Money Savers sometimes think that once they've made their budget, it is set in stone. Life brings about changes that cannot always be anticipated. Ever six months or so I go over my budget and re-align categories to real costs. In the process of doing this, I realized that there are some tricks to reduce some categories

Car Insurance:

Base Driving Mileage Estimates on real mileage
Don't throw away the notice from your insurance company asking for your odometer readings. Five years ago, my round trip commute to work was 84 miles, but my current commute is 6 miles round trip. Insurance costs are figured on how much driving you do. To keep my costs low, I send odometer readings on both vehicles every year to get accurate rates. There is no need paying for something I don't need.

When you pay off your Loan - Transfer Title ASAP
Car loans usually have a requirement for you to maintain GAP insurance. GAP insurance covers the full value of the car or up to the amount owing on the loan, whichever is greater. In the 2-5 years you have been paying on this car loan, the car value has decreased quite a bit - GAP insurance assures the lender that he will be paid in full. When you pay off your car you can keep comprehensive coverage which pays up to the market value for your car and delete the GAP insurance.

Traffic School
Check with your insurance company before you renew and be honest about speeding tickets. Speeding tickets are considered moving violations and increase the cost of your insurance. Ask if submitting a certificate from traffic school will reduce your premiums. If they agree, check our the local junior colleges for low cost traffic school and spend a Saturday in class to reduce your payments for up to three years

Teen Aged Drivers
Parent gasp when they realize the increase in insurance premiums when their teenager begins to drive. There are several ways to reduce the premium shock.
  1. exclude your teen driver as a driver on all but one car
  2. In most states an approved driver's ed program will reduce the rate for teen drivers
  3. Some insurance companies will give discounts based on your teenager's grade-point average (good motivations to study)
  4. Permit your teen driver to drive only the oldest car (or the car with the lowest replacement value)
  5. Set firm boundaries with your teen on driving with other teen passengers, driving at night, and especially about permitting other teen to drive the car - an accident avoided is money saved

Over 60? Your rates will increase
If you are over 60 look into taking an approved senior driving course, but check with your insurance company first because this is not an automatic discount in all states.

Before you buy

Call your insurance company and ask about discounts for anti-theft devices on cars. Some models and devices have larger discounts. When I bought my car, this saved me over $200/yr in insurance premiums