Prior to the mortgage meltdown, Americans were flying high on money. People were making substantial returns in the real estate and the stock market. It was easy to make big money and borrow big money. Then 2008 came……the financial tidal wave hit the American shorelines from all angles and BOOM it crushed us. In the last seven years we have become fiscally fit.
Today people have less debt and save more. The fiscal mindset of consumers is ever present.
We have listed some topics you can begin to research for immediate cost cutting opportunities that will save you money. We hope this help strengthens you fiscally and allows you to be a wiser, more discerning household consumer. Here are some of the most unnecessary household expenses you may consider eliminating immediately.
With so many devices available today for the addicted sports or movie fan, think about eliminating your cable TV service and its high costs. Consider a Blu-ray player with an internet connection, a Roku or any other appliance that can tap into programming delivered free via the Internet from network websites. Another option is to consider paying a minimal cost for Hulu Plus, Netflix or Amazon Prime membership through streaming.
Try using a high-powered antenna. You may be pleasantly surprised at the volume and variety of programming that may be offered.
Sports fans can find many choices on new sport-specific services that cost much less than one year of cable.
Cleaning Products and Toiletries
There are two household products that surpass all others for cleaning: vinegar and baking soda. Think about it! They clean countertops, unclog drains, clean the dishwasher, make tubs and toilet bowls sparkle, boost laundry, and can even clean hair! Imagine the savings of purchasing unnecessary household cleaning items, plus these two are among the least expensive cleaners to buy.
When it is time to pay, don’t delay. A Google or Outlook calendar reminder to pay your bills will avoid unnecessary late charges. If you have the money to pay your bills, be diligent and pay on time. Your credit rating will improve by showing no late fees and help you for qualifying for a home loan. Another helpful hint is to set up automatic bill paying through your checking account that may be a free service.
If you should have a late payment, make a phone call and request the late fee be waived. If the representative will not cooperate, ask for a supervisor. You may try telling them you will close out your account. If you have an account in good standing for several years, chances are they will abide by your request.
Become an active participant in your landscaping. You will find that paying for landscaping services can be avoided if you minimize the amount of lawn you have by planting low maintenance native plants. Try planting a variety of grass that requires less care. Clippings from the lawn could be used in place of expensive fertilizer.
If you are familiar with Skype and use it for video or voice calls from computer to computer, you can also use it for mobile or home calls, both domestically and internationally with great rates. Using Skype Credit in $10 or $25 increments, you can add credit through the Skype app or website. The credit can be used for home or mobile calls, Skype Wi-Fi hotspots or to send SMS messages.
Subscriptions and Memberships
Review all the magazine and newspaper subscriptions, online services and all organizations that you are a member. You may be surprised at those you have not used in a year or find that the magazine could be found online or read in the library. Find options that are free to replace the membership and subscription fees.
Service Plans, Extended Warranties and Some Insurance
Consumer Reports state that many extended warranties and service plans are not worth the money. Think twice before selecting cell phone or identity theft insurance, while renter’s, homeowner’s and auto insurance are among the must haves.
Credit Monitoring Services
Check your credit periodically for any fraud or credit theft. It may not be necessary to pay additional fees for high-end credit monitoring. If you feel you have been a victim of identity fraud, you can freeze your credit for free. You can monitor your credit on a regular basis without the high costs of paying for a service.
If you are interested in charting your household budget google household budget software and check out some options at www.quicken.com, www.mint.com, and www.youneedabudget.com to organize your game plan. This will help you measure and monitor your money.
There are many ways to reduce costs in your home and the best time to start is now. For any specific loan or mortgage questions, speak with your mortgage banker today. With low interest rates, ask how you can save thousands a year by refinancing into a lower interest rate.