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Liz Weston: 8 rules for saving, borrowing and spending money | Lifestyles


6. FINANCE YOUR HOME SMARTLY

If you want to be a homeowner, the best time to buy your first home is when you’re financially ready and in a position to stay put for a few years. Opt for a mortgage rate that’s fixed for as long as you plan to remain in the home, and don’t make extra payments against the principal until you’ve paid off all other debt and are on track for retirement.

7. BUY USED VEHICLES AND DRIVE THEM FOR YEARS

Buying a car right now isn’t a great idea; supply-chain kinks and other pandemic-related issues have inflated the cost of both new and used cars. In general, though, buying a used car can save you a ton of money over your driving lifetime, as can driving your car for many years before replacing it. These days, a well-maintained car can last 200,000 miles without major issues, according to J.D. Power. This means you can get roughly 13 years of service out of your car if you drive it 15,000 miles a year. Ideally, you would pay cash for cars. If you need to borrow, try to limit the term of your loan to a maximum of five years.

8. INSURE AGAINST CATASTROPHIC EXPENSES

Use insurance to protect yourself against catastrophic expenses rather than smaller costs that you can easily pay out of pocket. If you have sufficient savings, consider raising the deductibles on your policies to save money on premiums. Be careful about high-deductible health insurance policies, though. Having a high deductible could cause you to put off medical care, and it’s better to err on the side of safety when it comes to health.



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