NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Quick Ways to Save Dollars

Quick Ways to Save Dollars


With interest rates on investments at a low, low return, more Americans are looking at saving dollars by not spending them. Following are a few tried and true ways to reduce the number of dollars you spend.

            Skip Brand Names – Whether it is clothing to prescription drugs, you can save money by choosing an off-brand over a fancy label. And in many cases, you won't sacrifice much in quality

Pay Off Credit Balances. A $1,000 balance on a credit card that charges an 18% rate will cost you $180 every year on interest. Carrying a balance can also cost you down the line in the form of a lower credit score that will trigger higher interest rates on your loans. Make paying off balances a habit.

Watch the Late Fees – In the daily rush of everyday life, it can be easy to overlook paying a bill or two every now and then. Missing a credit card payment by even one day though can earn you will pay a late fee of $25 -$35.  Your credit score could also take a hit if you pay your bill late. Your history of on-time payments accounts for 35% of your FICO credit score -- more weight than any other factor.

Choose the Right Coupon - The coupons only save you money if you use them for items you were going to buy anyway. If you buy something you didn’t need, you didn’t save money -- you bought something extra. Most coupons are for brand-name items, so be sure to compare prices with the generic brand.

Find Your ATM – Using an ATM that isn’t in your bank’s network will cost you a surcharge of at least $4 and maybe more.  Look for your bank’s insignia on the ATM you are considering using or do a google search for the nearest ATM associated with your bank

Plan For Food - It’s hard to make money-smart meal choices when you’re rushing at work or at home -- or both. Without a weeklong plan, you risk wasting money at the grocery store or on fast food. By developing a menu of easy-to-prepare meals, you won’t overspend at the grocery store by buying things that you don’t need or that will just go bad in your refrigerator or be tempted to stop at a fast-food spot.

            Where Is It?  Lost bills and receipts, forgotten tax deductions and clueless spending can add up quickly.. Set up automatic bill payment online for your monthly bills to eliminate late fees and postage costs. Set up a filing system – both hard copies and files on your computer – to organize important receipts, insurance policies, tax documents and other statements.


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