11 ways to save money now

Don't let this recession keep you down. Grab the opportunity to build a stronger portfolio, cut the fat from your budget, and give yourself a head-to-toe fiscal makeover.

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8. Reorganize your insurance drawer
The lousy stock market has down insurance company investment profits. This explains why your auto coverage is expected to climb 4% this year and premiums on your homeowners policies are set to rise 3% - even though your house is probably worth less today than it was last year.

This is a good excuse to rebid those services. Shop around for your auto coverage first, and then see what it will cost you to add homeowners insurance as well. Most of the time, you'll save money on a package deal.

As you shop for deals, get quotes on higher deductible options for auto and homeowners coverage, to see if you can lower your bill that way.

As for life insurance, Prudential, Banner, and ING are among carriers that are boosting rates, reversing a multi-year industry trend of falling prices. It's still worth shopping around if your policy is at least five years old and your health hasn't deteriorated.

Start your search online. But also consult with a broker - specifically, one who sells policies from multiple carriers. Brokers can help identify quirks in pricing, says Judith Maurer, CEO of Tampa-based Low Load Insurance Services.

NEXT: De-stress with the help of a health-care coach
Last updated May 08 2009: 10:58 AM ET
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