Regularly I find money on the ground if you see the photo I found this $50.00 bill. I found one last year too and countless coins. I am not lucky, I am just always looking. I find money on the streets regularly. But I also find it my pocket. What I mean is are you studying your bills for loose change. Just last month, I reviewed my cell phone bill and realized I am still paying insurance on older model phone. I typically keep insurance for one year and cancel. I forgot. I cancelled that and paid off the balance of the phone cost and took my cell phone bill from $135.00 to $89.00. Call your cell company and ask them what would better suit you and how you use your phone look for extra charges. 

What about refinancing your home loan, it is popular now as rates are getting so low. But beware the costs of a refinance it may not pencil out. Here is where you need to review your long term goals. How long do you plan to stay in the home, have you just refinanced? Are you paying for the costs of the loan or rolling them into the loan, my best advice is to avoid increasing the amount of the loan. If you have to I recommend this only on your primary residence. For an investment property the formula is different. I have just refinanced my primary home and paid the closing costs and fees so I could realize the true value of the lower interest and payment. Ask if the appraisal can be a "desk top appraisal" and see if you can avoid the appraisal fee. Also question the costs and charges, larger banks and online mortgage company love fees ask what they are and if they are necessary. Some fees are necessary items in certain areas.

Next what about cable, have you cut the cords? If not call regularly to see what other plans they can offer you. Do you have monthly streaming apps you are not watching. For Game of Thrones we had HBO and when it was over I cancelled it. 4 months later something else came up we watched that and I cancelled it again. This can count for other services. As a realtor I have heaps of monthly charges that services like to bill me for, they are little so the companies know I will not pay too much attention. Yet their nibbles chip away at my overall budget. 

What about the gym for 2020 this was a non starter as they were closed in a lot of places. Yet I did check my bank statement and after my account was on hold the charge popped back up again. I let them know this was not okay as they are closed. I had the fees refunded. Going forward when everything opens back up, think about classes, a private training group, working out at home before committing to a monthly fee for a service not used. Avoid the double whammy of feeling guilty for not working out AND paying for a service you are not using. Also do not sign up in January if you think you may not continue as a regular gym person I can tell you this is not a good strategy. I see it every year. Sign up in the dead of winter or late summer and just commit to using the gym not losing tons of weight or becoming a cross fit hero. Once it becomes a habit then ramp up the fitness goals. 

Look to your power usage most items now do not take too much power anymore and overall our bill is much more manageable. In 2020 we decided to remove our hot tub, it was about $50.00 a month and we just were not using it. We sold it and put up a greenhouse. The savings will not really appear for about 6 more months due to the cost of the greenhouse but we have stopping the on going charge. Also if you do not have one get an automatic thermostat for your heating I still see so many homes that do not have a timer on the furnace. It is important to make sure the home is not heating up when you are not there or do not not need it as much such as the middle of the night. 

One other trick I do is also check out the more expensive option of an item I am considering. This helps me to figure out the value of the item I am buying. Companies know this, they know if you want to feel you are a big spender you may opt for the most expensive product, yet what I find is they also cater to me. The consumer who is careful but not afraid to spend money for a good value. Either way this helps me choose and compare.

The last found money tip is in your refrigerator. Years of having good, bad and amazing refrigerators I have discovered it better to pay more. Try to spend as much as you can and read the reviews, do not look for stylish, bright and shiny ones. Look for the reviews that say food stayed fresh. This is so important over 30-40% of all food that is purchased is thrown away and it is not cheap. A good performing fridge will pay off if your food stays fresh for longer and if you are in California it can keep food longer during power outages. I have learned this, I purchased a very expensive refrigerator because it was the only one that would fit in our kitchen, then it turned around and paid us back in keeping our food fresh for longer periods than we had ever experienced. 

Money is really everywhere you just need to know where to look. 

Posted by Michele Replogle on


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