Pay your regular bills automatically with a no-fee credit card that offers rewards, such as cash back or free gasoline. Have that card automatically paid off monthly by your bank. You will earn rewards for purchases and avoid late fees... and you won't have to worry about bills while traveling. You also won't need as many checks and stamps.
On nonroutine bills, mark the due date on the lower left corner of the envelope. Wait until just before that date to mail them so that your money stays in the bank earning interest longer.
Use a credit card that offers monthly statements that break down your expenses into categories. Then you will be able to see where your money is going and save in new areas.
Buy checks from a mail-order company. They are half the cost of what some banks charge. Example: www.checksinthemail.com.
Buy a rubber stamp bearing your return address. Use address labels only for important correspondence.
Ask for discounts if you pay cash for major purchases.
Use the Internet to find bargains on everything from merchandise to vacations. Examples: www.priceline.com... www.travelocity.com.
Assess whether you need high-speed Internet service. You can save $20 a month if you're willing to use your phone line and a dial-up service.
Buy quality -- cars, appliances, tools, furnishings, etc. Quality items last longer, so they are cheaper in the long run.
Stay at airport hotels. By staying near the airport the night before your trip, you may be able to save by leaving your car in the hotel garage at a lower rate than the one at the airport.
Maintain your car. You can make it last for 100,000 miles. Keeping the tires properly inflated also will boost your mileage and reduce tire wear.
Change your car's oil yourself. Buy oil, oil filters and air filters in bulk. Each oil change will save you the fee.
Install ceiling fans to avoid running the air conditioner as often.
Replace some regular lightbulbs with fluorescent bulbs. The initial higher cost will be more than repaid by their longer life and energy efficiency.
Take advantage of early-bird specials at restaurants.
Bring your lunch to work and a bottle of water to the gym. Pack water or soda on car trips to avoid buying expensive drinks at service stations.
Get -- and use -- a library card. Besides books, libraries often loan videos and music at no cost.
Restrict or avoid pay-per-view TV. You can save about $20 a month if you pass up a movie a week.