Way to Save #74: Ask And You Might Receive

on October 1, 2009

Years ago, Money Magazine called 10 credit card lenders and merely asked them to lower their interest rates. Three out of 10 did it! This could work in all areas of banking. If your bank is charging you high interest or high fees, try saying something like, “Gee, I’ve banked here for years, but I … Continued

Way to Save #73: Be Aware of Fee Changes

on September 30, 2009

Did you know that banks most often mail notices of fee increases between Thanksgiving and Christmas? That’s because they know that you’re least likely to read it during that busy time. Don’t let them fool you. Read fee notices.

Way to Save #72: Find Fee Free Checking

on September 29, 2009

Don’t pay fees to have a checking account. There are now online banks that will charge you nothing for your checking account, and even pay interest on it. Shop around, and you might even find the same with old-fashioned bricks-and-mortar banks. Eliminating the fee on your checking account could easily save you $100 a year.

Way to Save #71: Check Your Checks

on September 28, 2009

There’s no law that says you have to buy checks and deposit slips from your bank. In fact, there are companies that will sell you checks you can use with your bank for 50% less.

Way to Save #70: Don't Use Passbook Savings Accounts

on September 27, 2009

These accounts are old-fashioned and pay very little interest. You’re much better off with your bank’s money market account. You’ll earn more interest, your money will be just as safe, and you’ll still be able to get to it at any time. For a little more interest with just a tiny bit more risk, consider … Continued

Way to Save #69: Use Only Your Bank's ATM

on September 26, 2009

Use only your bank’s ATM. Using a foreign bank racks up not only their ATM fee, but any fee your bank imposes, too. Avoid fees to get to your own money!

Way to Save #68: Don't Use A Bank

on September 25, 2009

Instead, use a credit union. Credit unions generally offer lower rates on loans, higher rates on savings, and lower fees than commercial banks. To find one that will accept you as a member, ask your employer or open the yellow pages and make a few calls.

Way to Save #67: Shop Your Banks

on September 24, 2009

As banks consolidate, competition is decreasing and fees are increasing. Think about the services you need first, then call around and see who can deliver them for the least money. Do you do a lot of ATM transactions? Then you need a bank with lots of branches and ATM machines to avoid paying “foreign” ATM … Continued

Way to Save #65: Don’t Let Your Doctor Cost You

on September 22, 2009

Don’t let your doctor cost you money. If your health insurance provider agrees to pay 80% of covered procedures, that generally means they’ll pay 80% of what they think is reasonable for that procedure, not 80% of whatever it costs. So find out what your insurance company is willing to pay and if your doctor can … Continued

Way to Save #64: Keep Health Insurers Honest

on September 21, 2009

If you’re like most people, you pay no attention to your health coverage. So when your insurer messes up, which they frequently do, you don’t know it. For example, many policies have a deductible of $200 per person, $400 per family. But are you keeping track of when you reach those magic numbers? Don’t assume … Continued

Way to Save #63: Don't Buy Specialty Insurance

on September 20, 2009

Don’t buy specialty insurance, like cancer coverage. Put your money into a good general health insurance policy instead.

Way to Save #62: Minimal Travel Insurance

on September 19, 2009

If you’re going to buy travel insurance, make sure you only get coverages you need, like trip cancellation coverage. Policies insuring your luggage are normally so riddled with exceptions that they’re virtually useless.

Way to Save #61: Get Rid Of PMI

on September 18, 2009

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is normally required if you have less than 20% equity in your home. And it can easily cost $50 a month! As soon as you’re sure you’ve got the magic 20%, whether it’s by appreciation or paying off mortgage principal, call your lender and tell them you want out of PMI. … Continued

Way to Save #60: Keep Insurance Active

on September 17, 2009

If you’re changing policies, make sure your new one is in effect before you drop your old one. This applies to every kind of coverage: health, life, homeowners and automotive.

Way to Save #59: Get What's Coming To You

on September 16, 2009

Keep the following list of possible discounts available and ask for them all when you get car insurance quotes (many might be applicable to homeowners as well.) Accident-free, multiple cars, short mileage (usually less than 7,500 miles per year) good student, absent student (if your kid is away at school without their car, they might … Continued

Way to Save #58: Flaunt Your Good Driving Record

on September 15, 2009

If you’ve had no accidents or tickets during the last three years, make sure your rates reflect that. Most insurance companies don’t automatically lower your premiums when old citations fall away. You have to call and make them reduce your bill.

Way to Save #57: Cancel Your Car Coverage

on September 14, 2009

This may seem like a strange idea, but if the cost of your annual comprehensive/collision coverage is more than 10% of the value of your car, you could consider dropping it. (Obviously you should never under any circumstances drive without liability!) For example, if you’re paying $500 in comp/collision premiums to cover a car that’s … Continued

Way to Save #56: Shop Your Insurance Coverage

on September 13, 2009

Whatever type of insurance you have, you should shop it every six months. This is a competitive business, and getting more so all the time. So pull out those policies and make sure you’re getting the best deal!

Way to Save #54: Don't Buy Whole Life Insurance

on September 11, 2009

Whole life, or permanent life insurance, combines a life insurance policy with an investment account. Unless you’re rich and need a permanent policy to help pay estate taxes, it’s generally a better idea to buy cheaper term coverage and do your own investing separately.

Way to Save #53: Don't Buy Credit Life Insurance

on September 10, 2009

These are gimmick policies that are basically life insurance that’s tied to specific debts, like a credit card or mortgage. Regular term life insurance is a much less expensive alternative.

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