Improving your family’s financial situation might feel like an overwhelming task, but with the right plan, it’s something that anyone can tackle. When you’re looking to save money and pay off your family’s debt, the following smart tips can help.
From toys and clothing to furniture and cars, you can buy almost everything you need secondhand, which can help you save lots of money. There are a variety of thrift stores and secondhand clothing stores that sell barely used clothing for just a few dollars. This is especially helpful when your children are going through a growth spurt and you don’t want to spend hundreds on a new wardrobe. You can also shop garage sales, estate sales, and Craigslist for almost everything you need for your home.
Pay More Than the Minimum
Paying more than the minimum payment due on your debt helps you save money in the long run. Minimum payments are usually 2 or 3 percent of the outstanding balance. If you have a credit card with a $2,000 balance and 14 percent annual percentage rate, it will take you over 14 years to completely pay off the balance, and that’s assuming you don’t make any new purchases using that card. However, if you spend $100 every month, you can pay off the balance in less than two years.
Whether you plan your meals for the week or the month, meal planning is a great way to save money when you shop for groceries. First, you have a list of only the items you need, which keeps you from buying excessive groceries. Second, since you’re not buying groceries you don’t need, you won’t be wasting food. Finally, meal planning helps you cook from scratch, which is cheaper and healthier than eating prepackaged foods.
Refinance Your Debt
As you start to pay down your debt, look into refinancing as a way to lower your interest rate and save money. Many people deal with large student loan payments and don’t realize they can refinance this debt to lower their interest rate and get a smaller monthly payment. There are programs available that can refinance federal and private student loans, so matter what type of debt you have, you can save money.
Cut One Service Each Year
Every year, take a look at the services you’re paying for and eliminate one that you can do without. This can include anything you rarely use, such as a gym membership or a landline phone. If you get to the point where you feel like you’ve eliminated every service you can’t live without, consider calling each company to see if they can change your plan to save you money. Cellphone companies and cable companies routinely update plans, and you might be able to sign up for one that’s cheaper than what you currently have.
From buying secondhand to refinancing your debt, there are several smart ways you can save money and help improve your family’s finances.