The following is a guest post.
You would be surprised with what you can accomplish in as little as fifteen minutes. Most people don’t think about taking a few minutes out of the day to get better rates and avoid costly fees, but the truth is that this is all it takes to potentially save yourself thousands of dollars.
Get rid of those expensive airline credit cards with high annual fees. Although air mile rewards seem like a good incentive, the annual fees for airline-specific cards can be as high as $95. Take a few minutes to do a cost benefit analysis of the benefits you are receiving from that card, and figure out if the annual fee is worth it.
Credit cards that aren’t airline-specific may not only come without fees, but most also give you a wide variety of airline provider choices when cashing in your rewards. This might be a better option for you, but it’s important that you run the numbers for your specific situation.
Even if you don’t have a rewards card, you can always lower your interest rate. In most cases, this requires a good credit score. The higher the better and a little comparison shopping to find credit cards with the best rates. Switching from a card with higher interest could end up saving you $350 annually in interest alone if you carry a balance on your card (which we all know you shouldn’t do, right!?).
Keep an eye on your checking account daily. Technology has allowed you to do this much easier by going to the bank’s website or simply calling their customer service number. Going over your checking account every day will help you avoid bounced checks and overdraft fees.
If you have a history of overdraft fees, see which savings accounts can be linked to your checking as overdraft protection. There may be a fee involved whenever money is automatically transferred from saving accounts to overdrawn checking accounts, but it is always less than an overdraft fee.
Set up banking alerts for when your checking account balance gets low or you are charged an unexpected fee. Signing up for alerts takes about five minutes and can be done online or over the phone.
Around the Home
There are plenty of changes you can make around the house that will help contribute to your savings accounts. Switch to more energy-efficient lighting like compact fluorescent light bulbs, and be sure to use natural light during the daytime to cut down on the electric bill.
Change your showerhead to a brand that saves more water. Depending on where you live, you may even be able to get a discount with your water utility company just for switching.
Upgrade those surge protectors, thermostats and cell phone plans, so you can maximize your savings. Get rid of your landline if you’re not using it and clean up your e-mail inbox, so tempting deals don’t find themselves staring you in the face every morning.
Consider all areas of your life that are costing you money, no matter how small the amount and find ways to cut them. Your savings accounts will thank you for it.