16 Ways to Save Money Every American Should Absolutely Know
Everyone says the economy is the best it’s ever been, but that doesn’t mean your pockets are getting any bigger. If you are trying to figure out how you can earn more than just a couple more bucks a month, you need to start paying attention to what’s out there. To help you get started, here are 16 ways people could be taking advantage of today.
1. Don’t Pay Interest on Your Credit Card!
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In an ideal world you wouldn’t carry any balances forward on your credit card. A great way to make that dream a reality is by doing a 0 balance transfer. Why may more interest than you have to? By transferring to a different card, you can get up to a year of Zero Interest, in which time you can hopefully pay the balance off.
2. Some Banks Pay More than Others
Americans who want to earn more money should just start with their savings account. Instead of stashing money away at your bank down the street, consider going online. Online banks provide the same security and features, but with one important difference. Online banks typically offer much higher interest rates than the national average. Search for banks that are offering rates up to 1.8%! Now that’s a win every American deserves.
3. Get Hundreds w/ a New Checking Account
If you’re like most people, changing checking accounts is probably the last thing on your mind. For a couple hundred dollars though, now may be the best time to think about switching. Many banks from national ones like Chase to regional banks like TD Bank could be offering incredible sign up bonuses worth hundreds of dollars. Forget the free toaster oven from the old days, take note of these incredible bonuses with a search now.
4. Do You Pay Too Much for Your Cell Phone Plan?
How much data do you really use each month? If you track closely, you may find out you actually don’t need all the data you pay for. With hundreds of cell phone plans available, there are many alternatives that could offer you a much lower monthly bill. If you want to lower your bill even more, consider going with a prepaid wireless provider. These providers are usually owned by the big brands like Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint themselves so you’ll get the same great quality at a potentially lower cost!
5. Pay Off Credit Card Debt Faster
On a similar vein to not paying interest on your credit cards, why pay more interest than is necessary on your loans? There are many trusted professionals that are ranked A+ on the Business Better Bureau that can help consolidate your debt into one manageable payment. The advantage is that you will have a lower interest rate, which enables you to attack the balance head on.
6. Refinance Your Mortgage
Explore if you have the option to refinance your mortgage to a lower interest rate. On a 15-year $100,000 fixed-rate mortgage, lowering the rate from 7 percent to 6.5 percent can save you more than $5,000 in interest charges over the life of the loan.
7. Meet with a Financial Planner
Meeting with an experienced financial planner is one of smartest things you can do this year. Start saving for your retirement as early as possible. Few people get rich through their wages alone. It’s the miracle of compound interest, or earning interest on your interest over many years, that builds wealth. Because time is on their side, the youngest workers are in the best position to save for retirement
8. Get Term Life Insurance NEVER Whole Life
Whole life insurance is one of the greatest scams of all time. If you have a whole life insurance, it is a good idea to cancel it ASAP and get a 10 year term policy. Whole life insurance costs more because it’s designed to build cash value. But keep in mind that a life insurance policy shouldn’t be an investment or money-making scheme — it’s simply meant to provide security, protection and peace of mind for your family should the unthinkable happen.
There are far more productive and profitable ways to invest your money than using your life insurance plan. What sounds like more fun to you — investing in stock with a cutting-edge company or “investing” money in a plan that’s all based on whether or not you kick the bucket? We think the answer is pretty easy.
9. Get a FREE Credit Score
Check your credit report for free once a year. Use your annual free credit report from the three credit reporting bureaus to look for inaccuracies or opportunities to raise your score. Credit scores are used by loan / mortgage providers, landlords, and others to determine what they’ll sell you, and at what price.
10. Do Not Lease or Finance a Vehicle
There is a reason the middle class are the middle class. They buy things they cant afford, which keeps them poor. If you invested the $500 a month you are spending on car payments each month rather than on the highest depreciating asset there is, you would be growing your wealth rather than decreasing it. Buy a three to five year old vehicle with cash. If you can’t afford to buy the car you want, start with a vehicle you can afford and sell it as soon as you have saved up enough to get into a nice reliable vehicle.
11. Shop Around for Car Insurance
Before renewing your existing auto insurance policy each year, check out the rates of competing companies. As the Geico commercial says, 15 minutes could save you 15%!
12. Cut the Cable
Do you even watch conventional TV anymore? More and more people are getting by just fine with streaming over the internet. If you have nice parents, or a good friend, you can probably use their Netflix or Hulu login.
13. Get a Better Job
Sometimes you just need to make more money! Get some advice from someone you trust. Improve your resume and don’t let rejection get you down. The only failure is when you give up trying.
14. Stop Eating Out So Much
The reason you hear this tip so much is that it works! If buying lunch at work costs $5, but making lunch at home costs only $2.50, then in a year, you could afford to create a $500 emergency fund and still have money left over. Commit to eating out one less time each month. Save money without sacrificing your lifestyle by taking small steps to reduce your dining budget. Start off with reducing the amount you eat out by just once per month. Try inviting friends over instead of going out. The savings on alcohol alone are enormous.
15. Pay Less Taxes!
Professionals know how to pay less taxes than we do or than some generic software that most people use to file their taxes. Don’t let the thought that it is too expensive to hire a professional put you off, they will not charge you more than you will have saved by using their service.
16. Razor Blades
How do you think Gillette can afford to pay for so many commercials? They are making huge profits on their overpriced blades! Gillette razor blades cost a lot, you could save hundreds of dollars a year by using a safety razor!