66 Ways to Save Money
For most kinds of purchases, you can get valuable advice and comparisons on the Internet. Ask a librarian or friends which Internet sites they think are helpful, or you can use a search engine like Google or Yahoo. Be aware that information you find is often biased. At many websites, the only products or sellers listed are ones that pay to advertise. Before buying anything on the Internet, check several websites and make sure you deal with reputable dealers. Transportation
1. Compare low-cost carriers with major carriers that fly to your destination. Remember, the best fares may not be out of the airport closest to you. 2. You may save by including a Saturday evening stay-over or by purchasing the ticket at least 14 days in advance. Ask which days of the week and times of the day have the lowest fare. 3. Even if you are using a travel agent, check airline and Internet travel sites, and look for special deals. If you call, always ask for the lowest fare to your destination. Car Rental
4. Since car rental rates can vary greatly, compare total price (including taxes and surcharge) and take advantage of any special offers and membership discounts. 5. Rental car companies offer various insurance and waiver options. Check with your automobile insurance agent and credit card company in advance to avoid duplicating any coverage you may already have. New Cars
6. You can save thousands of dollars over the lifetime of a car by selecting a model that combines a low purchase price with low depreciation, financing, insurance, gasoline, maintenance, and repair costs. Ask your local librarian for new car guides that contain this information. 7. Having selected a model and options you are interested in, you can save hundreds of dollars by comparison shopping. Get price quotes from several dealers (over the phone or Internet) and let each know you are contacting the others. 8. Remember there is no “cooling off” period on new car sales. Once you have signed a contract, you are obligated to buy the car.
9. Before buying any used car:
* Compare the seller’s asking price with the average retail price in a “bluebook” or other guide to car prices which can be found at many libraries, banks, and credit unions. * Have a mechanic you trust check the car, especially if the car is sold “as is.” 10. Consider purchasing a used car from an individual you know and trust. They are more likely than other sellers to charge a lower price and point out any problems with the car. Auto Leasing
11. Don’t decide to lease a car just because the payments are lower than on a traditional auto loan. The leasing payments are lower because you don’t actually own the car. 12. Leasing a car is very complicated. When shopping, consider the price of the car (known as the capitalized cost), your trade-in allowance, any down payment, monthly payments, various fees (excess mileage, excess “wear and tear,” end-oflease), and the cost of buying the car at the end of the lease. A valuable source of information about auto leasing can be found in Keys to Vehicle Leasing: A Consumer Guide, which is published by the Federal Reserve Board and Federal Trade Commission. Gasoline
13. You can save hundreds of dollars a year by comparing prices at different stations, pumping gas yourself, and using the lowest-octane called for in your owner’s manual. 14. You can save up to $100 a year on gas by keeping your engine tuned and your tires inflated to their proper pressure. Car Repairs
15. Consumers lose billions of dollars each year on unneeded or poorly done car repairs. The most important step that you can take to save money on these repairs is to find a skilled, honest mechanic. Before you need repairs, look for a mechanic who: * is certified and well established;
* has done...