Wednesday, February 22, 2012

15 Saving Money Power Tips with 86 More to Come!

All of us would like to save money but the truth is most of us save very little of our income. The stats in the US show Americans are saving under 5% of disposal income. 64% of Americans don’t have $1000 set aside for emergencies and 43% have less than $10,000 saved for retirement. This equates to we are horrible savers or are we all just to broke to save? According to Suze Orman (this woman kills me) we should all be able to save, if it were that easy we’d ALL be doing it! But I bet Suze’s never had her electric turned off or had to choose between eating PB&J or Top Ramin… Any way Suze has good information and I think she has something going on with her Prepaid Debt Cards but sometimes the everyday Joe/Jane seem to escape her thought process.  Here are some tips on saving money if you can bring yourself to do them I know it’s hard and some are easier than others. Pick and choose the ones you can do but give them a try. I’d like to add to this list and reach 101 ways to save. If you can think of other ways send me an email or add it to the comment area. I will start adding a Tip each week to my Blog but your help is always welcome and encouraged. Please follow my blog too by clinking on the FB follow my blog inside my blog. Thanks

1.     Most financial advisor will tell you to pay yourself before you pay anyone else. This is great if you can do it. Pick a percentage that is comfortable that you can deduct from each of your payroll checks and put it directly into your savings, 401K or some type of retirement account. Most employers will help you with this but if yours doesn’t you will need to do it yourself.
If you use direct deposit ask your HR department if you can deposit into two accounts one checking, one savings or money market. A healthy range is 6% to 10% of your income.
2.       Get Rid of Mortgage Insurance, if your mortgage is 80% or higher Loan- to Value you may have MI insurance. You can get rid of this insurance if the value of your home is now less than 80% of value.  You can get a new appraisal to establish the new value or refinance to remove the MI.
3.        Refinance your mortgages, Refinancing at today’s low rates can shave hundreds of dollars off your mortgage. To check out your own savings by going to my website mortgage calculator on plug in your balance and the same term your present mortgage is to see savings.
I think most of you will be pleasantly surprised at the amount.  Than call me! J
4.       Improve your Credit Scores, by improving your credit scores you will be offered better interest rates saving you thousands of dollars in interest from credit card, student loans, auto loans, home loans. You should be checking your credit report every 12 months if not 6 months. With ID theft at an all time high I would opt for the later. Knowing where you stand is very important. Get your report and monitor it regularly.
5.       If your credit needs to be Repaired do it, for all the reasons above you will want to also repair your credit. Repairing your credit is time consuming but not hard, you just have to be diligent, keep good records and don’t take any crap from anyone. Do a little research on your rights because you have rights and there all on your side. Look up the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Give me a call and I’ll help you or at least get you off and running. The rewards of having good credit are wonderful. Because it will allow you to finance those large items like a car, a home or education that typically most of us need financing to obtain.
6.       Insurance, Let’s talk about insurance.. boy is this an area I really hate, can’t live without it, rarely need it but when you do boy you better have it! But let’s talk about savings because you can save money here and you can save A LOT! Just by shopping! We get so complacence that instead on spending a few minute online shopping for quotes and dealing with insurance companies we’d rather just pay our overpriced insurance policies, because we tell ourselves that well Agent Joe is so nice and I hate to disappoint him or you’ve been with the same company for 20 yrs. All the more reason you need to look at other companies. Last year I reduced my auto insurance from $1432.00 per year to $741.00 per year a 50% savings and you can too. I didn’t reduce any of my coverage BTW. But you can do so if you need to;
7.       Insurance, Increasing deductibles can save you money, changing how you pay can also save you money. Most insurance companies charge you to make payments. If you can pay in full do so. Maybe after you change companies and get the savings as suggested #5 you will be able to pay in full.
Or instead of paying monthly you pay quarterly or bi-annually either way you save.
8.       GO GREEN, I know most of us would like to help the environment but let’s face it we all need to do this to save not only save mother earth but money! I think energy costs are going to get so high we will be force to see the light of green energy and well we should. Our electric bills are staggering here in Hawaii are high everywhere. I have a little condo and pay on average $200 per month for electric, if I could go solar I would. If you have a house you should convert to solar and this alone will save money.
9.       Convert your Hot Water Heater to Tankless or Solar, not only will you never run out of hot water it will be almost free.
10.   Utilities, Ok this is a big area where we can all save providing you cannot go green; let’s see what we can do to lower your utilities bills. Let’s start with the electric bill. I am really bad when it comes to leaving lights on. My husband follows me around turning them off (when he’s home) I thought how much could I really be costing us? I went to CA during the holidays and our electric bill dropped $50 while I was gone. So my bad habits do make a difference in that bill. The next month I really made an effort to turn off the lights and TV and my computer and all the other things I have on when not in use and my bill was $36 cheaper. We can all do this! I know it take awareness and commitment and it’s not easy to break bad habits.
11.   Heating and Cooling, close the vents in the rooms you are not using and close the doors in those rooms. Make sure you service your HVCC unit annually.
12.   Phone, Internet, Cable .. Most companies have package deals now so combine these bills for a cheaper rate OR get rid of your land line altogether if you can.
13.   Cell Phones, This is such a competitive market, shop, shop and then shop some more until you get the best rate and terms out there. READ those contracts and know what you are signing up for the long haul.
14.   Stop Smoking, this is a costly and bad habit. I know… but need I say more! Maybe I’ll do some math for you. Pack a day $7.5 – HI = $2737.50. 2 packs a day = $5475.00 you can do the math if you smoke more. In Hawaii there is a Free program to help you quit. Give them a call.
1-800 Quit Now(784-8669)
15.   Stop Drinking, Again very costly, too many calories, bad for you and your liver!   

Roxy Redenbaugh
ACMC Loan Consultant
Branch Manager

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