6 Tips To Saving Money

A recent survey by BankRate uncovered that roughly half of Americans are saving 5% or less of their incomes, including 18% that are not saving anything at all. In fact, only about a quarter of people are saving more than 10% of their earnings.

Another study by NeighborWorks America paints a more dire picture. They found that roughly a third of American adults don't have any emergency savings. That equate to about 72 million people with no financial cushion to fall back on if something unforeseen were to happen.

Everyone knows they should save money, yet often struggle to find ways to do so. We have compiled 6 easy tips that will help you save These are some simple ways to save money, that don't take too much time or effort, and can help you get ahead rather quickly.

Refinance Your Home Loan

Refinancing your home loan can save you quite a lot of money, in some cases. But even if the monthly savings are not substantial, those small gains add up to a lot over the length of a typical home loan. Every few years, you should contact your financial institution to check on current interest rates they can offer you to see if there are savings available to you.

Refinance Your Car Loan

While many people have heard of refinancing a home loan, many don't realize you can refinance your car loan as well. Things like changing interest rates in the market can allow you to decrease the monthly car payment you owe.

The process for refinancing your car is easy and painless, and provides you with two big benefits. One, it may reduce your monthly payment, and it also may lower the overall cost of your car. Over the course of your car loan, it can potentially save you over a thousand dollars.

Example of Money Saved by Refinancing a Car Loan
Let's say you are two years into a six-year auto loan for a $35,000 car. If the original loan was financed at 8.5%, you would end up paying around $622 a month. If you refinance that down to 5.5%, you would save $35 per month, or $1,600 over the remaining length of the loan. (The actual dollar amounts vary based on current interest rates, credit score, etc., but it's clear how refinancing can save you big.

Consolidate your Credit Card Debt

Paying off any credit card balance every month is a wise move, but millions of Americans carry credit card debt. According to the Federal Reserve, the average household now owes $7,281 in credit card debt. With the high interest rates levied by credit card companies, it can be hard to reduce that amount in a meaningful way.

Consolidating your credit card debt into a line of credit can greatly reduce the interest rate. It can lower your overall monthly payments and help you pay off the debt much faster.

If you have three credit cards that are charging 13% (or higher) interest on your balance, you can consulate that debt into a single line of credit with an interest rate as low at 5%. It lowers your overall monthly payment and has a positive effect on your credit score.

Loose Change Adds Up

We have all tossed our spare change on our nightstand, or in that extra pocket in our purse. Everyone once in awhile we gather all that change up, only to be a bit surprised at how much money is actually there.

Many financial institutions offer ways to do this automatically for you. BMI FCU offers a Change Jar program, which takes the spare change from each debit card transaction and automatically moves it to a special high-yield savings account. Each day you'll hardly notice, but over time it will build up into a healthy savings for you.

Join a Federal Credit Union

Federal credit union members become part owners, so you get the benefit of earnings instead of earnings going to stockholders. This shows itself in reduced fees and better rates on home and car loans, and other fees.
Learn more here: Credit Union versus a Bank: What's the Difference?

Seek Expert Advice

It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the bills you have to pay each month and feel at a loss for how to move forward. Talking to a Certified Financial Counselor can help you chart a clear path forward. A Certified Financial Counselor can look at your specific situation and provide advice for how to pay down debt and how to save money.