5 Money Hacks Worth Thousands of Dollars
5 Money Hacks Worth Thousands of Dollars
By Jason Silverberg, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®
- Cut the Cord
More and more people are choosing to cancel their cable contracts in favor of online streaming providers. While the industry still hasn’t created any good options to deliver live sporting events or news programs, it’s only a matter of time until everything goes online.
As a consumer, it’s important to shop around and compare pricing. If you do decide to cut the cord, you could save a thousand dollars or more per year. As an example, a standard triple play package with your favorite provider might cost about $150 per month. By eliminating TV and phone service, you could save over $100 per month.
- Shop Your Insurance
Often times it pays to shop around for the lowest cost option. This is especially true with insurance. Insurance costs change over time based on different risk factors.
With Life Insurance, if you’ve lost weight or kicked your smoking habit, you could potentially qualify for preferred health discounts. From time to time, the industry reviews mortality rates and life expectancy. Since more people are living longer, life insurance rates are actually coming down. Life insurance products contain fees, such as mortality and expense charges (which may increase over time), and may contain restrictions, such as surrender periods.
With Auto and Home Owners Insurance, it’s a good idea to combine these products with one carrier. Many times you can qualify for multiline discounts, which could add up to hundreds of dollars in savings per year.
- The Debt Snowball
If you’ve gotten behind on your credit card bills and have racked up a bit of debt, consider creating a payoff plan. It’s typical for credit card companies to charge upwards of 15-20% in interest charges, so putting some extra money to paying these down can save you a lot of money.
Create a list of all of your outstanding debts and organize them from highest interest rate to lowest. Pay the minimum payments on all of the debts and use any extra funds to pay off the highest rate first.
Once the first debt is paid off, you can redirect the extra funds toward the next debt on the list. Not only will this strategy save you money, but you’ll also be debt free faster.
- Negotiate Everything!
Whether it’s due to fear of confrontation, ignorance, or just plain laziness, Americans don’t negotiate nearly as much as they should. Many goods and services can be received for a lot lower in cost, if we just ask.
New York Times bestselling author, Ramit Sethi, discusses how everything is negotiable. This can include:
- Credit Card Interest Rates
- Cable and internet contracts
- Insurance premiums
You can, and should, negotiate your salary too. Sethi shares that the savings you’ll see aren’t just dollars in your pocket today, but now that you’ve locked in at a lower price point for the foreseeable future, you could save thousands of dollars for years to come.
Interestingly enough, the one industry where negotiation is expected, the auto industry, is going through quite the overhaul. With websites like Truecar.com, consumers are taking more control of the sales process using trends and statistics. This can put the consumer in the driver seat, allowing you to dictate the price you want to pay for the car, and ultimately having a big impact on bottom line.
- Hire a Financial Professional
When it comes to saving you money, sometimes you have to spend money to make money. Hiring a financial professional can help you align your habits with your bigger goals, helping you to make progress faster.
Be sure to hire an experienced professional who has the proper registrations and licenses. Make sure they are acting in your best interest and aren’t just sales people.
In my book, The Financial Planning Puzzle, I discuss a few other items to consider when reviewing a financial advisor. You’ll find this and a lot more valuable information as your fitting your financial pieces together. Buy the book now on Amazon.com here.
If you’d like to discuss your own personal finances, you can email me directly at email@example.com or call me at 301-610-0071.
Jason Silverberg CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, specializes in comprehensive financial planning. His practice aims at helping families and small business owners to fit their financial pieces together to create financial freedom. He uses a values-based process to connect with his clients on a deeper level than most other advisors, diving into the "why" behind the numbers. He focuses on helping clients achieve and protect their goals through methodical investment strategies and calculated risk management and insurance solutions. Separate from the financial plan and our role as financial planner, we may recommend the purchase of specific investment or insurance products or accounts. These product recommendations are not part of the financial plan and you are under no obligation to follow them.
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