7 Money Saving Tips for Young Parents
For young people with families, it can seem impossible to get ahead in life. With careful planning, frugal spending and budget management, getting ahead is easier than one might think. Here are seven areas often overlooked as money-saving opportunities for young people.
1. Car Insurance
Unless you live in a big city with easily accessible public transportation, it's likely you need a car to get back and forth to your job. In 48 of the 50 states in the U.S., car owners are required to carry auto insurance. Auto insurance can be expensive, but the price difference between carriers can be drastic. Shop around for cheap auto insurance. You may be amazed at how much you aren't already saving.
2. Stop Renting and Start Building Equity
Most young people don't realize that a mortgage payment is actually lower than a rent payment. Many first time home buyers may also qualify for a low down payment on the purchase of a home through FHA loan programs. One of the biggest benefits of home ownership over renting is you build equity in your home with each mortgage payment you make. When you rent, every rent payment is gone forever. With equity, when your family is ready to upgrade to a bigger home, you may have a down payment that can get you into the home of your dreams.
3. Make an Effort to Conserve Energy
Your utility bills add up fast. There are many things you can do to help keep them lower. One of the biggest cost-saving tips is to make sure your home is well-insulated. This means checking windows and doors for cracks and applying weather stripping and caulking where needed. You can also get in the habit of making sure all electronics, including lights, fans and televisions are turned off when you leave a room. When the weather is warm, try hanging your clothes out to dry rather than running the dryer. Talk with your family about other habits you can adopt to save money on utilities.
4. Buy Gold and Silver
It can be tempting to spend extra money as it becomes available, but this is the quickest way to ensure you never get ahead in life. If you struggle to save money, try buying gold and silver. Once you've purchased either, they aren't as easy to spend as money stored in a savings account. Any time you or your significant other receives a bonus from work or gets a refund on your taxes, invest some of your extra money in gold or silver. The value of each will likely keep up with inflation and possibly even surpass it.
5. Maintain Your Current Automobile
Nothing eats into your extra funds more than a car payment. Have a goal to get your car paid off as quickly as possible and try not to get into a newer car unless it becomes absolutely necessary. Maintain the car you have now with regular oil changes and maintenance. The better care you take of your car, the longer it will last.
6. Be Wise With Your Credit Cards
Credit cards are a great tool for building credit, but they can become a path to trouble if the credit card holder spends more than they can pay back each month. Credit card interest rates are notoriously high, and getting in debt to a credit card company is a difficult hole to dig out of. Try to only spend as much as you can afford to pay off each month.
7. Be Good to Your Credit
Nothing is more important in getting ahead in life than your personal credit history. There will be plenty of times in life you'll be glad you paid your bills on time and completely. Good credit leads to low interest rates, and bad credit leads to outrageous interest rates. Life is more affordable for the person with good credit. Remember that, and spend wisely.