There are only two ways to increase your net finances, saving money and making money. I want to give you a few simple tips on both fronts. Now, you may have to adapt your thinking some, as getting ahead means that you have to do things differently than the people around you. You have to learn that a big part of saving money is not finding deals, it is negotiation. You see we have been conditioned in America to accept the price that has been offered by the companies we want to do business with. But in many cases, if you would apply a little negotiation, you would be amazed at the discounted merchandise you can purchase. With that in mind, let’s look at some of these personal finance tips:
- Doctor’s Bills
If you don’t know, I used to work for a hospital. While I was there I learned that the yearly collection rate of that hospital was somewhere around 46-48 cents on the dollar. That means that the hospital got a little less than 50% on average for every single bill that was sent out. This is the trend in the health care industry. So what does that mean for you? Basically, it means that you can negotiate with your doctor(s) to drop the price of your care. You don’t have to be bullish about it, just simply call them and ask them to lower their prices for you. Tell them you know the average collection rate, and you are convinced that another doctor would discount their prices if he didn’t want to.
- Buy Used Cars, not New Ones
I have preached this before, but it is a fact that new cars depreciate some 25-30% in their first year. So instead of looking at a brand new Acura Integra (I drive an older one of these by the way, and they are great cars), get you a 5 or 10 year Honda Civic, or something like that. Honda and Toyota are some of the most reliable cars on the road these, and with increasing gas prices, their high gas mileage comes in handy.
- Donate to Charity
This one is close to my heart. I believe in donating to the local church, and supporting foreign missionaries through the local church as well. But not only does it bring a benefit to other people, you are also able to take 100% of the donations as a tax deduction. Now, most people know this, but I will throw in a little twist. If you own stock, you can donate that to the church or other organization. This way, you avoid the taxes paid on any earnings the stock may have gained, and you get to take the full stock price as your deduction.
- Negotiate with Creditors
Many credit card companies have ridiculous fees like annual fees, minimum finance charges, etc. If you negotiate with them, often you can relieve these fees. I had a credit card once that I didn’t think had an annual fee, but they tried to charge it. When I saw it on my bill, I called them, talked to them about it, and they removed the fee. You can negotiate.
- Buy an Automatic Thermostat
There are too many things to worry about these days. Try to put some of this stuff on autopilot. With a programmable thermostat, you can set the temperatures during the day and at night to dramatically lower the costs of heating and cooling. With these units only costing $100-150, it is a very smart decision. One of these units could pay for itself in a matter of a couple of months.