Online coupons are a fast and easy way to save money in 2010
1. Never make an online purchase without consulting a coupon codes website.
You will save a bundle when you shop using online coupon codes from a web site like CouponSaver.org. Use coupons like T-Mobile coupons, Southwest Airlines Vacations coupons, or Gap Adventures coupons or the many other coupons from popular stores. A recent study of one coupon site showed that the average savings per purchase came in at about $30, so it’s well worth your while to take a minute or two to visit your favorite coupon codes site to investigate whether a discount is available. Best of all, coupon codes sites are free to consumers and they’ll sometimes even give you multiple codes that you can use on the same purchase, maximizing your savings.
2. Switch to a pre-paid cell phone plan
Do you really use all your minutes every month? And if you have a rollover plan, are you going to use those thousands of minutes you’ve already saved up? If you’re a low-volume cell phone user (Guys, we’re looking at you) you can easily save hundreds of dollars a year by switching to a pre-paid plan. You can keep the same number you’ve always had, and wave goodbye to all those perplexing taxes and fees that are always added to your monthly bill; they’re already factored into the price of prepaid minutes. Start with pre-paid providers like Tracfone or NET10. Or better yet, combine this idea using Net10 coupons and save even more!
3. Only invest in index funds in your 401(k)
Wall Street’s dirty little secret (well, actually one of hundreds) is that fund managers get paid for mediocrity. A recent Standard & Poor’s study showed that from 2004 to 2008, 71.9 percent of actively managed funds were outperformed by the S&P 500 index. So what does that mean for you? You’re throwing money away in your 401(k) on fees you’re paying to receive bad advice. Check your funds’ “expense ratio,” a statistic that notes the percentage of a fund’s assets that go toward the costs of running it, including those infamous Wall Street salaries and bonuses. The average expense ratio for actively managed funds is 1.5 percent, while some passively managed index funds, which simply track an “index” like the S&P 500 or the Dow, are as low as 0.5 percent. If you’re invested in actively managed funds, you’re actually paying for the privilege of having your money squandered! At the very least, immediately get out of any fund with an expense ratio greater than 1.5 percent.
4. Cancel your Netflix and Blockbuster accounts now
Why pay for a movie you’re only going to watch once and may not even like? Head to your local library, and check out the selection of DVDs. After all, you paid for them with your tax dollars. Most libraries have a selection of DVDs that’s just as good as what you’ll find at your local rental store, and for kids’ movies, the library is often even better. At just one DVD a week for $4, you could save over $200 in a year simply by going to the library.
5. Quit wasting money on identity theft protection services, credit monitoring and credit card insurance
Identity theft is the most-often reported type of fraud, but if you’re paying for ID theft protection and similar services you’re just wasting your money. Some companies may charge you $9.99 a month, but they’re not doing anything you couldn’t do yourself for free. Protect your personal information, shred key documents, and check your credit reports often. You can even go a step further and place a “fraud alert” on your account every 90 days with one of the credit bureaus, which is then required to notify the other credit bureaus. A “fraud alert” simply means that whenever you or anyone else applies for credit in your name, the bank or creditor must contact you to confirm your identity. It’s an easy way to make sure no one is claiming to be you, and it only requires action on your part every 90 days.