April 3, 2008

Five Ways to Save $2,500 in 20 Minutes

Are you ready to transform your finances this year? Here are five ways to save over $2,500 in just 20 minutes:
Lose the premium cable television package and save $960.
The average premium package -- over 200 channels -- can easily cost $100 a month when you include the cable box fees and all the crazy taxes and unexplainable expenses that are legally tacked onto the fixed cost. That's $1,200 a year just to watch TV!

And, of those 200 channels, you probably only watch maybe a dozen. Do you really need all the extra channels? And do you really need a cable box for every TV set in the house? If you downgrade to a more basic cable package (many of which start at $19.99 a month) and return a cable box or two you'll save about $80 per month, or a whopping $960 for the year.
Get real about your cell phone and save $240.

According to a recent study by Yankee Group, on average cell phone users pay for 791 minutes per month and use only 477. Right now, an individual plan with 900 minutes through Verizon Wireless costs $60 a month -- add in taxes and fees and you're looking at an $80 monthly bill. That's close to $1,000 a year in cell phone charges.

If you go with a plan that offers fewer minutes -- 450 -- it will only cost you $40 a month, or $60 with taxes and fees. Simply by opting for a lower plan, you'll easily save $20 a month, or $240 a year. And that's being conservative; chances are your cell phone bill is even higher than my estimate here, considering all the available bells and whistles.
Go wireless and save $600.

It's becoming increasingly common to cancel landline phone service altogether and use a cell phone in place of a home phone. Your landline is probably costing you at least $50 a month, so ditching it would mean a savings of $600 a year.
If you get great reception at home, are organized enough not to lose your phone, and are good about keeping it charged, this might be a great solution for you.
Exercise smart and save $240.

We all know the trap: You pay your monthly or yearly gym membership dues and don't go quite as often as you thought you would.
You could cancel your membership and save a bundle, but you don't have to give it up completely. Many Platinum Memberships offer certain extras, including the option to work out in other locations -- maybe while traveling or on vacation. If you downgrade to a more basic membership you can save at least $20 a month, or $240 a year at the very least.
Shop for car insurance and save $500.

This one's a no-brainer. If you own or lease a car, car insurance is a must-have. But don't settle for the first rate quote you get -- you've got to shop around. Simply by picking up the phone and getting some comparative quotes, you could wind up saving 10 to 15 percent on what you're paying today, and possibly more.

I wrote a column on the topic last year. My assistant saved $800 with one 10-minute phone call. Even with a more conservative savings estimate of, say, $500 a year, it's still a windfall.
Your grand total savings: $ 2,540.

A Little Pain, a Lot of Gain
Pretty simple, right? Well, maybe not. The truth is that it'll take some effort on your part. The key is to remember that you only need to cut back on certain items, not give them up entirely.

Click For Full Article by David Bach