Tuesday, January 30, 2007

7 Savvy Tips For Saving Money On Your Insurance

Take a few moments the next time your insurance bill arrives to look it over. The Insurance Information Institute suggests taking a look at your bill and call around for comparisons. It may take a little time, but you could save big. The average family’s car and home insurance totals over $2000.00. If you could save just15%, that equates to $300 a year. Here are a few other ideas for saving some bucks on insurance:

1. Raise your deductible. Typically, insurance companies start their deductibles at $250. If you raise your deductible to $500 you would save 12%, $1,000 you would save 24%, and a deductible of $5,000 would save you 37%.

2. Purchasing your car insurance and home insurance from the same insurer will typically save you 5% to 15%.

3. Take measures to increase your security. Add dead-bolt locks, burglar alarms and fire alarms.

4. Did you know that smoking account for more than 23,000 residential fires a year? STOP SMOKING!! Some companies offer a lower premium to non smokers.

5. Find a good company and stay with them. Some companies offer discounts to policy holder that have been with them for several years. As little as six years may get you a 10% deduction.

6. At least once a year review your policy limits to the value of your possessions. Make sure any new major purchases are covered.

7. Insure your house, not your land. The land that your house sits on is not at risk for fire, wind, theft or other perils that your homeowner’s policy covers so don’t include its value in deciding how much insurance to buy.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Five Tips to Help You Cut Your Credit Card Debt

Is your credit card debt consuming your life? Is there any hope of crawling out from under the heavy burden of plastic? If you are up to your gluteus in maximum credit card payment, there is hope. It is in the credit card companies to work with you on your payments. After all, they would rather see you make some payment versus no payment.
Here are a few tips to help you get a handle on you debt:

1. Make a budget and stick with it! Know what your monthly expenses really are. Don’t forget to include the cost of items that may be billed quarterly or yearly like car insurance, or life insurance. Know what these things cost you and set that money aside in an interest bearing
account until you need to pay that bill. And, NO dipping into the account for frivolous items!!

2. STOP using your credit cards. Take them out of your purse/wallet and cut them up!! Learn to live within your means. Set aside a certain amount of cash from each pay check to use as “disposable” cash. When that cash is gone, your done spending! Don’t buy things that you don’t need.

3. Contact your creditor and let them know that you are having a rough time making your payments and that you sincerely want to make an effort to keep current on your payments. Ask for a lower interest rate. Be firm in your request, it is within their power to lower your interest.

4. Make extra payment on your credit cards each month. Even a small amount will go a long way in cutting interest and years of off your bills. The same goes for your house payments, every little bit will help.

5. Live within your means! Cut out some of the “special” things you blow money on each month. Do you really need a weekly pedicure? How about that 700 calorie latte in the mornings? Instead of dinner at Morton every week, try Village Inn. Take the money that you have saved and make an extra payment on your credit cards!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Debt Consolidation, Take control of your spending

This is it folks! The year 2007 is the year to take control or your spending, get your financial ducks in a row and stop living pay check to pay check.

Sounds like a great idea! How are you going to dig yourself out of that olympic size hole you have dug for yourself? Debt consolidation may be the first step in reaching for that life preserver. What are the alternatives? Bankruptcy ? (Bankruptcy will remain on your credit history for 10 to 13 years.) Continue paying the credit card companies 21% interest for the rest of your life? Winning the lotto?

If you have been treading water in an olympic size pool of charge cards and debt for years, it will take some planning and determination and probably a change of life style. Debt Consolidation might be the life preserver that will help you get a grip on your finances.

Many companies offer debt consolidation loans. To find one that you will feel comfortable working with, do a little research. Call several companies and ask to speak with the loan offices. Ask them what commissions they charge, what are the fees involved and what will the interest rate be. Let them know that you are shopping around and that you will be giving your business to the company that offers the best deal.
Remember, you are making a change to “take charge” of your finances. Don’t be bullied into signing with the first company that you call. There are many to choose from, find one that you are comfortable with and one that treats you with respect.

Now………..make that call, take the first step in climbing out of the ‘hole’!