Last Updated: January 1, 2011
When it comes to financial planning tips, there's very little new under the sun. Or is there? Consider these three money-saving ideas for 2011.
- Create a budget. If you've tried to put in place a budget without success, try using FPA's budgeting guide, mint.com or quickenonline.com for two months. "You don't have to commit for life, just two months," said FPA member Joy Slabaugh, CFP®, of EST Financial Group. "The ease of those sites could provide you the simple structure you need to create and stick to a budget."
- Talk to your landlord. If you rent, Slabaugh suggests that you contact your landlord. "Renegotiate for a lower rent payment and longer lease," she said. "Landlords are hurting right now and would rather have a tenant paying less than have a unit stand empty while they try to re-lease. What's more, many landlords will jump at a two-year lease for less rent than have the uncertainty of not knowing if the one year tenant will re-lease."
- Clean up your driving record. "For those of you who own a car, there's plenty of savings to be had by cleaning up your driving record," said Slabaugh. "Many states allow you to take an online defensive-driving course that costs between $20 to $35. This can take three points off your official record as well as reduce your insurance premiums by 10 to 20 percent. Your state's department of transportation website will usually list approved course providers."