Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

Saving a Buck Here and There Adds Up

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By Cecil Scaglione

Mature Life Features

Every so often, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine publishes lists of such need-to-know topics as how to keep more cash, invest $1,000, or retire as a millionaire without having $1 million. Among the most prevalent pieces of advice is how to get out of debt. You start by paying off all credit cards and then shopping around for cards with lower interest rates. You might consider a no-points home-equity line of credit to pay off those cards and then pay off the loan, which should be at a much lower interest rate than the credit-card debt.

Opportunities to save around the house are legion: switch to flourescent light bulbs, turn down the thermostat on your water heater, unplug that old refrigerator in the basement or garage, and install low-water-use shower heads and faucets. You can make a buck or two by holding an on-line yard sale.

Review your insurance premiums. Get rid of mortgage insurance if you don’t need it. Shop around to see if consolidating your auto and property coverage will cut down on premium costs.

Clip coupons for shopping and buy store brands as well as generic drugs. You can save a lot of money by buying a used car rather than new one. The higher the price of a new car, the more you save on a used model.

 Also add to your assets by consolidating your investment portfolio to avoid multiple management fees. Tax breaks are available in the form of medical expenses, charitable donations, and mileage deduction for volunteer work. Don’t forget to deduct business expenses if you do any type of work or business out of your home. This includes phone bills, dues for professional memberships, and subscriptions, stationery, computer equipment, and postage.

Bear markets are an excellent time to make investments because stock prices are low. Lean times are good times to fatten your portfolio. Remember the first rule of business and investing: buy low, sell high. You also can invest small amounts of cash in items that you think might appreciate – wine, Persian rugs, or other collectibles-to-be.

Consider investing some time and money expert economic advice. Have a financial planner review your investments and prepare an opinion for you on which direction you should follow.

Mature Life Features, Copyright 2003

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Written by Cecil Scaglione

July 9, 2012 at 9:23 pm

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