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Would you like to outsmart the financial traps of debt and spending this year? Inflation is already taking a toll on consumers’ budgets, but there are a few easy hacks for minimizing financial damage and saving a few dollars in the process. Consider the following ideas for getting the most out of coupon apps, budgeting strategies, personal loans, and more.
Leverage the Power of a Personal Loan
Taking out a personal loan to pay off high interest credit cards, charge accounts, and lingering balances on medical bills. The beauty of personal loans is that you can negotiate favorable rates and terms by working with a reputable lender. What do people do with the proceeds? Most use the cash to retire high-expense credit cards, pay off car loans, cover educational expenses, pay to advertise their side businesses, take trips, take advantage of deals on real estate, and much more.
Kill Off High-Interest Plastic
There’s nothing wrong with credit cards, provided you use them wisely, pay off all balances as quickly as possible, and only sign up for cards that offer competitive interest rates. Shop around for deals. If you need to bolster your scores, use a secured card for six months and then switch to a low-interest version with a modest spending limit.
Work on Your Credit Scores
Getting credit scores in shape can make a difference in your future costs of credit. There are three quick hacks that have the potential to deliver excellent results in this category. One, order your annual free report from each of the major bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Use an online resource to decipher the reports’ language to understand where you stand.
Next, correct every error you discover by sending accurate information directly to the bureau in question. Mistakes are more common than most people think. After dealing with that phase of the process, examine all your negative factors. Contact creditors to see if you can get past negatives removed. Bring all late payments up to date and start paying every monthly obligation a few days in advance.
Learn the Fine Art of Using Coupon Apps
There are now more than 10 major coupon apps that consumers can use to score consistent savings on groceries, household goods, personal services, and more. The trick for getting the most out of the apps is to explore them all and see which ones deliver the biggest savings at the places you already shop. Some are geared toward high-end specialty stores, while others target big-box outlets or grocery chains. It takes most people a few weeks to learn how to use all the functions, but the effort is worth the time investment.
Once you find one or two platforms that suit your needs, sign up as a regular member. There are no fees, but the sites ask for a limited amount of personal information. Download the files to your phone and follow the instructions. Most operate by giving you discounts right at the checkout lane. A few require you to photograph receipts and transmit them to the provider to get cash back or a credit on future purchases. An average family of three can reduce their monthly grocery and household goods spending between 5% and 10% through careful, consistent use of the top coupon apps.
Plug Budget Leaks
Everyone has a unique lifestyle, but most working adults share a few very common budget leaks. These are small, nearly invisible ways of spending money. Common culprits in the category include things like purchases at convenience stores and service stations, unplanned beverage stops at the local coffee shop, and impulse items not on grocery lists. There are multiple kinds of leaks, and not all of them are small. If you drink alcohol, it’s nothing to rack up a large tab at your favorite watering hole. Take one month to do an in-depth analysis of your spending habits, being careful to note every penny spent on anything. When the period is finished, highlight the leaks, and make a plan to eliminate them.
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