West Los Angeles Real Estate: Save $600 a Month with 10 Simple Steps and Afford $100,000 More on Your Next House


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Save $600 a Month with 10 Simple Steps and Afford $100,000 More on Your Next House

Save Big Money with a Few Simple Ideas

A few phone calls, and an hour of planning could save you $7000 a year

No, this is not another article about clipping coupons or going without things you like to have or do. The following are tested methods that won’t change your lifestyle in any significant way, and that only take a few moments.
There are many, many options available for using the $600 a month after you’ve achieved the savings. We are going to suggest using these funds to afford $100,000 more on your next home. Right now, with 4.15% 30-year interest rates, each $100,000 you spend on a home will result in about $600 in monthly payments.
  1. Call your cable TV provider. Tell them you are considering going off grid or switching to satellite. If you have satellite, call the provider and tell them you are thinking of switching to cable. Watch the dance begin. You are very likely to end up with at least $20 or more in savings. Now call the competition with your new rate and see what they will do. You are likely to end up with the same or better rate and some kind of promotional money or free stuff for switching.
  2. Go off the grid on cable. Between Apple TV, Hulu, Netflix, RedBox, Amazon Prime, and other TV offers, it is hard to justify any upgrades to basic service on cable or satellite. The savings for getting off of cable could easily be $50 or more.
  3. On to your cell phone, internet, and land line providers. This gets a bit more complicated, but the cost of all of this is dropping fast. By changing providers, bundling, unbundling, and just shopping, you are very likely to end up saving another $30 a month and improving MBPS. Recently I tried to end my land line service, but the bundle cost less with it that without. 
  4. Saving on your utilities. The water company (at least in California) will be happy to help you cut down your water use. Check with your supplier to find out how to get free or reduced costs products to reduce use in bathrooms and irrigation. Then check to see what the recommended water needs are for your yard. The electric company will help you with lighting and other ways to save on electricity. LED lights are fantastic and save a huge amount of money. Switch appliances to natural gas to save even more. Saving $50 a month for these changes should be a cinch.
  5. Budget. Keep a penny by penny ledger of all expenses for three months. There are many online tools that can help with this process. Once you see where the money is going, you will almost certainly be able to find ways to cut that won't hurt even a little bit. We’ll put this down as $25.
  6. Shop your car insurance. We have 4 drivers on the policy, so your results may vary. Don’t forget to check Costco or AAA. It is not unusual to save $100 or more. You should also review your other insurance policies annually to make sure you have the coverage you need, and to see about savings on rates. Life insurance is another very likely savings point.
  7. Speaking of Costco. The savings by purchasing your groceries and other items at Costco are real and significant. Costco marks up all items by 15%. What they buy for $10.00, you pay only $11.50.  Most discount department stores mark up 50% to $100.  So you would pay $15.00 - $20.00. I know you have to buy huge quantities. Find nooks all over the house for storing commodities. Buy and extra freezer. A one time small cost for huge savings. Multiple online sources report Costco as cheaper than Walmart, Sam’s, and Amazon Prime. Imagine the savings compared to your local chain market. Potential savings of at least $25 per month per person.
  8. Amazon Prime. When it isn't a Costco item, why not buy on Amazon Prime?!? Pricey toothpaste, supplements, household items and more are almost always cheaper on Amazon than at Target or CVS. And there is no freight and no auto expense. When you need more, you have a record of what you bought. Savings of another $10 per person per month.
  9. Get rid of any high interest credit card. Use the savings from these other suggestions to first pay off all credit cards with interest rates higher than your mortgage interest rate. The only good use for a credit card is to build credit. Pay them off every month. Or get an interest free credit card and transfer all balances into the interest free card. Most families will save at least $25 per month.
  10. Get rid of one expensive, useless or worse, habits. Smoking, buying booze in bars, fast food, gambling (including lotto.)  This could be the biggest savings of all. An expense of just $10 per day is $300 a month.
There is potentially a lot more than $600 a month in savings in this list.

If you are now ready to go buy that bigger house in a nicer school district, call Belle Tsai, and she’ll help you to get the most bang for your buck on that purchase, too.

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