Most consumers know about shopping for a lower price on certain products, such as clothing. Some buyers miss the opportunity to find lower prices for mortgages, utilities and insurance policies. Use these tips to find lower prices for these expenditures:
Balancing quality and price
All consumers face a balancing act between quality and price. It’s worth stating that it may be worth it to pay more for certain products. If the high quality product will last longer, that may justify paying more. Many car companies sell cars based on this premise.
Whether you’re buying a pair of shoes or looking for a mortgage, it’s important to understand the product. For example, if demand for the product is seasonal, you’ll probably pay less if you buy out of season. You’ll pay less for a swimsuit in February than in June.
When regulations are removed from a product or service, it’s likely that more companies will enter the field. Phone and utility companies are good examples. Texas has deregulated most of its utility services and, as a result, consumers are able to select from a varied list of utility companies.
The phone industry was deregulated in 1982. At that time, AT&T was split into several individual phone companies. In recent years, phone companies have partnered with tech firms that manufacture cell phones.
Competition in the cell phone industry allows consumers to compare costs between firms. More choices for cell phone buyers have lowered prices for phones and cell phone usage.
Insurance coverage and costs
All consumers should take a careful look at insurance coverage. Your cost of insurance can vary greatly, depending on the type of coverage you select.
Some people choose high deductible insurance policies. These policies charge a lower monthly premium than standard policies. However, if you have a claim, your out-of-pocket costs (deductible amount) will be much higher. A policy with a $500 maximum annual deductible will have a higher premium cost than a $2,000 deductible policy.
Many consumers also consider umbrella policies. This policy provides coverage for a variety of insurance risks over and above the dollar amount of other policies you have. Say, for example, that you auto insurance has a $100,000 maximum payment for medical expenses if someone is injured in an accident. An umbrella policy can provide coverage over the $100,000 amount. You’re certainly paying more for insurance- but the additional coverage is critical.
Saving on your home mortgage
If the home seller has a mortgage with a low interest rate, you might consider taking over their mortgage. If the existing interest rate is lower than what your bank can offer, you’ll save on interest costs over the long-term.
It’s always a good idea to pay down the principal amount of your mortgage as soon as possible. A lower principal amount means less interest cost over the life of the loan. Even a small extra payment toward your mortgage each month can dramatically lower your interest costs.
If you’re looking for additional areas to save money in your personal budget, consider these choices. Small decision can make a big difference in your monthly cash flow.