Some financial problems take a long time to solve. For people struggling with debt or bad spending patterns, the issue may take months or years to resolve. Savings and investment, budgeting and planning, these things all take time.
There are many personal finance blog posts about these topics, and they won’t be covered here.
What I want to talk about is a little different to what you normally read about, and that is three ways that a single hour’s work could save you hundreds of dollars each year.
Here we go:
- Tax Credits. City and State tax credits are available for all sorts of purposes. In Baltimore, MD, for instance, a City Tax credit can save a citizen hundreds of dollars per year on property tax. Different credits exist, depending on the region you live in. These credits are made available to help emphasize and cultivate certain aspects of the economy that different regions need work on. Take an hour and do a little research on tax credits in your city and state. Find one or two good contenders and apply. The application processes can usually be completed online. Once applied, they’ll usually kick in after a few weeks, and save you potentially hundreds of dollars a year or more. You’ll only know if you look, but the work it takes to take advantage of stuff like this is very minor.
- Check for Unknown Subscriptions and Payments. A big ongoing financial story for the UK is PPI. Payment protection insurance was sneaked into many loan applications around the country. People found themselves paying for insurance they didn’t want, that they didn’t know they signed up for. PPI claims started to come in as class action lawsuits were developed. There are many subtle little policies and subscriptions that cling on to people’s bank accounts. Take an hour and go over your bank statements from the last month, then call the bank about anything that’s unfamiliar. Any fallacious charges can be dealt with and any unfamiliar service payments can be uncovered.
- Check Your Credit Score and Report. Free annual credit reports are made available by the Federal government. You should check yours once a year. This way you can spot any negative marks or questionable items. These negatives bring down your score, which causes you to get worse deals on loans and other bad results. You can dispute or correct any negative mark, and this can be done fairly quickly. If you scrub your credit report, you’ll start saving money in a variety of ways, because creditors won’t charge you so much to borrow. With a higher score, you’ll be seen as a reliable borrower, and you’ll save money in the process. Checking your report, and disputing charges should take less than an hour.
There are other ways to save money by taking an hour’s time, but these are three of the easiest. So start investing in your immediate future. Set aside an hour and do these things today. You’ll be very happy that you decided to do so, and you’ll save a lot of money in the process.