Tip # 36 Transfer Your Balance to a Different Credit Card
Do you have credit card debt? Are you paying a high rate of interest? Consider switching cards to get a temporary 0% interest rate.
How It Works. To encourage you to switch, many credit card companies will give you a temporary 0% rate of interest on balance transfers. Transfer your balance to the new card and, for a limited time, you won't pay interest on the old balance.
Pitfall #1: Balance Transfer Fees. Most cards charge a one-time 3% fee for the balance transfer.
Pitfall #2: New Charges. You will still have to pay interest on any new charges. Any payments will go to the old balance - not the new balance. So, when you switch, make sure not to use your new card until you've paid off the old balance.
Pitfall #3: Don't Be Late. If you make a late payment, the 0% interest rate may suddenly disappear. Don't fall into the trap.
Here are some Recommended Cards for balance transfers.
Tip # 35 Replace Your Cable TV With Netflix
Popular DVD services have made it possible to get rid of your Cable TV and save hundreds of dollars per year.
Netflix. I use Netflix. It rocks. In addition to getting DVD's in the mail, you can stream movies online with your computer. Prices start at $8.99/month, which includes unlimited streaming.
Blockbuster. Blockbuster offers DVD's via mail like Netflix. In addition, you can exchange movies at your local Blockbuster so you won't run out of movies.
Start your free Blockbuster trial >>
Netflix Streaming. One really cool thing about Netflix is that you can stream movies from Netflix's website directly to your home computer. And if you have a Roku or XBOX 360 you can stream directly to your TV. It's like watching TV, except there are no commercials, and it is much, much cheaper!
Tip # 34 Save on Your Utility Bills
Here are some simple ways to reduce your utility bills:
Program the temperature. No point in wasting electricity while nobody is home.
Fans can sometimes work almost as well as AC, and at a lower cost.
In hot weather, close the shades to keep out the heat from the sun.
Use a clothesline instead of a dryer.
Compact fluorescent bulbs use about 75% less electricity than incandescents.
Some cities will charge you less for garbage if you use a smaller can.
Low income families with high heating bills are eligible for government assistance.
Tip # 33 Pre-Paid Cell Phone Plans
If you don't talk a lot, consider switching to a pre-paid cell phone plan.
I recently switched to a T-Mobile pre-paid plan. I pay 10 cents a minute and my minutes never expire (as long as I refill every year.) The nice thing is that I don't have to pay a bunch of taxes and fees. With my old phone, my plan was $39.99 a month, but my total bill with taxes was over $55!
Doing the math, I save money with my new plan as long as I don't talk more than 550 minutes a month. Plus, I don't have to sign a heinous contract.
Tip # 32 Bundle Your TV, Phone & Internet
Do you pay separate bills for home phone, cable, and internet service? You may be able to save by bundling all these together with either your cable or phone company.
Be aware that many of these bundling offers have a "teaser" rate that expires after a few months. When it expires, call and threaten to cancel. The company might extend the low rate.