If it seems like you are using all of your income to pay monthly expenses like home and auto loans, it’s time to consider ways to cut your costs. Lowering your monthly expenses may involve refinancing your home or auto loans, but it may also include simple everyday changes like using your dryer less often. Learn more about these tips and others to help you save more money each month.
See Where Your Money Is Going
Keeping good track of your finances requires you to have a solid understanding of where you are spending your money. A personal expense tracker app can be a powerful tool to help you accomplish this goal.
For example, the Money Manager Expense & Budget app makes it easy to record your personal and business transactions. After you link your debit and credit card accounts to the app, you will get spending reports to help you assess where every dollar goes each month.
You will also get instant statistics that show your monthly expenses by category, as well as any changes in your spending from month to month. These helpful features make the Money Manager Expense & Budget app one of the best expense tracker apps available today.
Another great way to reduce monthly expenses is to use one of the many full-featured budgeting apps that are now available. The You Need a Budget app (or “YNAB”) will quickly and easily connect to your accounts to help you reach goals and build a money-saving plan.
In addition to tracking your expenses, YNAB will help you get to the bottom of your financial problems and actually teach you how to be a successful budgeter. The app is designed to help you transform your budget, allowing you to get ahead and have an extra month’s amount of living expenses ready. This way, you can live comfortably off of your last month’s income and have a financial cushion in case of an emergency.
Lower Your Utility Bills
Finding ways to lower your home energy costs can be a great way to have more money left over at the end of each month.
Using a programmable thermostat can be a great way to make your home more energy efficient. These thermostats automatically adjust the temperature throughout the day, which can cut down on heating and cooling expenses.
A smart thermostat takes these energy-saving benefits to the next level. It offers the benefits of a programmable thermostat, but you can connect it to your phone to get energy reports, remote control features and other benefits. While programmable or smart thermostats will require an upfront cost, you will save much more than the purchase price in the long run.
Some even simpler money-saving tips include taking shorter showers to save on water and making sure your light bulbs are energy-efficient to save on your electric bill. Cutting expenses can be as easy as using a crockpot to cook or air-drying your clothes as a way to lower your electric bill.
Saving money doesn’t need to be difficult or confusing, and there are many steps you can take right away to find new ways to reduce costs. Unplugging electronics when not in use or using a space heater instead of central heating at night can provide substantial savings over the long run. It’s also a smart idea to check the seals on your windows and doors as well as your duct work to make sure there are no cooling or heating leaks and that your home is well-insulated.
Consider a Balance Transfer Card
If you are currently paying off one or more credit card debts, you may be able to save money by transferring this debt to a balance transfer credit card. A good balance transfer card will have lower interest rates than your current cards, allowing you to pay less in interest and pay off more of the principal balance.
Some balance transfer credit cards will require you to pay a balance transfer fee when you transfer your debt. However, the best balance transfer credit cards will have no balance transfer fee. Additionally, you should look for a card with no annual fees and a 0 percent introductory interest rate, usually for the first 12-15 months after your transfer.
It may be possible to find balance transfer offers that deliver added benefits and perks for using your card responsibly. These might include rewards for making payments on-time. Practicing good spending and bill paying habits is important for all balance transfer card holders. Consistently paying your balance can even improve your credit score.
Lower Your Monthly Debt Payments by Refinancing
Another smart saving tip is to refinance your existing loans, such as your auto loan or home mortgage, to get a better rate. Refinancing your mortgage rates or other interest rates can greatly reduce your monthly expenses and help you save more in the long run.
When you refinance a loan, your current loan is replaced with a new one. Ideally, your refinanced loan will have better terms than your current loan. This can mean a lower interest rate or a better repayment schedule, among other benefits.
Be sure to shop around for lower interest rates from several different lenders, and try to avoid extending the term of your loan if possible. When looking to lower your mortgage payments or other loan payments, make sure to note any processing fees or other hidden costs to make sure you will actually be saving money with the new loan.
Home and auto loans are not the only area to look at when it comes to saving money through refinancing. If you have a lot of student loan debt that you still need to pay off, refinancing your student loans could be another opportunity to cut your monthly bills. As with refinancing a mortgage, you will want to find lenders who will provide you with a lower rate than you are currently paying. Student loan refinance rates come in many shapes and sizes, so take the time to compare loan terms and get estimates from many different lenders.