Money saving tips

Online savings accounts are earning WAY more than brick and mortar. American Express Savings and Goldman Sacs (Marcus) savings accounts are currently earning 1.6% and 1.55% APR currently. There is no minimum balance required to start or maintain the account, and the account holder can do up to 6 withdrawals per monthly statement. Really easy to transfer funds in and out, too.

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Those are close to CD rates (1.78%) at my local bank, but with the benefit of a withdrawal option (vs. locked in for x-months).
* Examine your TV subscriptions... We eliminated all of our sports programming as there are no sports right now...
* We realized that we are hardly driving at all and only using one car. We took the other off the insurance.
* We evaluated our phone plans and are able to temporarily use a lot less data.
* No longer in a hurry go to anywhere, we brew that morning coffee at home and are eliminating that latte from the drive-thru.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
Shop at Aldi.
Plant a garden. I use the Square Foot Gardening method.
Use GoodRx for prescriptions.
Slow down. A speeding ticket will cost more than any time you save.
Unfortunately it all too often costs more up front to save money in the long run.

In 1997, when I bought my current house, it needed a roof. I spent almost twice as much for a metal roof as I would have spent on an asphalt shingle. Asphalt shingle would have needed replacement in 10 to 12 years, which means that by now I would be needing to put my third roof on the house. The current cost of a replacement asphalt shingle roof would be more than the cost of the metal I put on 23 years ago. But my metal roof probably has another 25-40 years of usefulness.

In 2020 the government is allowing a 26% tax credit for a rooftop solar system. This year I am biting the bullet and have put on a rooftop solar system. With the tax credit and my usual usage and the historical increases in costs for electricity and service in my area, my system should pay for itself in savings over 7-10 years while the system is guaranteed to function at 80% or more still in 25 years.

For my younger years I bought used vehicles that were checked by a reliable mechanic to ascertain they were in good condition. I generally paid about half the price of the vehicle when it was new and I generally got 5 to 7 years of service out of them. My first new vehicle was a 1999 truck that we still have because its book value is too low to get rid of a well functioning vehicle whose only flaw is that the mpg are awful. It gets used around the property and is loaned out when friends or family need a truck to haul stuff. The household has a 12 year old hybrid bought new that is also performing well and a 2 year old bought new SUV that is doing well. We have had few repairs on any of our vehicles. They get their routine maintenance religiously and they seem to be lasting forever.
@Flash wrote:

They get their routine maintenance religiously and they seem to be lasting forever.
When I finally got rid of my 2000 Mercury Sable in 2018, it had 421,000+ miles on it. Routine basic oil changes are an up-front expense that will save you much more money down the road.
And oil change shops encourage us to do paid oil changes perhaps even a little sooner than the owner's manual would suggest, which seems to be critical to engine health. The potential danger of picking up a vehicle at the end of a 3 year lease was highlighted to me by a co-worker when I offered to pick her up and drop her off when she left her car for its routine oil change since she had done the same for me. She was two years into her three year lease and seemed surprised that anything might need to be done to a car that wasn't broken down--she had never done an oil change on any of her leased cars.
We have used AMEX Money Markets for quite a while to park some of our liquidity. I totally agree they are awesome. We love AMEX for credit as well. What great customer service all around. LOVE THEM!

@JASFLALMT wrote:

Online savings accounts are earning WAY more than brick and mortar. American Express Savings and Goldman Sacs (Marcus) savings accounts are currently earning 1.6% and 1.55% APR currently. There is no minimum balance required to start or maintain the account, and the account holder can do up to 6 withdrawals per monthly statement. Really easy to transfer funds in and out, too.
We still need our cars albeit very, very intermittently and have not cancelled any insurance. However, our insurance company is giving us a 15% refund against our policy for the next 2 months; was notified via email. I checked STARZ and HBO on FIOS and they also are now gratuitous for the time being. Thanks again Honny for the Showtime tip!
Never ever take a cash advance on a credit card. Call me captain obvious but some people just don't know that the interest rate is around 25% AND interest begins accumulating the very day you take that advance. Not like regular credit card usage where interest is added after a month or so.

You'd probably get a better deal with a neighborhood loan shark!

sestrahelena


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/19/2020 07:41PM by sestrahelena.
My insurance agent left a message after I had called to ask about a discount on my auto insurance. He is an independent agent and stated that all of the insurance companies whose policies he sells are issuing rebates on the next renewal date for all auto policy holders, even those in the very lowest "pleasure mileage" rate class. My renewal date is 7/1 so I should see this soon. I have Erie Insurance.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
Re: cancelling auto insurance. DH reminded me that a registered car in our state must be insured with at least liability coverage. If you cancel, you must surrender your plates.
@sestrahelena wrote:

Never ever take a cash advance on a credit card. Call me captain obvious but some people just don't know that the interest rate is around 25% AND interest begins accumulating the very day you take that advance. Not like regular credit card usage where interest is added after a month or so.

You'd probably get a better deal with a neighborhood loan shark!

I'll throw in basically the ONLY exception, Discover.

Discover has an option called "Cash Over."

[www.discover.com]

Basically, like you would with a debit card at a grocery store. When you have a purchase, you actually have an option to pull cash out (up to $60 daily at my local grocery stores, but Discover has a $120 daily limit). The benefit here is that it is treated like a regular credit card purchase, as opposed to a cash advance, which is HUGE. Saves runs to ATM's and sometimes the individual grocery store doesn't properly code the purchases correctly, so on occasion, I can benefit from a 5% kickback (5% of $60 is an extra $3 for doing nothing!) from just pulling cash out and depositing it back to my bank account and paying my credit card balance at the end of the billing cycle)/

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 30 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
If you are growing a garden, you can use a lot of the greens that you might not normally use. Such as beet leaves, broccoli leaves, Etc. I have a bunch of broccoli plants that never get actual broccoli but I eat the leaves. Prepare the leaves just like you would prepare spinach. Just cook them a little longer because they tend to be tough.

sestrahelena
Where do you find Amazon cards for 10% off? I never see that with any of the card discounters.

@Tarantado wrote:


6. Hack Your Way to Drop Cost with Coupons, Card Offers, etc.: In my case, I've been stocking up on a LOT of Amazon gift cards, as I'm able to easily purchase them for 10% off. For every $1,000 I frontload, where I can purchase other gift cards to other outlets as needed, I pocket a tax-free $100 on the backend. This adds up quite quickly.
pamama,
If you have an Amazon gift card, they will offer specials on topping that up when you order something. Apparently they do that with other vendors' cards as well. At least, that is how I read the last post.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
@panama18 wrote:

Where do you find Amazon cards for 10% off? I never see that with any of the card discounters.

AMEX Offers, CashApp, etc.

Right now, I've been stocking up on Amazon gift cards using 10% off of up to $7.50 offers at Walgreens, grocery stores, etc. So any time this 10% offer pops up at stores, I use it on gift cards for later use. Hope that clarifies.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 30 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
@walesmaven wrote:

pamama,
If you have an Amazon gift card, they will offer specials on topping that up when you order something. Apparently they do that with other vendors' cards as well. At least, that is how I read the last post.

Close. For example, one offer I maxed out already is:



5% for up to $10 = up to $200 worth of gift cards. For my AMEX Blue Cash Everyday Preferred, that's 6% off grocery stores + 5% = 11% off of $200 worth of gift cards. Not a bad deal and a good way to offset my expenses to mitigate against my recent 20% salary cut.

Similar offers pop up for Chase, CashApp, etc. I look at the bottomline "after rewards, cash back, back-end offers via Rakuten, etc." to see how I can minimize my overall expenses.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 30 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
Oh, ok. I don't have any of those apps. Guess I should get them, plus start paying attention to all that stuff I see on the sites of my cc issuers. I've been ignoring it, not wanting to wade through it all.

Thanks for the responses. I have been enlightened.
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