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Financial Fitness

By December 19, 2019January 3rd, 2020No Comments

It’s a new year, and it is more important that ever to prepare for your financial future. We hear about “a new year new you,” how about instead of physical fitness, we help with Financial Fitness?

One of the biggest and most powerful steps to take is to simply CUT EXPENSES and save your hard-earned money!

We often forget some of the golden nuggets that our grandparents used to tell us. Here’s a quick list of things you can do to save on bills in 2020. No matter your circumstance, there’s something here that everyone can use like cutting down your mortgage bill, save on utilities, get more for your money at grocery stores, and even get samples of popular products.

1. For Pete’s Sake, QUIT SMOKING

You already know this has huge personal fitness benefits, but let’s keep our eye on the dollar for a moment. Quitting smoking has a huge impact to your finances, an average of a pack a day smoker will save over $2,100.

There are plenty of techniques to help you quit, this ultimately comes down to breaking bad habits to fill with good solid commitment. Ask a family member to help be your social accountability partner and report your success with them!

For Pete’s Sake, QUIT SMOKING

2. Install CFL’s, LED’s or smart lights in your home

New technology allows for timer usage of lights, and less power draw which of course uses less energy resulting in a lower utility bill. CFL and LED bulbs can last for years without having to replace them. You don’t even need to replace every bulb in the house at once. Even swapping just your four or five most-used light bulbs can save you $45 or more a year!

Install CFL’s, LED’s or smart lights in your home

3. Cancel those pesky UNUSED subscriptions

This is instant gratification to keeping your hard earned money! It’s easier than ever to rack up monthly subscription bills since many products and services nowadays offer monthly plans. But the problem with those is that you sign up and forget. Or you get “cancel remorse” and keep subscriptions that you really don’t use.

Go through your bank and credit card statements and review your subscriptions immediately!

Cancel those pesky UNUSED subscriptions

4. Make a grocery list

You ever go to the grocery store when you’re hungry and find yourself checking out with way more than you intended? We call this “Hunger Shopping” and it’s quite dangerous to your wallet!

Before going to get groceries, make a list of groceries that you need for the upcoming week. That way, you only buy what you’re intending to use and the amount that will get thrown away from being expired is kept to a minimal.

Make a grocery list

5. Buy in bulk

Sams Club, BJ’s Warehouse, and Costco are all great resources and you can use them against one another. Go with a friend if you do not have a membership, chances are someone does. And you can even enjoy your time out with them as a visit. Buying in bulk has instant savings to your pocketbook. Deals on paper products like paper towels or toilet paper is always a win. Stop and check out the deal on laundry detergent too.

Buy in bulk

6. If you go out to eat, budget for it and check out these national deals!

Eating out often can be expensive. But going out to eat for a date night every now and then is totally fine and can be done on the cheap if you choose your restaurants wisely!

Chili’s Three for Me $10 Meals – Choose an appetizer, entree AND desert for just $10

Outback Steakhouse’s Walkabout Wednesdays for $9.99 – Choose steak or chicken with fries AND a drink for just $9.99

Applebee’s 2 for $20 – Choose between two salads (or one appetizer) as well as two main meals with sides for just $20

Olive Garden’s Unlimited Soup, Salad, and Breadsticks – Choose between ANY entree at Olive Garden and get unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks. Or you could just do the $6.99 option of unlimited Soup/ Salad and Breadsticks.

If you go out to eat, budget for it and check out these national deals!

7. Tax full advantage of these tax deductions

Owning a home can be very lucrative. Seriously, owning a home can not only give you a cheaper monthly payment than renting but in many cases, the tax benefits make the decision a no-brainer.

Interest you pay on your mortgage: If you own a home and don’t have a mortgage greater than $750,000, you can deduct the interest you pay on the loan. This is one of the biggest benefits to owning a home versus renting–as you could get massive deductions at tax time. The limit used to be $1 million, but the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) reduced the limit and made some clarifications on deducting interest from a home equity line of credit.

Tax incentives for energy-efficient upgrades: While most of the tax incentives for making energy-efficient upgrades to your home have gone away, there are still a couple worth noting. You can still claim tax deductions on solar energy–both for electric and water heating equipment, through 2021. The longer you wait, though, the less money you’ll get back. Here’s the percentage of equipment you can deduct, based on time of installation:

  • Between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2019 – 30% of the expenditures are eligible for the credit
  • Between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020 – 26%
  • Between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2012 – 22%
Tax full advantage of these tax deductions

8. Want a patio? Consider concrete over Pavers

When we decided to add a patio to our home, we looked at the different surface options carefully. Although many landscapers would recommend pavers over concrete because of their durability over time, we decided that the cost savings was more important to us. We personally love the clean look of concrete as well.

Now one thing to remember with concrete is that it WILL crack eventually. But if you have a good concrete crew, it should be prepped right where the cracks are minimal. So we expect to see cracks, but are hopeful that it will be minimal.

Want a patio? Consider concrete over Pavers

9. Grill or cook at home!

Here’s an easy money-saving tip: Grill in the summertime! When you use your stove or oven to cook, it creates a lot of heat. And in the summertime, it can make your air conditioner work extra hard. If you’re not much of a griller, consider cooking meals in a crockpot.

Grill or cook at home!

10. No Life Insurance?

You’ll want to use this brilliant Life Insurance trick if you don’t have Life Insurance, you better read this.

It’s not something any of us like to think about or plan for. But when the worst happens, it’s essential to know your family and loved ones are covered financially. That’s why it’s essential to have a life insurance. A good life insurance policy can help cover the cost of a mortgage, childcare costs and safeguard your family from inheriting any debts you might have. But the sad truth is, a shocking number of Americans do not have a life insurance policy and their family is at financial risk if the worst should happen.

There is a service that is now allowing users to get free life insurance quotes from some of the top insurance companies out there. People are shocked at how cheap an excellent policy is after requesting their free quotes. But the reality is, life insurance rates are at a 20-year low and thanks to new program policies you could qualify for a great new policy at an extremely affordable price.

To get your free quote today, click here and complete a few questions (about 60 seconds). Once you’re done, you will be presented with choices and rates you never thought possible (no login required). Enjoy your savings!

No Life Insurance?

11. Quit buying expensive Coffee

Yes, we all love a tasty Starbucks latte every now and then. But buying coffee from your favorite barista everyday adds up quick! Let’s do the math… $5 per latte 5 days a week is $25 a week. That’s $100 per month just for coffee! Re-evaluate K-Cups as well. Most K-cups average $.50 a cup when an entire pot costs $.50 cents.

Quit buying expensive Coffee

12. Shop your auto insurance policy

Here’s what auto insurance companies don’t want you to know…and what thousands of consumers are quickly learning about their current auto insurance plan:

If you’re paying more than $100.00 per month for auto insurance, this auto insurance comparison tool can help you check to see if you’re overpaying in a few minutes. This is something every driver should be doing every 6 months or so to ensure that they are getting the best deal.

Insurance companies are always competing to win your business, but if you turn a blind eye and keep the same policy in place for a long period of time, your rates might have increased. By checking rates, drivers saved an average of $983.00 per year with a new policy.

So do yourself a favor and do a quick comparison by filling out a short form (about 4 minutes). This is a fast way you can start saving on your auto bills.

Shop your auto insurance policy

13. Veterans get a massive discount at Lowes

All active military and veterans are entitled to get a 10% discount on all in-store purchases at Lowe’s. To make it even better, Lowe’s extends this offer to their spouses! Need new tools? How about new appliances? Lowe’s carries a variety of things, so take advantage of this incredible discount!

Veterans get a massive discount at Lowes