It’s more vital than ever to start preparing for your financial future.
One of the easiest ways to fluff up your nest egg is to simply cut down on expenses and start saving more of your hard earned cash. No matter your current situation, here are 12 golden rules that everyone can use to save on everyday expenses from mortgage bills to utilities.
Most homeowners know the benefits of lower monthly payments as compared to renting. The tax benefits also make the decision a no-brainer. Here are some deductions that homeowners should be leveraging:
- Mortgage interest – If your mortgage doesn’t exceed $750k you can deduct the interest you pay on the loan. This can result in greater deductions come tax time. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 reduced the limit from $1 million and made some additional clarifications on deducting interest from a home equity credit line.
- Property taxes – After the TCJA passed in 2017, homeowners can now deduct up to $10,000 from their property taxes. The deduction from state and local income taxes is also combined with the deduction for state and local property taxes.
- Tax incentives for energy efficient upgrades – Homeowners can now claim tax deductions on solar energy for both electric and water heating equipment through 2021. However, the deductible amount decreases by 4% each year over the next 2 years.
2. Slash Your Energy Bills
A new policy introduced this year qualifies homeowners who live in certain zip codes to obtain government funding to install solar panels. Most homeowners don’t check to see if they qualify, and thus miss out on the many subsidies and rebates that can cover a lot of the costs associated with installation.
Be a smart homeowner and do your research today, you could find yourself saving thousands a year on your energy bill.
3. Install CFLs or LED Lights
Lighting technology has made huge strides in recent years. Even though they can cost more than traditional bulbs, CFL and LED bulbs use less energy and can last for years without replacement. You don’t need to replace every light bulb in the house, even switching just five of them can save you $45 or more a year.
4. Automating Your Thermostat
Save money on your heating and cooling bills by investing in an automated thermostat. These smart thermostats will be able to know when you are home and adjust to pre-set comfort settings, some of them can even qualify you for a rebate from your utility provider.
5. Make A Grocery List
Instead of grocery shopping on impulse, make a list of groceries you need for the upcoming week. That way, you avoid checking out with way more than you need and buy only what you intend to use. This minimizes waste, and your wallet will thank you!
6. Buy in Bulk
One of the easiest things you can do to save money is to buy your necessities in bulk. Retailers like Costco and Sam’s Club often give a much better deal on products such as paper towels and toilet paper. Become a more efficient shopper and start saving today.
7. Concrete Patios, Not Pavers
Patios can add value to a home as an enjoyable outdoor living space. But they can get expensive quickly the more add-ons you get.
Most landscapers would recommend pavers over concrete as it increases durability. But if the cost savings are more important to you, just go for the clean look of concrete. Just make sure to hire a good concrete crew to prep the concrete right to minimize cracks.
8. Get Life Insurance
Nobody wants to think about it, but preparing for the worst gives peace of mind that your family will be taken care of financially. A good life insurance policy can protect your family from inheriting your debts, and cover the cost of a mortgage among other costs.
There is now a service that you can apply to get free life insurance quotes from top insurance companies out there. You may be surprised at how affordable an excellent policy can be. Truth is, life insurance rates are at a 20 year low and thanks to new policies in place you can qualify for a great new policy at a lower rate.
9. Give Your AC a Break
If you have an air conditioner, you need to place it in an area where air flow is unimpeded. If the airflow for your AC unit is restricted in any way, take a few steps this weekend to do the following:
- Trim any bushes to give the AC unit at least a 1 foot area of clearance.
- Remove any debris or leaves from the ground
- If there is any debris clogging up the unit itself, consider having a professional clean it out.
10. New Auto Insurance Policy
Most auto insurance companies won’t notify you of savings, but you should always be on the lookout for a better deal with this auto insurance comparison tool.
Insurance companies are always competing for your business. Join thousands of other drivers and save up to $531 a year with a new policy. All you have to do is to fill out a short form and you can start saving on your auto bill.
11. Veteran’s discounts
Lowe’s offers all active military and veterans a 10% discount on all in-store purchases. This offer is also extended to their spouses.
So be it tools, new appliances or even a kitchen remodel. If you qualify for this discount, head on over to Lowe’s and start saving today.
12. Get Mortgage Relief
Unknown to many homeowners is the government program Freddie Mac Enhanced Relief Refinance Program or FMERR. This program can help millions of Americans to reduce their mortgage payments up to $3k per year.
This federal program is due to stop taking applications at the end of this year however, so take advantage of this program as soon as possible. If you are looking to lower your payments or pay off your mortgage faster, this free program could help you get a better rate than the marketplace.
And that is it. If you found these savings tips useful, please share this post and our page with friends and family. If you need any more help or financial advice, please don’t hesitate to give us a call!