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8 Things you can do now to save you money every year

Need to save money on your expenses every year without affecting your lifestyle?  Here are eight simple things that could save you thousands.

-  If you have air conditioning, set your thermostat 2 degrees higher in the summer.  This will save you about 10% each month on your electric bill with very little change in your comfort level.

- Credit Cards: Shop your current card for one with a better rate or rewards.  There are numerous websites, but www.creditcardguide.com lets you find great deals based on interest rates, limited time offers, or rewards.

-  Life Insurance:  If you have term life insurance that you purchased more than two years ago, get a new quote.  The cost of term insurance has dropped so dramatically over the past 10 years that you may be able to get more insurance for a longer period of time at a lower cost each month. 

-  Refinance your mortgage:  If you have not looked into refinancing your mortgage in the past few years, now may be a good time.  Rates are still near historic lows and locking in a low rate can save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars each month.  Call your local mortgage broker or banker to find out if a refinance makes sense for you.

-  Have you been to the library lately?:  Sure, Amazon.com has made books and movies more affordable, but your local public library probably has what you’re looking for at no cost.  How many times do you read the same book anyway?  Your library probably has a wide selection of books on tape and movies as well.  Free is better than cheap.

- Check your tire pressure once a month to ensure that your car’s tires are properly inflated.  This simple but regular habit could save you 5%-10% in your gas costs every month.

-  Apply for the grocery discount card at every grocery store you shop at.  This will allow you to participate in all of the stores sales and discounts.  It is a simple process that could provide substantial savings every month.

-  Cut your investment and portfolio fees by simply asking.  Call your broker or investment professional and ask her to explain exactly what your fees are.  After you are given a satisfactory explanation, ask if there are equivalent funds or investments available with lower fees.  This question alone will probably save you hundreds or thousands of dollars each year in investing fees.  This is money that goes right back into your pocket.

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