Here are top 10 ways to stretch a dollar, from Clark Howard, who has just written a book of 250 tips on living large in lean times.
Reduce your technology bills. Get rid of the land line, buy an OOMA unit. The OOMA can port a phone number from Comcast and AT&T and includes local and long distance calling, and voice mail.
Get rid of pay-television service. A very small number of people get by with HULU and Netflix, and over- the-air broadcast channels
Search for unclaimed funds at missingmoney.org. Find money from insurance, a prior employer, a bank, or a credit union that under state laws must turn over unclaimed money to the state unclaimed property office
Start saving with a tax free Roth IRA. Investors are allowed to put in $5,000 a year, but any contribution counts.
If you're looking for ways to save for college, Clark said enroll in a 529 plan. Floridians are allowed to put money into the Florida plan as well as the Utah plan. Viewers in St. Marys would be better off in the Georgia plan.
For federal student loans, look into the income-based repayment program at IBR info.org. In the income-based program, loanees are considered current even if they can't make a payment in the event of unemployment.
Look for ANY way to save. "My goal is for somebody to come up with a couple of $100 a month in their wallet that isn't there right now," said Howard. For example, Howard wears glasses he bought from a web site "where glasses start at $10 a pair including shipping, progressive lenses are $30."
No extended warranties.
Save money with holiday travel. Bid for the price. At biddingtraveler.com, there are up-to-date deals and the site will even do the bidding for you.
Work from home as a call center representatives. Lots of companies have started hiring this way, like liveops.com. Employees earn a legitimate amount of money. "You go to your work station you flip a switch and you're on the clock," said Clark.
And 5 Bonus Ways to Save Money:
- 1. Get a second job to just fund your retirement account, nothing else.
- 2. When burying a loved one, remember, embalming is not necessary. The family can have a private viewing, but for any public service, the casket would remain closed.
- 3. If you need to rent a car, reserve the cheapest one you can find online first. Then get on the phone, call the car rental location where you're going to pick up the car and ask for an upgrade. They may have a special deal for walk-in customers.
- 4. For credit cards, wait until you get an offer in the mail from another credit card issuer offering you 0% APR for a year. Then call your current issuer and ask if they'll match it. They just may to not lose your business. If they don't budge, you may want to switch to the new company.
- 5. If you're paying for auto insurance for a child who is in college, let your insurer know. You may qualify for a discount if your student maintains a "B" average or above. The carrier may also reduce your rate if your child is leaving the car behind and studying out of town.
MORE KEN'S TOP 10:
Ken's Top 10 Ways to Vet a Contractor
Ken's Top 10 Home Improvements that Add to Your Home's Value
Ken's Top 10 Ways to Get Ahead at Work with Education
First Coast News