Eliminate Wasteful Spending to Save More for College

Part of the 529 and Other College Savings Plans For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Trimming the fat from your budget is one way to start saving, or start saving more, for college. You can do this without cutting out the necessities or sacrificing the fun "extras." Take a look at the following examples of wasteful spending and how you can cut it out of the family budget:

  • Checking-account minimum-balance penalty: Get the balance up or switch banks.

  • Insufficient-funds penalty: Quit with the bounced checks.

  • Credit-card interest: Start paying down that balance.

  • Over-limit credit-card fees: Don't push the limits.

  • Late-payment fees for credit cards, car loans, utilities, and so on: Get that check in the mail a few days sooner or go with the automatic debit option that everyone is pushing these days.

  • Late charges on video rentals: Suck it up, get in the car, and return the movies on time.

  • Health-club dues to a club you haven't attended for over a year: Either get on the exercise bike or get on the phone and cancel your membership. If you're not using the gym, the only thing getting thinner is your bank balance.

  • Newspaper and magazine subscriptions that you just haven't gotten around to canceling: Read or dial.

  • Hitting the coffee shop every morning: Get up five minutes earlier, three times a week make coffee at home, and save ten bucks.

  • Going out to lunch every day: Embrace the brown bag a few times a week.

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529 and Other College Savings Plans For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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