Money Saving Opportunities
for the Financially Savvy
It can be challenging and time consuming to ensure we track our spending, maintain a budget, and do all those things that help make us financially fit. However, there are benefits, both mentally and monetarily, to becoming financially stable.
The first benefit is the peace of mind knowing all your money obligations are being taken care of, you are building your emergency fund, and you are making financial goals for your future. While it is difficult to put an exact dollar amount on the value of peace of mind, it is certainly a benefit that is easily recognized. Another part of the peace of mind benefit is the comfort of not having collection agencies calling, emailing, and sending threatening letters all the time trying to contact you.
Even though peace of mind would be priceless to most of us, there are other benefits that can easily put money back into your budget every month, making your hard work more valuable all the time.
By paying your bills on time, you are improving approximately thirty percent of your credit score each month. This in turn improves your FICO score, which qualifies you for lower interest rates on automobile and home loans. These lower rates result in a lower monthly payment, giving you more money in your budget for other goals such as children’s college fund or maybe a well-deserved vacation.
If you have had your home for several years and your credit score has improved during this time, it may be a smart idea to research refinancing options as current rates have dropped dramatically in the past four years. While there are some fees involved with refinancing, switching to a new, lower interest rate may very well save thousands of dollars over the life of the loan and reduce the monthly payment by a very significant amount.
It may be a benefit to review current auto and homeowner insurance policies too. It is recommended that approximately every three to four years, review these types of policies to see if there are deductions you now qualify for that could also reduce your monthly bill.
Finally, look at your current monthly household spending on phone, internet, television, etc., and see if there are ways to get the services your family desires by bundling or shopping around for similar packages. You have worked very hard to get your finances in the best shape possible, so do a little more research and see if you can monetarily benefit from all the hard work it took to get there.
Scott E. Taylor is the Family and Consumer Sciences Agent at Hernando County Extension. For more info, or to set up an appointment to discuss any of the topics covered above, please email him at email@example.com or call 352-754-4433.