PMI protects your lender, not you, yet you’re the one who has to pay for it every month. Argh. Here’s how to get that money back in your wallet.Full article
How to save $100 every month and then pay yourself
October 19, 2018
Saving any meaningful amount of money can feel really, really hard. Which makes it easy to get into a “why bother” mindset. But what if we told you that saving just $100 a month can make a huge difference? That when you put $100 a month toward your mortgage, it can help you save tens of thousands of dollars in the long run?
You read that right. You can get the full explanation here, but the gist is this: small but consistent extra payments on your mortgage principal can slash the amount of interest you’ll pay the bank over the life of your loan for the privilege of borrowing all that money.
Let’s say you have a 30-year, $200,000 loan with a fixed rate of 4.5 percent. With an extra payment of $100 a month for the life of the loan, you’ll not only pay it off 5 years early, but also save a whopping $32,000 in interest!
Chances are, there’s at least $100 hiding in your everyday spending. Here’s what a day might look like if you start micro saving to make those extra payments on principal. (Or build an emergency fund, or grow your IRA, or … )
6:30 a.m. — Make your workout less hard on your wallet
Spending on a fitness club is one thing if you bench press twice your body weight. That’s a lot of iron to keep around the house. Or if you live for the climbing wall. But are you paying a premium to do stuff you can just as easily do for free? Or at least for less?
There are so many online workout channels and yoga classes now. Just for example: Did you know that Hulu has tons of fitness programming? Wellness-focused Gaia is heavy on yoga and Pilates but offers all kinds of workouts. And Fitness Blender, with more than 500 workouts, is free.
8:30 a.m. — Ease up on the nitro cold brew
When it comes to coffee drinking, Americans are amateurs compared to the Scandinavians. Still, we drink a ton. And the national habit is getting more expensive per cup. We’re buying more of our coffee away from home, and more than half of it is gourmet.
So here’s a reminder: all that coffee-shop coffee adds up! To about $1,100 a year for the average American, in fact. That’s almost $100 a month right there. You don’t have to give up your nitro cold brew. After all, it’s a pretty frugal choice as far as luxuries go. But getting reacquainted with your coffee maker is an easy way to save.
12:00 p.m. — Bring your lunch to work
Do you know how much you spend on lunches out? Try keeping track for a month; it could be eye opening. But let’s assume you spend $10 a day. Being organized enough to BYO just half the time will make a real difference.
True, we’re all so busy that the logistical challenge can seem like rocket science. But it’s not. Every time you cook at home, be sure to cook extra and then pack up the leftovers in travel-worthy containers for the next day or two. Voila.
3:00 p.m. — Skip the lemon-berry-acai pick-me-up
We do love our beverages! Millennials especially, buying 15 a week on average when everyone else is buying 8. Some of the bottled drinks we’re knocking back these days are at least healthier than soda, but they still cost a heck of a lot more than tap water. (You know that most bottled water is just tap water without the safeguards, right?) As with coffee, you don’t have to give up your liquid snacks completely to gain some ground on that $100 goal.
Eco bonus: When you opt for tap water, you save on packaging too. It’s one of the simplest ways to reduce trash.
6:30 p.m. — Explore the dark recesses of your pantry
Let’s be honest: a lot of us lose track of the food we have stashed away in the back of the cupboard or freezer. So try shopping for dinner in there a couple of times a week. Depending on your level of pantry neglect, it could be an adventure, and you’ll shave a little off your grocery or take-out budget.
8:00 p.m. — Pull the plug on your cable
Do you still have cable TV? The average bill is over $100. Consider using cheaper streaming services. Or, for zero dollars, the library. Most libraries have DVDs, and more and more offer on-demand streaming, for example from Kanopy. Forbes calls Kanopy “one of the most unique and compelling film collections in the world.”
If cable is worth it to you, review your bill. Are you using all those channels? If you have multiple TVs, do you really need a cable box for each one? If you’re renting a modem, can you save by buying your own? Are new subscribers getting a better deal? Ask your provider to give you, a loyal customer, the same price.
11:00 — Sweet dreams
Lastly, pat yourself on the back and go to bed dreaming of the day you pay off your mortgage early! Even better is waking up in the morning and remembering how smart you were yesterday.
Filed Under: For Homeowners