Life Situations and Finances: FAQs
The following are common “life situations” that many of us find ourselves in at one point or another. Get to know these common questions and concerns to save big!
The following are a few ways to lessen your bank fees:
- Look into what is necessary to get free checking and free ATM usage and do it. This is typically done by having a minimum balance and only using your bank’s ATMs. Another thought is joining a credit union instead of a bank as they generally charge less for banking services.
- Investigate how to invest in higher interest accounts. Determine how much money you would need in case of an emergency and roughly six month’s worth of expenses and keep that amount in your savings. Take the rest of you money and make it work for you.
- Don’t order checks through your bank. Generally speaking, check printers charge less than the printers employed by the bank.
These tips will help you save on all types of insurance:
- Shop around for your life insurance policy. Take the time it takes to periodically check the prices on different policies, as it will pay off in the end. If you have recently quit smoking, you will probably be able to get better rates in a few years.
- Evaluate your needs in terms of life insurance to see whether you are being charged too much for coverage.
- Use the same insurer for home and auto insurance, as you will more than likely get a break.
- Look around for auto insurance to find the best possible rate.
- Save on your homeowner’s insurance by installing burglar alarms, smoke detectors and sprinkler systems. Consult an insurance agent to learn more.
- Do away with private mortgage insurance. Ask your lender to cancel this as soon as you have enough equity in the home (this is required by law).
These are a few tips to remember to help save money with utility costs:
- See if your utility has a subsidizing program to make your home more energy-efficient. If that turns up nothing, you can still caulk your windows and check the insulation to make sure it has a high enough “R” factor.
- Use fluorescent lights instead of incandescent bulbs for lights that are constantly on.
- Maintain the thermostat at the highest and lowest temperature for comfort in the summer and winter, respectively.
There are many opportunities due to today’s cost-cutting competition among phone service providers, such as:
- Verify that your long-distance charges are competitively priced. Research which long-distance carrier will give you the best rate and switch if you are not with that carrier.
- Use the phone book instead of dialing “Information.”
- If you have children at home, block all “900” numbers.
- Stay in touch with relatives and friends through e-mail.
The options that follow will help in reducing the cost of your mortgage:
- Think about paying down your mortgage. This is an effective way for saving and raising net worth for many people. Make a decision to pay a specific amount more than the mortgage principal and faithfully stick to it.
- Think about refinancing your mortgage. Determine if refinancing your mortgage will save you money. Calculate to see if the costs for refinancing are worth a reduction in your monthly payments. If you intend to remain in the house for at least five years, the common guideline is that at least two points reduction will make it worthwhile to refinance.
Our Scarsdale tax preparers here at Herman & Company CPA’s are here for all your financial needs. Please contact us if you have questions about these provisions or any other tax compliance/planning issues, and to receive your free personal finance consultation!
Herman and Company CPA’s proudly serves Bedford Hills NY, Larchmont NY, Mamaroneck NY, Bronxville NY, Scarsdale NY, Greenwich CT and beyond.
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