This is the last on my saving money tips series. Int his article we will cover housing, insurance, banking and Prescription and Over-the-Counter Drugs. Saving money this year is a great way to avoid stressing out about loans and finances and work towards creating the right type of rainy day fund for your financial future. All of these areas we tend to spend a lot on, and yes we do need all of these but we do not need to over pay for them either. Deals can be had for those willing to look for them, and these deals do not involve short changing ourselves in the process.
Shopping around for insurance:
When it comes to both auto and home owners insurance it pays to shop around. Do not just auto renew your existing policies each year. The savings you had last year may not hold true this year. You might save several hundred dollars in insurance premiums by shopping around. Your state should have an insurance department you can use to compare rates.
Raise your deductibles:
Raising the deductible on both your auto and home owners insurance can save you hundreds of dollars per year. The down side is you will pay more on a claim, but if you have never used or rarely make a claim this option makes the most sense. Just two years claim free more than makes up for the cost of just one deductible.
Life insurance pros and cons:
Decide if you truly need a life insurance policy. Most people only need enough coverage to pay for the cost of their funerals and final expenses, this holds especially true for those whose children are fully grown and on their own. You could potentially cut out life insurance or cut down the payments by several hundred dollars per year.
Most people have assets in place to cover themselves in the event of death, disability, or unemployment. Cutting this insurance can reduce your finance costs by 3 percentage points. The savings on a 4 year $40,000 installment loan would amount to about $2000
Prescription and Over-the-Counter Drugs:
These drugs often cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars per year less than their brand name counter drug. Ask your doctor for the generic of any drug he proscribes for an increased savings, but do be sure to monitor if the drug works well with you. In most cases generic drugs work for people, in rare cases they may have a reaction.
Not all pharmacies have the same price for medications. Do research on what the costs are for each of your regular drugs at each pharmacy in your local area. The savings could be hundreds of dollars per year.
Store-brand over the counter medications:
Few people know this but store brands are manufactured by name brand companies and are whats known as white label products. A white label products is a product or service produced by one company that other companies re-brand to make it appear as if they had made it. These store brands are nearly always cheaper then the name brand drug unless a sale is going on for the name brand drug.
Refinance your mortgage:
You may be able to refinance your existing mortgage to lower interest charges. Even a half point percentage can save you more than $5000 over the lifetime of a loan. You can also accumulate home equity more rapidly by doing this, which gives you a cash cushion should you ever need to borrow for an emergency.