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Old 03-23-2009, 02:16 PM   #21
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This sounds quite good. Could you give concrete examples of the companies or types of companies you have called and what they did for you?

Ha
Home insurance - It seemed like my dwelling was over insured. I called and they ran their "estimator". It was over insured and it lowered my insurance by 40% - over $400. I also called a few months back and the lady recommended raising my deductible from $500 to $1000 saving a decent amount.

Car insurance - I was recently married and called about my wife's insurance. The guy recommended combining both cars onto the same policy saving 20% on her car premium.

TV - I was paying ~$40 on Dish Network. I called saying I wanted to cancel. The lady told me about a loyal customer package for $10 (+$5 for local channels). I have just about the same channels as the $40 package.

Internet - I have DSL and thought you needed a land phone line with it. I then read this about AT&T having to provide "naked" dsl. Naked AT&T DSL Expands - Though AT&T still doesn't tell anyone about it... - dslreports.com
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Old 03-23-2009, 02:20 PM   #22
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Learn how to minimize your car insurance.

Buy stuff you need at garage/rummage sales.

Use your library for DVD videos. We take out about 6 per week. Savings over NetFlix: $1,080 (over 10 years).

Fix your own stuff (dishwasher, washing machine, DVR, etc.).
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Old 03-23-2009, 02:31 PM   #23
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Use your library for DVD videos. We take out about 6 per week. Savings over NetFlix: $1,080 (over 10 years).
Hulu.com is also a great website to stream tv shows and movies. Library is good to save on books too.
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Old 03-23-2009, 02:38 PM   #24
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Learn to do math. Most people won't pay a capital expense to avoid eternal monthly fees, but sometimes the payback is well worth the investment.

Houses & cars-- buy 'em used and run 'em into the ground.

Avoid hobbies that require collecting & storing & arranging possessions.

Like T-Al said, public libraries & Goodwill & garage sales.
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:17 PM   #25
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Check the unclaimed property web site for your state. DW did that on a whim a year or two ago, and we came out $1700 richer - some old awards from a class action suit were waiting for me.
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:18 PM   #26
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I think for most folks, especially those starting out, the following advice is key:

Don't carry a balance on any credit card or department store account. This saves money by

A ) Forcing you to live within your paycheck, and
B ) You might have to save up the money to buy something, by the time you have saved the money, you can decide whether you really do want it after all, and
C ) You avoid all the interest payments and fees associating with using credit

all those savings can really add up over a lifetime. Or the converse, as unfortunately seems to happen to a huge number of people.

Audrey
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:23 PM   #27
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B ) You might have to save up the money to buy something, by the time you have saved the money, you can decided whether you really do want it after all
This is actually a very big one. It's easy to get suckered into buying a $1000 item by seeing "$35 a month for 36 months" since $35 a month seems like no big deal. But if you delay gratification, eventually you will have saved $1000 for it -- and you may find it harder to part with $1000 cash from your savings account than $35 a month from future cash flows for three years. And you may decide you'd rather have the grand in the bank. And if you do buy it, you've saved hundreds in interest charges and you don't have years of future obligations that can really screw you if something happens to your income.
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:29 PM   #28
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Yes. When you recognize you have limited resources (money), you are forced to prioritize and make tradeoffs. Easy credit (i.e. the illusion of unlimited resources) removes this key exercise in judgement and one tends to make much poorer choices.

Audrey
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:38 PM   #29
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If your cars have air conditioning filters you can take them out vacuum them then spray with simple green and using a paint brush scrub them under running water every 6 months or so. Make sure they are dry. You can do this atleast 3 times. Saves $120 a year for my two old lexi (plural for lexus) I do the same with airfilters as well once a year and this also saves $120...

You can do similar with decent quality home AC filters. I actually use the washable ones at HD and cut them to fit...

I finally stopped oil changes every 3000 miles and am up to 6000 and probably going to 7500 soon. At 6000 oil looks the same as at 3000. In the "old" days it looked really black at 3000 but not any more..

Use both sides of a Swiffer and vacuum them til the fall apart. (You can use both sides of your TP but this is for the extreme money savers only)..

W
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:55 PM   #30
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There are many others but these two will save you the most dough.

#1 Buy a cheap house
#2 Buy only used cars
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:59 PM   #31
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I have three tips.

(1) Along the lines of what Ziggy was saying, above: when I have several things in mind that I would like to do in the near future, and do not significantly prefer one to the other, I do the free things first.

Amazing how that lowers costs. You wouldn't think it would, but it does.

(2) An unrelated money-saving tip: In the summer, I keep the thermostat as warm as is comfortable, and wear nearly nothing and drink lots of ice water. In the winter I keep it as cool as is comfortable, and wear warm clothing and sit with a blanket on my lap.

What starts out being only a couple of degrees warmer or colder at first, ends up being a good ten degrees difference by the end of the season because the body acclimates as the season progresses.

To assist me in this, I have my programmable thermostat set with a default of 85 in the summer and 60 in the winter. If I do the manual override to, say, 70 in the winter, it will stay there for a couple of hours and then starts to drift colder. When I notice it is too cold, I manually raise it by just a degree or two.

(3) Another money-saving tip: choose your friends wisely. If your friends are not extravagant, you are less likely to spend money foolishly.
Good advice.
Winter: 60F, 50F at night
Summer: 80F or more (depending on humidity)
Get most entertainment from the internet
Replace stuff only when no longer functional
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Old 03-23-2009, 04:04 PM   #32
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(You can use both sides of your TP but this is for the extreme money savers only)..
You guys waste money on TP? Don't you have the 3 shells yet?

Seriously - and this won't apply to many here - get some money in the bank. 3 months or 6 months emergency fund, whatever. This gives you sooo much freedom and peace of mind.

Once you have this little sum saved up, you can take on a slight bit more risk in your life. You can afford to do things like jack up the deductibles on your home and auto insurance to save probably hundreds per year right off the bat. And skip all those expensive extended warranties. Just pay to fix/replace the item if it fails. Unexpected real emergency expense - charge it if you need to, but pay off the bill in full so you don't pay 28.99% interest to the credit card company.

Having money in the bank will also allow you to do "preventative maintenance" type stuff on your schedule. Get that tooth checked out or health issue looked into before the problem gets even more serious and ends up costing waaay more money. Change the oil regularly (per mfr's recommendation) so your engine won't fail prematurely.
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Old 03-23-2009, 04:16 PM   #33
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Recast your lead bullets.
Usually, after I shoot someone I dig out the bullet and recast it.
A good hobby that saves money and the environment.
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Old 03-23-2009, 04:57 PM   #34
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When you open a credit card account, don't get 2 cards, and don't give the 2nd card to your wife.
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:16 PM   #35
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Never buy uncomfortable shoes especially if they are expensive .
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:20 PM   #36
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When you open a credit card account, don't get 2 cards, and don't give the 2nd card to your wife.
or girlfriend or husband or boyfriend...
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Old 03-23-2009, 07:04 PM   #37
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Internet - I have DSL and thought you needed a land phone line with it. I then read this about AT&T having to provide "naked" dsl. Naked AT&T DSL Expands - Though AT&T still doesn't tell anyone about it... - dslreports.com
Here in California we keep the landline in case of an earthquake. I'm guessing that "naked dsl" would go out in a severe earthquake but let me know if I'm wrong.
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Old 03-23-2009, 07:11 PM   #38
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1) We use the Schwab VISA card for many purchases. It pays 2% back with no strings attached. I think you need to open a Schwab One account.

2) On sunny winter days we turn off the thermostat around noon and let the house warm up. Then I start a fire in the fireplace around 4pm or so. I use those little starter logs which I split in 4 pieces and so it starts 4 fires worth. A little butane soaking and the thing works like a charm if you first build a little wood "house" in your fireplace, then put the starter in the "house" and burn the "house" down .

P.S. You can also get a little nuts in retirement.
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:51 PM   #39
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Called my home/auto insurance company recently and indicated that I was thinking about getting a competitive quote and would they perhaps give me a requote. The savings? $629. No coverage limitation or deductible changes. The insurance industry seems to automatically raise rates every year, apparently counting on most of us just mailing in the check and not taking the time to ask for a requote.
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:57 PM   #40
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Recast your lead bullets.
Usually, after I shoot someone I dig out the bullet and recast it.
A good hobby that saves money and the environment.
Oh, so it was you.
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