If you’d like to get in the zone and start saving for a down payment there are some easy ways to cut your monthly bills.
#1. Lower credit card payments with a balance transfer.
Too many credit cards can affect your credit score and if they are all maxed, it can negatively affect your interest rate. If you have a balance on a credit card with a high-interest rate you could dramatically decrease the minimum payment each month by taking advantage of the 0% balance transfer offer on a new credit card. However, remember, every time you apply for credit it could negatively affect your credit history and your score so choose carefully and speak to your lender on the best way to go about doing this. You’ll need a credit score of at least 680 to qualify for balance transfer offers.
#2. Eliminate your landline.
You may have already done this but like a lot of people nowadays, the cell phone is the only communication you’ll need. You may be spending as high as $50 a month just to have a landline, which you hardly ever use. Today, many security systems, medical devices and the Internet can be routed through a cell phone or a wireless system. Talk to your provider about options.
[Read more: Homebuyers money checklist]
#3. Decrease the amount you pay for television.
Today, there are so many different options for TV including Hulu, less than $15 per month, Netflix, Vudu, Amazon and other options that allow you to watch your favorite shows without paying a large monthly fee for cable or dish TV. Figure out the shows that you watch and if they are available on a cheaper network.
#4. Lower your electricity bill with a programmable thermostat.
You can reduce your bill by getting a programmable thermostat that automatically adjusts the temperature in your house when you’re away. This can actually save up to $200 a year. You can also unplug energy suckers such as cable TVs, DVD players, coffee makers and microwave ovens when not in use.
#5. Stop overpaying on your taxes.
If you got a large tax return it means that you’re letting the government withhold too much from your paycheck every month. Even though it’s nice to get that check every spring, you have more spending money each month if you adjusted your tax withholding so that you’re not overpaying the IRS. Speak to your tax advisor about the best way to claim dependence on your W-2.
These are just some simple ways you can save on your monthly bills in order to put that money aside towards a down payment. If you have more questions or you would like additional tips, feel free to give me a call at any time and let’s talk about your options and your current financial situation.