1. You don't have to spend
a bunch of money to have fun. Go to a local park, and throw
a Frisbee around. Go walking, jogging or hiking. It's free and
good for you. Getting yourself into better health today may lower
your medical bills later in life.
2. Most first-run movies don't
measure up. Wait until you hear a few rave reviews before
going to a flick.
3. Get rid of that ''1,000
mega-channel lineup,'' and switch to basic cable. You can
save as much as $20 a month. Or, delete television from your life.
It cuts the 'I wants' drastically.
4. Instead of eating in a
restaurant, order out! You will save 15 percent to 20 percent
on a tip.
5. Stop shopping as a hobby.
Stay away from the malls, and keep your checkbook and credit cards
6. Join the frequent-flier
program of each airline that you fly to earn free tickets.
Take advantage of credit card air-mile programs. The miles accumulate
7. Car pool when possible
or use mass transit. In cities where you are able to use
a transfer on the bus or subway, save it and use it for your return
trip. Time your trips, so you travel during the discounted hours.
8. If you live in an area
with increasing home prices, buy a rental property. Live
in it for two years, so you can avoid capital gains when you sell.
Hang on to the property, and let the tenants pay the mortgage;
you get the tax write-off.
9. Sell the big house, and
get an affordable townhouse or smaller home. Do you really
need a family room, a living room, an entertainment room, a den
and a three-car garage?
10. Rent out a room in your
home. If you have more space than you need, rent the basement
or extra room to a student, particularly if you live in an area
that has several universities.
11. A lot of people keep change
in a big jar and let it accumulate. Why not count the change
regularly and buy
U.S. savings bonds? Bonds yield more interest than the money
was earning in the jar.
12. Always ask for a 10-percent
discount, no matter what the merchant sells. You'd be surprised
how often it works. A 10 percent-discount achieved half of the
time is comparable to a 5-percent increase in your salary!
13. Put cash back in your
pocket by taking the clothing you no longer wear -- yet still
in good condition -- to a consignment shop. The store will
split the profits with you. At the end of the consignment period,
donate unsold items to charity and enjoy the tax deduction. There
are also consignment shops for furniture.
14. Never buy new furniture.
It is sold at a higher markup than almost any consumer item.
15. Get rid of all of the
credit cards but one. Take that one and make it hard to
impulse shop with -- bury it in the backyard or freeze it in a
bowl of water in your refrigerator. Read your monthly statements
carefully -- look out for the hidden charges, such as credit insurance.
16. Keep receipts on all purchases.
Unfortunately many products are made cheaply. With a receipt,
you can bring back the product for a replacement or refund.
17. If your power company
offers a special energy-saving program, sign up and start saving.
Some programs shut down electric appliances for short bursts of
time during peak hours. You hardly notice the difference -- except
in your bill.
18. Don't order new checks
through the bank. Order new checks through one of the discount
catalogs or through an office-supply warehouse. The savings are
19. Clip coupons from the
Sunday paper. Organize them in a coupon pouch with one
section for grocery shopping and one for fast food and restaurant
20. If the opportunity exists, work overtime
or an extra shift at least once or twice a month.
-- Posted: Sept. 28, 2001