CONSUMER TIPS Elisabeth Leamy

This morning a friend told me she’s on the brink of losing her home because her husband lost his job. The only thing she could think to do? Have a garage sale. While it’s certainly good to have an “anything goes” attitude at times like this, I couldn’t help but think of all the bigger, better, faster ways she could probably cut costs and catch up on her mortgage.

Of course, I opened my big mouth. It’s what I do! I suggested she cancel cable and maybe even her home phone service (after checking to see if there was good 911 locator service for cell phones in her community). I told her how every other friend who has shopped around for car insurance has saved at least $1,000. She said her cars were both more than 10 years old, so I suggested dropping the collision and comprehensive coverage too.

And now I keep emailing her more ideas. For example, according to a new CreditCards.com report, 78 percent of people who asked their credit card company for a lower interest rate got their wish! Problem is, only one in five had ever asked. They were busy ... throwing garage sales. You know my bias from years of reading this column: I like to find a few ways to save a TON of money rather than a zillion ways to save a teeny bit.

I compiled more of my BIG savings ideas than ever before in one place as my New Year’s gift to you. Now I’m gonna send this article to my friend. Do YOU have a friend who needs ideas like this? Psst! Pass it on. Do you have a giant savings idea you don’t see on my list? Pay it forward by sharing with the group in the comments section below!



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