Prepay. Adding a bit to your monthly payment can dramatically shorten the life of your mortgage and ultimately save you thousands of dollars in interest. Every extra dollar is applied to the loan's principal. Adding $10 per payment can prune 14 months from a 30-year, 5 percent mortgage for $100,000, and save you $4,500 in interest.
Drive a bargain. In many states you can cut your insurance rates if you have a monitoring device put in your car to verify low mileage or safe motoring habits. Or consider dropping your collision insurance if your car is old and not worth much.
Compare costs. BillShrink.com analyzes your everyday costs for services like cellphones and cable TV and financial accounts. FindABetterBank.com compares checking account plans at banks and credit unions. BrightScope.com compares 401(k) plans and financial advisers.
Got gold? The price has roughly doubled in the last four years, making now a good time to sell unwanted gold jewelry and coins. Comparison-shop to get a fair price, and check the reputation of gold buyers with the Better Business Bureau.
You may also like: Save on your taxes. >>
Contributors: Arthur Dalglish, Sid Kirchheimer, Cathie Gandel, Joan Rattner Heilman, K.C. Summers, Jeff Yeager, Bob Calandra and AARP members like you.