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5 money-saving tips to make your money last through the end of the year

Saturday, September 07, 2013
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Fall is a good time to review your personal financial status.

Family Services of Greater Houston shares five things you can do right now to make your hard-earned money go farther:

1. Take your lunch to work for the rest of the year.

  • The average cost of a fast food lunch is $6. That's $30 a week. That's almost $500 n savings by year's end.

2. Check your financial institution accounts. Are you spending too much at financial institutions? Here are a few things to consider:

  • If you signed up for credit cards with a 0% annual rate, check to see if that rate has expired. If it has, you might want to consider moving that balance to another card with a low annual rate.
  • Were you getting a free checking account or signed up for a special offer that has expired? Check to see if your bank has started charging your account new fees.
  • Are you a "points person"? If so, your user agreement may have changed and you might not be receiving the benefits you once had.

3. Pull your credit report if you haven't done so this year.

  • In these times of credit card fraud and identity theft, it is important to know what is on your credit report. Pull it once a year and look for mistakes, credit you thought was closed but is open. Also, it gives you a chance to check your financial progress. Do you owe more or less than last year? If you are trying to repair credit it can help you to review the status of a delinquent account and how much you owe.

4. Budget your holiday gifts. Now is the time to plan ahead for what you expect to buy for the holidays.

5. With that budget in mind, begin saving for the holidays. It's easier to come up with a few hundred dollars a month now than a thousand two weeks before Christmas.

Family Services of Greater Houston's financial coaches meet one-on-one with individuals -- at no cost -- to help create a personal financial plan to reduce debt, re-establish credit, budget and save for the future. Call 713-861-4849 for more information or to make an appointment.

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