Stretch Your Paychecks by Saving on Cable and Cooking

As the old saying goes, “You gotta eat.” And nowadays, cable and Internet service are also necessities. Fortunately, you can stretch your paychecks by saving on both.

Lower your cable bill. A new service called Trim can help you lower your monthly cable bill with a number of major cable providers. Trim helps you find credits that your provider owes you for interruptions in cable and internet service. It can also help you cancel unwanted subscriptions for free.

Cut grocery costs. Another area where you can save is food spending. With an Instant Pot pressure cooker and Crock-Pot slow cooker, you can prepare more meals at home and eat out less often.

Cut prescription drug costs. One way to lower out-of-pocket expenses is to use two free apps—GoodRx and LowestMed—which search pharmacies for discounts and coupons.

Ditch Those Extra Bank Fees!

The big banks are raking in record profits, pocketing new tax bonanzas and laying off their own employees. Why pay banks more than we have to? Some commonsense, money-saving tips (the kind we often know but don’t always follow) from Today’s informative website.

  • Ditch Those Fees: Find a free checking account, no strings attached. In 2017, fees on noninterest-bearing checking accounts average $5.84 a month. With a free checking account, you’ll save about $70 a year.
  • Avoid ATM Surcharges: “Out-of-network” ATM withdrawals cost an average of $4.69, according to the 2017 Bankrate checking account survey. Even if you only do this once a month, you’ll save more than $40 a year if you use only your own bank’s ATMs.
  • No More Overdrafts: Overdraft fees for making purchases greater than your bank balance set new records last year, averaging $33.38. Make sure it doesn’t happen to you this year.

Credit Card Tips to Keep More Cash in Your Pockets

With wages flatlining in recent years – and lenders pushing out cards to consumers with below-average credit scores – Americans now have the highest credit card-debt in history.

And that total – about $1.021 trillion – was computed before the recent holiday season!

How can working Americans dig ourselves out from this mountain of often high-interest debt and avoid being buried under new charges? Financial experts offer these suggestions:

And check out union friendly financial services, such as Union Plus and Amalgamated Bank.

Working Americans shouldn’t blame themselves for the financial squeeze that the big banks created. But, through smart financial planning, we can keep more cash in our wallets.

Consumers Swindled by Wall Street and the Senate

When big banks swindle you, you won’t be able to join with other consumers to sue them. That’s because President Trump and his allies weighed in for Wall Street against working Americans.
Late at night on October 24, the Senate killed a rule that would have empowered consumers to file “class action” lawsuits against banks that bilk them out of their hard-earned money. Joining all but two Republicans to side with Wall Street, Vice President Pence broke a 50-50 tie vote. The Republican-controlled House had already rejected the rule, which had been proposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau but never went into effect.
This means consumers can be compelled to settle their disputes on the banks’ home turf: out of court in arbitration procedures dominated by corporate lawyers. These “mandatory arbitration clauses” are hidden in small type and legal jargon in the lengthy contracts for checking accounts, credit cards and student loans.
Emboldened by this victory, the Trump administration is trying to make it more difficult for consumers to sue other corporations. For instance, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is working to keep “mandatory arbitration” clauses in students’ contracts with the scandal-ridden for-profit colleges.
Hang on to your wallets.