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Money Manager Moves

Ramit Sethi, personal finance adviser and author of I Will Teach You to Be Rich - SAVE MONEY

22. Link checking to investing. Consider an account like Charles Schwab's High Yield Investor Checking, which is automatically linked to a fee-free Schwab brokerage account. Features such as no account minimums, no monthly fees and ATM fee refunds can save you hundreds of dollars a year.

23. Negotiate all your bills. Almost every bill is at least slightly negotiable. Call your credit card, gym, cable, streaming service, car insurance and phone companies once a year to remind them what a good customer you are, and ask what they're able to do to keep you.

24Plan next month's spending. Budgeting software like You Need a Budget can help users focus on where their money should go in the coming weeks, not just where it went last month. The online service offers a 34-day trial and claims to help new budgeters save an average of $600 in the first two months.

25. Create a target savings rate. Diverting 10 percent of monthly income to savings and 10 percent to retirement investments is a good rule of thumb. Once you're achieving your targets, you don't have to worry about your smaller splurges.

animation of a vending machine with television streaming service logos in place of snacks

ILLUSTRATION BY TOMMY PEREZ

26. Watch TV à la carte. Consider canceling cable or streaming subscriptions (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) and buy only what you need. For instance, if you pay for full cable but mostly watch HBO, drop cable and pay separately for HBO. With so many streaming services, many of them free, you might find you were paying hundreds per year for little-used services.

My Best Savings Tricks

Kevin L. Matthews II, Raleigh, North Carolina-based money and retirement planner and author of Starting Point: How to Create Wealth That Lasts

27. Airless luggage! For less than $30, you can buy a set of zip-up compression bags that allow you to squeeze more clothes into your carry-on and bypass costly checked luggage.

28. Check your credit card for additional benefits ... Some cards offer surprising rewards, like credits for TSA PreCheck, roadside assistance, free museum entry and complimentary subscriptions to premium offerings from Lyft and DoorDash.

29. … As well as no foreign-transaction fees. Currency conversion or cash-withdrawal fees can be shockingly high. Travelers should get a credit card that doesn't charge you a fee for swiping overseas.

30. Buy fractional shares of stock. Stocks like Amazon can cost around $2,500 per share, but firms such as Fidelity and no-commission apps like Robinhood and M1 Finance let you buy fractional shares. You could invest $250 (10 percent) or even $25 (1 percent) and still get the same growth.

31. Use FINRA's fund analyzer. Just a 1 percent annual fee on investments can cost you thousands by the time you retire. Visit finra.org to check the fees in your mutual funds and compare the costs.

32. Price-shop for accessories, too. Digital retailers make up their profits on heavily discounted electronic items by upselling accessories. Before buying add-ons, check prices on other sites to see if you can save.

Shopping Savvy

Lani Inlander, owner and chief stylist of Real Life Style, a style consulting and personal styling service

33. Keep an opportunity list. When something you wear or use frequently nears the end of its useful life, put it on a list of items to be replaced when the price is right. For example, replace sandals at summer's end. Besides saving money, they'll be on hand for the start of next summer.

34. Shop on holiday weekends. In normal times, that's when you find the best sales at department stores and also outlet centers, many of which sell a coupon book for about $5 that gives extra discounts, potentially worth hundreds. AARP members can get coupons for discounts at places like tangeroutlet.com/aarp.

35. Shop your own closet. Organize clothes by category and color so you know exactly what you have. When you see five pairs of black pants hanging together, you won't buy another.

animation of a shirt pants and shoes that turn around to show they all match

ILLUSTRATION BY TOMMY PEREZ

Clothing Smarts

Loren North, clothing stylist and personal shopper

36. Think 30 wears. Don't buy something unless you will wear it at least 30 times and it will go with at least three other items in your closet. Avoid “conditional” clothing — items that pair only with that one skirt or pair of shoes. You want all your clothes pieces to be interchangeable.

37. Create a color palette. Many people shop without considering a cohesive wardrobe palette, so they end up with items that rarely get worn. Determine about five colors and/or neutrals you like the most, and stick to them when shopping.

38. Guys, know your body. Are you wasting cash on clothes that just don't seem to fit or look right? There are three body types — ectomorph (lean and long), endomorph (softer, rounder) and mesomorph (medium, well proportioned). Read online articles to help determine your body type and to find advice on clothing brands and styles that complement your unique shape.


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