It’s like a race: Can your income keep up with inflation?
It’s a race with really high stakes, and these days, it’s tough to win. Over just the past two years, the cost of essentials like groceries, gas and utilities has increased by 20% or more, according to the Consumer Price Index.
Have you gotten a 20% raise over the past two years? We didn’t think so. Almost no one has, and that’s why lots of us are struggling to get by.
Following are some ideas for making up the difference: how to save money when you’re shopping, how to wipe out your credit card debt, how to protect yourself from pricey home and auto repairs, and even how to make money on your phone in your spare time.
Not all of these tips may apply to you, but some of them will, so make sure to read them all.
1. Have this company pay off your credit card debt
In a perfect world, we’d never buy more than we could pay off each month. But marketing experts know how to make us want things — electronics, designer clothes and accessories, etc.
No need to save up for it, either: Flash a credit card and you can get this stuff right now! Trouble is, credit card balances can quickly grow into debt that could take a decade to repay.
Fortunately, a company like National Debt Relief can help get you back on track in as little as 24 to 48 months — and save you thousands and thousands of dollars in interest. And it costs nothing to sign up.
A specialist will review your situation, then help you decide the best way to fix it. That could be consolidation (combining all your debt into a single loan with a lower interest rate than your credit cards) or debt relief (negotiating to have some of the balance forgiven by your creditors).
They’ve helped more than 500,000 people, are A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau and also are top-rated by Top Consumer Reviews, Top Ten Reviews, ConsumersAdvocate.org and ConsumerAffairs.
Start your journey to a debt-free life: Get a free, no-risk consultation today.
2. Get a second set of expert eyes
To properly manage your money, work with a professional — it’s totally worth it. If you’re not doing this, you could be missing out on some serious financial gains.
A Vanguard study found that, on average, a hypothetical $500,000 investment over 25 years would grow to $1.7 million if you manage it yourself, but more than $3.4 million if you work with a financial adviser. That’s twice as much!
If you’ve got at least $100,000 in investments, check out a free service called SmartAsset. You fill out a short questionnaire and instantly get matched with up to three vetted financial advisers in your area, all legally bound to work in your best interests.
Even if you don’t want help picking investments, an adviser can help lower your tax burden, create a comprehensive financial plan for you, maximize your Social Security, and serve as a second pair of eyes to make sure you’re on the right track.
Please carefully review the methodologies employed in the Vanguard white paper, “Putting a value on your value: Quantifying Vanguard Advisor’s Alpha.”
3. Escape the jaws of 25% interest
The average credit card interest rate these days is approaching 25% — a record high. Sounds like what a loan shark would charge, doesn’t it?
Never borrow recklessly, but when it’s time, do it right. Take advantage of much lower rates by borrowing against your home. Use that low-interest loan to fix up your house, to pay off high-interest debt or for any other purpose (besides financing a lifestyle you can’t afford).
Qualify for a rate of 6%, and you’ll be able to borrow $25,000 for a monthly payment of only $150. That’s a fraction of what credit cards charge, and will literally save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.
How do you shop for the best deal? Simple: Head to a loan shopping site like Quicken Loans. They’ve eliminated most of the hoops you had to jump through in the past, so it only takes a couple of minutes to see how much you could get.
4. Don’t pay for home repairs
Home repairs aren’t cheap. Whether it’s a leaky roof or a broken appliance, your home can quickly become a nightmare and cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars to keep up.
But you don’t have to worry. Luckily, with a home warranty company called American Home Shield, you can safeguard yourself against giant repair bills. From home appliances to electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling systems, it can all be protected.
AHS protects your stuff no matter the age. Their plans cover up to 23 appliances and systems, and if they can’t repair it, they’ll replace it. That’s why American Home Shield is America’s top home warranty company with more than 17,000 contractors and 2 million members.
All over America, homeowners are choosing AHS for the savings, service and peace of mind that it delivers.
5. Protect your pets for less
Your pet is more than just an animal, they are a member of your family.
Unfortunately, accidents and illnesses can happen, leaving you with hefty vet bills. That’s where Lemonade Pet Insurance comes in. With customizable plans and affordable premiums, you can ensure your pet gets the care they need without breaking the bank.
Lemonade is not your average pet insurance. They use technology to make the process seamless and efficient, with around half of claims settled instantly. Plus, unclaimed premiums are donated to charity, including animal rights organizations. You can feel good about protecting your pet while also contributing to a good cause.
Visit Lemonade’s website today to get a personalized quote for your furry friend and take the first step in securing their health and well-being.
6. Save 10% to 30% on everything you buy
Let’s face it, shopping online is more convenient than going to a store. Plus, you’re more likely to find a deal, promotion or coupon code and quickly cross-reference prices at several different retailers to save money.
Want to make that process even easier? Try Capital One Shopping. This handy-dandy tool alerts you when a deal on an item you’re buying is available. Talk about effortless. All you have to do is add it as a browser extension, and it’ll search the internet for coupon codes to apply during checkout.
That’s not all. It also compares prices across the internet and will notify you when the item you’re purchasing is cheaper elsewhere. It’s free, and you don’t need to be a Capital One customer to use it. It’s just a friendly tool trying to save you money online. Find better bargains now.
7. Harness this secret source for discounts
Are you over 18? Then you’re eligible to save hundreds of dollars every year simply by joining AARP.
“What?” You say, “I thought AARP was for retired people.”
As it turns out, AARP doesn’t have a minimum age to join. And members get discounts on hundreds of things, like:
- Up to $200 per person off flights
- Up to 30% off rental cars
- Up to 15% off restaurants
- Up to 20% off hotels
You’ll also save on eyeglasses, prescriptions, meal deliveries and lots more. And that’s not all. AARP offers a Fraud Watch Network, job listings, retirement planning tools, games, and tons of information, programs and resources.
Anyone trying to save money can’t afford not to join AARP, especially since the cost is as low as $12 per year with auto-renewal. You’ll likely recoup the cost in the first week.
8. Slash your car insurance bill by $610
If you’re like most Americans, you’re probably paying too much for car insurance. But shopping around for a better deal is such a hassle.
Well, it used to be.
Now you can just check out Provide Insurance, the largest online marketplace for insurance in the U.S. Provide Insurance lets you compare quotes from more than 175 different carriers in minutes.
All you have to do is answer a few questions about yourself and your driving history. Then Provide will show you the best options for your needs and budget.
You could save up to $610 a year on car insurance by using Provide Insurance. That’s money you could use for other things, like investing, saving or paying off debt.
Don’t let your current insurer overcharge you. Try Provide Insurance today and see how much you can save on car insurance.
9. Don’t pay to fix your car
The cost of car repairs is skyrocketing. One shop told Consumer Reports that a decade ago, their average repair was $1,600. These days, the average bill is $4,000.
Typically, a vehicle manufacturer warranty lasts three years. Yet the average car is around 12 years old. If you’re concerned about coming up with thousands of dollars for a repair bill, protect your investment with Endurance Warranty Services.
The company provides extended warranty plans of up to 36 months. Choose from at least six different plans, to get only the coverage you actually need, for cars up to 20 years old.
All their warranties include 24/7 roadside assistance plus rental car benefits while your vehicle is being repaired. For the first year, you’ll get the Elite Benefits program for free; this includes complete tire coverage, key fob replacement, a collision discount and a $1,000 payment if your car is determined to be a total loss.
Endurance has a network of thousands of ASE-certified repair shops. More important: Endurance pays the repair bill upfront. All you need to cover is the deductible.
ConsumerAffairs calls Endurance “a solid choice” for drivers of any age, and “particularly appealing” for those with older vehicles.
10. Make money and have fun with your phone
Whenever you’re killing time on your phone, you could be making money from these companies:
Blackout Bingo for iPhone puts a competitive spin on the classic game and pays real cash prizes. Put your concentration and strategy to the test in big tournaments and head-to-head matchups.
Branded Surveys has a user-friendly platform that allows you to complete surveys on any device. You’ll earn points for each survey completed, and points can be redeemed for gift cards, PayPal cash or sweepstakes entries.
Survey Junkie partners with market research companies to listen to your honest opinions and learn how you spend your time and money. You can earn as much as $40 monthly if you complete three surveys daily.
KashKick is a rewards platform that will pay you for completing specific tasks like trying a new app or game, taking surveys or watching videos. Survey payouts range from 15 cents to $2 each, so your earnings add up quickly.
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