REDUCE YOUR COST OF EVERYDAY LIVING
Any way you can shave a few hundred dollars off your living expenses to put towards your housing costs? Consider these discount strategies that won’t necessarily cramp your style:
- Buy store-brand products from the grocery store and drug store, which can save you up to 50% on everyday goods.
- Save gas by driving slower (up to 20% savings in fuel costs), consolidating errands with family members to conserve gas and parking away from the sunlight, since a hot car can evaporate gas.
- If you haven’t been late on your Visa (V) or MasterCard (MA) payments, call up your credit card company and ask for a reduced APR, mentioning all the competitive offers you’ve been receiving in the mail. Less interest means less expensive debt.
Rather than foreclose on the home, some worried borrowers have been calling up brokers to initiate what’s called a “short sale,” which is when the broker tries to sell the house at a reduced price, to either just break even with the mortgage or, in some cases, sell the home at a loss. The bank may grumble, but it’s better than having the property sit on the bank’s hands for months and months following a foreclosure. “From a seller’s standpoint it’s definitely advantageous. [A short sale] is not a foreclosure. It’s just a delinquency,” says Staci Treloggen, a realtor with Prudential California.
Catch more of Farnoosh’s advice on Real Simple. Real Life. on TLC, Friday nights at 8 p.m.