WASHINGTON- Jean Sherman Chatzky, a Today show contributor, provided several suggestions recently on how to save money before year-end. In "Fix your finances for the fall," which appeared on MSNBC.com, Chatzky wrote, "Whether or not you're a parent, September – to me at least – always represents back to school, a chance to buy new pencils, patent leather shoes and make a fresh start. That holds true for your finances as well." She recommended refinancing auto loans through either a "credit union or CapitalOne.com for the best rates." According to Chatzky, "If [your rate is] above 5% you could save money by refinancing your car loan which sounds like refinancing a mortgage but is not only simpler, it's practically free. A rate reduction of 1.5% on a $20,000 car (about average), will save you roughly $900 over the life of the loan and $60 through the end of the year." Chatzky's other common sense recommendations included asking credit card companies to lower your rates or transferring the balances to lower rate cards and reducing spending, among other things. Chatzky is the financial editor for Today, editor-at-large at Money magazine and the author of "Talking Money: Everything You Need to Know About Your Finances and Your Future." [email protected]

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