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4 Money Saving Cut Backs

4 ways you can easily save a few bucks month.

I’m sure if you’re reading this article right now, you’re trying to find ways to save.  There are millions of ways to save but I’ve found the best way to save is by simply cutting back on things you use every day.  By cutting back on these simple items, you can easily see yourself saving a few dollars each week.  I know it doesn’t sound like a lot but it adds up quick!  Let’s get the list started.

Stop the coffee purchase

Americans love to buy coffee and last year’s statistics show that the average price of coffee is $1.38.  If you find yourself going to the local Tim Horton’s or McDonald’s for your coffee, simply cut back completely and brew your coffee at home.  If your office offers coffee at no cost, wait until you get there.  This alone can save you $7/week.

Cut the smoking

We’ve heard the ads and public service announcements that cigarettes are bad for you but they are also bad for your wallet.  The government loves to tax the smokers.  Why do they do this you might ask?  It’s a very simple answer.  The government knows you’re going to pay the tax.  In 2007, the average pack of cigarettes cost was $.4.50 per pack.  If you smoke a pack a day, you’re looking at $31.50.  I know it’s hard to break the habit but if you throw that number out in front of you every time you buy a pack, you’ll find yourself quitting sooner or later.  You’re not only going to help your wallet, you’re going to be a lot healthier.

Go with the tap

If you would have asked me thirty years ago that the foreseeable future included water in a bottle, everyone would have laughed at you thinking on how ridiculous you are.  Well, today the average cost of bottled water costs around $1 and people love to buy it daily!  Bottled water is great for your body, we all need it but If you simply bottle your own tap water, you’re looking at a savings of $365/year.

Pack your lunch

If you find yourself being unmotivated before you go to work, you might be spending a lot of money because of it.  If you currently go out to eat every day for lunch, you’re looking at an average of nine dollars a meal.  This number can add up quickly.  Depending on what you’re eating, the food can also be very bad for you, especially if it’s fast food.  Studies have shown that if you pack a lunch, you’re potentially saving $5 per workday.  This is a savings of $25 per week.

Now let’s say you’re a victim of all four of these.  If you really go back and glance at these, there are solutions to all of them.  I’m saying you don’t have to get rid of them; you just have to put more effort into being creative.  Even if you want to continue to smoke, simply make your own cigarettes.  Being motivated and not lazy can save you a lot of money.  Remember, there are a million other ways to save, it’s your job to be creative.



Checking Credit Union CD Rates

See how you can find the perfect credit union rates.

If you’ve banked for sometime now, you’ve probably heard of a credit union but if you haven’t looked into one yet, I would highly recommend you check one out because sometimes you may be surprised on what you can get for your money.  Generally, credit unions are able to give higher rates compared to regular banks because they are a non-profitable institution meaning they don’t have to deal with shareholders, etc.

How Do I Find a Credit Union?

Like a regular bank, you can either do your banking with a credit union solely online or you can go to a brick and mortar store.  With a credit union, you’ll usually find that they don’t have many branches.  Sometimes you may find that they only have one or two.  This alone can be a big turn off for most potential customers. 

If the one branch idea turns you off, you have to realize that if you’re solely looking for a good CD rate, you usually don’t have to go to the bank at all.  The only time you need to go is to either open or close your CD.  If you plan on doing your banking there regularly, then you may have to worry about the location problem but if you’re looking to apply for a CD only, then I wouldn’t worry about this.

Finding a credit union is fairly easy.  The best way to do this is to etiher do a local search online or if you come across a good deal at a national credit union, you can simply visit their website.  Think of how you found the bank  you’re banking with today.  Use the same techniques when searching for your credit union.

What should I look for in a credit union?

The most important thing you should look for when looking for a credit union is to make sure they are legit.  An easy way to find out if they are legit or not is to check and see if they are insured by either the FDIC or National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF)  If a credit union is insured by the NCUSIF, it’s required that they display it.  It’s important that you have your money insured.  You wouldn’t want the bank to go under and have your money go to waste.

Some of the others things you should look for are the reviews on the credit union.  Make sure that the credit union has some positive reviews.  The best way to find these are to either ask around or do a little research online.  You don’t want to bank at a bank with a shady past.

The next time you look into applying for a CD, make sure you at least take a look at credit unions.  You’ll be amazed at how good the rates are.  If the credit union is legit, there’s no reason you should give it a shot.



How the "Keep the Change" Works

Find out how most major banks work their "keep the change" program.

If you're not familiar with the term yet or you may have heard of it but don't know exactly what it is, I'm going to show you how the process works and how you can benefit from this program. If you already have a savings and/or checking account with the banks mentioned in this article and you're not part of the "keep the change" program, you may want to sign up.

The "Keep the Change" program is offered by a few major banks and they also could be offered by local credit union's and banks in your area. A bank will usually mention it on their web site. If it's not there, you can simply call or walk into the branch and ask if they do have it. Some major banks that you may be familiar with are Bank of America and LaSalle Bank.

The "keep the change" program is fairly easy to understand. Whenever you make a purchase with your bank issued credit card, the bank will simply round it up. The difference will then be placed into your savings account. Below is an example on how it works --

If you made a purchase of $3.25. The bank will charge you $4.00 and the $0.75 difference will go into your checking account.

When you sign up for this for the first time, the bank will usually give you a nice little bonus for the first couple months. Bank of America will match your change for the first three months and after they will match 3%. This means if you take the example above, that $0.75 will become $1.50 if you make that purchase in the three month time frame.

I can't really find a downfall on the keep the change program. It's amazing how fast this rounding up and saving can add up. The nice thing I like about it too is that you're able to have a more balanced checkbook. Everything on your balance will be rounded up, which makes it easier. If you're having trouble saving money, this can be a great start to saving your money for the future.

If you're currently not banking with the above mentioned banks like LaSalle or Bank of America, you can find out more information on their website located at http://www.bankofamerica.com



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Disclaimer:This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.

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