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1 For more help on saving and paying off debt, please visit

2 Practical Savings Tips for Every Day Saving Try take-out once a month instead of dining out. Rent a movie instead of going to the movies. If you really want to go to the movies, go to the less expensive afternoon matinee. Or better yet, go to your local library and borrow books, CDs, videos, and read the latest magazines and newspapers. Bring your lunch to work instead of buying it. Depending on where you live and what you eat for lunch, you could save $5 a day. Don t grocery shop on an empty stomach or you may end up buying more than you need. Shop with a list. Cut down food costs by buying what you need on sale, buying generic brands, buying in bulk, and shopping at discount outlets. Don t buy a sale item or use a coupon just for the sake of it being cheaper. Buy an item only if you need it! Increase your gas mileage by taking care of your car with schedule check-ups, or just drive less. Consider carpooling, walking, taking the bus or metro, or riding your bike. Review your telephone and cable bills for services you don't use and cancel them (downsize from premium channels), as well as subscriptions to magazines and newspapers. You could save tens of dollars each month. Exercise at home rather than joining a gym. Make your own coffee at home, or at least cut down the number of times per week you purchase coffee. Get health insurance. Track your spending and cash know where every dollar goes! Organize a friend/relative/neighbor swap of clothes, toys, furniture, CDs, etc. Buy clothes for next year at the end-of-season sales try garage sales and thrift stores. Find a simple hairstyle that doesn t cost too much to take care of on daily/weekly basis. Take advantage of free entertainment in your community parks, museums, exhibits, etc. Go to free park concerts and other community activities. Buy with cash, checks, or debit cards. If you use credit cards, get rid of all but one or two, and pay off the balance each month. You can save hundreds or thousands of dollars a year by avoiding credit card interest charges. Always do your grocery shopping with a list of items you need -- and don't buy anything that's not on the list. You can save hundreds of dollars a year by avoiding impulse food purchases. Compare unit prices on labels when shopping (for example, price per ounce). You can save hundreds of dollars a year by purchasing items with the lowest price per unit. Avoid shopping at convenience stores. The prices are usually higher than grocery stores. When choosing a cell phone plan, find one that's appropriate for the calls you intend to make. For example, if you plan to use the phone only for emergencies, avoid plans with monthly fees or minimums. When your doctor prescribes a medicine, ask if a generic is available -- you'll pay less. If you're taking a "maintenance" medicine, consider a mail-order pharmacy -- you'll pay less. Before buying a car, compare insurance, gasoline, maintenance, and repair costs for comparable models. You can save thousands of dollars over the life of the car by choosing a model with low operating costs. Save hundreds of dollars a year on gas by making sure your car's engine is tuned regularly and your tires have enough pressure.

3 Five Strategies to Saving 1. Pay off high-cost debt The best investment most borrowers can make is to pay off consumer debt with double-digit interest rates. For example, if you have a $3,000 credit card balance at 19.8%, and you pay the required minimum balance of 2% of the balance or $15, whichever is greater, it will take 39 years to pay off the loan. With accumulating interest, you will pay more than $10,000 in interest charges. For additional information,visit the National Foundation for Credit Counseling website at 2. Save for emergencies Having an emergency savings fund may be the most important difference between those who manage to stay afloat and those who are sinking financially. 3. Participate in a work-related retirement program Many employees turn down free money from their employer by not signing up for a workrelated retirement program such as a 401(k) plan. If they did participate, with a dollar-fordollar match they would likely receive an annual yield of greater than 100% on their investment. For additional information, visit the American Savings Education Council Web site at 4. Outside of work, save monthly through an automatic transfer from checking to savings These savings will provide funds for emergencies, home purchase, school tuition, or even retirement. Almost all banking institutions will, on request, automatically transfer funds monthly from your checking account to a savings account, U.S. Savings Bond, or stock mutual fund. What you don't see, you will probably not miss. 5. Buy a home and pay off the mortgage before you retire The largest asset of most middle-income families is their home equity. Once these families have made their last mortgage payment, they have far lower housing expenses. They also have an asset that can be borrowed on in emergencies or converted into cash through sale of the home.

4 Five Ways You Can Save $100 or More Today s challenge is to find $100 to save. We all want to save money. It s the how that causes some confusion. Below are a few ways you might be able to save $100 to put towards high cost debt, an emergency fund, or retirement. So take some time out your schedule today to find $100 to save it s worth it! Here are five ways that you can save $100 or more in 2014: 1. Take a look at your cell phone bill. Many of us overestimate our cell phone usage. Drop minutes or features you re not using to add to your savings. 2. Walk or bike rather than drive to destinations less than a mile. You ll not only burn calories, but also save the wear-and-tear on your vehicle. 3. Shop around for auto and homeowners' insurance: Before renewing your existing policies each year, check out the rates of competing companies (see the website of your state insurance department). Their annual premiums may well be several hundred dollars lower. 4. Utilize a cash-only spending plan. Unlike using your credit or debit card, you can t spend what you don t have on you, and it makes resisting temptation easier. 5. Ask your local electric or gas utility for a free or low-cost home energy audit. The audit may reveal inexpensive ways to reduce home heating and cooling costs by hundreds of dollars a year. Make sure to bank your savings! Track your progress towards a savings goal by Joining American Saves, where you can utilize the America Saves My Savings Tracker for free to record deposits and monitor your progress.

5 What to Do With Your Tax Refund Instead of spending your tax refund this year on something that may not last beyond today, why not consider putting it towards something that will help make your financial future grow? Make an extra credit card or house payment to reduce your interest costs. Get an automatic payroll deduction that goes directly to some type of savings vehicles. You can set it up with a bank or mutual fund company, and start the account with your tax refund. Contribute to an IRA. If you qualify for a tax-deductible IRA, you have until April 15th to contribute and claim the contribution for your current tax return. Or, you could put your tax refund into an IRA for the following tax year. If you qualify, open a Roth IRA. Even though you don t get to deduct the contribution from your taxes, the Roth IRA provides a tax-free way to save for retirement.

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