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Here's a surefire way of making sure you don't fritter away your hard-earned clams, say the experts at Consumer Reports: Spend less. Taking care of what you already own—and postponing the bank-account-draining day you'll have to replace them—makes your money stretch further, which is almost as good as making more, with the added bonus that Uncle Sam doesn't get to partake of your theoretical riches.
Regular maintenance checks on appliances such as air conditioners and refrigerators go a long way to extending their lives, as does good ol' fashioned common sense. (Don't stow your phone in your car's glove compartment during warm weather, for instance, because the battery could overheat and damage your phone.)
Periodically cleaning out filters and coils, and emptying traps and ducts also help you stay on frugal straight-and-narrow. Help yourself remember by marking these "appointments" ahead of time on your calendar or using an online scheduler that e-mails you nagging reminders. ::Greener Choices
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