Saving money in 2015: Part 3
More ways to save at home.
Continue to find ways to save in 2015! In the previous articles in this series Saving money in 2015: Parts1 & 2, numerous money saving tips were provided on a variety of household expenses. This article will provide additional ways to save money in the areas of prescriptions, banking and insurance.
How to save on prescriptions and other medications:
- Generic drugs are often much less than brand-name drugs. So ask your physician if they would consider prescribing generics.
- Comparison-shop for your prescriptions. Prices can vary by location so be sure to compare all of your options, including mail order pharmacies.
- America Saves Week suggests that when purchasing over-the-counter medications consider the store-brand options versus the nationally advertised brands. Store-brand options can cost 20-40 percent less!
Be informed and avoid costly fees associated with banks or credit unions:
- Be a wise consumer and compare interest rates and fees from a variety of lenders.
- Make sure you read and understand all of the “fine print” associated with the products and services that you sign up for at your financial institution.
- Bouncing checks can be very expensive! To avoid such fees, balance your checkbook register monthly by comparing it to your monthly bank statement. In addition, review your overall budget monthly to monitor expenses, income and savings. Lastly, consider attaching your checking account to your savings account in the event of an overdraft; while there still may be fees for transferring money from savings to checking, they will likely be much less than the fees associated with a bounce protection program. To learn more about bank related fees visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
- Be sure to use ATM machines that are affiliated with your financial institution. If you use non-participating ATM’s you will pay an extra fee. Over time, this can really add up!
(Tip: Pay all bills on time to avoid costly late fees and or, increased interest rates. Remember, the largest portion of your credit score is your payment history.)
Saving on insurance:
- Comparison shop for auto and or homeowners insurance. Prior to renewing your policies annually, consider reviewing rates with other companies. Visit your state insurance department for additional information. Many insurance companies will offer multiple-policy discounts, so if you have more than one insurance carrier, compare what your rates would be if you chose to use only one company for your insurance needs.
- America Saves Week encourages consumers to consider raising deductibles on both auto and homeowners insurance. If you are willing to pay more out of pocket costs for a claim, you could save money on your annual premiums.
(Tip: An emergency fund is an important part of financial security. If you don’t have one in place, start saving today!).
- For ways to save on auto insurance visit publications.usa.gov
- To learn more about life insurance visit publications.usa.gov
When you make small changes, they can really add up. Finding extra money in your budget will help you meet your financial goals and help you create an emergency fund. For a variety of financial resources, including how to develop a monthly budget and set financial goals, visit MIMoneyHealth.org. In addition, Michigan State University Extension offers money management and homeownership classes, listed on MIMoneyHealth.org.
The last article in this series will provide general money saving tips including how to save on transportation.
Other articles in this series: