Do you need to save more money in the 2020 economy? There are some developments in the last days of 2019 that will have an effect on some aspects of life, while other money-saving ideas are tried-and-true, but need an update for the 21st century. You can add to your savings in the new year with a few simple tricks.
Home Owners And House Hunters
There have been many articles written about how amazing 2019 was for home buyers, those who want to refinance, and those thinking about purchasing a second home. Interest rates on home loans including FHA mortgages, VA home loans, and even non-government-backed conventional mortgages have been recorded at amazing lows.
These trends are hoped to continue in the new year. If low-interest rates tempt you to think about buying or refinancing, don’t go into the loan process without exploring your down payment assistance options offered by state agencies and local organizations.
Get Help With Your Down Payment
The Department of Housing and Urban Development offers a resource page that can help you find down payment grants near you. Don’t make your down payment out of pocket if you can help it.
Refinancing at a lower interest rate can help you save money on your monthly mortgage payment, but you need to tell your lender that your specific goal is to get into a lower payment. Interest rate trends will be important to monitor leading up to such a loan–ask your loan officer for advice in this area before committing.
Save Money On Food In 2020
Americans love fast food, home delivery, and the convenience of delivery services such as GrubHub, UberEats, etc. There are more local delivery services than ever these days, and most offer incentives for new customers. Do you need some innovative ways to cut costs in the new year?
Do you live in a household alone? Consider signing up for a new delivery service on a regular basis to take advantage of new customer specials and other bonuses for referring friends, etc. If you live in a household with multiple people, you can try having everyone in the home sign up for new services as you go, getting new discounts and perks you might not be offered otherwise.
Saving money on food in 2020 also means re-evaluating meal kit services such as Plated, Blue Apron, etc. Are you really getting the most value for your money? The key to finding the value or lack of it involves both how many actual meals you get (leftovers included). Also important–how much time it saves the busy person, and whether the cost per month is worth the expense.
Some people agonize after having signed up for such a plan, finding that some meals are wasted due to lack of time, or that portions are wasted due to uneaten leftovers. How much is your food kit saving you in terms of time or money?
Cash Invested Versus Waste
You can take the same cost-versus-utilization for other areas of your life, too. How many streaming subscriptions do you have at the moment? Can you get rid of one or more? 10 dollars a month here, 10 dollars a month there…suddenly between subscription streaming music services and streaming television, you’ve got more subscriptions than you realistically use. Paring down in this area could be a revelation for some.
Once you begin reviewing these areas of your life, you may find more savings than you realize. Does your budget need an overhaul in 2020?
Joe Wallace specializes in personal finance, military affairs, and consumer protection topics. Since 1995, his work has appeared on Air Force Television News, The Pentagon Channel, ABC and a variety of print and online publications. He is a 13-year Air Force veteran and collects unusual vinyl records, which gives him an excuse to write the vinyl blog Turntabling.net.