For many people, 2012 is rushing through like a train. If the two of you haven’t made much progress on your goals, there is still plenty time left this year for the two of you to achieve a milestone together. To get you started I wanted to share 9 money saving tips.
Saving Money Around the House
Saving money starts at home. There are ways you can lower your monthly living expenses.
- Refinance your mortgage. For most people their mortgage payments are the biggest expense. Check to see if you can refinance your home mortgage to a lower rate. Right now, you may be able to get your home mortgage rate in the 3% range.
- Optimize your electricity. With summer weather already here in some parts of the country, running the air conditioner from now until the fall will eat up your utilities’ budget. Try to cut back on your electric bill.
- Cook (and grill) more. Summertime is perfect for cookouts. Eating with family and friends at home from your grill can be a great way to have a fun time without breaking the bank. Burgers, kabobs, and grilled chicken are easy meals to make and taste fantastic off the grill.
- Have a home garden. You can boost your meals with some fresh items from your little garden. It doesn’t have to complicated – one year we just had herbs and some peppers.
- Review your cable bundle. Check and call your current provider to see if they have any promotion specials you can take advantage of. We recently did this with our internet and cut our annual expenses by $200 while increasing the speed!
- Shop around for cell phones. If you’re looking for the best value with cell phones with some flexibility, check out prepaid providers like Boost Mobile or Go. You can get some pretty good deals on plans and get the same coverage from the major providers.
Keeping Transportation Costs Low
The next biggest expense for couples are their cars – car loans, maintenance costs, and gasoline expenses can all add to a sizable chunk. Taking a few steps can help the two of you shrink your expenses.
- Skip on the car loan. If you’re thinking about shopping for your next vehicle, consider saving before getting a car loan or lease. We manage to save cash for our last few cars and recently found a deal on our family’s Accord. While you’re shopping for your next car, look at gas mileage and weigh it against the price. You can come out ahead both with the upfront purchase price and with the long term ownership costs.
- Improve your gas mileage. You don’t have much say about the price at the gas pumps, but you can lower your fuel costs significantly by increasing your car’s gas mileage.
- Shop around for car insurance. Ever so often we get quotes on our car insurance to make sure we’re getting the best value. Even if you’re happy with your company, it pays to double check and make sure you’re getting discounts you’re entitled to. Being Costco members helped us to decrease our insurance premiums significantly.
Your Money Tips
How about you? What goals do the two of you have for this year and beyond? How are you saving money?