12 Things You Can Do Right Now To Save a Lot of Money in the Long Run
Do you ever feel like no matter how hard you try, it’s still impossible to find ways to save money? Even when you have managed to save some money, life gets in the way and something always comes up draining your savings. These unexpected expenses such as home repair, car repair, medical emergency bills, college expenses, etc. can really throw a wrench in families' balance sheets.
Living paycheck to paycheck is incredibly stressful. More and more Americans are falling behind inflation. While you do not have control over monetary policy, you do have full control over the actions that you take to drastically improve your finances. Things are not going to miraculously get better if you just wait around and wish for them. The best time to start to do something and turn your finances around is right now.
Here are 12 things you can do right now to get on the fast track to saving money in the long term.
1. Refinance Your Mortgage
Let's talk about the big, fat elephant in the room first. The cost of having a roof over our heads accounts for 21% of a household's monthly budget. With the Feds prepping for up to 4 rate hikes in 2022, those mortgage rates are going to start to rise fast! So, should you or should you not refinance your mortgage before the rates go even higher?
No one can predict what will happen. It all depends on what you are trying to achieve with mortgage refinance. If your goal is to reduce your high interest rate to a lower rate or shorten the length of your mortgage term, then it's a good idea. But if your goal is to buy a new car, remodel your house or pay off your credit card debt so that you can get into more credit card debt, then that's a bad idea.
Looking for lenders which can give you your desired mortgage rate and mortgage term is a time-consuming and daunting task. FHA Rate Guide is a mortgage marketplace site that connects homebuyers with lenders to help them compare mortgage products. If you are keen to refinance your mortgage, you simply have to fill out a simple online application form. You will then be connected with multiple lenders who will customize loan offers based on your credit profile.
2. Refinance Your Student Loan
If you have private student loans, you can potentially save tens of thousands of dollars throughout the life of your student loan by refinancing. Basically, you can get a lower interest rate or a lower monthly payment. Then, you can use that freed-up cash to pay off your loan earlier to save you even more money in interes!
If you have federal student loans, then you should wait until 2023 to refinance.The current interest-free forbearance for federal loans is scheduled to end after December 2022, and the president recently announced up to $20,000 in forgiveness for some federal borrowers. You will lose these benefits if you refinance your federal student loans.
You can find your lowest rate from competing lenders by using this student loan refinance guide. It is super easy to find the lowest rate by following the guide.
3. Refinance Your Car Loan
Here's another big money saver. Decreasing your loan interest rate should be your main reason to refinance your auto loan. Financial institutions usually consider a number of factors before refinancing your loan at a more competitive rate. They will look at your credit score for the past 12 months and your debt-to-income ratio (DTI).
If you have a healthy credit score and low DIT ratio, the financial institutions will be more confident in your repayment ability and allow you to secure a better refinancing loan at a lower interest rate. On the other hand, if you are undergoing financial problems and struggling to make ends meet, you can also consider refinancing your car loan with a lower interest rate or, at least, a longer repayment period. However, a longer repayment period causes higher interest rates.
Upstart car loan customers save an average of $1045 per year on their loan. Click here to check your rate in 5 minutes.
4. Change Your Auto Insurance Policy
In most cases, you can change your auto insurance policy whenever you want — you don’t have to wait until the policy renewal period. It only makes financial sense to lower your premium, especially when your car is getting older. If you have more than 1 car, you can insure your vehicles on the same policy to enjoy a cheaper car insurance rate.
Many auto insurance companies let you cancel at any time, some may apply a cancellation fee if you leave halfway through your policy. Depending on when you cancel your current policy, it’s possible to receive a prorated refund for the coverage that you didn’t use. Having a new policy in place before canceling the old one is crucial for preventing a coverage lapse.
To look for new coverage, you can call a licensed insurance agent on selectmypolicy.com to find out the best quote for your car. Alternatively, you can follow the guide on this page to get your free quote.
5. Change Your Health Plan
If you feel that your current health insurance coverage is too expensive, it's time to look for alternatives. If you rarely need medical care, then you may need to look for budget-friendly coverage in order to pay for lower monthly premiums. When choosing a new health plan, always weigh between your health needs and financial needs. Contemplate responsibly and prioritize your urgent needs first!
Short-term health insurance coverage offers budget-friendly premiums, making them a temporary cost-effective insurance solution for many different groups of people. If you recently lost your job or aged out of your parents' medical coverage at age 26, you can consider short-term medical plans. Basically, short-term health insurance is perfect for early retirees, people between jobs, twenty-somethings, healthy people looking for budget-friendly coverage, and anyone without health insurance.
Click here to get yourself a personalized free quote in seconds. Then, compare the personalized plan options and choose the best health plan for yourself.
6. Save Money on Your Gas
How does saving 5 cents per gallon sound to you? It may not sound a lot, but in the long run you can save a lot of money, especially when you travel a lot. If you're the kind of person who wants to save every penny, you can download this free BPme Rewards App and start to save money at the BP pump. It's really a no-brainer and it has never been easier to save on gas.
7. Save Money on Your Electric Bills
There are many things you can tweak at home to save energy costs. Energy-saving habits such as turning off the lights when you don't need them, shutting the door when your AC or furnace is running, programming your thermostat and so on can definitely save you some money in the long term. Some other products like dimmer switches and LED lightbulbs also help to do the trick.
The costs of equipping your home with solar panels are staggering for most Americans. However, most homeowners with solar panels will eventually see the benefits from a solar power system, especially when net metering allows you to sell back excess energy produced. Will the cash-out refinance we discussed earlier help with the upfront installation and maintenance costs? Will you enjoy the tax breaks or will some of them expire in the future? Will the solar panel system increase the value of your house?
All these are valid questions, but the first question you should ask is — what's the current cost of installing one? You can check with TheQuoteMatch and compare quotes from all the top solar panel providers and installers in the country.
8. Shop Online and Only Buy What You Need
Some people say that when you go shopping, it makes you feel good. If saving money is your main goal, you need to refrain yourself from this shopping therapy. The sensory impact of all those scents, textures and colors in the supermarkets makes you feel upbeat and hungry. There's also a reason behind the way supermarkets organize their products in those aisles — to trick you into buying things that are not on your grocery list.
If you cannot resist your impulse purchases in the supermarkets, try shopping online and combine it with online coupon codes. It can definitely reduce the volume of impulse buying. Another tip is to wait for the sale, such as promotional sales, festival sales, seasonal sales, clearance sales, etc. Buying non-perishable foods in bulk lowers the price per unit and saves you money in the long run as well.
While you are at it, why not pay for the shopping expenses with a rewards credit card? Making purchases with a rewards credit card allows you to earn cash back, rewards, points or airline miles. It's definitely a smarter decision than spending on a regular credit card.
If you're afraid that you cannot control your spending on a rewards credit card, why not choose the Walmart Money Card? It basically works just like a check card or a debit card that you can never overspend. You can potentially earn up to $75 each year in cash back rewards when you shop frequently at Walmart. Click here to learn more!
9. Lower Your Cell Phone Bills
If you are not a heavy cell phone user but your monthly cell phone bill is above average in the market, it's time to get rid of extras, such as costly unlimited data plans, phone insurance and useless warranties. Don't be afraid to haggle with or switch your service provider. Always choose a cell phone plan that suits your own needs and not someone else's.
MintMobile offers the most unbeatable and affordable service plans on the market. Click here to view all their plans. Remember, your main goal here is to reduce your monthly cell phone bills and save money in the long run. Everything else is secondary.
10. Cut or Downgrade Your Cable Service
Can you look for a cheaper cable package or just cut ties with cable? It's a known fact that cable prices are soaring like crazy. If you add up all the monthly prices and other fees together, you'll find that you spend over a couple thousand dollars a year! The best thing to do here is to cut the cable service and never watch TV again, but that's almost impossible for most people.
The good news is, we do have alternatives to cable, like network apps and streaming services. You might want to check out Vidgo video streaming service as it charges one of the lowest prices per channel on the market. You'll get more bang for your buck!
11. Refrain Yourself from Traveling
The average vacation expense per domestic trip is around $500, whereas an international trip costs 5 or 6 times more. Americans love to travel and have fun as we are a nation of travelers. So, again, it's virtually impossible to tell people to stop what they love to do in order to save money.
If you are an avid traveler and you just can't stand the idea of not traveling, there are many ways you can save money on travel. Besides opting for off-season travel or avoiding car renting, you might want to consider looking for cheap flights and hotels on travel agency sites like Travofy.com.
12. Hunt for Discounts, Rewards and Cash Back
This method is pretty intuitive. While you're shopping, dining or paying for any products and services, try to always look for deals like coupons, discounts, promotions, rewards and cash back. If you can save 5 bucks here and 10 bucks there, little by little the money adds up. Don't underestimate the power of the accumulation of money. You will be shocked at how much you can save in a year.
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