What to Do: July 2004
(MONEY Magazine) – --FIND CHEAPER GAS. With prices averaging more than $2 a gallon nationwide, it pays to shop around. Go to gaspricewatch.com to search by zip code for the best prices in your area.
--REPLACE THAT OLD AC. Electricity use peaks in July and August. Air conditioners with the EPA's Energy Star label can cut your cooling bill by 20% to 50%. Check energystar.gov.
--BUY AN XBOX OR PLAYSTATION 2. Both Microsoft and Sony have slashed the price on their video-game consoles to $150, as their next wave of product launches draws closer.
--PREP YOUR LAWN. Grub season starts now. If your lawn had too many of the critters last year, help prevent damage by using an insecticide, typically one that includes imidacloprid.
--CUT FUND FEES. Expenses often rise faster at funds that charge marketing fees than at those that don't. Selected American (800-243-1575) now has a new share class without a 12b-1 fee.
--PROTECT YOUR HOUSE. Summer is burglary season (all those empty homes). Add an antitheft device such as an alarm system for safety and cut insurance bills by up to 15%.