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Common Cents departments
Jan/Feb 2011 Issue

Painless tips make savings automatic

It took a recession, but Americans are coming around to the idea of saving rather than spending. Consider these tips to make building a respectable savings as automatic and painless as possible.

  • Pay yourself first. Have a percentage of your paycheck directly deposited into a savings account.
  • Pay your retirement account second. Open an Individual Retirement Account (IRA); the tax benefits are unbeatable.
  • Watch your windfall. Put any tax refunds, gifts, inheritances or bonuses in the bank for three to six months. After that time, see if you still feel the need to spend it.
  • Create a simple budget. You can’t know what to save until you know what you’ve got.
  • Keep on truckin’. Whenever you pay off a car loan or credit card, continue to make monthly payments but put it in your savings account.
  • Be a smart shopper. Billionaire Mark Cuban said, “You will quickly find that the greatest rate of return you will earn is on your own personal shopping. Being a smart shopper is the first step to getting rich.”

Make savings more rewarding with accounts from AAA and Discover Bank. Visit or call (800) 347-7054 for more information.

Save money at the pump

With the national average price of regular self-service gasoline around $3 per gallon, many drivers are grumbling at the pump. AAA offers these tips to help you save on fuel costs this spring.

  • Be gentle on gas and brake pedals. The U.S. Department of Energy reports aggressive driving can lower fuel economy by 33 percent.
  • Drive the speed limit
  • Properly inflate tires
  • Let AAA help you find the lowest gas prices. Whether in town or on a road trip, the AAA TripTik® Mobile iPhone app and the TripTik® Travel Planner at can help you find the lowest fuel prices.

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