Belt-tightening open thread

Governor Chet Culver says says Iowa may consider moving to a four-day work week for state employees to save energy costs:

In Utah starting next month, most government employees will not go in on Fridays and will work 10-hour shifts the other four days of the week.

Utah’s innovation was a popular topic at the National Governors Association meeting last weekend in Philadelphia, Culver said Friday.

If Utah state workers commute 20 percent less, the idea is that fuel use and pollution will decrease. State officials also hope to improve customer service with state buildings open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., said Lisa Roskelley, spokeswoman for Utah’s governor. And they want to boost employee morale by giving them a three-day weekend every week, she said.

City employees in Birmingham, Alabama are also working four-day weeks this summer, and that link discusses some of the environmental benefits and cost savings.

Meanwhile, seven Iowa locations are among the 600 stores Starbucks is closing nationwide. I can’t say I’m surprised. When you read about tips for saving money, a common piece of advice is to brew your own coffee instead of paying $4 or $5 at Starbucks.

Daily Kos user Lava20 used to work for two different major credit card companies and has posted helpful advice for reducing your credit card bills. Here are the links:

Simple Credit Card Advice For Everyone, Yes You! (includes tips on how to protest every fee, ask for lower interest rates, request that every fee be waived, and so on)

Simple Credit Card Advice. SERIOUS UPDATE (on lowering interest rates, balance transfer options, and improving your credit score)

A theme running through both diaries is that you have a better chance of getting what you want if you are polite and don’t call the customer service representative names or threaten to close your account.

Use this as an open thread to discuss anything you are doing to save a little money in light of rising costs for gas, food and other necessities.

When it comes to making ends meet, you can’t beat this timeless advice from Saturday Night Live.

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