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      MONEY TALKS: How to Save $500 by the Holidays

      With less than 3 months till the holidays, it's time to take stock of your savings..

      The holidays are almost here - the happiest, and most expensive, time of the year. Are you ready?

      Wouldn't it be nice if you could just pick up an extra $500 for that holiday shopping? You know, you might already have it, hidden in your budget.

      First, check your cell plan. If you're not using minutes you're paying for, switch to a cheaper plan. That could save you 20 bucks a month. And if you have a landline too, consider losing it. There's another $25-$50.

      Then exercise your right to drop your gym membership. Stay in shape without that expense by outdoor jogging or indoor weight-lifting or fitness videos. There's another $35 a month.

      Next, insurance. Raising the deductible on your car or home policy from $250 to say $1,000 that could put a couple of hundred dollars in your pocket right now.

      And when you relax, do you really need premium movie channels? Most are either movies you've already seen or never wanted to see anyway. An easy way to save $25 bucks a month. Better yet? Drop cable entirely and save a lot more.

      And here's a way to make money and clear clutter: sell stuff! Clear a room every week, your basement, attic and garage: you'll probably make enough to pay for all your holiday shopping.

      Bottom line? It's not too late to get a little padding for that holiday budget. Just give yourself an early gift: start now. Want more ideas on how you can save for the holidays Go to and do a search for "Saving."