NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County

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Stopping Financial Leaks

Stopping Financial Leaks

          Just like a dripping faucet, small financial leaks can be irritating.  “Where did my money go?” can often be answered by tallying small expenses as opposed to searching for one large expense. Try some of the quick changes to stop those small, pesky financial leaks.

          Follow the interest.   The average money market fund is still yielding a very small interest rate. Compare other types of accounts your financial institution has to offer – even a half percent difference in an interest rate can add up over the long-term.   

          Use what you pay for.  Are you paying for extra cable stations but never watch – or even record – them?  Magazine subscriptions for magazine that go unread, memberships to organizations you are no longer active in, gym memberships – are all types of costs that may have been a good idea a tone time but are no longer part of your life.  If they are not in your life, they should not be in your budget.

          Install a programmable thermostat.  Our Midwest area has major fluctuations in temperature from summer to winter and keeping our homes comfortable is a major expenses. Using a programmable thermostat to adjust your home’s temperature — it can lower the heat at night and when you’re at work- could shave 5% to 15% off your heating and cooling bills.

          Bundle insurance policies. Insuring your home and auto with a single company can save up to 25% per year, says Alec Gutierrez of Kelly Blue Book. That’s $300 a year for a typical home and auto policy.

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Pay your bills on time. This may seem like common sense, but it is easy to forget a bill and end up with a late fee. These fees can be substantial, ranging anywhere from a few dollars to $40 or more. If you have trouble keeping track of due dates, check into automatic electronic payment plans that might be available.

 

          Shop with a list. Sticking to a list will make you less likely to buy impulsively and forget necessary items, both of which can quickly increase the amount of money spent in a week.

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