Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fru-Gal Column March 17

I don’t have any financial background but I do feel that I have enough common sense to make sound decisions. With that being said I am just like you. I ask questions taking responsibility for my money. It frustrates me when I have over paid for a service or just being lax in looking over my bills. Now that spring has arrived let’s do some financial spring cleaning. If you do not know how much money is coming in and going out that is a problem. Get your bills together to do some investigating. Let’s try to save you some money. I know that this task can be time consuming but I can’t stress enough how important it is to do at least once a year. Call your cell phone provider to make sure your plan is the right one for your usage. One gentleman I know finally called his cell phone company to update his plan. In doing this small task he realized that he had paid his cell phone provider hundreds of extra dollars. I just called my cell phone provider questioning a charge they took off the charge for the past three months and refunded me over thirty dollars. Now look at your insurance. There are many factors involved when determining your rate for car insurance. Every year your car gets older you may want to drop everything but liability on your car policy because your car isn’t worth replacing if you get in an accident. Bundling your policies together can give you an overall lower cost. Ask your insurance agent if there is any discounts you can take advantage of like installing a home alarm system, fire safety, non-smokers, at-home moms, and there are others. Check the appraisal value of your home in doing so you should have the correct amount of covered. In the past fifteen years I have moved quite a few times. Every time my family left a state or a job our financial package usually stayed right where it was. We finally went to a financial advisor provided through our bank. Getting all our financial records together from different banks was hard but she packaged everything so we could follow the process of our investments easily. Even if doing this doesn’t save you money in the beginning it will give you peace of mind that if something happens to you or your spouse getting the information will be easily accessible. Another monthly bill is your utilities. Yes you do have to pay them but you can reduce them. Do an online energy audit provided from Kentucky Utilities found at or schedule an on-site audit. A $25 fee is charged for on-site residential audits but you will receive energy-saving products such as compact fluorescent light bulbs and water restrictors to help you get started without making any changes. I had an audit done on my home and found that my insulation needed to be replaced and many places did not have adequate coverage. I also replace my water fixtures with low usage models along with lowering my water heater temperature. Remember that last year’s tax rebates for home energy upgrades were extended. Take a look online to see what qualifies and how much you can save at Don’t forget to sign up for the Demand Conservation program at Kentucky Utilities. This program connects a free device to your central air conditioner, heat pump or electric water heater and reduces your energy demand. As a bonus, they will credit your utility bill $5 per month (up to $20 annually) for each of the four summer months for each central air conditioning unit. I have them installed on all my units and do not feel a difference in temperature but do see the savings. Next bill is cable, internet and phone. Bundling these three together should save you money. Last year I got rid of my land line and don’t miss it at all. Look at what you actual use. I watch many programs online using a cord that goes from my computer to TV. There are many providers out there offering you savings. All of the above tips only happen when you make the effort to ask questions. A company is not going to call you and say “I have a way to make your bill smaller.” Take a deep breath, roll up your sleeves and call.

A Woman’s Guide to Money Matters on Thursday, March 24 from 6-8pm at Central Library, 140 East Main Street. Call (859) 231-5530 to register.

Stretch your IRA- Benefit your Family on Tuesday, March 22 from 6:30-8pm at Beaumont Library, 3080 Fieldstone Way. Call (859) 231-5570 to register.

Coupon in Office Depot weekly flyer for FREE copy of your tax return up to 25 pages
Free 8 x 10 Canvas from Canvas People. This can be a beautiful present for Mother’s Day all you have to pay is $14.95 for shipping.

Give and Get coupon for 30% off Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy. This coupon is valid for 4 days only- March 17 through 20. They will give 5% of what you spend to one of the following charities Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, World Wildlife Fund, Teach For America, Habitat for Humanity or Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Just print out the accompanying coupon.

World Wildlife Fund- Teach for America - Habitat for Humanity - Juvenile Diabetes -

Send a personalized message from Yogi Tea to a friend and let them know you selected two teas just for them. It will include instructions on how they can receive their gift in the mail.

New Picaboo customers can get a free 20 page Large Classic Custom Photo book for FREE. Use promotional code FREECC at checkout to deduct the cost of the book. You do have to pay shipping and handling. This is a $39.99 value good until March 22.

Verizon and AT&T announced they are offering customers free calls to Japan.

Get over $35 in Savings by requesting the P&G Home Made Simple coupon book.

Take the Generation Happy Pledge and you will receive a special HAPPY FAMILY VIP offers. The first offer is a coupon for a FREE HAPPYBABY product.

Stop into O’Charley’s this week with coupon and get a free kids meal with a purchase of an adult entrée.

Even though we don’t have a Buster’s Real Ice Cream in Lexington, they are located in Georgetown or Nicholasville they have some delicious promotions going on now. You bring a banana on Thursdays and they will provide the ice cream and delicious toppings. They also will pay for half of the bill too. Children under 40 inches tall can get a free baby cone. They even give man’s best friend a free Doggie Sundae.

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