As a parent, you never seem to have as much money as you want. Even if you are doing alright financially, you may worry that your emergency fund isn't large enough or that you aren't saving enough for retirement. Fortunately, there are many small steps that you can take to save up to $10,000 or more per year.
Start Eating More Meals at Home
While it is easy and convenient to order a pizza or buy a prepared meal at the grocery store, you will pay for that convenience. When you order food, you are subject to a delivery charge of up to $5 or more. If you order out two or three times a week, you could spend $40 to $60 just on delivery fees per month. Instead of eating out or ordering food, you should buy meat or other ingredients in bulk and make meals at home, which will significantly reduce the amount it costs to feed the family each day.
Transfer Your Credit Card Balances
If you have $10,000 or more in credit card debt, you could easily be paying $200 to $300 a month just in interest charges. By transferring your balances to cards with a 0 percent interest introductory period, you can eliminate those finance charges. This also gives you a chance to pay down your balances, which can save even more money over the course of a year.
Look to Refinance Other Loans
Refinancing a home or auto loan may help you save hundreds of dollars per month over the next year. It may also help you save money in future years, and lowering the amount of interest that you pay each month can help you build equity in those assets. Those who are planning on refinancing their mortgages should consider the impact of closing and other costs when calculating total savings.
Find a Tenant or Roommate
Those who own duplexes or who have an unused finished basement or attic may want to think about renting it out. Depending on where you live, it may be possible to pay your entire mortgage each month or make a small profit. Those who live in apartments may wish to take on a roommate assuming that it is possible to find someone who can coexist with the kids.
Revisit Your Cable and Phone Plans
A family phone, the internet, and cable package can easily cost $200 or more per month. That doesn't account for data overages or other fees that your cable or phone provider may charge. By swapping out your cable package for a service like Hulu, you could almost eliminate your cable bill. By swapping out your premium smartphone package for either a prepaid smartphone or traditional phone, it may be possible to reduce your phone costs significantly as well.
Ask About Debt Forgiveness
If you are struggling to pay bills, it may be possible to ask your creditors to forgive some or all of your debt. While the forgiven balance will be considered taxable income, you will still reduce some or all of your debt balances. In some cases, your forgiven debt may be exempt from taxation if you are declared insolvent.
Start Putting Money in a 401K or IRA
Putting money into a retirement account helps you in two different ways if you have a traditional IRA or 401K. First, the money that you put into such accounts is eligible for a tax deduction. Second, that money grows tax-free while it remains in your account. Depending on how large your balance is today, you could easily grow your account by $10,000 or more thanks to compound interest.
Get a Second Job
If you want to grow your emergency fund or simply put more money in the bank, it may be a good idea to get a second job. The money that you make can go directly into a segregated savings account or otherwise find its way into an account designated for a specific purpose. In addition to making money, you may learn new skills or meet people who can help advance your career.
Ask for a Raise
Depending on how long you have been with your employer and what your job title is, it may be possible to get a $10,000 annual raise. It may also be possible to ask for extra compensation in the form of college tuition assistance or home loan assistance. These alternative solutions may make it easier to pay your bills without having to worry about being bumped into a higher tax bracket.
Look to Lower Your Insurance Premiums
It is always a good idea to shop around for lower insurance premiums assuming that you retain the coverage that you need. It may be possible to lower your health, life or auto insurance premiums simply by bundling them together with one company. You may also look to find policies with lower deductibles or other perks that allow you to save money throughout the year.
There are many great ways to save up to $10,000 a year or more every year. Whether you choose to refinance loans, ask for debt forgiveness or ask your employer for a raise, there are options available to you no matter what your situation may be. For more ideas about how to better manage your money, it may be a good idea to talk with a financial adviser.