25 Easy Ways to Save

There are many ways to save money. Here are just a few for you to consider:

  1. Use the library. You can borrow not only books but also videos, audiotapes and CDs.
  2. Ask your credit card company to waive your annual fee, or change your credit card to one that doesn't charge an annual fee.
  3. Find a credit card with the lowest interest rate through Bank Rate Monitor (www.bankrate.com).
  4. Pay your entire credit card balance monthly.
  5. If you use a cellular phone, shop around and get the best plan for the calls you actually make and receive. Don't pay for time and features you don't use.
  6. Ask your telephone long-distance carrier to give you its best rate or else change carriers. If you get a six-month introductory rate, call the carrier after six months to ask that it be continued.
  7. Use the ATM machine at your own bank to avoid paying a service charge.
  8. Buy generic brands at the supermarket and clip coupons if you have the time.
  9. Don't buy a higher grade of gasoline than your car's manufacturer recommends, and rotate your tires as recommended.
  10. Use public transportation.
  11. Turn the heat down when you're out of the house all day.
  12. Don't pay for cable TV if you can rent movies for less than your monthly cable bill.


  1. Buy a used car instead of a brand-new one. A car depreciates in value most during the first year or two.
  2. Shop around periodically to check comparable rates on your auto and home insurance.
  3. You can probably save $1,000 a year by taking your lunch to work.
  4. Pay all your bills the first day of the month to avoid late charges.
  5. Don't buy life insurance unless you need it (that is, if you have dependents).
  6. The IRS doesn't pay interest on your money, so don't use big refunds as a way to "save."
  7. If you itemize deductions on your tax return, be very diligent about saving receipts on everything that may be tax-deductible. Even little expenses add up to a savings on your tax bill.
  8. Buy items out of season, when they are on sale.
  9. Take the good clothes you are just tired of wearing to a consignment shop and shop for something that's new to you while you're there.
  10. Use a debit card from your bank if you have a problem controlling your urge to overspend on your credit card. It's the same as if you were writing a check, so be sure to enter each use in your check register in order to keep track of your balance.
  11. See if there is a credit union you can join. Credit unions often have free checking and better interest rates for car loans, and they may even give you some interest on your checking account. If your job doesn't offer a credit union, check your academic or religious affiliations; family members are also often eligible.
  12. Find the lowest airfare and hotel prices by doing research online.
  13. Always ask hotels for their best rate when you make a reservation. You may be pleasantly surprised.
  14. Avis Pohl is a certified financial planner based in Boulder, Colorado. Her mission is to provide financial guidance and education for women. She has just joined The Vanguard Group as an "education specialist."

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