7 Awesome Ways to Save Money This Year

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Saving money for a house, car, or vacation doesn’t have to mean depriving yourself. Having said that, it does mean taking thoughtful steps towards a better financial future.

So, where can you start?

Let’s take a look at seven amazing ways to save money this year.

Don’t Give More Money to Banks Than Required

According to research, approximately 20 percent of households with mortgages could have refinanced profitably but failed to do so. Since your mortgage is one of your largest expenses, you definitely want to make sure you’re not one of those 20%.

As interest rates are on the rise, time may be running out to save money. It’s important to take a few minutes now to make sure you’re not giving more money to a bank than necessary.

Improve Your Credit Score

If there’s one small thing you can do today that can save you thousands of dollars over your lifetime, it’s improving your credit score. Believe it or not, a good credit score is one of the easiest ways to save. According to research, the difference between having excellent and poor credit saves a typical male in his 30s nearly $300,000.

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Earn Free Gift Cards to Stores

There are actually ways that you can save money by watching entertaining videos and shopping online. The website and app Swagbucks allows you to earn free gift cards to stores like Amazon, Walmart, or cash through PayPal by doing basic things you’re probably already doing online or on your smartphone.

Earn Cash Back

There are many sites that will give you money just for signing up with them. For example, Ebates is a popular cash back shopping site that helps you make money.

Refinance Your Student Loans

If you have student loans, you do not want to overlook this option. Refinancing alone can save you thousands.

What exactly is refinancing?

When you refinance, you’re taking your existing student loan(s) and rolling them over into a new, single loan. The goal here is to obtain a lower interest rate then what you’re currently paying. This lower interest rate saves you money by either reducing the amount of time it takes to payoff the loan and/or lowering your monthly payment.

Get a New Credit Card

While this may sound counterintuitive, a new credit card can actually help you save money. One particular way is to use a credit card with a 0% balance transfer to help you get out of debt faster.

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With balance transfer cards, it’s important to know that it’s a strategy to help you eliminate debt, rather than to accumulate more for you.

Analyze your 401(k) Fees and Retire Richer

Most people think of their 401(k) as a place to save money — not actually a way to reduce their expenses. However, here’s something that may surprise you. According to one study, a typical American worker earning an average salary starting at age 25, will pay nearly $150,000 in 401(k) fees over their lifetime!

With employer-sponsored plans, there are two layers of fees: Account management fees and mutual fund fees.

Erik Gordon, CEO of ErGo Ventures LLC, a private equity and venture capital investment company, notes that fees can often be hidden. Having said that, Blooom (a free tool) can help you uncover hidden fees in your 401(k). If you haven’t heard of Blooom, they’re an SEC-registered investment advisory firm that can give you detailed review of your 401k in minutes.

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