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Lesko: How to Take Advantage of Gas Savings

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JASON:

PRICES AT THE PUMP ARE LESS THAN HALF

WHAT THEY WERE TWO YEARS AGO.

WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO ENJOY THOSE

SAVINGS? GREG LESKO OF LESKO

FINANCIAL HAS SOME IDEAS. GREG…

GREG:

THANKS, JASON. THE AVERAGE

HOUSEHOLD WILL SAVE ABOUT $1000 ON

GAS THIS YEAR. RECENT SURVEYS SAY

MANY ARE SPENDING THE EXTRA ON

DINING OUT. THERE’S NOTHING WRONG

WITH THAT. BUT WHAT IF YOU ADDED UP

THE SAVINGS AS A LUMP SUM INSTEAD OF

LETTING IT TRICKLE AWAY ON SMALLER

EXPENSES? YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO PUT

YOURSELF ON BETTER FINANCIAL FOOTING

AND EVEN START BUILDING WEALTH.

JASON:

HOW COULD YOU DO THAT?

GREG:

ONE WAY WOULD BE TO INCREASE YOUR

401K CONTRIBUTIONS OR PUT THE EXTRA

MONEY INTO AN INDIVIDUAL RETIREMENT

ACCOUNT. A TAX-ADVANTAGED PLAN

COULD EVEN GIVE YOU A TAX BREAK FOR

NEXT YEAR. YOU COULD ALSO PUT MORE

INTO SAVINGS AND INVESTMENTS.

JASON:

WHAT ABOUT PAYING OFF DEBT?

GREG:

THAT’S CERTAINLY ANOTHER GOOD USE--

ESPECIALLY HIGH INTEREST CREDIT CARD

DEBT. IF YOU’RE PAYING 15% INTEREST ON

THAT DEBT, PAYING IT OFF WOULD BE LIKE

earning 15%--RISK-FREE AND TAX-FREE.

OTHER GOOD USES FOR THE EXTRA CASH

WOULD BE A “RAINY DAY” OR EMERGENCY

FUND AND PAYING EXTRA ON YOUR

MORTGAGE;

JASON:

SOME PEOPLE WOULD REALLY PREFER TO

SPEND IT ON FUN.

GREG:

WELL, YOU COULD INVEST IN YOURSELF BY

PURSUING A PASSION THAT MIGHT LEAD TO

PART- TIME INCOME, OR EVEN TAKE AN

ONLINE COURSE THAT WILL BOOST YOUR

CAREER AND YOUR CONFIDENCE. AS FOR

“FUN”—ANOTHER GOOD USE FOR THE

EXTRA CASH MIGHT BE A FAMILY TRIP OR

ADVENTURE…BEACAUSE RESEARCH

SHOWS THAT PEOPLE ARE HAPPIER

SPENDING MONEY ON EXPERIENCES THAN

THEY ARE JUST BUYING STUFF.