101 ways to save $500 a month

Written by admin on May 21st, 2011

enough television. Instead, go online to places like Hulu and watch your favorite shows.

#64 Rent Cheaper – Movie lovers should sign up to a service like Netflix who will send you movies through the mail or download them directly from the website. The service is much cheaper than going to a rental store and you won’t have to worry about late fees. Another option is to rent from Redbox which provides the latest releases at about .00 per day.

#65 Afternoon Special – For movies that are still showing in theaters, go to a matinee rather than an evening show. You’ll save money and since there will be less people, you’ll be able to enjoy the show in peace and quiet.

#66 Do Lunch – Exchange your dinner reservations for lunch. The same tasty food will be served but at lunchtime prices which can be 20% less than dinnertime dollars.

#67 Have a Light Dinner – Ignore the dinner menu and order entrees or from the bar menu. Some of the food found on that side of the menu are enough to fill you up.

#68 Treat Yourself – Have a relaxing dinner at home then have only dessert at the restaurant.

#69 Get the Entertainment Book – The Entertainment book is a publication that includes coupons as well as a card that gets you deep discounts at restaurant and hotels. The cost of the book is around but pays for itself within a few uses.

Financial Services

#70 Banking Alerts – Overdraft charges are at an all time which the average fee coming in at a whopping per transaction. Set up alerts to your phone or email accounts that will let you know how much you have in your account and when bills are due to be paid.

#71 Avoid ATM fees – It seems insane but you can pay up to .50 per transaction for accessing your money from a non-proprietary ATM. Avoid the fee by only using your bank’s ATMs or opening an account with an online bank who will refund those fees to you.

#72 Free Checking – In this era of free checking, there is no good reason to continue using an account that charges you every month to hold onto your money. Switch to a no-fee, or free, checking account and save 0 or more every year.

#73 Open an Account – On average, check cashing places siphon 3-4% of your check every time you use the service. Avoid these fees by opening and using a free checking or savings account.

#74 Check Cashing – If for some reason you are not able to open a bank account, cash checks at places like Walmart which only charge a basic fee of .00 per check cashed.

#75 Prepaid Debit Card – Another good option for those without bank accounts is to use a prepaid credit card. Most cards allow direct deposit and will waive the monthly fee if you deposit a minimum amount into the account every month.

#76 Negotiate Credit Card Rates – Banks are raising interest rates in an effort to recapture some of the money they lost in the housing crisis. If you have good credit and have been a good customer, then call the credit card company and renegotiate your rates. If they won’t budge, threaten to move to another company. If they still won’t cave then transfer your balance to a credit card company that offers a better rate.

#77 Get Cash Back – A better deal is to switch to a card that gives cash back on purchases. Both Amex and Discover have cards that pay you for using them. It’s like getting an extra percentage off purchases.

#78 Pay Off Debt – A better plan is to pay off credit card debt all together. You’ll save thousands of dollars in interest rates and will enjoy the peace of mind that comes with being debt free.

#79 Pay Cash – You are far more likely to spend money if you use your debit card. Cut down the temptation by paying only in cash. You’ll actually feel the pain of parting ways with your money which will force you to think about whether or not you really need what you are buying.

Leisure and Travel

#80 Negotiate Your Rates – Use Priceline.com to negotiate lower prices on hotel rooms, flights and auto rentals. This is a great way to cut your travel costs especially if you are flexible in your travels dates. Visit BidOnTravel.com for great tips on successfully getting the price you want.

#81 Travel Off Peak – The majority of vacation destinations have peak tourism times, usually during the summer for amusement parks and the winter for tropical destinations. Traveling during the off peak season can provide significant discounts.

#82 Avoid Tourist Traps – Instead of going to a popular tourist destination, go someplace unique and less well known. You’ll still have a fun one of a kind vacation but will pay less for it.

#83 Timeshare – Ask around your social network for anyone who owns timeshare that they may not be using. Rather than let it go to waste, many people will rent it to you for cheap or let you stay for free.

#84 Free Food – Stay at hotel that offers free breakfast. You’ll – (for a family of 4) per day just eating at the hotel rather than going to a restaurant.

#85 Make Your Meals – It’s understandable that you go on vacation to get a break from maintaining the household. However, get a room with at least a microwave and fridge and purchase ready to eat meals and snacks. Eat lunch at the hotel and save your money for a fabulous dinner.

#86 Exchange Homes – Do a home exchange instead of staying in hotel when going on vacation. Find someone who lives in the town you want to visit and offer to exchange homes for a week. Need help finding people? Visit HomeExchange.com for offers.

#87 Fly Off Peak – Take inconvenient flights, like the redeye, for lower rates. Planes tend to be less crowded during that time so travel should be more comfortable.

#88 Nix Baggage Fees – Try to book flights on airlines that do not charge baggage fees for the first bag. AirTran, JetBlue, Southwest and Alaska Air give you the first bag for free. The others charge. Needless to say, the less bags you have, the less you will need to pay for your luggage.

#89 Pack a Lunch – If you are visiting amusement parks, instead of eating at the restaurants onsite, take food and snacks in cooler. Save your money for the rides and souvenirs.


#90 Home Security – Installing an alarm system can reduce your homeowner’s insurance premiums up to 20%.

#91 Say No to Pet Insurance – Unless your pet has chronic health problems or the breed is susceptible to expensive diseases, it is unlikely that the savings will ever be more than what you pay in premiums.

#92 Make Teens Pay – There is no doubt about it. Adding a teen driver to your car insurance policy can increase your premiums by as much as 96%. Although, you can reduce the rate by having your teen take a driving course (15% discount) and keep their grades up (25% good student discount), you can’t beat the 100% discount you’ll get by having your child pay for their own insurance. Offer to help pay for a car if the teen agrees to be responsible for their own insurance payments.

#93 Squeeze the Discounts – Often an affiliation, such as AAA or AARP will net you a discount off your insurance rates. Be sure to talk to your broker about any that you may qualify for.

#94 Raise your Deductible – Raising your insurance deductible can reduce your insurance premiums by as much as 14% (@ 00 deductible). It’s better to up your deductible and set that money aside in an interest bearing account.

#95 Drop Collision – Unless it is a collector car, you can probably get away with dropping collision coverage on it. If the replacement value of the car is significantly less than the amount you’d pay for a years worth of collision coverage, then drop the additional insurance.

#96 Pay as You Drive – Insurance companies, such as Progressive, are starting to offer plans that base your premiums on how much you use your car rather than your driving record. If you are an occasional driver, then installing the wireless device that tracks your driving could save you up to 30% off your premiums.

#97 Price Comparison – It is a good idea that whenever your insurance policy comes up for renewal to take some time to compare rates with other insurance companies. However, don’t be so quick to switch. Sometimes calling your current company with your findings is enough to get them to lower your rates.

Personal Development

#98 Write it Down – It will be much easier to stick with your financial goals if you write down what they are and review them often. It’ll help take the edge off living a frugal life, especially if you are not used to it, if you have a clear idea of why you are doing it.

#99 Take it Easy – Living more frugal is really a lifestyle. And like all lifestyle changes, it takes time to really get into the groove of things. Cut yourself some slack especially if you are working on more than one goal. For example, if you quit smoking at the same time, focusing more on getting rid of the cigarette habit will eventually save you tons of money in both product costs and health care costs.

#100 Drop Expensive Habits

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