STUDIO CITY (CBS) — Wallet still feeling painfully thin?

Merrill Edge director Will Smayda visited KCAL9 Studios Monday to talk budgeting and saving money during the economic recovery. Merrill Edge was launched by the Merrill Lynch division of Bank of America in 2010.

He’ll share several tips to save money, like:

  • Skip The $4 Latte – Saves $960 a year. Investing it could earn you more than $40,000.
  • Brown Bag It – Save $3.50 per day by packing a lunch instead of eating out and you could have an extra $840.00 a year. By investing it, it could grow to more than $35,000.
  • Drive Sensibly – Lower your pump prices 35% by slowing down. If you pay $4 for a gallon of gas, you could save $950 a year. Banking the savings can add up to over $40,000.
  • Leverage Local Libraries –Save $360 a year by borrowing books, CDs or movies instead of buying new ones could add up to over $17,000 in savings.
  • Keep Fido Affordable – Buying a lower end 35-pound bag of dog food for about $25 versus spending $70 for a higher-end bag saves $45 per month or $540 a year. Investing it could yield more than 20K.
  • Cap Your Cable – On average, American cable and satellite viewers pay $71 per month, which adds up to a $852 a year. Using web-based and wireless alternatives to pick out your favorite programs can save you a bundle. (Using sites like YouTube (free) and Hula ($8 per month) can save you thousands of dollars a year).
  • Drop Your Cell Phone Plan – Find a plan that fits your usage and eliminate paying for unused minutes. Making changes could save $30 per month or $360 per year and could result in more than 15K in savings.
  • Banish Bottled Water – If you drink one bottle of store-bought water daily you’re spending $550 a year more than you would have paid if you filled a bottle with tap water.
  • Exercise More Frugally – Factoring in initiation fees, an average gym membership can cost $775 annually. With a little creativity and a pair of sneakers you could add a lot of weight to your savings.
  • Stretch Your Vacation Dollars – Trim your vacation travel budget by jumping on the subway or bus instead of renting a car or hailing a taxi.

Those seeking to contact Smayda may email him at or call (213) 236-2056.


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