Are you on top of your Finances?

An occasional late fee on your credit card or a few extra dollars each month in insurance payments may not have been such a big deal in the past, but now every dollar counts. Find out how you can get on top of your finances and keep your pockets full with these easy tips.

Save on credit card payments

This may be one of the easiest areas of your financial life to save in. The top ways to save yourself from having to pay unnecessary fees on credit cards boils down to two simple acts: pay on time and never overdraw your account. The first of these is particularly important considering that many credit card companies drastically raise your interest rate if you pay late. You could see a jump of as much as 15% in interest, all for making your payment a few days late. An easy way to stay on top of your credit card is to sign up for online banking so that you can access your account from your computer and your mobile phone.
You should also check with your bank to see if you can categorize the purchases that you make on your credit card. Many credit companies will allow you to pay toward “everyday” purchases such as gas and groceries first, so that you don’t have to pay interest on these smaller totals from month to month. Then, you can pay towards your bigger debt balance with the money that you have left.

Save on mortgage payments

Most of the saving strategies for mortgage payments are applied at the beginning of your term. If you are on the market for a new home, you should first “clean up” your credit by paying off as much of your debt as you can before applying for a loan. This will increase your appeal to your bank or any other lenders that you may choose. Next, you should focus on saving up as much money as possible for a down payment on your home. You can significantly cut your mortgage term if you pay more towards your home at the outset. This may also earn you a better interest rate with your lender. Both of these benefits add up to paying off your home years earlier than you may have expected.

Save on insurance

The need for insurance, whether it is auto insurance, home insurance, or life insurance, is simply a fact of life. However, making sure that you protect your financial well being doesn’t have to be unpleasant. Find an insurance agent that you get along with well and this could open the door to fruitful negotiations on premiums and deductibles. The best and easiest way to save on insurance is to get a bundle package; that is, buy all of your insurance policies from the same companies in order to take advantage of discounts.

When it comes to auto insurance, you can keep your payments low by driving a safe, reliable car and taking care not to sully your driving record with too many violations. You can also save when you purchase home insurance by installing safeguards such as a security system and more smoke detectors in your home. Overall, you can ask your agent for discounts on all of your policies based on any professional organizations that you belong to.

Author bio: Michael Edmondstone is a personal finance expert that specializes in advising consumers on how to keep more of their hard-earned money.