investing

Building an emergency fund

Rev up auto savings
11. Plan your errands. Combine errands into one trip and plan your stops for the most-efficient route. You'll save yourself time and money.

12. Buy retread tires instead of new tires. Retread tires are cheaper, safe and environmentally friendly. To learn more about retread tires and locate a local supplier, visit the Environmental Protection Agency's Web site.

13. Take it easy. Your vehicle will burn less gas if you accelerate and brake gradually.

Save on insurance costs
14. Analyze your homeowners coverage. Check if there's any coverage you have that you can do without. Consider raising your deductible to save money on premiums.

15. Compare health plans. Working couples can reduce out-of-pocket medical expenses and premiums by carefully comparing the costs of the benefits offered by each employer to find the best deal.

16. Get a break on car insurance for good behavior. Ask about discounts if you've gone a certain number of years without an accident or ticket, store your car in a garage or drive fewer than a certain number of miles each year.

17. Keep a good credit rating. Many insurance companies use your credit rating to determine whether to insure you and how much to charge.

18. Get rid of private mortgage insurance. If you have 20 percent equity in your home, you could qualify to start saving that money.

19. Adjust your auto coverage. If the kids have left for good, take them off the policy. If they are simply away at college, ask about a distant student credit. Usually it applies if your child is a full-time student, has gone at least a certain distance to college and hasn't taken one of the family cars to campus. For students who keep cars on campus, some insurance companies offer "good student" discounts to students who maintain a certain grade point average.

-- Posted: July 23, 2007

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