Since Earth Day is this Sunday, April 22, 2012 it seemed like a perfect time to write about the ways we can help Mother Earth while saving money in the process. When people thinking about going green they often think about how it is too inconvenient and how it will drastically change their lifestyle. This doesn’t have to be the case. There are many ways you can help the environment without making any major changes and you may even save a buck or two.
- Bottle your own water – In 2009, Americans spent $9 billion dollars on bottled water. If you spent $15 a week on water that adds up to $780 a year for something you can get for free. There are many different types of containers, even ones with built-in filters, which can reflect your own personal style.
- Brew your own coffee – Coffee can be a huge budget buster for most people. If you only drink 1 cup per day 7 days a week at a cost of $3 a cup that’s $1092/year. Realistically the fancy coffee drinks at Starbucks cost a whole lot more. By brewing it at home or in the office you can save money, reduce the amount of coffee cups you use and sport some fancy travel mug.
- Borrow a book or go electronic –If you spend a lot of money on books each week you may want to consider going to the library instead. You not only save money, you reduce waste and you don’t have all those books hanging around. E-books will save you a little money compared to their paper counterparts plus they reduce paper and don’t take up space. Many magazines have electronic editions. If you need to buy books, try used. It’s better for the environment and it gives the book a new life. Also sharing magazines and books with friends is another money saving idea.
- Buy antique or vintage –Instead of furnishing your home with disposable furniture made from particle board that will eventually fall apart, buy used. Many antique or vintage items are back in style, are better quality and will last longer.
- Reuse, repurpose and recycle –By repurposing items, donating them or selling them you give the items a new life and protect the environment. Plus you save/make money in the process. One example, repurposing an old spice rack with jars to store screws, hooks, nuts or bolts you save money on buying an organizer plus you can easily find the items. Try sites like thredup, eBay and Craigslist for used clothing, toys, furniture, books and more.
- Use grocery bags as trash liners –Reduce your environmental footprint, save money and keep your trash can clean.
- Regular vehicle maintenance –It extends the life of your car, extends the tires and improves your gas mileage when you keep your vehicle in tip-top shape. So it saves you money and your carbon footprint.
- Avoid vending machines –A huge budget/gut buster is vending machines. Instead buy your favorite snacks in bulk and store them in an airtight reusable container. You save money and waste.
- Dine in–Eating out can be costly. Instead get out your favorite dishes and eat with family or friends. Talk, laugh, play games and have fun without spending money or wasting resources.
- Go paperless –Online bill pay is convenient as well as easy. You can even send yourself reminders or have payments taking out automatically. It also helps you save money by avoiding late fees and stamp. Plus it reduces the amount of paper being used.
Some other ways people go green are by using recycled building materials for their home improvement projects as well as buying energy efficient appliances. Some people will buy a more environmentally friendly mode of transportation, upgrade their HVAC systems or move closer to work. If you're looking for ways to finance some of your green endeavors, your future payments might be the answer. To get a free market evaluation, please call Rescue Capital 866.688.3532.
Many Americans have been experiencing hard times thanks to our economy. Sometimes, things we once took for granted such as having a new car or a nice home, are considered luxuries that are out of reach. So what can you do if you can’t afford your car payments?
Refinance – Sometimes refinancing your car loan may lower you payments to where they’re affordable. Sometimes even with refinancing the payments are still too high. It helps if you can put a little money down.
Sell it – Look at online pricing guides to determine your cars value if you were to sell it privately. Make sure you clean it and wax it to maximize its worth.
Lease transfer – If your car is leased it will be expensive as well as difficult to get out of the contract. However there is one way that won’t affect your credit score and is significantly cheaper than early termination. You can transfer the lease to another person through the use of a third party agency.
Sell used items – Many times there are items in your home that you’re not using that you can sell on websites like eBay, Craigslist or Amazon for cash you can use to make your payments or pay down your loan.
Sell illiquid assets – If you have a single premium annuity, structured settlement annuity or other periodic payments you can sell some of your future payments for a cash lump sum. Use the money to pay off your car as well as other high interest debt. There are no credit checks and since it isn’t a loan you won’t have to pay the money back.
Paying off your car loan not only helps you with your creditors, it saves you money. For example, if you financed $18,000 for 60 months at 9.5% interest your payments are $378/month. At the end of the loan you would have paid $4,682 in interest so your $18,000 car actually costs $22,682. If you decided after a year to pay off your balance in full ($15, 047) you will save yourself $2,979 in interest.
If you're having trouble paying for your car and you also have credit card debt, it makes sense to pay that debt off immediately. For example, if you had $18,000 in credit card debt and the annual percentage rate was 19.8% interest; your minimum payment is $360. If you only paid the minimum, it would take you 8 years and 9 months to pay it off and you paid $20,342.04 in interest. By paying $1,800 a month you will have your balance paid off in 1 year and you will only pay $1,833.78 in interest thereby saving you $18,508.26 in interest. Obviously if you paid off your debt completely, you would save thousands in interest.
If you’re looking for a way to get rid of your debt, avoid repossession, avoid foreclosure or purchase a car without payments selling some of your future payments to Rescue Capital for a cash lump sum may be your best option. To learn more about our program and how we can help you, call 866.688.3532.