When you’re already living paycheck to paycheck, it can seem impossible to save money. The usual sites offering financial advice aren’t too useful either with their suggestions for better stock investments and squirreling away hundreds of bucks a month. Well, we’re here to help with a few of our favorite tips you can actually use. They won’t make you rich, but they’ll help you stretch your dollar a little bit further and give you some breathing room.
If you have multiple student loans from different years, reach out to your lender or one that specializes in refinancing and consolidate them into one. You’ll usually get a lower interest rate that will allow you to pay down debt faster.
Look around for a new credit card with a balance transfer promotion of 0 percent or very low interest for a set amount of time. Transfer all or part of a balance from your highest APR card and pay it off. Just be sure to transfer only what you know you can pay off before the promotional period ends.
Get a credit card with the lowest APR possible. Whatever you do, don’t get behind on it; that can trigger late fees and a penalty APR that could even affect your card rates with other lenders.
The better shape your credit report is in, the better credit card terms you can expect. This means lower rates, higher credit limits and sometimes extra perks like cash back. If your credit could use some help, look into a credit repair program to help get your credit back on track.
Generally speaking, the healthier you are, the less expensive you are to insure. Doing things like stopping smoking and drinking and losing weight make you a better bet for insurance companies. Make sure your progress is noted in your annual physical and then contact your insurer for a review.
The safer you drive, the better your insurance rates will be. If it’s been a while since your last accident or traffic violation, contact your insurance provider to negotiate a better rate.
If you’re still making payments on a car you bought when your credit was worse, contact your lender to ask about refinancing your loan at a lower APR. If they won’t play ball, threaten to refinance through another bank. If that doesn’t work, take your business elsewhere.
Let’s say you’re not actually making car payments. Instead, you own a beater you’re dragging into the shop every week. It sounds counterintuitive, but you might look into buying a brand-new car. Not only will you have a much more reliable ride, but new cars will stay under warranty for a number of years, meaning less money you have to shell out for repairs and routine maintenance.
Traditional cell phone contracts often include all sorts of unnecessary extras you never use, so why are you paying for them? Prepaid service is just as reliable and often much cheaper than a contract. You do have to pay for the phone upfront instead of getting it free with a new contract, but you’ll save money in the long run by only paying for the services you actually need and use.
You’re paying a premium for all those cable channels that never show anything you want to see. Well, it’s time to break up with your cable company. You can keep it for internet service, but cut out the TV subscription. Sign up for online streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and others to watch what you want at a fraction of the cost of a monthly TV cable bill.