Everybody loves a good hack, especially one that brings in real, tangible benefits. Also known as money hacks, these clever, legal but often little-known methods, all aim to thicken your wallet. For example, if you improve your credit score, you’ll be able to borrow more money when you need to or buy a bigger house. If you shop wisely online, you can grab serious savings on things like life insurance, new cars, and student loans. Or find a local financial expert who offers free consultations in order to get organized and on the right trajectory. Here’s a look at the best money hacks for 2020. Each one has the potential to improve your bottom line.
Improve Your Credit Score
You can bump your score up by about 50 points in less than six months just by reducing the amount of credit you use. If you have one or more cards, try paying down the balances as much as possible as quickly as possible. Then, don’t use the cards at all for a few months. Your numbers will look better and it only takes a few months to see real results. With free credit reports being offered annually, as well as scores listed on monthly credit card statements, the need for improvement is much less of a surprise.
Shop Around for Low Insurance Rates
To quote a very popular television commercial, “Are you paying too much for car insurance?” It’s a great question because most adults over-pay for car, home, life, and medical coverage. The easiest bargains to find, however, are in the life insurance category. What you can do is gather all your pertinent data and shop for life policies online. Visit the websites of the 20 top-rated carriers and fill out each one of their questionnaires. Don’t worry, each one only takes a few minutes. Wait for each company to email a rate quote and compare offers. Don’t jump for the lowest price unless it’s from a top-rated company.
Take Out a Loan to Finance Educational Goals
Taking out a student loan is the smartest way to pay for a higher education because you don’t have to repay until after graduation, rates are typically favorable, and you build up your credit history at the same time. Compared to other methods for funding college, student loans make sense. Not only are loans widely available but they’re often the only way for some students to attend the university of their choice.
Use a Broker to Purchase a Car
For a fee that is usually in the $500 range, you can hire a car-buying agent who will locate the exact vehicle you want, help you get factory and dealer discounts, do all the haggling for you and generally make a really horrible process pleasant. In most every case, you’ll save much more than the amount of the fee.
Book a Free Session with a Financial Planner
Even the best financial planners offer 30-minute consultations for no charge. Take advantage of this situation and find someone who can give you a few pointers on your budget, savings strategy and investment goals.