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Practical Money Matters Radio Series

April 11, 2011
Tighten Your Belt and Trim Your Debt

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From cutting down utility costs to adjusting your insurance, these small financial changes can result in big savings.


Sometimes the best way to tackle debt is to whittle away at it a little bit at a time. Here are a few ideas:

• Each degree you lower your thermostat in the winter saves up to 3 percent on your heating bill.

• Up to 30 percent of heated or cooled air is lost through leaks, so install weather stripping and insulation.

• Fix your plumbing. A leaky faucet wastes about 2,000 gallons a year.

• Consider increasing your insurance deductibles to $500 or $1,000—it could save you 15 to 30 percent on premiums.

• Balance your checking account regularly to avoid overdraft fees, and ask your bank about phone or email alerts for low balance or payments due.

Bottom line: Five dollars here and fifty dollars there can quickly add up to substantial savings.

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