Do you remember a time growing up when your father said to you, "well, kids, it's time to tighten our belts"? Or maybe your mother tried to soften the blow, telling you in October that "it's going to be a very small Christmas this year."
In hard economic times like the ones we're experiencing now, Americans are often required to tighten their financial belts in order to make ends meet. A very positive outcome can be expected from this though, as we learn to better save and manage our money, as well as to evaluate our expenses. Here are some ideas and tips on making sure your money is being used to its best advantage:
- Property taxes - these taxes are assessed as a percentage of the value of your property. In the last few years, values went up --- way up. And property taxes went up too. We all know that values are going down now, but have you seen a corresponding decrease in your taxes? If not, you can be proactive in getting those taxes reassessed and potentially saving a lot of money. Just ask us how!
- Insurance - Geico, Allstate, Liberty Mutual and the rest love to tell you about how much they save their customers on their insurance. Do you know that hundreds of other insurance companies exist with equal or better coverage and lower rates? The best way to find them is through a trustworthy insurance broker who can shop many different carriers at one time to find you the best coverage at the best price. You may be able to save hundreds of dollars without losing a penny of coverage. (Put our broker to the test by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org and asking for a free, no obligation quote)
- Loan Modification - for struggling homeowners, modifying your home loan is a very real option to keep you in your home. Depending on your situation, you could save hundreds of dollars a month on your mortgage (to save time and headaches, please contact a loan mod specialist -- like us -- to be your advocate throughout the process).
Some other ideas to save money on a smaller scale include:
- getting your hair cut less often
- planning your meals a week in advance so you spend less money eating out and wasted on unnecessary groceries
- canceling magazine subscriptions and read the highlights online instead
- going clothes shopping for what you need only - not when you're looking for entertainment
- exercising more - you'll save money on other forms of entertainment if instead you head outside for a walk
If you're short for cash, you don't need to resort to credit cards to make ends meet. A simple evaluation of your spending, as well as taking advantage of the possible savings above, will help you slide through this slowdown without visiting the soup kitchen.