Monday, April 5, 2010

Ways To Keep More of Your Cash

In today's economy, life seems to be getting more tough. Families that live pay check to paycheck and don't have any savings are the ones being pinched. The soar rocketing essential expenses keeps going higher and, health care, education, etc...aaagghh!
No wonder.
Perhaps, the following can help us save money on the big bills:
  1. Mortgage Makeover. - the monster in the room as most families would say. To take control of this "monster" at home, consider refinancing your mortgage with an old-fashioned fixed-rate note if you have an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM). Switching to a fixed rate will raise your monthly payment, but it never increases. over time, with inflation, in effect you'll be paying less. A fixed-rate mortgage allows you to pay your debt in cheaper and cheaper dollars, and as your income rises, you can then put extra money on your mortgage and pay it off sooner.
  2. Education Options. - Look for quality institutions in your area or consider a local 4-year college and save on room and board. Another option will be a community college for the first 2 years where tuition is bargain basement, then to a state school or private university later. parents should give priority to their retirement savings over college funds since there are no loans, scholarships and grants for surviving your senior years.
  3. Health care. - you might wanna consider enrolling with health Savings Accounts (HSAs) offered by your employer. You can deposit your deductible amount (up to certain limits) in a tax-free account that grows. This way, you don't lose your money if you remain healthy. You can withdraw your money for medical expenses without taxes as long as you live. Then, you can withdraw the money once you are 65 or older without any penalty, but with a tax payment if it is used for non medical purposes.
  4. Food Bill. - You can still eat healthy, and paying less ;).
  5. Gas Consumption. - Hybrid cars with excellent mpg's save money in city driving (stop-and-go city traffic). Forget driving in a highway though, the extra cash outlay for the hybrid doesn't make sense.
  6. Electricity Consumption. - Any energy-efficient upgrades you make on your home can possibly qualify for a federal tax credit. Energy Star-rated windows and doors generally can qualify for the credit, offsetting the higher cost of these products. You won't get the credit, unless you claim it, - so go and check
  7. Shop Smart. - Follow the "cost-per-wear" rule. When you see something that you like, ask yourself; - "How many times am I going to wear this in a year?" it should cost no more than $3 per wear, ideally :). To find the best deals online, check or for printable coupons you can take to the store.