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Bankrate's 2007 Living Green, Saving Green Guide
Green today
Learn 153 ways to be eco-friendly while saving green.
Green today
153 ways to go green
Money: Short term
Tips » Short term $ factor
Tip 141:
Direct-deposit your pay.
Most employers and banks can handle your request. In fact, they probably prefer the method.
$ Factor:
Your paycheck will always be in the bank, not in the mail, and there's no environmentally wasteful paper paycheck to worry about. So even when you're on vacation, your money is in your account, earning interest or making sure your upcoming bill e-payments can be made without any problem.
Tip 142:
Automatically put pay in savings account.
Have part of your pay automatically put into a savings account. All this typically takes is one extra checkbox when you have your paycheck directly deposited.
$ Factor:
The financial benefits are obvious. By sending the money directly to an account, you're not tempted to spend it frivolously. Also, it starts earning interest immediately. The system also saves you time and you won't waste gas by driving to the bank to make the transfer between accounts.
Tip 143:
Have your bills e-delivered.
The same principal and advantages apply to your credit card, utility and other monthly bills as apply to financial statements. You get timely notification and access through a secured Web site.
$ Factor:
With e-bills, you don't have to worry about lost mail. That means you can be sure you will know what you owe in plenty of time to make a payment. You'll avoid costly late charges on your credit accounts, while protecting even more trees from a needless death.
Tip 144:
Pay your bills electronically.
Once you're online looking at those charges, it just takes a couple extra clicks to make the payment.
$ Factor:
In addition to helping you become a prompt payer, which will help your credit score, and saving even more forests, e-payment can help you make a little money. Because you'll be able to make payments later in your billing cycle, your money will have more time to earn more interest for you.

You'll also save on stamps -- 15 stamps a month for a year equals almost $75 -- and last-minute trips to the post office that consume not only your precious time, but also fuel that adds to greenhouse emissions. An added bonus: You protect yourself from identity thieves who cruise streets, looking for curbside mailboxes full of bill payments and checks with all that personal information.

There is one thing to watch out for here. Even though it usually saves creditors money, too, a few still charge extra for e-payments.
Tip 145:
Donate your old vehicle to an environmental cause.
Yes, many of these groups will welcome that jalopy. Some will even come tow it away for you.
$ Factor:
The advantages to the groups are many. It might use the auto to help transport volunteers to environmental projects. It could sell the vehicle and use the cash for other projects. Either way, if you itemize, you might be able to get a deduction for your vehicular gift on your tax return. Just be sure to find out how the auto donation is used, as that will determine just how large your write-off will be.
Tip 146:
Get your investment account statements electronically.
In most cases, the process is identical to the one used for your bank's monthly e-statement. E-mail notification directs you to a secured Web site to see how much your assets are earning.
$ Factor:
Instant online access means you can quickly see if you need to rebalance your portfolio. Once you're at the secure Web page, it's usually just a few mouse clicks to shift to another, higher-yielding fund. And you'll feel good knowing that while you're saving money for your future, your dedication to electronic investing instead of by paper means you've saved even more future forests for your kids to enjoy.
-- Posted: Oct. 4, 2007
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