When you feel like your financial situation is reeling out of control, it’s hard to know where to start. In turn, many of us end up doing nothing, turning a blind eye. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If you have a spare hour, there are plenty of smart money moves you can apply. Bonus: Once you get the ball rolling, the effects are compounded. Sound good? Keep reading to discover some east money changes you can make today.
Change #1: Ask for lower interest rates on loans.
You’ll never know what the answer is unless you ask, right? Apply this credo to any outstanding loans and see what happens. It’s simple. Just take a few minutes to call your loan provider and see if they’ll offer you a lower interest rate. Of course, they might say no. But they might say yes, too.
Change #2: Switch to an interest-free card.
If you are battling credit card debt, but you have a decent credit score, you may be able to do a balance transfer on all or part of your debt. By moving it to a card with an interest-free introductory period, you will be able to pay back a larger chunk of your debt. At the end of the interest-free period, you can then move any remaining balance to another interest-free card and start over.
Change #3: Look for new insurance.
Put a note on your calendar to check in on your insurance policies once a year (or however often you wish). There are two reasons this can benefit you. Firstly, your situation might have changed over the year. You might find you can get a discount on certain policies if you sign up with your better half or as a family. Secondly, policies are constantly changing, so looking around for a better price or premium is never a bad idea.
Change #4: Take advantage of employer benefits.
Depending on where you work, there might be an array of company benefits you can take advantage of. Think discounted (or free) gym memberships, discounted cell bills, insurance offers, and so on. Also, your employer might offer ways to reduce your gross income, thereby reducing your tax. Ask your HR department (or the appropriate person) for more information and start taking advantage. That’s why they’re there.
Change #5: Check your bank statements.
Once a month, take five minutes to go over your bank statements. You’ll be looking for two things. First, check what has been spent. Look for unauthorized payments and charges, and if you spot one, make sure you immediately get it sorted out Second, look for ways you can reduce your income. If you’re still paying for a gym membership you hardly ever use, now is the time to cut the cord.
Change #6: Reduce your bank fees.
There are so many bank accounts competing for your service, that it never hurts to shop around. If you pay a monthly or annual fee, you may want to try and find a fee-free account. The same goes for overdrafts, minimum deposits, and so on. The easiest way to figure out the best account for you is to take notice of your habits. If you regularly find yourself with a $0 balance, you may want to look for an account with a great overdraft policy.