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Amazing Ways To Save Money

February 4, 2011

Clients often ask us how they can save money, not just on their taxes but in everyday life. We often go thru this forensic money diary exercise with them and come up with some good ideas. And then that exercise turns into a budgeting experience which we hope that everyone enjoys. And they do! At GAI (www.gunwel.com) we can help you with your finances and show you ways to save money in everyday life, as well as on your taxes. A few dollars here and there can add up very quickly. Here are some resources that will help you cut costs without sacrificing…

  • Utilities/Energy… For a free evaluation of your energy usage, call your local utilities company. Many utilities also give away energy-savings devices, such as low-flow shower heads, water heater blankets and fluorescent bulbs.
  • Repair major appliances your self…Contact customer service for instructions. General Electric, 800-626-2005, www.geappliances.com. Whirlpool, 866-698-2538, www.whirlpool.com. Electrolux, 877-435-3287, www.electrolux.com.
  •  Gather free firewood…from any of our 155 national forests. Contact your regional office of the USDA Forest Service to find the cost for a permit, which allows you up to six cords of downed or dead wood. At the going rate of about $150 a cord, this can save almost $1,000. Go to www.fs.fed.us.
  • Install a water restrictor for your shower…It saves thousands of gallons of water a year. Check with your utility for a free restrictor.
  • Home and health care products…Take advantage of refund/rebates offers. Take the time to save UPC symbols, labels and receipts. The savings can easily reach hundreds of dollars a year. Good source of offers are supermarkets and drugstore bulletin boards.
  • Ask for free samples at department store cosmetics counters…Say you need to try products before you buy, and you’ll receive handfuls of high-priced makeup, skin care products and fragrances. Watch for fine print in magazine ads offering free samples of perfumes or moisturizers if you write or call an 800 number.
  • Use your public library…  to borrow books, records, audio tapes, videotapes, DVDs, even artwork.
  • Free publications from your favorite manufacturers. Quite a few food companies offer free cookbooks, including Sargento Cheese, Jiffy Mix and Smuckers…as do trade organizations, including the California Walnut Commission and the Idaho Potato Commission.

 I have heard many people say that they would never take the time to do these few things. But it can be these few things that can make or break a budget. I’ve been known to run thru Macy’s before a big date just to get spritz’d with the latest cologne to impress my date…not that I would confess my secret (to the date, lol). The economy is such that we need to look at how we spend our money and evaluate what is currently working for us. Let Gunwel Tax & Bookkeeping be part of that process. Call us at 212-979-6830 or stop by for a visit. I think I may have a few spritzing samples in my desk somewhere. See you soon!

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