How's your family money IQ? If it's not at the genius level, review the following points and get ready to save some cash for your family. Begin by learning the fine points of comparison shopping.
Learn to Comparison Shop
Do your family a favor by learning to get the best deals on core financial products like automobile insurance coverage, personal loans, homeowner’s policies, student loans, and more. Saving money on life essentials is what a family money IQ is all about.
Fortunately, anyone can get the ball rolling by visiting an online marketplace where dozens of partners and providers post competitive rates on a wide range of financial products.
Your family will benefit when you can snag the best prices on insurance coverage for the home and car, find deals on life policies, gain access to low-interest personal loans, and get college funding deals by comparing multiple offers.
It's worth noting that even a small percentage difference on a student loan can save borrowers thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. That's why comparison shopping is a must for people who are raising families.
Join Clubs, Co-Ops, and Loyalty Programs
If you're not a joiner, it's time to change. That's because joining wholesale clubs, food co-ops, and retailer loyalty programs can slice a huge amount of regular bills for groceries and household goods.
Plus, joining costs nothing or sets you back a nominal amount in most cases.
Do you regularly throw things away that could otherwise be refurbished? In the era of online auctions, it makes good sense to turn unused household items into cold, hard cash.
Use a system for avoiding waste and turning some of your junk into spendable money. Check attics, basements, storage sheds, spare bedrooms, closets, and garages for items you or a family member could do without.
Make minor repairs, photograph it, and put it up for sale on one of the many online auction platforms. If it doesn't sell there, consider holding a traditional garage sale and unloading it for a lower price.
Take all unsold items and either trash them, donate them, or give them to the first taker.
Be Smart About Utility Bills
One way to immediately boost your family money IQ is to start tracking utility expenses closely. Most people are surprised to discover that they can easily reduce their electric or gas bills just by keeping tabs on heating and cooling costs.
Start by choosing a month to log every kilowatt of electricity or gas-generated power your home uses. Most power companies provide historical usage data for customers on their websites.
Once you know how much you spend on an average day, plan to cut the amount by 10%. There are several ways to achieve that target. The simplest is to install a programmable thermostat. For less than $50, consumers can pick up a unit and set limits on heating and cooling usage right from the start. Even a one-degree difference in set points can make a huge difference in monthly energy bills.