The current economic climate is having a severe impact on the budgets of millions of Americans. Fortunately, there are proactive steps you can take to reduce waste and save money. Here are three simple steps to save money now.
Streamline Your Expenses to Save Money
One of the easiest ways to save money is by budgeting. Cutting unnecessary expenses like streaming services that you don’t use, dining out at restaurants, or needless shopping can save significant money in months.
Another option is to consider streamlining your expenses for essentials. If you spend heavily on groceries, for example, consider adding a credit card (like the Chase Freedom Unlimited) that earns enhanced cash back earning potential on groceries. Other cards, like the Platinum Card from American Express, provide statement credits that cover streaming costs.
Streamlining your spending so that your costs are offset by rewards, or subsidies just by being a cardmember, can free up budget space for other essential items.
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Reduce Your Credit Card’s Interest Rate
Most consumers fail to renegotiate their credit cards’ interest rates, even though their credit score has improved. The APR on your card is not set in stone. Rather, these are interest rates that are fully negotiable with your card issuer.
The APR you receive when a bank approves your credit card application is a gauge of your risk as a borrower. If you establish a lengthy period of on-time payments, however, the bank may consider lowering your rate – but only if you ask.
If your credit score is growing, why not consider contacting your card issuer and renegotiating your interest rate? This process makes even more sense if you typically carry a balance on your card yet always ensure you pay your balance on time. Renegotiating can save you hundreds of dollars a year in interest payments.
To request an interest rate reduction, call the number on the back of your card. Always be receptive and flexible when talking with the bank and state your case with clarity.
Related Article: How to Negotiate a Lower Credit Card Interest Rate
Consider A Balance Transfer
Balance transfers are an excellent way to reduce costs and save money. When a person conducts a balance transfer, they move the balance of one credit card to another card, often at a much lower interest rate.
Combining balances reduces the number of payments an individual must make each month. Not only that, but often the new payment benefits from a promotional APR period.
Many balance transfer credit cards come with a 0% intro APR offer on any balances moved over to the new card. These interest-free periods are an excellent way to consolidate debt and pay it off significantly over a period of 12, 15, or even 18 months without accruing interest charges.
Keep in mind that you must list any balances you plan to transfer on the card application. Any other transfers are also subject to bank approval. The bank might only permit a certain amount of balance to transfer to the new account.
Related Article: Should You Consider a Balance Transfer During COVID-19?
When budgets get tight, there are proactive steps you can take to relieve some of the pressure. Even a simple phone call to your credit card issuer can result in significant savings.
There are hundreds of ways to save money today, but the best ones are also the most basic. Keep an eye on your spending, identify what is not necessary, and find a way to eliminate those items. Additionally, make sure to see where you can streamline your spending to claw money back through rewards, cash back, and intro APR offers.
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