25 Ways to Save Money

Whether money is tight because you have just graduated, or you are trying to work on getting out of debt or build your savings. There are five areas where nearly everyone can find ways to save on the amount they spend each month. Here are the five areas and five savings tips for each one.

Food Costs

Food is one category where it is easy to justify overspending because having good food is a necessity.


However, if you add up the total amount you spend on food each month you may be surprised at how much you are spending. If you have a large family, it may be taking up a significant amount of your budget.  Here are ten ways you can save on food costs each month.

  1. Stop eating out. Try planning and prepping your dinner before you go to work so it is easy to prepare when you get home. You can also try taking a lunch from home to help cut down on food bills. You may be amazed at how much yous ave when you stop eating out.
  2. Plan your menus each week or each month. Menu planning is a great way to save money because it cuts down on the number of shopping trips that you need to take. It also cuts down on food waste, and it is helpful when you are too tired to figure out what to cook.
  3. Shop at a cheaper store. You may be surprised at how much you can save just by switching grocery stores. Even if you only end up buying some items at the discount store, you will end up saving money.
  1. Shop the sales. You can check the sales each week and plan your menu around them. If you create a price book, you can save even more. A price book will track the sales cycles so that you know the cheapest time to buy each item and at what store.
  2. Buy in bulk. You can split items with a friend or store things n your freezer. This can help you save on most items and really help you cut back.


    Entertainment Costs

    It is important to be able to relax and unwind, but you may be spending more than you realize on entertainment costs. This is a broad category, and it may be one of the first ones you should cut when you are trying to save money. Here are some tips to save on your entertainment expenses.

    1. Look for free festivals and music concerts in your area. Many cities offer events that you can attend for free or at a discounted price and it is a great way to explore and learn about new things.
    2. Cut the cord on your cable. Take the time to shop around for a television service that saves you money. There are a variety of streaming services that are a lot less than cable, and you may be surprised at how much you can really save.
    3. Choose cheaper accommodations. Try saving money on your vacation by camping or renting a cabin through a state or national park. Often this is much cheaper than staying at a hotel.
    4. Try going out earlier in the day. You can save money on movies, at restaurants and other places by going during the day. You still have a great time, but the savings can add up quickly.
    5. Consider monthly subscription services. There are services that you let you play unlimited streaming music, watch videos or read books for a lower cost than you would spend on a single new CD, movie, book or game. If you use these things often, you may end up saving a lot of money each month.



      Many people assume that insurance is a set expense and there is not anything you can do to lower the cost. However, there are things you can do to lower your premium and still have great coverage. Here are five tips to help keep insurance costs low.

      1. Shop for new insurance every few years.  Insurance companies offer their lowest rates to new customers, and if you are accident and ticket free, you may score big savings on your insurance by shopping around.
      2. Take advantage of discounts. You can earn insurance discounts through your alumni association, your employer or professional organization. Try to find the best deals available to save on your policy.
      3. Increase your deductible. If you raise your deductible to a $1000.00, you can save a lot in monthly premiums. Be sure to save the money so you have it on hand if you need it.
      1. Try a high deductible health insurance policy. This offers a lower monthly premium and often more comprehensive coverage once you have met your deductible. Set up a health savings account with it.
      2. Stay in your network. When you are using your insurance coverage, you can lower your out of pocket costs by staying in your network or working with approved shops or providers.


      Housing is a huge part of many people’s budgets. You can buy a home that is too expensive and you may end up house poor. In some areas of the country, you may end up paying nearly half of your salary in rent. Here are some tips to help you save on your housing costs.

      1. Consider getting a roommate. Although, you may want to live on your own, you really can save a lot by considering a roommate or two to save on the housing costs. You can also split the utilities to lower costs.
      2. Try moving home. This may not be ideal, but living at home for a year can give you the chance to save up a down payment or work on getting out of debt. If you can focus on your goals, you can move out quickly and make the most of your situation.
      3. Choose an area with cheaper rent. Location is such an important part of rent and housing costs. By adding a few minutes onto your commute, you may be able to save money each month.
      4. Consider buying a home. In some areas, you can really save money by buying instead of renting. Additionally, you can build equity in your home or condo so that you can move into something nicer in a few years.
      5. Look for a job in a lower cost of living area. Moving to an area with a lower cost of living can mean that you do not have to work as much. It may mean more time, and it often means that you can afford a really nice house for a lot less. It is definitely an option that you should consider.  


      One area where you may be spending a lot of money, and not realize that you can cut back is transportation costs. The ways you can save may vary based on where you live and the options that are available to you.

      1. Try carpooling to work. There are ride share boards available in almost every major city. This can reduce the amount that you pay in parking and gas each day.
      2. Take public transportation to work. Taking the bus or subway can give you extra time to read or decompress and reduce the amount that you spend.
      3. Bike or walk to work or on your errands. This works if you live in a city or in a community designed to be walker friendly. It is a great way to get your exercise and can reduce the amount that you need to use your car.
      4. Skip owning a car completely. If you live in a city, you can get by with using public transportation and then using Uber, a taxis or a car share when you need a car.
      5. Buy a used car instead of a new car.  This will save you on the cost, depreciation and insurance premiums. If your car payment is too much consider selling your car and buying something more affordable. 

      How to Lower Your Monthly Car Payment

      There are things you should do and things you shouldn't when it comes to lowering your monthly car loan payment.  In this section, we offer helpful money saving tips to make your car loan more affordable, the right way.

      Reconsider longer term loans

      Today, more and more car buyers are taking out longer loans — over six or seven years versus the normal three to five years — to reduce their monthly car payments. You might want to reconsider longer term loans since they can be riskier, including higher interest rates, more interest paid over the life of the loan, and less paid on the principal balance which could end up costing you more than the car is worth.

      Get pre-approved

      When it comes to buying a car, your best bet is to get pre-approved for a loan before you go shopping.  Not only can you lock in low rates before they have a chance to increase, you can use the offers you receive as a negotiation tool with the dealership, if its rates are higher.  What's more, it's good practice to focus on getting the best possible sales price for a car first, and then discussing financing with the dealer later.  Getting pre-qualified for a loan helps you do just that.

      Consider a home equity loan

      If you qualify, there are advantages to using a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit (HELOC) to purchase a car.  For starters, home equity loans usually come with lower interest rates than standard auto loans because they're borrowed against the equity in your home as collateral which drives down the interest costs.  What's more, you might actually be able to deduct the payments if you itemize them on your federal tax return.  Be sure to consult a tax advisor to determine if this is a smart approach for you. 

      A HELOC usually comes with the lowest rates but it's a riskier proposition.  HELOC rates are variable which means you're stuck with a higher monthly payment should interest rates increase.  While a HELOC makes sense for loan terms of 36 months or less, financing over 36 months is better suited for fixed rate home equity loans.

      Check the numbers

      Don't sign on the auto loan line until you know its true, long term costs.  Be sure to check the annual percentage rate (APR) since this interest rate includes all lender fees and charges which is the true rate you'll pay.  Then, ask the lender for the sum of all the monthly payments you'll make during the life of the loan, plus all fees and charges.

      Increase your down payment

      If you can afford it, increase your down payment to lower your monthly car payment.  Smaller down payments actually increase the cost of longer term loans.  If you increased your down payment to 20 percent, for example, you could save a lot of money while potentially securing a shorter term loan in the process.

      Review your loan docs carefully

      Carefully review your loan by checking the fine print for all fees and conditions. Beware of large financing fees, required credit insurance or penalties for prepaying the principal during the life of the loan, which could prevent you from refinancing or increasing your monthly payments to boost your equity in the car.

      Buy the car you can afford

      If you're considering taking out a longer term loan, you might be considering buying a car you can't afford.  Put yourself in a solid financial position by buying a car you can pay off in five years or less.


      The Right Loan for Your Upcoming Wedding

      For many couples, planning a dream wedding is an exciting way to express their personal style and tastes and celebrate their love for each other in front of friends and family. Affording that wedding, on the other hand, is not always so easy. According to The Knot 2015 Real Weddings Study of nearly 18,000 brides, the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is at an all-time high of $32,641. This is despite the fact that the 2014 median household income was $53,657.

      In many instances, cutting back on expenses is not possible. Spending two, three or five years working hard to save money can be equally daunting, especially if you are planning to start a family or are waiting until after your nuptials to move in together. In these cases, financing your wedding, engagement ring, or even your honeymoon through an unsecured personal loan, colloquially referred to as a wedding loan, may be a viable alternative. After all, your wedding is one of the most memorable and important days of your life. It should be special, which is why some people decide to use a personal loan or other financing method to create the wedding celebration they've always imagined. And there are trusted sources to help you do so: Prosper, and Upstart are two of the choices. But before you finance any element of your wedding, you should understand what it's actually going to cost you.


      Referenced from: TheKnot.com 

      All You Need to Know About Personal Loans

      Personal loans are one of many types of loans you can borrow from a bank. These loans are typically general purpose loans that you can use at your discretion for things like consolidating debt or paying for an unexpected expense or small home improvement project. Personal loans are often more difficult to get and have strict qualification requirements. If you're thinking about borrowing a personal loan, here are some things you know.

      Personal loans are unsecured.

      That means the loan doesn't require you to use an asset as collateral. If you default on a personal loan, the lender can't automatically take a piece of your property as payment for the loan. This is one of the reasons personal loans are more difficult to get. The lender doesn't have any asset to seize if you can't make loan payments anymore. Even though the lender can't automatically take your house or car, it can take other collection actions. This includes reporting late payments to the credit bureaus, hiring a collection agency, and filing a lawsuit against you.

      Personal loans have a fixed amount.

      The amount of personal loans ranges anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000 and depends on the lender, your income, and your credit rating. The better your credit score and higher your income, the more money you can borrow. Some banks have a cap on the amount of personal loan you can borrow.

      For example, you may be able to borrow only a maximum of $10,000 personal loan.

      Unlike credit cards, personal loans are a one- time loan. You can't borrow from the loan over and over the way you can with a revolving credit card balance. Payments toward the loan reduce the balance, but do not open up available credit that you can borrow again.

      Once you pay off the loan, the account is closed. If you need to borrow again, you'll have to reapply.

      Personal loans usually have fixed interest rates.

      The interest rate is locked and doesn't change for the life of the loan. Like the loan amount, interest rates on personal loans are based on credit rating. Generally, the better your credit score, the lower your interest rate. Lower interest rates are ideal because it means you pay a lower cost for borrowing the loan. Some personal loans come with a variable interest rate that changes periodically. The drawback of a variable interest rate is that your payments can fluctuate as your rate changes making it harder to budget for your loan payments

      Personal loans a fixed repayment period.

      You have a set period of time to repay your personal loan. Loan periods are stated in months, e.g. 12, 24, 36, 48, and 60. Longer repayment periods lower your monthly loan repayment, but they also mean you pay more in interest than if you had a shorter repayment period.  Your interest rate may also be tied to your repayment period. For example, you may have a lower interest rate with shorter repayment periods. Longer repayment periods also mean you'll be paying on the loan for a longer period of time.

      Having an open loan could affect your ability to get approved for other credit cards and loans. Note that some loans have a pre-payment penalty which charges a fee for paying off your loan early.

      Personal loans affect your credit score.

      Most lenders report your loan account details to the credit bureaus. . Everything from applying for a loan (which means a new inquiry on your credit report) to how timely you make payments will affect your credit. The key to maintaining a good credit score is making your loan payments on time each month.

      Beware of scams.

      Watch out for scams, particularly if you're shopping for a lender who'll approve you with a bad credit history. Avoid any lender that guarantees approval without checking your credit history or who asks you to send money (especially via wire transfer or prepaid card) to secure the loan.

      Applying for a Personal Loan

      It may be easier to get a personal loan from a bank you already have an account with. The bank will probably want to know what you're going to use the money for and may even have a better loan for your needs. As with any other loan, it's important to choose personal loans wisely and only borrow what you can afford to repay.

      Referenced from TheBalance.com

      Six Steps to an Auto Loan

      When it comes to bank loans, getting a car loan is comparatively easy, particularly if you compare it to the weeks-long process of getting a mortgage. In fact, getting approved for a car loan can be as quick as getting approved for a new credit card. That doesn’t mean you don’t need to be prepared for the process and do your due diligence, however.

      If you’re thinking about getting your first vehicle loan, here’s what you need to know about the process, and how to avoid common car buying mistakes.

      Step One: Check Your Credit

      Your credit score will play a key role in the rate you’ll pay for your loan. While that may sound obvious to someone who has applied for one of these loans before, if you are a first-time car buyer, you may not realize how important your credit score is when it comes to getting a loan. A high credit score can help you get a low car loan rate, which in turn saves you money on interest.

      Your credit score is based on the information in your credit reports, so to make sure that your credit score is accurate it’s a good idea to also get your credit reports. You can check them for free once a year.

      It’s also a good idea to get your free credit score to see where you stand. Just understand that you probably won’t see the same credit score the auto lender will see. There are many different credit scores available, and auto lenders typically use scores customized for auto lenders.

      Step Two: Pick Your Payment

      Your job here is to figure out how much you can realistically afford to spend each month on a car payment without straining your budget. Once you know that amount, you can plug it into a car loan calculator to find out the total you can afford to spend. If you don’t know precisely how much you can afford to pay for your car, now’s a good time to put together a simple monthly budget.

      Car loans typically come in three-, four-, five- and six-year terms. The longer the term of the loan, the lower the monthly payment. But a longer car loan also means you are likely to be “upside down” for a longer period of time. To be upside down (or “underwater”) on a loan means you owe more than the vehicle is worth.

      Don’t forget to factor in insurance and maintenance costs. While those won’t be included in your monthly payment, you’ll have to come up with those funds as well. If you have trouble paying them, you may find it hard to keep up with your car payment, so you want to make sure you are prepared for the total cost. An insurance agent can help you estimate the cost of insuring the types of vehicles you are considering buying (here’s another spot where your good credit will save you money. Auto insurers use your credit scores as a basis for your premiums).

      Step Three: Get Pre-Approved

      You can shop for an auto loan online, as well as through a local credit union or bank. You don’t have to limit yourself to the financial institution where you do your banking, and it’s fine to check with a few different sources. You want to see what kind of loan, and for what amount, they can offer. Whichever one offers you the best deal, that’s the one you can get financing through.

      If you qualify for a loan, you’ll get a “pre-approval” that will be good for a certain period of time and up to a certain amount of money. It’s sort of like having a blank check to buy your vehicle. You can always spend less than the amount for which you are pre-approved, but you can’t spend more, unless you want to make up the difference in cash or by trading in your current vehicle. If you do buy a vehicle for less than the amount for which you have been pre-approved you won’t get the difference back in cash; you’ll just get a smaller loan.

      Don’t have great credit? You may still be able to get pre-approved for a car loan with bad credit, but your interest rate will be higher. If you have no credit history, you can either ask someone to co-sign or consider a lender that will work with borrowers with no credit.

      Try to do all your car loan shopping within a 14-day period. That’s because some credit scoring models will penalize you if there are too many inquiries into your credit history. But none of them will do so if those inquiries are within a two-week window.

      Step Four: Choose Your Vehicle

      Once you are pre-approved, you can get serious about shopping for your vehicle. One of the good things about being pre-approved is that you can focus your efforts on negotiating the best deal for the car or truck you want to buy, rather than having to negotiate financing as well. Keep in mind, however, that your ability to negotiate could be limited. A lot of dealerships these days do not negotiate price on new or used cars.

      Dealers may be able to make a deal on financing, though, and could beat the terms you’ve been offered by a bank. Just be careful: The dealer may try to talk you into a longer loan that will reduce your monthly payment, but will cost you more in the long run.

      If you are going to buy a used car from a private party, make sure the loan you apply for covers that option. Also make sure you understand the restrictions on used car loans. You may not be able to buy a vehicle older than five years or with more than 75,000 miles, for example. And keep in mind the interest rate for these vehicle loans may be a little higher.

      Step Five: Finalize the Paperwork

      Once you’ve chosen your vehicle and negotiated the price, the auto dealer’s financing department will coordinate with the lender to finalize the sale. They will very likely try to get you to buy add-ons, such as an extended warranty, VIN etching, paint or fabric protection etc. Be sure to research these ahead of time so you don’t feel pressured into making an uninformed decision.

      If you buy a used car from a private party, your lender should walk you through the process of finalizing the sale.

      Step Six: Start Paying Your Car Loan

      After the sale is finalized, you will get information about the payment schedule for your loan. Most lenders will send a coupon book you can use for mailing in your payments, along with information on how to access your account online. Even if you plan to pay your loan by mail or at a local branch of your financial institution, it’s a good idea to sign up for the online service so you can check your balance and payments if you need to, and so you’ll be able to make payments online if you are traveling, for example.

      Almost every car loan allows you to prepay without a penalty, so if you decide to pay off your loan faster you can do that. Just be sure to check with your lender to make sure your additional payments are processed correctly.


      Apply For an Auto Loan Today: https://apps-bayridge.ns3web.com/NSLoan/loanapp/

      A Guide to Your First Loan

      Now is the time when many students are graduating college and trying to make their way in the real world. Part of becoming an adult is learning more about credit as this will become a necessary part of many's lives they purchase homes and cars. Learn how you, as a recent college graduate, can build your credit score and apply for your first loan. 


      For Young People:

      If you are a student, a student loan would offer you the lowest interest rate. These types of loans are repayable once you start working. When choosing a loan, student or not, it's important to consider how much you really need to borrow and how much you can actually afford to repay each month. Loaning more than you can pay off will add up quickly considering the added interest and charges for failing to meet the repayment plan. Try to get a loan with as low of an interest as possible, because a high interest means a longer time to repay the loan, which in turn costs you more.


      For People with Poor or No Credit:

      It's important to differentiate between poor credit and no credit. However, both are similar in that they make getting loans with the lowest possible interest rate a little more difficult. If you have no credit history to back you up, either because you have never taken out a loan or had a credit card, it may be hard for you to secure a loan. On the other hand, if you have poor credit, either from missing payments or from filing bankruptcy, it will be even more difficult. 

      In both scenarios, you will have options, but these options will be limited. You will have to choose from smaller loan amounts and higher interest rates. 


      For Young People to Improve their Credit

      There are numerous ways to improve your credit score. The first is to make sure you name is on the electoral roll. Second, be sure to give yourself a rest period between applying for credit from different places because apply for credit leaves behind a trail that can negatively affect you if you are rejected. 

      Lastly, the surest way to improve your credit, but perhaps the most difficult, is to keep on making payments on time and in full. Luckily, your credit score is NOT the only thing that credit providers use to determine whether you qualify for a loan. Your job, salary, and other assets are also considered in the process. 

      Apply for a personal loan today.