10 Tips to Save Money
Perhaps you had an unexpected medical bill, are between jobs, or are going through a separation or divorce and have fallen behind on your mortgage payments. No matter the reason, there are ways to save money to avoid a short sale or foreclosure. Saving money may seem tough, but with a little creativity and some planning, you may be able to catch up on your mortgage payments, even without completely changing your lifestyle. Here are 10 tips to start you on the road to financial security:
1. Cut the Cord
Do you really need 100+ cable channels? Can you cut watching cooking shows on a premium channel? While it may seem drastic, canceling cable can add up to significant savings each month. Not ready to completely unplug? Get rid of premium channels like HBO, Starz and Cinemax, and put that cash back in your pocket.
2. Negotiate with the Banks
Are you carrying credit card debt? If so, call the credit card company and negotiate the interest rate you are currently paying. Most companies will work with you on lowering your interest rate, especially if you make your payments on time. If your company will not lower your rate, consider transferring your balance from a high interest credit card to another card with a lower rate. Most credit card companies offer a low introductory rate for balance transfers so you can save the money you pay in interest.
3. Pack Your Lunch
While hitting the drive thru may be convenient on your lunch break, it can become expensive over the course of a week. If you consider that a fast-food meal is around $4/day, by the end of the week you will have spent $20 on lunch. Consider taking leftovers to work for lunch, or even making pasta or another easily reheated dish once a week so you are prepared for lunches during the work day.
4. Clothes Swap
Does your wardrobe need an update? Are your children growing out of their clothes? Chances are, you know friends and family in the same situation. Ask friends and relatives for clothing that their kids have outgrown, and talk to friends about trading some items from their closet to freshen up your own outfits. New clothing doesn’t have to be brand-new, just “new to you!”
5. Cash Only
If you tend to use a credit card and overspend, switch to paying cash for your purchases. Give yourself a budget per week, and place that amount of money in an envelope. When the cash is gone – it’s gone. By putting yourself on a strict budget each week, you will cut out unnecessary purchases. Keep the credit card at home (not in your wallet) and only use it for emergencies.
6. One Day Rule
If you are considering purchasing expensive or unnecessary items, wait at least 24 hours before you make the purchase. During that time, ask yourself if the purchase will make your life better, or if it is something you can live without. If shopping online, put the item in your cart, but wait a day before making the final decision and placing the order.
7. Go Outdoors
One of the best things about going outside is that it is absolutely free! Instead of spending money at the movies, or going to the mall, get outside and explore local parks, throw around a baseball or play a game of basketball. Spending time outside not only helps you save money, but the fresh air can improve moods and getting some exercise can help your overall health.
8. Put on a Sweater (Or Take It Off!)
Energy bills can become expensive during the summer and winter months when the temperature is most extreme. Instead of raising the heat, or lowering the air conditioning, try to warm up or stay cool using other methods. You can also install a programmable thermostat that will help you warm or cool your house only when needed, ensuring that utilities aren’t being wasted while you’re at work or asleep.
9. Sign Up for a Library Card
Local libraries are a wonderful resource for families, especially families on a budget! Not only can you get books, many libraries also offer e-books, magazines and movies for free, or for a minimal cost. Libraries also often host free events for families and even classes for adults. If you haven’t been to a library recently, now is the time to take a closer look.
10. Treat Yourself
Just because you are saving money, and are on a budget, doesn’t mean you should cut out all unnecessary spending forever. Once or twice a month, treat yourself and your family to something fun. This could be a night out for ice cream, or getting a coffee at your favorite coffee shop. For each dollar you spend on the “treat,” take that same amount and put it into your savings account. So, treat yourself, but also use it as an opportunity to save.
Getting out of debt and keeping up with your mortgage payments may feel overwhelming at times, but starting with these 10 tips to save money may get you on the path to financial freedom. With just a few small changes, you can get back on track with your mortgage, and potentially avoid foreclosure or short sale.
If you are behind on your mortgage, and are ready to sell your home, you do have another option to avoid foreclosure. Consider a cash sale of your home to Integrity First Home Buyers. We’ve helped many homeowners in delinquency situations be relieved of their remaining mortgage debt, and some homeowners even walk away with relocation assistance through the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program.
At Integrity First Home Buyers, we work with home sellers that want a fair, fast and local way to sell their home for cash. We are the #1 buyer of homes in York, Adams, Cumberland, Lancaster and Dauphin Counties, and we have helped thousands of individuals, couples and families sell their homes quickly. Our professional team of home buying experts has decades of experience and can help guide you through the cash-sale process. We care about our clients and work to meet their goals in selling their home. Reach out today to start the conversation to learn how the cash sale of your home can help you avoid foreclosure.