What are some of your favorite spring cleaning rituals? With so much time at home because of the global coronavirus pandemic, houses may be cleaner than ever this year. But don’t stop at sweeping up the house! Cleaning up recurring payments can bring even more simplicity and savings to your life.
Since many bills are paid automatically, outdated recurring payments and service fees don’t necessarily stand out. Here’s how to find these opportunities to save time and money:
Scrub your subscriptions and recurring charges. In a world where everything seems to be packaged in a cute box, wrapped with a bow and sent to you as some sort of ongoing subscription, all of the latest automatic charges you’ve added throughout the year can easily add up to unexpected and expensive totals. Digital services are even easier to add on and forget, since there’s no tangible reminder to help you keep track. While most clients find that the majority of their subscription fees come from simply failing to cancel a service before a free trial period ends, they all add up and can pack a big financial punch.
One type of fee in particular that clients are noticing more frequently comes from apps on smart devices, which can be a real money pit. Sometimes apps require you to become a member and pay a monthly fee that seems small at the start. But these can add up significantly over months and years. Many apps also have in-app purchases that can lead to an unwelcome surprise at the end of the month, especially if you have kids or grandkids using your phone or iPad.
Sweep out old service agreements. Even if you’re looking over credit card bills regularly for fees and services you don’t recognize, it’s also important look at familiar vendors to make sure you’re still paying what you agreed to. Whether it’s your cable, cell phone, water delivery or home security bill, companies can be sneaky, finding ways to raise rates over time in small increments that don’t raise red flags. Know what you’re paying and know what else is out there that might help you pay less.
Shake out loans for lower rates. While you’re combing through monthly bills, parts of the economy are in a tailspin and many companies are slashing rates. Whether it’s on car loans, home loans or credit cards, getting a better deal may be as simple as making a phone call to ask. Taking advantage of lower rates to strategically decrease your monthly payments can make a huge financial impact in both the short- and long-term. Whether you look into refinancing an existing loan, or taking out an equity loan on something you already own to free up funds elsewhere, finding extra money is always helpful.
Hope these spring cleaning ideas have inspired you! And as always, if you need help deciding which moves are right for you, just reach out.