Losing money hurts. Even worse, every dollar wasted is one less buck for your travel budget. But how do you stop bleeding money if you don’t know where the leaks are?
Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
When you know where to look, the fixes are quick and easy. To get you started, we’ve listed 7 common expenses that could be squashing your savings and trouncing your travel budget. Learn where to find them, then use the action items to start saving for your next trip right away!
So, what do you say? Let’s get to it!
7 Ways to Save Thousands Today
High fees on your retirement accounts could be costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings. You read that correctly. Huge management fees could be eating up over half the growth on your money! Heck, even your employer-sponsored 401(k) could be crushing your savings. We’re talking about huge money here – money that could have helped you work less and retire sooner. That’s not acceptable. You need a plan.
The Fix: Before making changes, you need to know where you stand. This free investment fee checker from Personal Capital can help. Learn what you’re losing in fees, then search for cheaper alternatives like index funds. (Personally, we use Vanguard index funds, but there are others around.) If you need additional help, talk to a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) in your home town. Seriously, don’t lose half the growth on your money. It’s your retirement. Be vigilant and take action. Are your investments healthy? Get a free investment fee checkup here.
This is another huge one! If you went to college, you probably used a few student loans to pay for it. (I know I did.) But, those loans could be stuck in a relatively high interest rate, costing you big time. Depending on the type of loans you have, you might be paying thousands more in interest than you should be.
The Fix: If you have private loans, consider refinancing them to a lower rate. SoFi specializes in refinancing student loans and other personal loans (including credit card refinancing). There, you can find fixed rates for as little as 3.350%* and variable rates starting at 2.795%*, allowing the average borrower to save over $22,000. They also offer flexible 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20-year repayment terms. With no origination or prepayment fees, SoFi is definitely worth checking out.
If you’re paying $150 a month (or more) for cable, you’re losing big time. That’s $1,800 a year for cable alone! Wouldn’t you rather use that money for a nice trip, retirement, or college savings instead? This bank drain is a simple fix and less painful than you may think. Just cut the cord to cable, pay for an internet connection, and say hello to streaming TV. We’ve be cable free for over 3 years and couldn’t be happier!
The Fix: The knock against cutting cable used to be that you couldn’t watch sports. Sling TV has fixed that. Now, you can get all the ESPN and live sports you want starting at just $20/month. (HGTV, CNN, The History Channel, and more are also available.) Plus, you get to try it FREE for seven days! Just try it before you buy it. What do you have to lose? Live ESPN. No Cable. Try Sling TV FREE for 7 Days Here.
We used to spend a fortune each month on food. Between eating out and not shopping sales, we were spending well over $1,000 a month…for just 2 adults! I know we aren’t alone. You’re probably overspending on your food costs right now, too. But what would you rather do? Go out to eat every night or save that money for a family vacation? I’m sure I know the answer to that.
The Fix: The obvious solution is to eat at home more, cut coupons, and shop sales. By stacking coupons with sale items, your grocery savings add up quickly. Planning ahead is another great trick for saving time and money. To help you out, my friend Lauren created 4 different gourmet meal plans packed with 20 recipes each. The best part, you can make all 20 meals in each plan for less than a total of $160! Just prepare it, freeze it, and dump it in the slow cooker each morning. That’s real money you can put in your pocket or toward your travel budget! Get 20 cheap slow cooker meal plans here.
It’s the dirty little secret you probably forgot: You might be paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest on your mortgage. A $150,000 loan at just 6% could cost you over $140,000 in interest alone. Luckily, there’s a way out that can save you thousands.
The Fix: Refinancing your mortgage can save you tens of thousands over time. That’s real money that can be used for travel, retirement, or even college! If your current rate is over 4%, you’d probably benefit from checking out a site like LendingTree.com. It’s quick, easy, and you can compare the best rates from up to 5 different companies all at once. Rates are still low but have been creeping up, so don’t waste time. Get up to 5 offers at LendingTree.com here.
If you’re stuck searching the open market for health insurance, you’ve probably noticed a huge spike in costs. We feel your pain because ours skyrocketed too. With premiums doubling and deductibles into the 5 figures, what’s a family to do? We decided to go a different route.
The Fix: Although big changes are coming for Obamacare, the fallout could last for years. Instead of purchasing an overpriced Obamacare plan, we chose Liberty HealthShare – a healthcare sharing ministry – instead. These companies work similarly to health insurance with different restrictions and options. We save thousands on premiums alone, plus our annual “unshared amount” (similar to a deductible) is just $1,500! While it isn’t exactly the same as health insurance, the savings is more than worth it to us. Read our complete review of Liberty HealthShare here.
Cell Phone Service
Here’s another biggie – cell phones. Until the last 15 years, this wasn’t even an issue! These days, we can’t live without being glued to our smartphones. Worse, we don’t blink an eye at paying $1,000 a year for the “privilege.” That’s nuts, especially when there are other options around.
The Fix: Here’s the good news: You don’t have to spend $1,000 a year (that’s a house payment, BTW) or sign a 24-month contract to get decent cell service anymore. Save that money and book a trip to Mexico instead! There are several discount services available where talk, text, and data plans cost less than $25 a month! Plus, many of them don’t require a contract. (Bonus!) My favorite provider is Ting. I’ve used them for a few years and have saved thousands. They’re on the T-Mobile network, so coverage is very good in most areas. Save 40 – 60% on your mobile phone by switching to Ting. Learn more.
Bonus Tip: Earn Money While Watching TV
Saving is great, but it’s also nice to earn some extra cash. Of course, your time is precious so you don’t necessarily want to start a whole side hustle. Here’s a way you can earn extra money while you watch TV.
The Fix: Did you realize you can get paid for taking surveys? Heck, some companies pay you just for surfing the internet. My favorite survey sites are Survey Junkie and InboxDollars because they pay straight cash. It’s easy money, so why not get started now?
Stop Losing Money
There you have it! Break free from your comfortable habits, and look for ways to start saving more money today. The coolest part is, when you find new ways to save, it’s like you just gave yourself a gigantic raise. Use that money wisely, and always remember to save on the things that don’t matter so you can spend on the things that do!
Thanks for reading, and we’ll catch you next time!