Easy Ways to Save
Here are five things to cut from your budget:
- Cable channels. You can always reorder them when your fund is in place.
- Phone plans. Is that cell phone you supposedly got for emergencies eating up $60 a month? Sign up for a plan that charges you only for the minutes used. Adjust the plan on your home phone to save on the kinds of calls you actually make.
- Gifts. Make a pact with friends and family to give only homemade holiday and birthday gifts for a year, or set a spending limit.
- Entertainment. Visit the library for books and videos. "Lose" your collection of takeout menus for a while too.
- Bad banking behavior. Do you use ATMs that charge a fee? Rack up late charges on bills? Pay a high interest rate on credit cards? Quit these bad habits now. If you must use credit, get a card that gives you cash back at stores where you shop often.
- Does saving money still seem impossible? Get help with our printable budget spreadsheet at parents.com/november.
Sometimes the situations that send us into a tailspin aren't real emergencies -- but they still put a big dent in our bank account. Do you have the savings to cover these not-so-rare occurrences?
- Insurance deductible in case of a car accident: $500 to $2,000 or more, depending on your plan
- Four new tires: $500
- New hot-water heater: $500
- Root canal, without dental insurance: Up to $1,200 per molar
- Exterminator fee: $250
- A trip to the emergency room: $500
Copyright ? 2006. Reprinted with permission from the November 2006 issue of Parents magazine.