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Home > Another year, another Kiplinger "save 1000s" story that doesn't apply to me

Another year, another Kiplinger "save 1000s" story that doesn't apply to me

January 29th, 2012 at 07:24 am

I subscribe to Kiplinger. Much of it isn't relevant but I like reading it, if only to get a sense how the other 1% lives. Wink Once a year they publish a list of quick tips to "save thousands" making changes that take 15 minutes or less. Let's see how much I can save.

1. Ditch that expensive airline credit card. $0 n/a
2. Lower the interest rate on your plastic. $0 n/a don't carry a balance
3. Avoid bounced checks and costly overdraft charges. $0 n/a I'm careful not to overdraw
4. Set up bank alerts to avoid fraud and unexpected fees. $0 n/a check my account often enough on my own
5. Switch to energy-efficient lighting. $0 n/a (It's not that this wouldn't be a good switch, but our utilities are tied to our condo association dues and don't vary. This tip will cost, not save, us money if we take it.)
6. Sign up for automatic federal student loan payments. $0 already done
7. Install a water-saving showerhead. $0 n/a AND already done
8. Slay your energy vampires. $0 n/a (though I will look into the Belkin Conserve Smart AV that they recommend; if we get it this tip will cost us $29 vs. saving us any actual money)
9. Find a low refi rate and a good lender. $0 n/a (mortgage still under water)
10. Put in a programmable thermostat. $0 n/a can't do, wouldn't save us anyway
11. Score the best-priced seat in the house. $0 n/a This is another that would cost us if we took the tip, since we hardly ever go to shows or games.
12. Unsubscribe from deal emails. $100? I think that's how much I spent on restaurant gift cards and restaurants that I wouldn't have gone to otherwise. Then again, I still would've gone to restaurants on dates, so I probably would have spent the same amount, just on a familiar restaurant. So is this one technically $0?
13. Improve your fuel economy. $0 don't own a car, and the carshare service we occasionally use doesn't charge us for gas
14. Use a car-buying service to get a great deal. $0 n/a; would cost us a ton if we took this tip; $15,000?
15. Spot lower prices shopping online. $? This one is kind of interesting; they say a toolbar from FreePriceAlerts.com will alert you if it finds a better deal while you're shopping online. May need to check that out. They say annual savings $200.
16. Rent designer duds instead of buying. $0 N/A!
17. Haggle like an expert with spending apps. $0 n/a; this is another that would cost me a ton to use, because I have a super-cheap prepaid plan instead of a smartphone.
18. Listen to free audio books. $0 n/a; I never buy books for myself, just ask for them as gifts from family. Don't listen to audio books.
19. Lose your landline. $0 already done
20. Text for free. $0 n/a would need to have an iPhone or Android and a data plan, so this tip would cost me money if I followed it. (I will, however, pass along info about the "Textfree" app to a friend who was wondering about something like this for her smartphone.)
21. Dodge fees on treasury investments. $0 n/a don't buy bonds
22. Slash expenses with exchange-traded funds. $? It says you do this in your brokerage account; does my Vanguard Roth IRA count? Probably not, so I'm guessing $0 n/a
23. Sidestep taxes on bonds. $0 n/a I just don't see myself buying individual investment stuff at this point in my life and getting much out of it. They estimate $380 annual savings if you invested $50000, and I definitely don't have that kind of money to put in low-yield investments.
24. Switch to the latest generic drugs. $0 already done
25. Raise your deductibles. $50 I can't say outright this is n/a because I haven't looked at my homeowner insurance policy lately; possibly I do have a $500 deductible that I could raise to $1000. Kiplinger says you could save up to 25%, so the max I could save would be $50. No auto insurance so that part doesn't apply. They say I could save $584 but I think the most I could save is $50. I will look into it, though.
26. Reshop your life insurance. $0 n/a Currently the only life insurance we have is NT and I each have a plan with our employer that doesn't cost us anything.

So, let's see what I'll save if I take their (applicable) advice.
Unsubscribe from deal emails: $100
Spot lower prices shopping online: $200
Raise your deductibles: $50
Total: $350

If I actually saved this much, I'd certainly be happy. I suspect it won't be that much.

How about you? Will these Kiplinger tips help you save "thousands" this year?

9 Responses to “Another year, another Kiplinger "save 1000s" story that doesn't apply to me”

  1. littlegopher Says:

    Doesn't apply and/or already doing.... but I'm sure that there are plenty of people who need the advice (though may not read Kiplinger or other financial magazines.) Hey, I think we tend to be above average here at SA!

  2. MonkeyMama Says:

    Done, done, done, probably for decades. Plus throw in a lot of N/A. *yawn*

  3. PauletteGoddard Says:

    Articles like this are regularly created to make space around advertisements and "what funds are hot this month" items.

  4. PatientSaver Says:

    I think I read that same story. (I'm also a subscriber.) No, most of it didn't apply or i'm already doing it. I think the typical readership is new to our way of frugal living. there are still some of those out there.

  5. Mary Ann Says:

    Same here....just doesn't apply...I think us SA people must be a different breed then the usual! LOL

  6. My English Castle Says:

    Ha! Only slightly better than my HR newsletter?

  7. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Yeppers. And wasn't LuckyRobin saying a similar thing today--that it is hard to find usable savings tips? Much of what we can find seems to be appropriate to someone who just never gave saving much thought.

  8. LuckyRobin Says:

    LOL, no. Not even close to saving me anything.

  9. baselle Says:

    Must be the January "resolution" issue. No doubt the laundry list here in 2011 was very similar to the 2010 list. Most on the list went under the "big and dumb" ball, while we are all small ball. The only thing that surprises me is that it didn't mention substituting pizza for steak. Big Grin

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