To enjoy lasting financial success requires taking time to save and accumulate investments. To be able to meet your financial and investment goals, you need to change how you spend money.
While most people dislike budgeting, spending money without knowing how you spend it can get in the way of reaching your financial goal. It is advisable to use the free online budgeting tools to track your spending and your savings towards your investment goal. Keeping an eye on your spending will help you save more.
Whether you want to save money when shopping online for everyday items, mortgages, or insurance policies, here are smart money tips you can use to cut on spending and save more.
Using coupons, rebates, and more when shopping online
1. Get money back
Registering on sites such as Ebates can earn you 10% of your spending every time you shop online. You can enjoy cashback from sites such as JC Penny, Amazon, Kohl’s, Walmart, and Rite aid. You can also earn gift cards for online shopping. These gift cards can be used in your next purchase to save money.
Some sites like Swagbucks offer gift cards to online shoppers, and you can also watch videos or take surveys to earn even more gift cards. After purchasing products on rebates, ensure you send in the form of the day, which can be done online. Always follow up with the company if you do not receive the rebate in good time.
2. Compare prices
Another way to spend less when shopping is to run price comparison checks. While most people do this for large purchases, it is still advisable to compare prices for everyday items. There are numerous apps you can use for price checks. They give you a list of vendors selling the same item at different rates. You will be amazed by how much you stand to save just from comparing prices.
3. Shop online only when it is cheaper
Shopping online only makes sense if it saves you money in the end. There are numerous services available online like the ‘Prime Pantry’ and ‘Subscribe and Save’ that can save you a lot of money on everyday products. Consider services that allow you to buy in bulk for reduced shipping costs.
4. Apply the 24-hour rule
Before making an impulse purchase online, leave the item in your basket for at least 24 hours. Waiting 24 hours to complete a purchase helps you determine whether you really need the item and helps prevent impulse spending on things you do not need.
5. Use private browsers when online
When using the internet, staying private online can save you money. Marketing agencies are always looking for internet user information for targeted ads. This information is availed freely to third parties by public browsers. You are more likely to purchase an item when you come across a targeted ad, even when you had not planned on spending. You can avoid targeted ads by browsing in incognito mode or using private browsers like Tor.
Saving through good money management
Managing your financial portfolio can also be a great way of saving for your investment goals. Having a good credit score is one of the most effective ways of saving money by avoiding high interest on credit. With good credit, you can enjoy lower rates on car loans and even home loans. You can get your free FICO score to know the state of your credit score.
If you live in a home and are looking to take a home equity loan, you can negotiate your interest rate on the equity line of credit on your home. Most mortgage companies can reduce rates to help you save more, especially on large loans.
Get 0% on your credit card
Another way to save money through money management is to consider transferring your credit card balance to a 0% APR card. If your credit score is not the best, you might qualify for a 0% interest credit card. You can transfer your balance to save a ton of cash on interest rates, which will help you pay off your debt.
It is also possible to negotiate for a reduced interest rate on your card from your current credit card company.
Refinance your mortgage
Refinancing your mortgage is also an amazing way of saving. Through refianacing, you can reduce the interest you pay on mortgage loans by 1% or more. This is especially beneficial for individuals with bad credit scores since they get higher interest on mortgages. Once your score improves, you qualify for reduced rates, which can go a long way in helping you save more for investment.
Once you get the lower interest rate, consider paying off your mortgage bi-weekly as opposed to monthly. This is an easy way of making an extra payment annually without feeling the financial pinch. This also helps to improve your home equity.
Pay off your card on time
Paying off your credit card in time ensures you do not pay interest on your cards. High interest rates can easily eat into your monthly budget, which makes it harder to save. Ensure you only spend what you can comfortably pay. This will ensure you remain on budget and on schedule for your credit card payments.
Pay your bills on time
It also helps to pay your bills on time to avoid paying penalties for late payment. If you always forget to pay a bill because it was buried in your stack of mail, consider using money management applications to make your bill payments. Some come with features that pay your bills when they are due to avoid lateness fees.
Plan for regular maintenance
Whether it is for your home, vehicle, or appliances, scheduling regular maintenance will ensure you avoid long-term expenses for extensive repairs. An annual maintenance schedule ensures you do not have to deal with major issues years later, which can cost a fortune to fix or replace.
Keeping your car, home, and appliances in good shape ends up being much cheaper compared to repairing them when they completely break down.
Automate your saving
Sometimes people spend more online shopping, buying stuff they do not need simply because they have money in their checking account. Automating your savings will ensure you set aside more money for saving and investing than spending.
It also helps to limit your spending by giving yourself an allowance. This will ensure you do not spend money on random expenses. Having an allowance also ensures anything excess goes into savings, which brings you closer to your financial goals.
Saving on your services
1. Check your internet usage
Sometimes, people subscribe to higher internet speeds than they need. You can save a lot of money by opting for a lower-speed connection. Moving a tier lower will have a low to zero effect on your ability to surf the internet, especially if you only use the internet for light browsing and streaming.
2. Get a free checking account
Bank fees can become very expensive. Consider moving to a free checking account to avoid paying hefty banking fees. You can consider asking your bank to remove checking fees on your account or move to a different bank if your bank is hesitant to offer zero fees.
3. Use reward cards
Rewards cards are excellent ways to save on shopping or travel by accumulating points that can later be used to make payments. Most reward cards come with no fees since they are mostly issues for business promotional needs. You stand to gain a lot from earning points every time you shop.
4. Reduce your cable costs
While it is not recommended to eliminate cable service, you can save money by reducing your cable bill charges. Sometimes, you are subscribed to more channels than you need, which costs more in cable bills. Consider getting rid of some services for a month, and you will notice you did not need the 500 channels.
Saving on insurance
When it comes to insurance, only ensure you are paying for what you need. Take time to shop for insurance policies online to find the providers with the best coverage at ideal rates. It is also wide to consider combining policies to save more. You can insure your car and home under the same company and see if you can get lower rates when renewing the policy.
Suspend your insurance cover to avoid premiums
If you will be gone for a few months, there is no point in paying car insurance when your car will remain dormant in the garage. Consider downgrading your cover for the time you are away to save on insurance premiums. You can do away with a liability cover when not using your car to reduce your payments.
Avoid monthly payments
If you have life insurance, it is best to pay your premiums annually instead of monthly to pay lower premiums. For car insurance, it will cost you more when you make quarterly payments. Therefore, consider paying semi-annually for reduced premiums and convenience.
Increase the deductibles
Raising your insurance deductibles on your home and car can also be an ideal way of saving money through insurance. However, before you take this step, ensure you always have enough in your checking account to cover the deductibles at all times.
When you have deductibles, do not submit insurance claims for amounts less than twice your deductible. For instance, if your deductible is $300, you can pay any loss of up to $600 out of pocket to avoid going to your insurer. The $300 cover from your insurer will cost you more in increased premiums in the future.
When you stay ahead of your spending, you are better placed to reach your investment and saving goals. With these smart money tips and guide, you will be smarter when shopping online for insurance, mortgages, bank accounts, and even everyday items for home use.