Among the many popular New Year’s resolutions is saving more money. Along with losing weight or becoming healthier, saving money for a vacation, a car, or even retirement is high on many people’s lists of goals for the New Year. For each and every one of us, there are three distinct areas that we can address directly to save more money.
We live in a time where we now have homes that have more bathrooms than people living in the homes. Many of our parents and grandparents lived in, and some still do, homes with square footage well below 1,000. They raised three, four, and five kids with one bathroom. They also spent a lot less to buy or rent a home. Currently, we spend 35 percent of our income on housing. Our parents and grandparents spent just over 20 percent.
If you want to save money, consider lowering your housing costs. While you may love your home and do not want to move, you may be able to save thousands of dollars per year by buying or renting a cheaper home. At the very least, consider refinancing and saving the difference between your new payment and the old one.
Guess what the average transaction is at a U.S. car dealership? It is over $32,000! We are buying cars, trucks, and SUVs that can tow boats when we only need the vehicle to get to and from work. Factor in the cost of fuel and anyone can see that this is an area where you can save. There are plenty of vehicles out there that average 30 and 35 miles per gallon that cost well below $20,000.
If you already own a vehicle that is paid off, consider using it to take out a car title loan and pay off some or all of your credit card debt. The average household has thousands of dollars in credit card debt. Use your vehicle to consolidate it and pay it off quicker. Doing so can save you thousands of dollars in the future.
If you have children, they should never attend a private school without most or all of the bill paid by scholarships and grants. There really is no need. You can receive a world-class education that costs less than $25,000 for all four years by going to community college for two years and transferring to an in-state institution for the final two years. This may not be the popular route, but if you plan on saving thousands of dollars and keeping your children debt-free this is the way to do so.
By making changes in one or all of these three areas, you can save a significant amount of money in the coming year.