Let me guess…you haven’t even gotten your credit card statement, but you already know it’s going to be ENORMOUS. And you’d like some ideas for finding some extra cash to pay the proverbial piper.
I have some ideas. Try looking in your banking app, your desk drawer, at your pay stub, and even in your refrigerator!
Your banking app.
That bank icon on your smartphone is your friend. It can help you keep up with what’s in your account.
Open it. Check your savings account (please tell me you have one of those). “Borrow” some of that money (earning between 1% and 4%) and pay off your credit card balance (likely costing you between 18% and 25%).
When that’s done, start “repaying” your savings account with the money (mostly interest!) you were paying your credit card company each month. Believe me, it will build up fast.
Next, take a peek into…
Your desk drawer.
This is where you keep all your insurance policies, right? (Be honest…do you even know where your insurance policies are?)
If you haven’t had a thorough insurance review in the last three years, schedule one. Insurance costs have risen steadily in recent years. Sit down with a licensed, experienced agent you trust and go over your coverage. The savings could be significant.
Now, let’s take a look at…
Your pay stub.
Unless you’re self-employed (or you work for Corleone crime family) that’ll be accessible online. If you tend to get a large refund every year, consider adjusting your withholding to more accurately reflect your actual tax obligation. Why let Uncle Sam hang on to your money all year?
Or, maybe you owe a large (and shocking!) sum due each April 15. In that case, have a little more withheld each paycheck, so as not to have heart failure each spring.
Your pay statement will also show you how much you are having withheld for company savings plans or voluntary 401(k) plans. Saving for the future is wise. But keep in mind that paying off high interest debt is often a wiser investment. Temporarily reducing the amount you are locking away in the company savings plan can free up funds to get you out of debt sooner.
Finally, let’s open…
Here’s another surprising place you may be able to cut costs. Food prices are soaring, but you can often reduce your grocery bill by planning ahead and utilizing sales—and coupons.
Take it from one who knows: If you go to the store when you’re hungry (and have no clue what you’re shopping for), you’ll emerge with a hefty grocery bill.
Shopping the sales or buying “reduced items” is smart. A little here and a little there, and soon you’ve done some serious saving!
Wishing you the merriest of Christmases!
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