Saving money seems like a daunting task. Mortgage payments, credit card bills and utility bills seem to pile up. But did you know that you can actually save thousands of dollars without ever leaving your home? Here is how.
- Be smart about your credit cards. If you tend to carry a balance, seeking out a lower interest rate can save you around a hundred dollars a month. A good credit score and a little online sleuthing on lowcards.com can help you find a credit card with a slashed interest rate. And ditch any credit card with an annual fee. Unless you are paying your card off in full each month, it will rarely benefit you. If it is a rewards card you are after, plenty of cards offer cash back without a pricey annual fee.
- Keep an eye on your bank account. Overdraft fees are killer for any bank account. One purchase can send you into a negative balance, no matter the overall cost. Most overdraft fees are around $30 per purchase in the negative. While you should be keeping a check register for everything that you are spending, most people are going electronic. Contact your bank to set up electronic alerts anytime your checking account balance gets too low. Keeping a good eye on your accounts will also help you notice any fraudulent charges.
- Think twice about your light. Switching to energy efficient light bulbs can save you almost $100 a year. The initial cost of the light bulb is higher than traditional light bulbs, but new technology makes these new light bulbs better. Not only do the new light bulbs last longer, they use less energy for the same amount of light.
- Go digital with your heat. Old homes with dial thermostats are simply inefficient. You have to manually change the thermostat, and it often stays at temps that are inefficient. A digital, programmable thermostat will allow you to keep your home at a specified temp. Doing this quick change will slash your bill by hundreds every year.
- Unplug. Did you know that your plugged in appliances use power even when not in use? The worst offender is electronics like a laptop or a computer. Just being left in overnight can jack up your energy bill. The simplest way to ditch the energy suckers is to unplug when not in use. To make it easier, plug like items into a power strip so you only have to unplug one item.
- Refinance everything and anything. Auto and home loans are at an all-time low. And you can use this to your advantage. Look online for auto and mortgage rates that you will qualify for and consider switching to one with a lower interest rate. Even a rate with a few percentage points lower will knock hundreds, if not thousands, off your overall bill.
- Ditch bills you don’t need. Do you really need to pay for a landline and a cell phone? How about an online streaming service and cable TV? Pick one and reap the savings.