Three things you can do today to save money

If you’re like most American families, you are always on the lookout for a deal or ways you can save money.  Today I’d like to share three quick an easy ways you can save some of your hard-earned money.

1) Appeal your property tax assessment:property-tax

Last week I received my new assessed value for my home.  The value of my home for property tax purposes was increased by 23%!!! You can imagine the sticker shock I felt as I reviewed that bill.  In a perfect world if I were to sell my house today, MAYBE I would get what the county assessors have declared, but it’s doubtful. So, I could accept what Cook County says about the value of my home or I can take a couple of minutes and do some research to find homes in my neighborhood that have recently sold for less than what the County is saying my home is worth.  If you are time strapped there are companies who will do the 10 minutes of work for you.  If you live in Cook County like I do, the times vary to file your appeal. Click here to see your appeal timeline. I’m sorry Schaumburg Township, it appears your time has already passed. The rest of you, your time is running out. So, get busy.  Here is a link to the property search on the cook county assessor’s website.

2)  Refinance Your Home:

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With interest rates still hovering at record lows, you could refinance your home to take advantage of cheaper borrowing costs. Last year, I took the time to refinance my home from a 30 year mortgage down to a 15 year mortgage. I’m not saving money right away.  As a matter of fact, I’m paying about $150 more per month than I was on my 30 year mortgage. That small increase on today’s mortgage is going to save me approximately, $175,000 in interest I would have paid the bank. Refinancing to a 15 year mortgage is not the only option you have.  You can use 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 year options to refinance your home at the best rate possible and term for your situation.  It is important to talk to a qualified professional before refinancing. A contact I’ve come to trust over the years is Bianca Stone with Guaranteed Rate mortgage. High Five Financial does not receive compensation of any kind from Bianca Stone or Guaranteed Rate Mortgage company. However, I do know her to be a trustworthy person. There are other professionals you can speak with as well. If you would like more names, please contact me.

3)  Start a systematic savings program

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This tip is literally “Saving” money.  Many people receive their work paycheck, they saved something to their 401k and then they spend the rest of their money on bills, living and luxury. Saving money into your 401k or retirement plan is a great thing. And, it’s not the only place you need to save. There are many places you can save outside of your 401k like savings accounts, money markets, and mutual funds. Contact us to learn more. The trick to having a good savings program is deciding in advance what you would like to save from paycheck to paycheck.  Sometimes $50 is all you can afford.  Other times you can save an entire paycheck.  Obviously the more money you choose to save the better off you’ll be. However, every little bit you are able to sock away will make your financial situation that much better. Many companies make it very easy for you to set up a systematic savings program. Somes companies don’t make it easy as it’s not their primary business objective. Find the person and company you are comfortable working with to help you achieve your savings goals.

There you have it. Three quick and easy ways you can save money today. I hope you found this helpful.  If you would like to receive more tips, sign up for our blog. If you have a question about a financial issue, contact me at 847-628-9777.

Many Blessings,

Jose Cuevas
President & CEO
High Five Financial

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