,000 miles, alumni or job associations, are just to name a few.
3. Contest your property tax.
Ruth Rejnis, who is the author of Squeeze Your Home for Cash, highly recommends that you need to go to your local assessor's office and find out how much property taxes your neighbors are paying. It is estimated about 60% of homes are assessed too high. If your house is similar to your neighbors, but your taxes are higher, you need to challenge your property tax bill. Also, you need to read the description of your home. Common errors in square footage or the number of bathrooms will mean you are paying more in taxes then you need to, often times hundreds of dollars more. The local board of tax review or assessor’s office can tell you how to file an appeal.
4. Remedy pricey drug prescriptions.
Lower your medical bills by purchasing generic drugs instead of name brands. Generics work exactly the same and will help you just as much as name brands. Also, you need to buy your prescriptions via mail order using a drugstore chain or your company health plan. Find other ways to get help with paying medical bills.
5. Pay off your credit cards
If you have a credit-card balance that carries over from month to month, you need to pay it back immediately. A $1000 credit card balance at 18 percent costs you $200 a year in interest. If you can't pay your credit cards bills in full, transfer your credit card debt to a lower-rate card. Read about more ways to find help paying credit cards.
6. Clean out and “donate” your closet.
When you deduct charitable donations of your old items, such as clothing at tax time, do you just guess $100? William Lewis, who is the author of Cash for Your Used Clothing, claims most people underestimate the value of such donations.
Before you donate your clothes, price each item against similar items sold at the store where you drop them off. If you are in a 28-percent tax bracket, a donation that is worth $400 will earn you a tax deduction of about $115.
7. Skip the extended service contract.
Extended warranties on most items, including electronics, are rarely a good deal. According to Tom Garman, who is a Virginia Tech professor on consumer affairs, many product breakdowns will occur in the first year, if they are going to break, and they are covered by the manufacturer's warranty.
8. Buy items in bulk.
Items you may buy or use a lot, such as diapers or paper towels, are always much cheaper when paying for them in quantity. For example, Alan and Denise Fields, the authors of Baby Bargains, states that new parents will buy an average of 2500 disposable diapers in their baby's first year alone. Those diapers that you need to pay 20 cents for apiece in the packages that are sold at drugstores and grocery shops might go for only 15 cents when you buy them in in bulk at a warehouse club or discount store. Saving just a nickel a diaper could help you save up to $120 per year.