You can’t control inflation, but you can control your spending. Here are some tips to make your money last longer. I call them money multipliers! Even if you take advantage of a few of them… every little bit helps.
Start with these "must-do multipliers"
Credit cards and bills:
- Pay off your credit card in full every month.
- Establish automatic payment for your bills to avoid late fees.
- Check your credit annually at annualcreditreport.com
- Keep the minimum balance needed to avoid monthly maintenance fees.
- Set up overdraft protection—avoid overdrafts and their related fees.
- Check on interest rates for accounts. Do you have too much money in a checking account paying 0%? Move some to an interest-bearing savings account.
- Use your bank’s ATM network. Those $3 out-of-network fees can add up.
- Shop and compare insurance prices: Auto, Home, Life, Disability, and Long-Term Care
- Know your health insurance plans and options.
- Review your real estate taxes. If they seem high relative to other homes in your area, appeal them.
- Maintain your home diligently to avoid, or at least defer, big ticket items in the future.
- Contribute at least as much to your 401(k) plan as needed to get the match offered by your employer.
- Know all your benefits and review them on an annual basis.
- Take advantage of company discounts.
Here are some extra money multipliers that add up:
- Reduce your dining out expense: eat at home, bring your lunch.
- Bring a list when shopping to avoid impulse buys.
- Reduce your home expenses by weatherproofing, using LED bulbs, and automatic thermostats.
- Keep maintenance on your car up to date. Then drive that well maintained car an extra year or two.
- Do you need a second or third car? Carpooling, public transportation or Uber / Lyft are good alternatives.
- When traveling, compare websites for hotels and airfare. Buy your tickets early and travel during nonpeak times when practical.
- Cancel subscriptions you are not using: online streaming services, health clubs, newspapers, diet and food services to name a few.
- Use, don't lose, those gift cards!
- Carry a water bottle. Much cheaper and colder than plastic bottled water.
- Rethink those expensive drinks. Fancy coffee and fancy cocktails add up over time.
- Buy in bulk. Also stock up on reusable bags, lunch boxes, and other containers.
- Prescriptions: Look for generics and 90-day supplies.
- Borrow or rent large-ticket items, including clothes.
- One in / one out if you buy something, get rid of something.
Do you have some money multipliers? Send them my way!
Shari co-founded Rappaport Reiches Capital Management with one goal - to maximize the return on life for her clients. Please connect with Shari below. She loves to talk about investing, financial planning, and Barry Manilow.