How a lit­tle work could lead to over $1,000 in sav­ings

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - BUSINESS - Nathaniel Sillin Prac­ti­cal Money Skills

How long would it take you to earn an ex­tra $1,000? Con­trary to what spam and in­ter­net ads tell us, after tak­ing taxes and de­duc­tions into ac­count, it’s not an easy task. But you might be able to save over a thou­sand dol­lars with a lit­tle work. The key is to de­crease or elim­i­nate un­nec­es­sary re­cur­ring ex­penses.

You can use the sav­ings to build up an emer­gency fund or in­vest them for im­por­tant longterm goals, such as travel or re­tire­ment. Ad­di­tion­ally, a sav­ings safety cush­ion can help keep an un­ex­pected set­back from bal­loon­ing into a fi­nan­cial cri­sis, such as a bro­ken down car or the loss of a job lead­ing to debt.

First, iden­tify sav­ings op­por­tu­ni­ties. You may want to start by con­nect­ing your bank and credit card ac­counts to bud­get­ing soft­ware, or up­load­ing pre­vi­ous months’ state­ments and cat­e­go­rize pur­chases. You’ll get a quick snap­shot of your fi-

nances, which can help you iden­tify sav­ings op­por­tu­ni­ties and get a sense of how much money is on the line.

Can­cel ser­vices and reg­u­larly ne­go­ti­ate rates – save over $100 a month. “Cord cut­ting” is a pop­u­lar and sim­ple way to save money. Rather than pay for ca­ble or satel­lite TV, you might choose to can­cel your ser­vice and opt for lower-cost en­ter­tain­ment op­tions.

If you don’t want to elim­i­nate ser­vices en­tirely, you could try to ne­go­ti­ate rates with your ca­ble or in­ter­net providers.

A suc­cess­ful call could lower your bill by $20 a month or more, sav­ing you a cou­ple hun­dred dol­lars a year. A few tips: ask for the can­cel­la­tion depart­ment and re­quest the busi­ness match a com­peti­tor’s lower price or give you the cur­rent pro­mo­tional rate. Don’t be afraid to try again if you’re not suc­cess­ful – it can take sev­eral at­tempts to con­nect with a rep­re­sen­ta­tive who will work with you.

Avoid bank fees – save over $10 a month. Oc­ca­sion­ally pay­ing to with­draw money from an ATM or pay­ing fees for a low­bal­ance check­ing ac­count might not seem like a big deal, but the money adds up. Two ATM fees and a check­ing-ac­count fee


: What will you do dif­fer­ently to fix your com­pany’s qual­ity prob­lems?


: We’ve been mak­ing im­prove­ments. Use the re­cent J.D. Power ini­tial qual­ity re­sults as ev­i­dence. We’ve been im­prov­ing about dou­ble the in­dus­try av­er­age for the last 18 months or so. We’re con­tin­u­ing to do the things that we have done in the past to main­tain that rate of im­prove­ment.


: Do you ex­pect the im­prove­ments to show up in fu­ture sur­veys?


: We al­ways ex­pect im­prove­ment. We’ve had some notable is­sues in the past that have af­fected us in Con­sumer Re­ports.

could cost you over $10.

Some ac­counts waive fees as long as you main­tain a min­i­mum bal­ance, and there of­ten isn’t an ATM fee for with­draw­ing money from an in-net­work ATM or get­ting cash back when mak­ing a pur­chase. There are also check­ing ac­counts that re­fund ATM fees at the end of each month. There can be ad­van­tages and dis­ad­van­tages to any ac­count, read the terms of your check­ing and sav­ing ac­count agree­ments to un­der­stand when, and why, you may need to pay a fee.

Shop for in­sur­ance dis­counts – you might be able to save over 20 per­cent on your pre­mi­ums each month. Use on­line com­par­i­son tools to quickly

From our in­ter­nal in­di­ca­tors we see good signs now. We ex­pect to see con­tin­ued im­prove­ment but not nec­es­sar­ily a big oneyear shift from some­thing such as be­low av­er­age to above av­er­age.


: You’ve had shift­ing prob­lems with the new nine-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, which has hurt you in sur­veys. Has that been fixed?


: We’ve seen or­ders of mag­ni­tude of im­prove­ment in the nine­speed. It’s a very good trans­mis­sion. A good ex­am­ple would be the new Chrysler Paci­fica mini­van (which has the trans­mis­sion). It per­formed very well in their (Con­sumer Re­ports’) drive eval­u­a­tion.

and eas­ily get quotes on auto, renters, home­own­ers and other types of in­sur­ance. Com­pare the rates, cov­er­age and in­sur­ance com­pa­nies to see if switch­ing makes sense for you.

Ask your agent about po­ten­tial sav­ings if you de­cide to stick with your cur­rent in­surer. You might be el­i­gi­ble for dis­counts you aren’t re­ceiv­ing be­cause the in­for­ma­tion on file doesn’t re­flect your cur­rent sit­u­a­tion. If not, there are usu­ally dis­counts for sim­ple pur­chases, such as a fire ex­tin­guisher for your home or an anti-theft de­vice for your car.

Buy prod­ucts that more than pay for them­selves – save hun­dreds each year. Some­times you need to spend money to


: Is there any sin­gle area that you need to fix?


: Big prob­lems, no. We’re fo­cused on thou­sands of de­tails, and that’s what it takes to be suc­cess­ful. We’re look­ing at ev­ery piece of cus­tomer feed­back to con­tinue to make the de­tails bet­ter. With the mini­van, I think the at­ten­tion to de­tail on that ve­hi­cle is re­ally ex­cel­lent, and that’s where we con­tinue to go.


: You’ve run man­u­fac­tur­ing and pur­chas­ing at FCA, two key ar­eas for im­prov­ing qual­ity. How will your back­ground help in your new post?


: I spent many years work­ing in our plants

save money. Buy­ing a cof­fee maker for your home is the cliché ex­am­ple, but that doesn’t mean it’s with­out merit. Pur­chas­ing a wa­ter pitcher with a fil­ter rather than bot­tled wa­ter can also lead to im­me­di­ate sav­ings.

Other pur­chases are long-term in­vest­ments. It might take months to break even after buy­ing LED bulbs or up­grad­ing your ap­pli­ances to en­er­gy­ef­fi­cient mod­els, but after that you could save money on your util­ity bill each month.

Bot­tom line. Start your sav­ings ef­fort as soon as pos­si­ble and you can build your emer­gency fund, a safety net that can help you avoid stress­ing about po­ten­tial fi­nan­cial set­backs.

and for a time ran man­u­fac­tur­ing. I have a good un­der­stand­ing of how they do busi­ness. Same for pur­chas­ing. I also ran sup­plier qual­ity in the past. In our busi­ness pro­cesses, we have had is­sues in the past. How we close the door on ever hav­ing these is­sues again, fix­ing prob­lems in the field. I get to work in those ar­eas where I have ex­pe­ri­ence, gath­er­ing the whole team to fo­cus on qual­ity.


: You’re the third qual­ity chief for FCA in two years. Are you wor­ried about reper­cus­sions if qual­ity doesn’t get bet­ter?


: We have a clear mis­sion here in qual­ity. The boss has cer­tainly been sup­port­ive of the

Low­er­ing your monthly ca­ble bill will lead to al­most in­stant sav­ings, while mak­ing an in­vest­ment in en­ergy-ef­fi­cient ap­pli­ances will pay off after months or years. Add it all up and in the end you could find that just a bit of ef­fort leads to over $1,000 in an­nual sav­ings. It’s a great start.

This ar­ti­cle is in­tended to pro­vide gen­eral in­for­ma­tion and should not be con­sid­ered le­gal, tax or fi­nan­cial ad­vice. It’s al­ways a good idea to con­sult a tax or fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sor for spe­cific in­for­ma­tion on how cer­tain laws ap­ply to your sit­u­a­tion and about your in­di­vid­ual fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion. things we want to do and a per­son that has been driv­ing qual­ity. Bear in mind that things on the in­side some­times look dif­fer­ent than things from out­side. Peo­ple are moved for per­sonal de­vel­op­ment, maybe their skill set. I can say with com­plete clar­ity that the com­pany is fo­cused on an im­prove­ment in qual­ity.

Fiat Chrysler Au­to­mo­biles qual­ity chief Scott Gar­berd­ing

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