• Here’s a very useful new tip  – Update 

    The New York Times reports that “Annual credit card fees aren’t set in stone.  In fact, many people who ask their credit card company for a break get it.”

    Almost 80% who ask are getting a break!  Most get the fee waived entirely!

    Many companies are also increased credit card limits – although that’s not necessarily a good idea for the user.  Reported NYTimes 3/27/2017

    The cards reported on are bank associated cards. No word on American Express although it’s certainly worth a try.

    ………………………………

    We’d all love a little more cash in our wallets while keeping our refrigerators stocked, our TVs running and our gym memberships intact.

    While we can wait for seasonal sales to buy big-ticket items, like couches and bed frames, it’s the everyday items that we buy over and over again that provide often-overlooked opportunities to save.

    We obviously have to buy the necessities, but small amounts of money saved on toilet paper, phone bills, and potatoes each month can mean an extra vacation or luxury purchase each year.

    Here are  small changes you can make to save money on your everyday expenses:

    1. Buy in bulk and share

    Create a mini sharing economy with family or friends – most people know that buying in bulk can save money, but who has room to store 600 rolls of paper towels? To take advantage of bulk buying discounts, create a mini sharing economy with family or friends by dividing bulk items. Take turns doing the shopping to save time while sharing the savings! You can take advantage of lower prices for larger quantities at places like Costco, Sam’s Club and Walmart.

    2. Shop more frequently

    Throwing spoiled food away is like putting dollar bills directly into the trash can. To avoid wasting food and money, visit the grocery store more often to purchase smaller amounts of fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy. It only takes a few minutes to pick up some berries, a carton of milk and a head of lettuce, and the habit of buying only what you use could save you hundreds of dollars. (Gas is cheaper now too.)

    3. Enlist the help of third-party services

    There are a variety of third-party services available to help you save money. There are a variety of third-party services available to help you save money. For example, FoundMoney, a new feature from MoneyStream, calls cable or phone companies on your behalf to lower the amount of your monthly bill. They do this at no cost to you, so you just sign up and pay less. Similarly, MobileCoupons.com and RetailMeNot.com are third-party coupon apps to help you save money at the stores you shop anyway.

    4. Beware magazine subscriptions

    They can be almost impossible to stop! If you pay that great promotional price with your credit card, you’ll usually continue to be renewed and charged – automatically renewed year after year.  And the initial rate goes way up. Stopping a subscription can be very cumbersome and time-consuming. They count on people not bothering. The solution: Pay for magazine subscriptions with a check.  A stamp and an envelope can save you a lot of time and expense.

    5. Volunteer to offset hobby costs

    Many gyms, golf courses, and specialty workout studios offer discounts or free memberships in return for a few hours spent working at the front desk. Not only does this trade-off provide financial benefits, but it’s a great opportunity to meet other people in your community who are interested in the same activities you are.

    6. Cut the dry cleaning expense

    Have you tried the new Woolite At-Home Dry Cleaner? Toss the small cloths into the dryer with items you’d like to dry-clean. Twenty minutes later the items are cleaned. Many items are actually much better dry cleaned without the stretching, shrinking and fading from water washing. A wide variety of fabrics can be cleaned in this way but it doesn’t work very well for noticeable specific spots. They might need a dry cleaner to work on them. Scrubbing the spot with a towelette can leave a bigger spot.

    7. Eliminate ATM charges

    Transfer your bank account to Schwab.com to eliminate all future ATM whatever ATM you use – worldwide.  (The ATM screen may say something like, “You will be charged $3 for this transaction. Proceed?” Just click yes to get your cash. Schwab will refund that charge to your account. You will see the refund almost immediately on your statement.

    8. Keep a spending diary

    Most of us occasionally looks in our wallets and wonder where that $20 bill went. By keeping a diary of what you spend your money on, whether with pen and paper or in a mobile app, you can more easily diagnose bad spending habits. For example, it may seem like your coffee habit only costs you $2 per day, but did you realize that it adds up to $730 per year? This is also a great way to determine if certain services are getting more expensive over time, such as phone bills or haircuts.

    The above tips require little or no extra time and effort on your part, and you’re sure to notice the extra cash in your bank account at the end of each month.

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    1. beaudmj@gmail.com' Phoebe says:

      Wow–Making your own coffee can save so much. I have actually been taking dollar bills out from the bank and every time I’m tempted to buy a coffee on the run somewhere, put in $3 or $4 or $5 (I like high test–espresso, Americano or a latte. The amount includes tips, refills) in a jar just to see how it adds up. Now I rarely ever buy coffee out unless I’m meeting someone.

    2. Dianne Morris says:

      Here’s an interesting idea on how to profit by selling your old iphone http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-best-way-to-sell-your-old-iphone-to-pay-for-that-new-one-1441739931