Sunday, February 8, 2015

Financial Tips

Here are some financial tips that can help you get ahead with your money-saving efforts. For more details, be sue to check out my YouTube video linked below.

1.  Create allowances for personal spending. This helps you and your family members to know how much (or how little) they have to spend.  Back in the days when my husband and I were both in school and we were living on one income, we allotted ourselves $25 a piece every two weeks... so just $12.50 a week. Now that our money situation is different, we each get quite a bit more than that. We can spend the money as we get it or save it for bigger purchases.

2.  Reduce credit card interest rates. Many people don't realize that they can call credit card companies to negotiate lower rates. If you carry a balance on a credit card, this can really be helpful for getting the balance paid off.  Companies are probably more likely to work with you if your balance is close to being paid off because they won't want to lose your business, but even if you have a large balance on your card, it's worth a try.  Tell them you are trying to get on top of your finances and that a lower interest rate would be helpful.  I was able to get one card's interest rate dropped from 19% down to 10% with one simple phone call.

All that to say, I don't recommend carrying balances on your cards. Try to make a plan to only put on a card what you can pay off at the end of the month and pay a little extra to make headway on paying the card off.

3.  Refinance your home or overpay on your mortgage payment. Check with your mortgage company about how to overpay on your mortgage.  Some companies don't allow you to include more than the monthly payment and require a separate payment for paying more to the principle.  If you are in a position to refinance your home, consider continuing to pay your current mortgage payment after your monthly payment is lowered.  This puts more money toward the principle and helps you to own more of your house faster.

4.  Save ahead of time for big home projects or vacations.  Last summer we had to replace our uneven driveway, so rather than paying for it on a credit card and then paying it off with added interest, we saved ahead of time, so we could pay for it in cash.  We do the same with vacations.  It is always more cost effective to avoid interest charges and pay for large projects and vacations up front.  Right now, we are saving to put in a garden shed next summer and we're saving for a trip to Disneyland that we will take next fall.

5.  Finally, don't use a credit card that doesn't give you anything back!  We are currently using our card (we only use one card at a time) that earns points for Disneyland.  Several years ago, we went to Disney for a week and the points we earned from our card paid for $1500 of that trip!  We have another card we use when we are going on a cruise.  It earns points for paying for cruises, hotels, rental cars, etc.  We have another card that earns points for gift cards.  We will often use that card to build up points that we cash in on gift cards in the fall.  Then we shop with those gift cards to buy Christmas presents.  That way, the Christmas season comes and goes and we haven't broken the bank.

I hope these tips were helpful and encourage you to share any financial tips you have in the comments below.  Again, be sure to watch the YouTube video linked above and be sure to subscribe to my channel!

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing these amazing tips!! I am in grad school right now and quite frankly getting out into the 'real world' and getting buried alive with student loans SCARES me haha. These are so useful. Thanks so much for sharing :)