Whether living single or raising a family, most Americans try to save a buck on food, merchandise, and services where they can. The following tried and true money saving ideas help millions of individuals keep thousands of dollars for themselves over time. *CONTINUE USING NAVIGATION BUTTONS BELOW!*
1. Have Property Taxes Reassessed—If the value of your home has dropped significantly, over a relatively short period of time, it pays to contact your county assessor. You have the right to request a new tax assessment that could save you hundreds of dollars per year. Keep in mind, the reassessment process could take several months, and counties may require formal requests in writing.
2. Remove PMI from Home Loans—First-time homebuyers may be required to carry Private Mortgage Insurance under a federally backed FHA loan, or conventional loan with low down payment. PMI offers nothing to the homebuyer, but ensures the lender will be paid off in case of default. Depending on the amount of money put down on the home and/or the equity built up (usually 20%) PMI can be removed from the loan, reducing the monthly payment.
3. Use Mail Order Pharmacy for Prescriptions—Mail order pharmacies may offer lower cost prescriptions compared to walk-in pharmacies. Many health insurance companies reduce copayments for mail order drugs as well. Besides the obvious savings, many prescriptions are dispensed in 90-day supplies.
4. Ask for Unadvertised Discounts—Many grocery chains and restaurants offer unadvertised discounts for baby boomers and seniors, either daily or weekly. While some establishments require customers to be 65 or older, others drop their prices for age 50+.
5. Weatherize Your Home—Save big on gas and electric bills by insulating attics and weatherizing doors and windows. This relatively cheap solution for homeowners pays off immediately. Whether you’re losing cold air out your sliding glass doors, or heat from gaps in window casings, weatherizing your home cuts energy bills significantly. Some utility companies will even offer financial assistance or government rebates for weather stripping and insulation.
6. Switch to Satellite or Bundle—Cable T.V., Internet, and telephone plans add up when services are billed separately. Bundling can save money and depending on where you live, satellite television can shave dollars off your monthly bill and sometimes offer more premium channels.
7. Consider a Prepaid Cell Phone—No one wants to go backwards in terms of technology, but cell phone plans that lock in consumers and provide spotty signals may not be worth it at the moment. Many inexpensive prepaid cell plans exist without compromising smart phone features or Wi-Fi capability.
8. Replace Coffee Pods with Coffee Pots—While single serve coffee pods offer a quick, convenient cup of coffee in an instant, brewed, drip coffee still costs about 25-30% less. Depending on the amount of coffee consumed per household, coffee pods add up to as much as $400 a year. Many offices that provide break room coffee for free spend the equivalent of extra employee bonuses on the pods over time.
9.Empty Your Garage, Attic or Basement—Many neighborhood apps are available that allow users to buy and sell discarded items such as furniture, clothing, and appliances. Prices and descriptions are posted on sale sites, and there’s the added benefit of picking up the goods within your own neighborhood.
10. Cancel or Forgo the Gym Membership, Exercise at Home—While some individuals need to actually “go” somewhere to get in a good workout, it’s certainly cheaper to exercise from home, even if you don’t own home gym equipment. Many open floor plans allow for circular walking, and stairs can take the place of a stepper. Besides the financial perks of home workouts, you don’t have to dress appropriately, hire childcare, or miss your favorite T.V. program.
11. Cancel Comp and Collision Insurance on Older Vehicles—While you’ll still need liability insurance to operate your auto, other coverages, such as comprehensive (fire or theft) or collision may no longer be worth it for older vehicles. As cars age, their value drops significantly. In the event of car theft, damage, or collision, most insurance companies will only pay the insured current market value.
12. Get Discounts for Teen Drivers—Many auto insurance carriers offer discounts for teens who attend safe driver courses, or meet specific driving criteria when monitored through dashboard devices.
13.Bartering Instead of Buying—Several Internet sites facilitate bartering for goods or services. Barterers post items or services to trade and list acceptable items for exchange.
14. Non-profit Building Materials Resale Store—Many donated or gently used building supplies, appliances, or furniture pieces are available at steeply discounted prices. By purchasing overstocked materials at a non-profit resale store, your not only getting good deals, you’re supporting a worthwhile charity.
15. Volunteer Travel Vacation—Several volunteer organizations accept applicants who don’t mind working in exchange for travel accommodations, room and board. Consider a volunteer vacation opportunity on a farm, ranch, or building site over the winter holidays or summer break.
Saving money by tweaking just a few things in your life is easy and can lead to a brighter financial future for you and your family.