February 15th, 2012
In her blog post “Put More Cash in Your Pocket,” Vera Gibbons offers some tips and tricks for getting the most bang for your buck.
Give yourself a raise: If you typically get a big tax return, Gibbons suggests changing your allowances on your W-4 so that less cash gets taken out of each check. There’s other ways to use your taxes, too. If you get a big return, consider putting it towards any debt you may have, starting with the debt with the highest interest rate. This could save you hundreds of dollars in interest in the long run.
With leads to tip number two from Gibbons: Nibble away at your mortgage. Even with historically low interest rates, this could save you big money.
Clean out your drawers: You’d be surprised at the number of rebates, refunds, gift cards, and bonds people have laying around that they’ve forgotten about.
Redeem points and miles: Redeem them, and take advantage of them when offered. Many people don’t go through the hassle of signing up for store cards (NOT credit cards) and rewards programs, but if it’s a store you frequently shop at, you should. For example, most grocery stores and pharmacies offer such cards, and they’re usually free.
No more impulse buys: When you’re going shopping, make a list and stick to it. This is especially important with grocery shopping. Make a list of the meals you’ll eat for the week and the ingredients you’ll need, and don’t buy beyond that. Food that doesn’t fit somewhere into the plan usually goes to waste.
Avoid retail ripoffs: Many of us are suckers for sales. And while some sales are truly great deals, some are anything but. For example, an item that is overpriced to begin with isn’t a great deal just because it’s on sale. Do your homework and shop around before diving into a purchase.