Inflation is doing a number on your budget. Things get pricier every day, and you’re always looking for ways to cut back: coupons, sales, brown-bagging your lunch, bringing your own coffee to work. In fact you have heard all of these before to stop wasting your money, haven’t you?
Those are all smart tactics, since small savings do add up. But sometimes the really big savings options are right under our noses. Some money-saving tactics are things we never heard of before, but others are things we know we should do and are just too overwhelmed to start. It’s time to look at some ways to stop wasting your money and put them into action!
So why not right start now? These strategies can help you keep a lot more of your money each month.
5 Ways to Stop Wasting Your Money
Check out these ways you are currently just wasting your money and what to do about them.
1. You haven’t refinanced your mortgage yet
Rates are at ridiculous lows and you can take advantage of them. I know, I know, refinancing sounds so daunting and it may even be expensive, right? There’s the application, paystubs, bank records, etc. and of course looking for the right lender and then wondering and hoping that you’ll be approved.
No wonder you are dragging your feet. But doing just that means you could be blowing hundreds, even thousands of bucks, every year. Fortunately, there is help out there and it can start even at your very own bank with free advice.
You can even google rates and mortgage opportunities online, pick one that works for you and do the whole thing online with a few telephone calls in the mix! That’s exactly what I did and in the end, with just a few phone calls and sending in a few documents, I am now saving thousands of dollars on my mortgage!
Decide if this is right for you
Of course, you have to make sure that refinancing makes sense for your situation. For example, if you know you might be moving within a couple of years, the money you save may not be greater than the cost of the refinance. If it is, the good news is that you don’t have to lay out any money if you qualify. You can simply roll the cost of refinancing into your mortgage and if you are truly saving what I did, that’s not any problem over the life of the loan. Net-net, you win!
For millions of homeowners, refinancing is a sweet deal. Lower monthly payments can help you hit financial goals, like saving more for retirement, building an emergency fund, or paying off lingering credit-card debt. You can even shorten the term of your loan (say from 30 years to 15) and save tons of money on interest when you do.
Shortening your term cuts years of interest payments off your current loan and in many cases your monthly payment will be very similar to your current payments. Have you at least checked? If not, why not?
2. You’re overpaying on car insurance
You can’t do without car insurance. But what you can do without is overpaying for this essential protection.
Maybe the thought of comparison shopping for car insurance makes you want to lie down with a cold cloth on your eyes. Relax, there are free online comparison sites that you can use and it only takes a few minutes to see what you can save.
In five minutes, you can shop your info around to hundreds of providers. The result is that you’ll save hundreds per year on car insurance. Over the next ten years, you’re looking at up to an extra $4,000 in your budget. What could that kind of savings do for your bottom line?
Use your current insurance coverage limits to compare. If you see savings (which you will find), then consider changing your coverage too as you simply may not need the expensive coverages you may have had for years and years. As your car ages, some coverages may not be needed. You can save even more if you adjust after you find the best deal. All you have to do is surf the net to start the process!
3. You’re paying credit card interest every month
As of August 2021, consumers in this country carried a staggering $966.1 billion in revolving debt, according to the Federal Reserve. It’s easy to get into credit card debt (whether due to bad luck, bad habits, or both) and tough to get out.
One possible solution: consolidating debt with a low-interest personal loan. Instead of paying double-digit credit card interest to several credit card issuers, you pay a much lower rate to one company.
The average credit card interest rate is 14.5%. A low-interest loan can potentially save you thousands of dollars in interest. That’s money you should be using to make your dreams come true, not line the pockets of some banker.
How does 2.5% interest sound to you?
If you are a homeowner, you may be able to get a home equity loan or line of credit where rates for payback may be as low as 2.5%.
It’s free to check your rate online. It only takes two minutes out of your day and the savings could be incredible.
4. You’re using a lousy second-rate credit card
Chances are the first credit card you got was pretty basic. No rewards, low spending limit, maybe an annual fee and a high interest rate. After all, you were just starting out.
Still got that card? You can do better. Interest rates not only may be lower, but rewards, discounts, and all kinds of bonuses are out there for you to get more, earn more, and pay less. A look at featured rewards credit cards can turn that bare-bones plastic into a rewards-generating tool. Last year I earned over $1,500 in rewards and bonuses for just using my card for my ordinary monthly expenses and you can, too!
People want different things from their cards: hotel stays, airline miles, and additional savings on frequently purchased items. All these things are possible if you qualify, along with some perks you might never have imagined. Things like extended warranty protection, hundreds of dollars in cash bonuses, cell phone insurance, balance transfers, and 0% APR for the first year-plus.
Get the most of every purchase by comparing and choosing from the top rewards credit cards.
5. You’re not staying informed and watching and reading about how to save
It pays to watch financial news and read expert sources to make sure you’re up to date on the latest techniques to make more, spend less, and invest wisely.
Millions of Americans reported saving hundreds of dollars each simply by checking out online news and financial advice. It takes less than five seconds to google money-saving blogs and subscribe (you can subscribe to my newsletter here). And if you don’t like it, it’s easy to unsubscribe. Sign up is free in most cases, so see what you’ve been missing!
Look, you need to think of your money and inflation as two armies at war with each other. If you don’t, you may be doomed and wake up one day soon with big debt and little money to buy what you need. Inflation is not going away soon and you need to begin fighting for your money now.
If you remember past inflation cycles like I do, you know it’s possible that gas can cost $5.00 a gallon, interest rates can climb to double digits, and prices for groceries can skyrocket even when the supply cycles are good. So we are in a potentially much worse place right now. That’s the reason you should take these easy first steps to stop wasting money and save now. You can thank me later.
Are you feeling the inflation pinch? Have you tried to save and can’t? Can you apply 1, 2, 3, or all of these tips and get your savings started? Do you have another tip to offer and share?