Times are tough at the moment – the cost of living is increasing, and it is getting harder to save. But does that mean that your dreams of your child going to college have to go up in smoke as well? Not if you are willing to look for ways to save on your day to day expenses.
But do start saving now – the average cost for a basic, in-state college is around $12 000 per annum. For an ivy-league school, you can quadruple that figure. Here are ways that you can start cutting back now.
Be Your Own Decorator
Pinterest and YouTube are great places to get design inspiration from, and great ways to learn the skills you need to decorate your home or home office on a budget. Learn how to do basic home maintenance tasks like basic plumbing and tiling yourself to save on contractor’s fees.
Do remember, though, that there are building codes that may need to be adhered to so you should get expert advice for these occasions. For example, you could change a light fitting, but it would be unwise for you to rewire your own house if you are not a qualified electrician.
Jailbreak Your Amazon Fire Stick
Installing a VPN on Fire TV will enable you to stream movies and TV series for free using a program like Kodi on your Fire Stick without giving away your IP address. This can save a lot on movie rentals and streaming costs.
Brown Bag Your Lunches
This is probably advice that you have heard before a good few times. It doesn’t change the fact that it is good advice. Brown bagging lunches for the whole family can save a bundle of money and help to ensure that everyone eats correctly.
Use leftovers from the food the night before if there are any to reduce food waste.
Make Double When Cooking
This seems like strange advice initially, but it could save you a lot in terms of takeout. If you make double the normal quantity when cooking, and freeze the extra, you have another meal ready and prepared. That way, the next time you don’t feel like cooking, there is food in the freezer already.
Do an Annual Financial Review
Check to see what insurance rates you are paying and see where you can get a better deal. You would be surprised at how cut-throat the insurance industry can be. This will also help to ensure that you are not under- or over-insured. Do the same with banking charges and other monthly expenses.
Work On Your Credit Rating
Improving your credit rating means that you could qualify for better interest rates when it comes to financing. During your annual review, be sure to check your FICO score. If your credit rating has improved, see whether or not you can qualify for a better deal on your credit card interest.
This is not going to affect standing agreements, but it can make a big difference to future ones. It makes sense to work on this aspect – borrowing money always costs you a lot more than an investment will bring in so minimize your costs in this respect.
You can also increase the benefits by paying down interest-bearing accounts as quickly as you can. There is no rule that says that you cannot pay extra money into your mortgage and the savings in interest can be substantial.
At the end of the day, developing an overall savings mindset will be of a much bigger benefit than just helping you save your child’s college money. Doing things a little more frugally now means that you and your family will enjoy financial security for many years to come.