Reduce Home Ownership Cost!

How Can You Reduce Your Home Ownership Cost?

Reduce Home Ownership Cost!
Reduce Home Ownership Cost!

Owning a home is rewarding but it can also be costly at times. You have to be able to keep up with air conditioner repairs, appliances breaking down, and pipes that can sometimes burst. The Bureau of Labor Statistic reported that an average homeowner paid $4,808 in mortgage principal and interest in 2013.

The good news is that home ownership costs aren’t fixed and we have a few tips that might help you.

  1. Buy a Smart Thermostat

    In Florida AC is not a luxury, is a necessity. Sometimes it gets so warm outside it is easy to feel discomfort when all you think of is cooling off. In order to help you reduce your AC cost, try a smart thermostat. It can adjust to your household routines, temperature preferences, external weather conditions, and can even track your location.

    Why is this useful? 
    With a thermostat this sophisticated you can divide your days into blocks and set desire temperatures for each. For example, you can adjust your settings to a higher temperature while you’re at work and lower them when you return from work automatically. A smart thermostat can trim cooling cost by 15%.

 

  1. Switch to low flow fixtures

    Although water is not as expensive as electricity, saving water can save you money. Low-flow faucets reduce tap water usage by up to 30%. Low-flow toilets can save a family of four around $110 a year depending on home size.

 

  1. Insulate Hot Water Pipes

    According to the Department of Energy, insulating your hot water pipes can reduce your electricity or gas bill by $12 annually. Insulating your hot water pipes is inexpensive—especially if you have duct tape at home.

 

  1. Unplug Idle Electronics

    Every time you leave your TV, cable boxes, computers and other small electronics plugged you drain power and drive up your electricity bill. There are devices that can help you power off devices without having to unplug them. Such as the Bits Energy Smart Strip, this can cost up to $40 and help you reduce your light bill on a monthly basis.

These tips will not save you thousands of dollars in home ownership cost. However, it can save you a few hundreds and every little bit helps.


pay off your high debt

How Can You Pay Off Your High Debt?

pay off your high debt
A Balance Transfer can help you pay off your high credit card debt

High debt can make you feel stressed, worried, and a little discouraged. Just remember, where there is a will, there is a way to pay. One of our goals as a credit union is to help you become financially stable. Take a deep breath, create a timeline and think how you can reduce your spending.

Then use some of the following tips as a guidance to help you pay off your high debt.

  1. Get rid of high rate credit cards first
    What does this mean?
    Your credit card interest rate vary between financial institutions. Allowing your spending to increase unconsciously. For example let’s pretend you spend $450 in credit card A with a 29.99% interest rate; and you spend $475 with a 12% interest rate in credit card B. In time, the $450 spent in credit card A may become more expensive due to its higher interest rate. You must avoid falling into this trick.
    First, go over all your credit card statements and create a list starting with your highest interest cards and ending with your lowest. By increasing the payment on your highest interest cards you are saving money and avoiding high interest charges.
    TIP: Remember to continue paying the minimum amount due on the rest of your credit cards.

 

  1. Take advantage of Balance Transfer Promotions.
    If you have high interest rates on another credit cards think about moving your debt to your BrightStar Credit Card—especially during our Balance Transfer Promotion period. Keep in mind you must be strict with your payments in order to take advantage of the promotional rate before it expires.

 

  1. Stop spending so much on your credit cards.
    If you’re trying to pay off your high debt, credit cards are NOT your best friend. Remove all credit cards from your wallet, and start budgeting your expenses with cash. Don’t worry, this change is only temporary, only while you get more financially stable.

 

  1. Put work bonuses, or other incentives toward debt.
    We get it! Taking that work bonus and using it on a nice vacation is tempting. However, sometimes we need to put temptation aside and start thinking of our financial future. If you receive a bonus for a good sale, holiday, or other use it to pay off your debt. Your wallet will thank you later.

 

  1. Sell unwanted items online.
    A good way to make some extra cash is to clean your house from unwanted items. Sell those old presents collecting dust and start fattening up your wallet. After all, one man’s trash is another’s treasure.

 

High debt should not affect your well-being. Go on, change your habits, make some smart choices, and reward yourself in the future.

You can do it!


Simple Budget

How to Create a Simple Budget?

Budgeting at BSCU
Learn how to budget your expenses!

To spend wisely is to live more comfortably. Yes, we get it, you hate the word “budget” it is scary and at the same time overwhelming . The thought of quitting some of your spending can seem unimaginable. But, fear not, budgeting allows you to see where your money goes. Leaving you with the option to treat yourself once in while without feeling overwhelmed by debt.

How should you start?

  1. Calculate your income and your expenses
    The first step is simple. Write down how much you make along with some prioritized spending categories. Include your rent or mortgage, utilities,  food, automobile expenses, and insurance.TIP: Make sure you budget for fun. You should not spend $200 every Saturday night, but you can leave $150 aside to have some fun during the week. This way you can continue to enjoy your fancy coffee and your brunch with friends.
  2. Set realistic goals for your budget: If you want to go on a trip to visit family during the holidays, do not wait to start saving. Create a separate Wish Account to prepare you for your vacation. This will allow you to have some self control.  It will stop you from spending money on petty items and you might be able to enjoy your vacation without worrying about the bills that await home.
  3. Track your progress: Creating a budget is only helpful if you can commit to it. Tracking your monthly, weekly, and daily spending will allow you evaluate and reflect on your progress. Remember your spending may fluctuate according to the month and that’s Okay. Just be diligent and discipline the majority of your time.

There is no science behind budgeting, the trick is to spend less than what you make. Come on members! Have discipline, be conscious of your spending, and save money.

Good Luck!