Monday Memo: Save Those Benjamins

By Holland Cooke


BLOCK ISLAND, RI — All this month, my column outlines “Inflation Hacks,” easy ways to cut costs as our listeners (and we) are coping. To catch you up, here are previous installments:

And finally, The Lightning Round…

  • Enemy #1: High interest credit card balances. Hack-away at that ASAP. Credit cards are pitching hard to steal each other’s customers. Consider offers with 0% introductory APR balance transfers, to at least pause the clock on what you already owe.
  • Planning a major purchase? Do your homework. Consider buying NOW, because prices are rising. That’s the thing about inflation.
  • Stop paying Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) if your balance is below 80% of your home’s value, which it may now be, THANKS TO inflation.
  • Got a gas mileage gauge? Your right foot can make a big MPG difference.
  • Gas-up at Costco. Suddenly, that $60 membership fee is a no-brainer.
  • Drive electric. I know, I know. Even with tax credits, EVs are expensive, but I asked a pal who owns the Chevy Bolt if charging-up at home sent his electric bill through the roof. He told me “$29 last month” (vs. $72 I had just paid to gas-up once). He says gets 300 miles per charge, “less in the dead of winter,” and free charging stations are an amenity popping up outside restaurants and in parking garages. Had I not just replaced both cars, I would get a hybrid. Another pal who owns one says he gasses-up “maybe once a month, but mostly it runs on the battery.”
  • Ask for a raise. The Help Wanted sign is everywhere.
  • Got a room to rent? As a long-suffering landlord I don’t ask casually. Extreme housing demand and recent interest rate increases have many needing at least temporary digs. Screen carefully. Is Airbnb for you?
  • Buy discounted gift cards for shopping and eating out, OR sell gift cards you’re not using. Explore comand 

And now your Fabulous Radio Prize!

All this month you’ve been reading excerpts from my E-book “Inflation Hacks: Save Those Benjamins,” which I have repurposed as a series of 60-second radio features, no national spot, no national sponsor, no affidavits, no foolin.’ They’re yours FREE, where available. If you sell a sponsorship keep the money! RSVP by Email:


Holland Cooke ( is author of the E-book “Spot-On: Commercial Copy Points That Earned The Benjamins,” a FREE download here, and “Inflation Hacks: Save Those Benjamins,” and “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers books. HC is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. Follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke