Instead of focusing a lot of effort on making many changes to your spending habits, these six areas of your financial life can yield big savings and earnings with just a few small tweaks.
Many insurance carriers offer a bundling discount if you purchase multiple insurance plans through them. If you have two cars, insure both with the same firm, and consider using that firm for your rental or home owners insurance too. Ask your broker for other discounts you might be eligible for. Another great way to save on auto insurance is to increase your deductible to lower your monthly premiums.
- Your Home
If you’re currently looking for a new home, try to purchase one that costs less than what you think you can afford, and don’t forget to factor in association fees, taxes, homeowners insurance and other costs that come with owning a home. If you already own a home, consider refinancing to potentially save hundreds each month. Finally, making your home safer (such as by installing a smoke detector) can decrease your home owners insurance premiums.
- Debt Payment
If you can, pay off your credit card bills in full each month so you won’t ever have to pay interest. To prevent having to put large amounts of money on a credit card with a high interest rate, save up an emergency fund for unexpected expenses. If you’ve already charged a sizeable debt, develop a debt repayment plan and work it into your budget so you can pay off your cards as soon as possible and pay less interest in the long run. If you’re in good standing, it’s worth it to contact your credit card company to request a lower interest rate.
- Spending Plan
Think of your budget as a way to organize your spending, not necessarily limit it. You can automate your finances to make sure your savings and investing goals are always met and your bills are always paid on time. This will save you money by avoiding late fees and penalties. By having a budget, you’re less likely to waste money on purchases you’ll later regret. Automate your finances to make sure your savings and investing goals are always met and your bills are always paid on time.
Make sure you’re taking advantage of applicable deductions and credits. To lower your taxable income, contribute money to a 401(k), IRA or 529 plan. To minimize your capital gains tax, consider selling some of your investments at a loss – but make sure you’re not using taxes as your main motivation for selling. Another easy way to get a tax deduction is to make a charitable contribution. Finally, a Health Savings Account is a tax-free way to save money for health expenses. The money goes into the account tax-free and is exempt from taxes upon distribution.
The best way to get a return on your investment is to start early. Open a retirement plan and begin contributing as soon as possible so your money can experience the “magic of compounding” that only happens over time. Keep in mind that frequent trading and investing small amounts over time may cost more in commission and fees. Research the fees associated with your investments to make more strategic decisions or consider switching to a lower cost plan.
Sometimes the smartest financial moves (such as investing or buying insurance) can quickly eat away at your budget. By making small changes in these six areas, you can save significant amounts of money without significant effort.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss. This information is not intended to be a substitute for individualized tax advice. Please consult your tax advisor regarding your specific situation. Prior to investing in a 29 Plan investors should consider whether the investor’s or designated beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in such state’s qualified tuition program.
The information being provided is strictly as a courtesy. When you link to any of the web sites provided herewith, you are leaving this site. We make no representations as to the completeness or accuracy of the information provided at these sites. Nor is the company liable for any direct or indirect technical or system issues or any consequences arising out of your access to or your use of third party technology, sites, information and programs made available through this site. By clicking on the links above you will leave our web site and assume total responsibility and risk for your use of the sites to which you are linking.
This article was written by Advicent Solutions, an entity unrelated to Kemp Harvest Financial Group®. © 2013-2014 Advicent Solutions. All rights reserved.