Learn How To Save Big Bucks
You can save major money if you will diligently follow a few simple guidelines.
If you own a home, chances are you still making mortgage payments. Here are ways
to save thousands of dollars.
- If you are on an adjustable rate and it is getting ready to adjust up, consider
re-financing for a lower fixed rate. These are a bit trickier right now, but, if
your credit is good-excellent, it can be done. The rule of thumb here is that if
you can refinance for 1 and ½ points below what you are paying now, you should refinance.
And hold onto that loan for 5 years. You will more than make up the difference for
the closing costs on the refinance.
- If you are buying or refinancing a home, buy down the interest rate. 1% of the loan
amount can get you .40 off the rate. Any many lenders allows you to buy down as
much as 2 percentage points. This translates to literally thousands of dollars over
the life of the loan.
- Consider making “double” payments on your mortgage. Each month, your mortgage statement
will show how much of your payment is interest, how much is principal, and, if you
pay your taxes and insurance in your payment, how much of the payment is set aside
for those (called escrow). All you have to do is double the amount of the principal(it
usually is the smallest of the three figures) and add it to your payment. If you
do this every month, a 30-year mortgage can be paid off in 15 years. How much you
save is amazing. A $150,000 loan at 7% for 30 years will cost you $209,266.34 in
interest. You can save $104,633.00 in interest!
- Talk to your lender about two monthly payments. You pay on your mortgage twice a
month and you are paid up in 15, as opposed to 30 years. Big savings in interest
payments here too.
- consider an “Accelerated Mortgage.” This is a new program in which your entire paycheck
goes into your mortgage account. You then use this account to pay all of your bills
and monthly expenses, either by check or debit card. Whatever is left is paid off
on your mortgage. If you are conservative with your expenditures, you can pay off
your mortgage very quickly.
Tricks With Credit Cards
If you think you have to live with your current payment obligations, think again.
There are a few ways to save a great deal.
- Obviously, paying the entire balance means no interest charges. Most of us, however,
cannot do that, because we have accumulated high balances. Read on.
- If you make your payment AS SOON AS you receive your bill, instead of waiting until
the due date, your interest charges will be reduced. Try it – it works!
- When you get zero balance credit card offers (or even a rate lower than what you
now have), read the fine print and be certain it is what it says it is. If you can
transfer balances at no charge for low rates, even though introductory, do it. A
zero rate for just 6 months allows you to whittle down your balance much more rapidly,
and you have saved 6 months of interest charges. When the introductory period comes
to an end, you may have to transfer again, but, hey, it’s your money! You can do
this a number of times, but it is probably wise to close out those old card accounts,
because too many will affect your credit score.
LittleThings Mean a Lot
Many of us think that it is not worth the time or trouble to save small amounts
of money. But small amounts multiplied over time become large amounts. Try a few
of these others.
- Gas prices change on Thursday. If you hear that prices may be going up, fill up
on Wednesday. If they are probably going down, wait until Thursday.
- Don’t trade your paid for car in right now. It is estimated that, on the high end,
you might have $2000 in car repairs over a one year period. How much will payments
be on a new car over that same period – more than twice the amount of the repairs.
If you do buy a new car and can’t afford a hybrid, at least get one with decent
- Have an energy audit and learn where your house is losing heat and cold – over a
year’s period, you will save hundreds by patching and insulating.
- Rent movies. You’ll see them later than your friends but you’ll save over $20 a
- Watch life insurance. If you want protection, not savings, buy straight term insurance
– MUCH cheaper.
- Get into any savings plan with employer matching. It’s FREE MONEY!!!
- Be certain you have free checking – if not, change banks. Some banks also offer
rewards, such as rounding up any debit or check you write and giving you the difference
in a savings account. Over years, this could add up.
- Negotiate your phone costs with your carrier. You’d be amazed what they will do
to keep you as a customer.
- Put into a savings account anything you have left over at the end of the month.
Otherwise, you’ll blow it.
Saving money can be like a great game, if you look at it that way – you against
the money grabbers. Play the game smartly and you’ll win