The game is rigged. Consumers are intended to live in such a busy, topsy-turvy world, that they don’t have the mental presence of mind to keep control of their finances. You see this in many conditions which influence the lives of regular working/spending people: that ISP bill that rises a few bucks a month until it’s double what it used to be, property taxes in your part of town, the variable rate on that financial loan you took out in 2009. In each of these cases, there are ways to lower costs back to (or even beneath) their original value. But without taking the time to research the alternatives and contact the appropriate businesses, no savings will be yours. Here are some ways to realize the savings we’re talking about.
Ask For Savings, Then Go to Competitors. When we’re talking about utilities and regular “service” payments (like cable and internet), it’s important to keep an eye on what you are paying. In Maryland,, energy deregulation has promoted a lot of competition in the energy provider field, and it’s very possible for individual consumers to save a lot of money each month. But with more than a dozen competitors to choose from, most consumers simply stay put with whoever is providing their energy right now, no matter what savings are available. It’s important to fight this apathy and research real rates. Then go to your company and request discounts. If denied, take your business to the company who will save you hundreds each year.
Property Taxes (and Similar) Go Up. Here’s another example that impacts real people every day. Property taxes are one facet of the average home mortgage loan which is not constant. For many city dwellers, it can actually be very expensive, several thousands of dollars a year in some cases. What many homeowners don’t realize is that the number they are paying is likely based on taxes due the average home value in a large region. If your home is smaller or worth less than this baseline, you can appeal the cost of your property tax and save huge amounts. Other cities have discount programs that are related to your annual income. Look for savings in this and other related areas of your life. Any regular payment is worth investigation for savings.
Variable Rates, and Refinancing. It is unlikely that your interest rate will go down, if you have purchased your house in the past 5 or 6 years. But if you have had your home for longer than that, and you have never refinanced, you could be saving a bundle. eCompareMo.com is an example of a resource that can help you compare your costs, when making the same deal with various companies. Do the research and take the time to agree to a new, more affordable payment structure.
If this kind of savings can be found, it’s important to make the change as soon as possible. Savings will be felt immediately, but they will continue to benefit you for years to come.