4 Easy Ways to Save

REAL SIMPLE. REAL LIFE. financial expert Farnoosh Torabi fills you in on her top money-saving tricks.

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Photo by Sang An

The trick: Get a library card. Sounds obvious, but only 39 percent of card holders visit the library to borrow books; 12 percent take out CDs, according to a 2008 Harris Poll. To find your closest library, go to ilovelibraries.org
The payoff: You save 100 percent on books and DVD rentals.


The trick: Pay as you go at the gym. A study conducted by U.C. Berkeley and Stanford University found that the average gym member visited the gym four times a month.
The payoff: Considering that monthly memberships at commercial clubs can cost an average $54 per month according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, it may make more sense to pay for a one-day pass, which ranges from free to approximately $20.


The trick: Buy a car in the fall. Dealers are usually trying to make room for the next year’s models. Can’t wait until the fall? Try making a deal at the end of the month. Making sales quotas is often more important to sales associates than getting the full ticket price.
The payoff: More money for gas.


The trick: Instead of buying a cell phone directly from your service carrier, shop sites such as LetsTalk.com and WireFly.com for more inexpensive prices.
The payoff: You could save up to $200.