1. If you own a home
- Get a mortgage checkup. If your interest rate is higher than the market or you have mortgage insurance, you may be able to refinance into a better position which would save you money. Refinances are closing in as fast as 15 days so in 15 days you could save money without having to give anything up.
- Get an updated homeowners insurance quote.You assume since you have been with a company for 20 years, they are giving you the best rate. Insurance companies prosper off this assumption. Unless you have a complicated insurance situation you should speak with a few competitors every year for updated quotes.
2. Review your auto reoccurring TV subscriptions. Do you really use Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime TV and HBO? How much do you use each one per month? Cancel the one or two you rarely use.
3. Switch to a bank that does not charge ATM fees or a monthly fee. There are banks with no minimum balance requirement that offer free checking AND no ATM fee when you use an out of network ATM.
4. Review your student loan interest rates and see if you can refinance into a lower rate.
5. Automate: Yes, automate. If you set your checking account up to transfer a small amount to your savings every week you will not notice, and you will not miss it. Start with something small, even $5 and go from there. There are lots of apps that charge you to do this by rounding up your change but save the money and automate yourself. Just remember to start small. If your bank is charging you to transfer money into your savings, please see #3.
6. Negotiate: I love calling my cell phone, and wireless provider every year to negotiate a better deal. Get a competitor quote so you have some leverage. You would be amazed at what you can save!
7. Have a car? Time to tweak a few things.
- Check your tires to make sure they are properly inflated. Properly inflated tires help maximize fuel efficiency.
- Spend 5 min and see which gas station in your town has the cheapest gas. Also check to see if any pair with local groceries stores for extra savings. For example, in my town a gas station pairs with Safeway so I get 20 cents per gallon off due to my grocery shopping. Want it faster? Check out the app Gasbuddy.
- Get an updated car insurance quote. You should shop your car insurance every single year. You would be surprised by what you can save.
- If you have 3 cars and only drive 2 and the third is not a collectable that is going to make you rich, it is time to sell it or donate it. There are some really great causes that need your car such as wheels for wishes. Yes, the donated cars help kids at the make a wish foundation. Do you want that car gathering rust and dust and costing you money or giving a kid with a life-threatening illness their wish?
8. Declutter. Yes, you can make money from decluttering.
- Do you really need 15 handbags or that dress with the tag still on it that you bought two seasons ago but still have not worn? The answer is no. You can resell your used clothing on sites such as therealreal.com. Bonus, they buy jewelry too! So, if you still have that Tiffany’s necklace from that boyfriend 7 years ago that you will never wear because it reminds you of him (yuck!) sell it.
- Have furniture to get rid of? Try Facebook. Yes, seriously Facebook local groups of people selling things are super effective. Join the groups that sell as well as the local groups and the mom groups. Stuff moves fast on Facebook.
- Have a good old-fashioned Garage sale. There are bargain hunters everywhere and they want to buy your stuff. Seriously. Don’t want to be near people? Try eBay.
- It is hard to go wrong with donating. It is good for your soul and it may help ease your taxes a bit. Of course, talk to a licensed tax preparer about your unique situation.
9. Stop shopping online. Let me repeat that; Stop shopping online. Online shopping is our next great crisis. It makes it way too easy to spend money. Click, click, click, bankrupt. Give it up for a year and see how much you save. That is my big 2019 resolution. We can do it together. Also keep in mind retailers are closing all over the United States, which affects jobs and neighborhoods. Support your local stores.
9. Be kind to yourself. Studies have shown often people spend emotionally. They are anxious or stressed and the thrill of buying something briefly elevates their mood. Instead of trying to buy your way out of your feelings be kind to yourself. Go for a walk or read a book or just chill. Take care of you!
Wishing you the best of luck with your saving spree,