Miscellaneous Ways to Save Money:
Better Credit Card Rates, Refinance Mortgage, Use Senior Discounts
Credit cards. With hundreds of card offers out there, there's no reason to pay an annual fee of $50 to $100 for the privilege of using a credit card when you are also saddled with an interest rate as well. Call your credit card issuer and ask that the annual fee be waived. If they refuse to waive the annual, switch to another card if you can. Additional tips on saving money with credit cards:
(1) Ask for a lower credit card interest rate -- All your credit card issuer can say is "no"; therefore, you have nothing to lose by asking for a lower credit card interest rate.
(2) Get a rewards card with no annual fee, use it to shop and pay all of your bills and pay off the balance in full each month. You will actually earn reward points or cash that can be sent to you or you can use the rewards to pay down off your balance. A rewards credit card can get you big discounts at amusement parks, lower priced airline tickets, and hotel rooms and rental cars
(3) Change your due date so that you never have to pay a late fee of $20 or more if your monthly payment is late
(4) If you have decent credit, you can transfer your existing balance to a card with a zero percent introductory rate for six months. For every $5000 you transfer, you’ll save about $450 in interest charges per year on a credit card with an 18% interest rate
Senior discounts. If you take advantage of the wide variety of discounts available to those over 50 or 65, you can save thousands each year. Visit websites such as SeniorDiscounts.com to discover discounts for seniors that might not be well-advertised. Below are common discounts available for seniors:
- Public transportation discounts on city buses and Amtrak
- Discounted cable service (if your municipality requires it)
- Discounted utilities such as electric and water service
- Auto and homeowners insurance discounts
- Car rental discounts are still available to seniors (but airline discounts are rare now)
- Museums, national and state parks, and federally-owned sites
- Some supermarkets will give seniors 10 percent off their purchases on certain days of the week or month
- Some colleges and universities offer free courses to seniors
- Some banks offer free checking accounts to seniors
Save Thousands on your Mortgage Loan.
If you pay just an extra $10 on your mortgage loan every month, you can save about $4,300 in interest on a 30-year, $100,000 loan, provided that your mortgage loan doesn’t come with prepayment penalties. Just think how much you could save if you applied an extra $50 to your monthly mortgage payment!
If you have decent credit and your mortgage interest rate is above 6% now, consider refinancing to the current 5% mortgage interest rate. This could substantially reduce your monthly housing payment. For example, on a $200,000, 30 year loan, you could save almost $200 per month by refinancing.