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By timestaff
November 13, 2012
An American woman takes a hula lesson. Starting in the 1950s the mainland developed a fascination with all things Polynesian.
An American woman takes a hula lesson. Starting in the 1950s the mainland developed a fascination with all things Polynesian.
Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Knowledge is power … and savings.

People in a University of California at Davis study cut electricity usage up to 22% with a device showing real-time utility spending.

“Watching money flow out of the house sends a persuasive message,” says Cornell consumer psychologist J. Edward Russo. So plug into instant information to lighten your bills.

Bright ideas

Conserve your energy: Buy an energy monitor ($80 and up) and you can track how much you’re spending on electricity at any given time. See the cost of laundering, and you’ll skip half loads, says David Rapson, coauthor of the UC Davis study.

Drive for less: Signing up for usage-based car insurance — which lets you (and your insurer) follow your speed, mileage, and braking — can cut your rates by up to 30%, says research firm ABI. Find out what you’ll save with Progressive’s no-strings free trial.

Related: 9 ways to cut your energy bill

Walk off the bucks: Wear a high-tech pedometer (like the $60 Fitbit) and make a game out of burning calories; users report walking 43% more, Fitbit says. And the farther you go on foot, the less you’ll need to spend at the gas station.

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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