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13 Fast Money-Saving Fixes

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10-Minute Money-Saving Moves
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Alexis Rom

  • Compare cell phone and texting plans at Billshrink.com. Upload your most recent bill, and the site will tell you whether your carrier has cheaper plans that meet all your needs. "Most people overbuy," says Billshrink CEO Schwark Satyavolu. Switching can help you avoid overages and overpaying. Billshrink can also figure out when changing carriers will save you money over the long haul, even after factoring in early-termination fees and penalties. And it's all free of charge to users.

  • Set up automatic transfers from your checking account to a high-yield savings account, such as the ones offered by INGDirect.com or Smarty Pig.com. Put aside at least 5 percent of your pay and gradually increase to 10 percent, so you can build an emergency fund.

  • Get more from your checking and savings accounts. Use Bankrate.com to find a bank offering higher yields, fewer fees, and plenty of locations.

  • Switch to a credit card with more favorable terms. CardRatings.com, Credit.com, and Billshrink.com offer comparison tools to help you find lower interest rates or better rewards. Like your current card? Ask for a rate reduction. It's a consumer's market, and chances are you'll get a break.

  • Make a bookmark list for your web browser of money-saving sites to help you snag the best deals when shopping online. Include price-comparison engines (like PriceGrabber.com or NexTag.com), coupon code sites (RetailMeNot.com, CouponCabin.com), sale trackers (DealNews.com, ShopItToMe.com) and consumer review and complaint sites (Yelp.com, BBB.org).

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