Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.

Saving Money

Savings Champs

Winning advice that every household can use.

What most people throw in the trash, Klaudia Lannoye mines for treasure. Rather than toss those 0%-interest checks tucked inside her monthly credit-card bills, Lannoye uses them to deposit as much as $50,000 to her E*Trade money-market account, currently paying 4.75%. Each month she withdraws enough money to make the minimum payment, and she repays the loans in full at the end of the six-month grace period. She earmarks certain cards for transfers only (no spending) and never pays a transfer fee of more than $75.

That's how Lannoye, a tax accountant turned stay-at-home mom from West Chester, Ohio, earned nearly $3,000 in interest last year -- enough to treat her family of four to a cruise. Impressed by Lannoye's creative money-management skills, we selected her as the grand-prize winner in the saving-tips contest we announced as part of our April cover story, The Ultimate Savings Guide. Lannoye can add her $1,000 prize to her travel fund.

Among 1,700 entries, Jeffrey Fischer, the self-described "coupon king" of Roswell, Ga., scored a $500 runner-up prize by taking couponing to the next level. For the past 15 years he and his wife, Nancy, have stashed savings of $50 to $75 per week into their kids' college funds. When older child Matthew heads off to Georgia Tech this fall, he'll have more than $60,000.

Carren Whitt of Flint, Tex., is also a runner-up. She and husband Shawn always round down deposit entries in their check register by $25 and round up payments to the next dollar. Their slush fund nets about $1,600 in savings each year.