(we provide these to client at review or earlier)

BUSINESS

  1. Use www.webex.com or www.gotomeeting.com instead of gas for meetings if you have to travel. (Less gas/airfare and more family time)
  1. Conference calls for free at www.totallyfreeconferencecalls.com.

VEHICLES

  1. Find a good mechanic you can trust and drive your vehicles longer.
  1. Fill up your tank of gas where you get more for your money. The pennies do add up.
  1. Consciously combine vehicle trips from home, to include as many errands in one area as possible, rather than making many individual trips to each location.
  1. When out running errands, make a “loop” instead of back and forth (saves time and gas).

HOUSEHOLD AND ENTERTAINMENT

  1. Use the video box rentals or Netflix. They are cheaper than brick and mortar stores.
  1. Check the items needed for household repairs, such as light bulbs, for the cheapest brand.
  1. Wash your car at home rather than the car wash.
  1. Buy music ala carte rather than CD’s. They are much cheaper and you get what you want.
  1. Check out DVDs and CDs from the library.
  1. Eliminate satellite tv to save money and with the extra time, focus on reading.
  1. How about cutting down on your cable or satellite programming package?
  1. Eliminate plastic water bottles all together. Not only is it good for the environment, but it’s cost effective. Purchase a reusable bottle for everyone in the family and refill!
  1. Use coupon only on items you normally buy. Don’t buy something because you have a coupon.
  1. Shop Goodwill especially if you have kids, since they grow out of their clothes so quickly.
  1. Each time you think of something you want to buy, rather than going out and buying it, just put it on a list. This gives you a chance to spend your money on what you really want and discourages impulse buying.  It also gives you a chance to shop around for a better bargain.
  1. Go to matinee’s which is cheaper than evening prices for movies.
  1. Empty all of your pocket and purse change every day into a jar. It adds up quickly and gives you an emergency fund.  Break a dollar bill, instead of giving change, to add the amounts up faster.
  1. Use your frequent flier credit cards for all purchases.
  1. Try a babysitting co-op in your neighborhood using a pool of parents to baby-sit for each other when needed, rather than an outside babysitter @ $10-$15/hour
  1. Send Out Cards.com/3146 saves time and money. The cards are exactly what you want, you don’t need to go to the store for an unexpected occasion, you don’t need stamps and you can download your contacts from various locations.

DINING AND GROCERIES

  1. Eat at home rather than at a restaurant.
  1. Use food/service/restaurant coupons.
  1. Use your surplus groceries for meals rather than buying more. We all have canned goods and food in our cabinets that can be used.
  1. Stop or cutback on smoking and/or drinking coffee. (Saves money and your health!)
  1. Planning your meals saves time, money, and gas since you know what to get.
  1. Pack your lunch and snacks so you don’t eat out at work.
  1. Make your own flavored coffee by adding vanilla or chocolate to a cup made at home.
  1. Buy generic brands more often.
  1. Use online coupon search such as www.p4prewards.com.
  1. Don’t buy more fresh groceries than you are sure to eat.
  1. Save all the restaurant coupons you get in the “junk mail” in an envelope in your car.
  1. Trim your waistline while pinching pennies: when eating out at a sit-down restaurant request a take-out container as soon as your food arrives.  Put half or a third of it away before you start eating.  This guarantees you money-saving leftovers for another meal AND makes you eat less.
  1. There are many restaurants that offer kids eat free nights or kids eat for $1.99. There are also restaurants that offer certain meals for less on certain nights.
  1. Combo shop with a friend at warehouse stores.
  1. Start a garden to save money and eat better.
  1. Instead of buying pre-made dinners, spice mixes, etc. at the grocery store, just look at what’s in them and make it yourself.
  1. Of course eating at home is the best way to save money, but if you want to go out, go to www.restauarant.com and you can get gift cards to restaurants for a savings of up to 60%.

FINANCIAL AND INSURANCE

  1. Have an automated amount taken from checking each month & transfer this to savings.
  1. Increase your insurance deductibles.
  1. “Cooling off” period on major purchases. If there’s a major purchase say over $500 or $1000 — plan to do it in a month. See if you still need or want that — or found a better deal!
  1. AVOID ATM FEES!! Keep an emergency fund for the occasional money need.
  1. Try staying on a cash only budget. Cash your check and give yourself a weekly allowance for groceries, gas, and spending.
  1. Submit request to your county to reassess property values to reduce property tax bills.

UTILITIES

  1. Try purchasing a MagicJack.  These can be found at RadioShack, Best Buy etc.  One end of thisUSB device plugs into your computer and the other end plugs in your standard or cordless telephone line for unlimited domestic calls for the whole year.
  1. Replace all light bulbs at home with the new LED ones. They last longer and cost less to operate.
  1. Tankless water heaters cut gas consumption and pollutants.
  1. Look into installing a solar panel on your roof.
  1. Put in a mini-irrigation system for watering shrubs.
  1. Open all blinds during the day to reduce lighting usage.
  1. Unplug your electrical items that are not being used.
  1. Use the garage door opener only when staying put for awhile….not in and out.
  1. Turn off your TV and ceiling fans when you leave home.
  1. Close blinds in the summer to keep the air cool and in the winter to keep cold air out when you’re not at home.
  1. Lower your thermostat setting and/or turn it off when you’re not home.
  1. Don’t “over dry” your clothes. Keep an eye on them and take them out when the buzzer goes off.
  1. Check your bills to make sure there are no unwanted charges on them.
  1. Call your service providers like Comcast , ATT and request a reduction in charges.
  1. Try “bundling” your home phone, (including unlimited long distance), high-speed Internet, & cable tv costs.
  1. Discontinue your land line. Almost everyone has a cell phone (with free long distance).
  1. With energy deregulation happening in some parts of the US, people should take advantage of cheaper energy bills! Try a different gas/electricity company; get better prices and more benefits.

MONTHLY HABITS

  1. When posting your check in your register, record the correct amount, but round the amount up to the  nearest dollar when deducting it.  This will add up so you’ll have an emergency/opportunity fund.
  1. Keep your checks posted on a program like “Quicken” to make sure your bank statement is correct.
  1. Get a credit card that has “cash rewards”.
  1. Put all purchases on one credit card (preferably one with cash rewards) except tax deductible items (pharmacy, doctor, etc.) and pay it in full each month. This saves checks and you get cash back for all your purchases.