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Found Money: Surprising Ways to Save

Published 8/8/2007 4:19:40 PM Views: 1839
e Finance Loans (eFinanceLoans) Refinance Loans, is a information source for ways to save, personal finance, personal savings, increase savings ways to save, personal finance, personal savings, increase savings

Looking for money? Check your car, your mortgage - your child?

By Suze Orman

Sometimes I wonder if Washington has a clue what regular Americans are dealing with financially. All those official pronouncements that inflation is “under control” or that the economy is “growing” don’t seem to have much to do with the reality most of us know: Everything just keeps getting more expensive.

Lately, real life has been making some pretty emphatic pronouncements of its own. Here are a few I’ve noticed:

* Filling up your gas tank costs about 50 percent more today than it did two years ago. And with crude oil setting new price records, get ready for more increases.
* Credit card companies are doubling the minimum monthly required payment for many consumers.
* Skyrocketing home values have meant sharply higher mortgage payments (and bigger down payments) for home buyers. And rising interest rates are going to boost payments on any home equity lines of credit or adjustable rate mortgages.
* If you’re lucky enough to have health insurance coverage through work, chances are you’re being forced to pay more out-of-pocket.

That’s why I think now is a perfect time to show you some ways to save smart. With minimal attention and effort, I bet you can reduce your typical costs by at least 10 to 15 percent -- maybe even a lot more. This stuff is not about making any major life changes. The truth is that you may well be needlessly tossing away a bucket of money each year, simply by being a bit careless here and there.

With that in mind, here are some simple and surprising ways to save.

Drive a Better Deal
Your car is full of money-saving moves. For starters, next time you pull up to the pump, think twice about paying for premium gas. The reality is that most cars operate just fine with the less-expensive grade. Check your owner's manual to see if premium is required or merely recommended. Then, keep an eye out for gas bargains in your area. You might even try a little research. Websites like www.gasbuddy.com specialize in providing neighborhood gas prices.

Take Credit More Seriously
We seem to be becoming a nation of reckless chargers. It drives me crazy how much money is thrown away because of sloppy card management, especially for those of you who carry a balance from month-to-month. If you aren't paying off your bill each month, you need to pay a lot more attention to your interest rate. The average is a whopping 15 percent!

Home in on the Right Low Down Payment Mortgage
With the average price of a home climbing above $200,000, it's understandable that many home buyers don't have the full 20 percent down payment that lenders want to see. That means more home buyers are getting stuck paying "Private Mortgage Insurance," an added monthly charge that protects the lender if you ultimately can't keep up with your mortgage payments.

Give Smart
Financially speaking, I can't make any sense out of garage sales. You have to invest a lot of time to hold one, when you could simply take all your unwanted stuff down to the local charity (or even ask them to come cart it away for you) and claim the donation as a tax deduction. Do you really want to spend a weekend holding a garage sale-with no guarantee you will clear out everything you don't want-when you can spend an hour or two gathering up your stuff and making a donation whose tax value will likely exceed the value of your garage sale's proceeds?

Suze Orman has been called “a force in the world of personal finance” and a “one-woman financial advice powerhouse” by USA Today. She is the author of four consecutive New York Times bestsellers, including The Road to Wealth. Suze Orman, a Certified Financial Planner Professional®, directed the Suze Orman Financial Group from 1987-1997, served as Vice President of Investments for Prudential Bache Securities from 1983-87, and from 1980-83, was an Account Executive at Merrill Lynch.

Watch Suze every Saturday night on CNBC. Check www.suzeorman.com for TV listings. More great advice on Suze's blog.

Title: Found Money: Surprising Ways to Save
Tagged: ways to save, personal finance, personal savings, increase savings
Description: Looking for money? Check your car, your mortgage - your child?
e Finance Loans (eFinanceLoans) Refinance Loans, is a information source for ways to save, personal finance, personal savings, increase savings ways to save, personal finance, personal savings, increase savings

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