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Monday, April 18, 2005

10 More Ways to Find Hidden Money in your Paycheck

10 More Ways to Find Hidden Money in your Paycheck Copyright © 2005 Robert Dickson The Personal Finance Resource http://www.moneyaide.com/

No matter how tight things are financially for you; no matter how bleak things look, if you are earning a paycheck then there's extra money hiding in it. You just need to know where to look. Here are 10 more ways to bring that money out into the open.

1. Pay some of your bills tax free

Many employers offer a "Flexible Spending Account" (FSA) which is a way for you to use payroll deduction to reimburse yourself for family medical expenses like co-payments, eyeglass prescriptions, parking and gas for medically necessary trips and other authorized medically-related expenses that insurance doesn'tcover. You can put aside up to $3,000 pre-tax per year.

2. Enroll in discount programs if you're under-insured

If you have inadequate health insurance coverage or no coverage at all, there are plenty of discount medical plans available which provide quality medical attention at group rates. A Google search under "medical discount plans" will get you started. Beware of scams and check a plan out thoroughly beforeyou join.

3. Buy One Get One Free

When the grocery store offers "Buy one get one free" on something that you use regularly, buy as many as the rules and your wallet allow. Store the extras in your pantry or freezer until you need them. Even better, splitthe cost with a friend. That way you each get an item for half the price.

4. Keep an eye on your cell phone plan

Know the expiration date of your plan and start looking for new deals at least 30 days before the plan expires. It's likely that you can get more minutes, fewer roaming charges and no long distance charges by simply looking around. If you let your plan's anniversary date roll by then you may be stuckfor another year paying more than you should.

5. Watch your home telephone bills

Today there is a lot of competition for delivering dial tone and even cable TV companies are offering telephone service. Some of these new services are VoIP (Voice Over IP) or "Internet telephone" while others are real PTSN (Public Switched Telephone Network). Most plans offer unlimited long distance anywhere in the USA while others extend the plan to include Canada as well. You cansave hundreds per year my switching to one of these carriers.

6. Lock in the rewards but ONLY if you've got the discipline

As competition heats up among credit card issuers, more and more card issuers are offering cash back and other "buyer rewards". Some of these programs can add up to real savings over a year. If you've got the discipline, pick a card that offers the best rewards program and then pay as many of your usual bills as you can by credit card instead of check. Then, at the end of the month, PAY THE CREDIT CARD IN FULL so you get the rewards but not the interest. Even a 2% cash back deal adds up to a lot of money in the bank if you pay as much as possible through the card.

7. Get your daily news online

If you're paying as little as .50 every weekday and $1.50 on Sundays for the newspaper then you're paying $208 for what you can get for free if you're on the 'net. Most major newspapers have a web edition and all of the major comics are online as well. If you can't live without the Sunday paper thenjust cancel the weekday edition.

8. Make sure your money works harder for you

Open a savings account at http://www.OrangeAccount.com. They pay the highest interest rate of any online bank, and there are no fees and no minimum balance required to open an account. Stuff your weekly savingsinto your account and let the power of compound interest help make you rich.

9. Refurbish, Recycle and Resist

Garage sale items can look good as new if you give them some tender love and care. Charity stores, the Salvation Army, consignment stores and tag sales are all great places to save a lot of cash. Resist buying new whengently used will do the trick.

10. Think frugally

Make money have to fight in order to leave your pocket. Before you spend a penny on anything always stop and think: "How can I get this for less?." Even better, start thinking: "How can I get this for free?" Don't think of each of these tips as 'only a few bucks'. Think of every dollar that you save as a 'money tree'. Plant it where it will do you the most good -- in your pocket instead of someone else's. That's thinking smart!


Robert Dickson Writes For MoneyAide.com, The Personal Finance Resource. Download His Free Report, "Save More Than You Ever Thought Possible" at http://www.MoneyAide.com

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