With soaring inflation, a recession around the corner, and an energy crisis, it’s fair to say that many of us are struggling with our finances.
Because of the current crisis, we have created eight different tips on how to save money, starting with many of our most prized possessions, the car…
Question The car
For a lot of Europeans, a car isn’t essential. They can ditch the upfront vehicle cost, road tax, gas, insurance, and parking fees and simply cycle to work instead or take a bus.
This can save thousands of euros a year. For Americans, it’s a different story… But not always.
For those living in walkable cities with good public transport, like New York or San Francisco, it may be possible to ditch the car.
More options are available when traveling out of state, too, like Zipcar, where you can car-share or rent a car by the hour.
Some may enjoy the freedom of a car, but others enjoy the freedom of not having a car…
Food is a significant cost to us, and we can’t take any shortcuts to our health. But fortunately, the healthiest way to consume food is often the cheapest, so focusing on this can have multiple benefits.
Takeouts, frozen pre-made food, and branded snacks are often a big drain on our wallets, and it would be far healthier to cook at home with fresh ingredients. Fruit, vegetables, legumes, beans, and rice can be some of the supermarkets’ cheapest food.
The difficulty is simply how well you can cook. Fortunately, Youtube is inundated with incredible tutorials and recipes.
Exploring SaaS: Avoiding lawyers and using legal services
If you ever need legal help, there are two options: pay the hourly rate for a lawyer or use legal services that leverage the software.
As explained in the OnlineWillMaker guide, legal documents (i.e. wills) are created for a fraction of the price and a fraction of the time when avoiding lawyers.
This may sound like a specific point, but it extends into other areas too. Why use a real stock broker when you can use a cheaper app?
Why pay $50 an hour for a web designer when starting a blog when you can use a drag-and-drop service?
Unless you have specific needs or require extremely curated results, the online software alternative is usually better value for money.
Overpayments for debt
Assuming you don’t get penalized, paying off your debt earlier can save you money in the long run. Many of us think about the present day when it comes to money, but if you’re trying to build wealth, you need to think about a lifetime.
What strategy minimizes your taxation across an entire lifetime, for example, not just today? The same goes for interest on any debt.
Additionally, we should also prioritize the high-interest debt too. Car financing often has higher interest than our mortgage, so we should focus on getting this paid off ASAP.
There’s a clear caveat to the point before that needs to be cleared up: many of us are not building wealth but trying to stay afloat.
If solvency and meeting your monthly bills is a real issues in this cost-of-living crisis, we need to go into survivor mode and prioritize cash flow.
One way to do this is by changing your mortgage to an interest-only mortgage.
In some cases, this can be half the monthly repayment amount, meaning a few hundred bucks can be freed up at the very least.
Many people aren’t fully aware of their outgoings. If you check your bank statements regularly, you may find some subscription and membership costs being charged that you no longer need.
Do you still use the gym and Hulu? If you have multiple content streaming subscriptions, a good tip is to rotate them each month so you only ever pay for one.
So, you may have Netflix in October, and by November, you cancel and pay for HBO.
The benefit of this is you have more to catch up on, too, so you’ll never be stuck staring blankly at the endless chaotic interface.
With the tip above, we should be able to get most of our entertainment from a single subscription – do we still need cable TV? Smart TVs have built-in apps, meaning we can watch the internet-derived streaming sites we pay for.
Most sports can now be found on a streaming service like DAZN or ESPN. We no longer need endless channels of live TV. Plus, tons of live TV can be found for free on Youtube.
Avoid False Economy Products And Luxury Brands
So, this is a difficult one, but we want to avoid two opposite things and operate somewhere in the middle. If we buy products that are too cheap, like a $70 tablet off eBay, we may find that it slows down after a few months and breaks.
If we pay $1000 for an Apple iPad, we can agree that much of this money goes towards Apple’s branding, marketing, and premium branding. Both are suboptimal when it comes to value.
We need to find a truly great product that has longevity, reliability, and good warranties but isn’t a fashion brand that overcharges.
Often this means buying mid-range products, like Xiaomi and Google devices. In some cases, the cheapest is the best value, like with some food products.