Action Steps to Longer-Term Saving
Consider refinancing your mortgage
• The Consumer Federation of America's Web site says on a 15-year $100,000 fixed-rate mortgage, lowering the APR from 7% to 6.5% can save you more than $5,000 in interest over the life of the loan, and paying two points instead of three saves you an additional $1,000.
Learn how to lower your homeowner's insurance rates
• Talk to your insurer about raising your deductible.
Lower your auto insurance rates
• Lower your rates by raising your deductible.
• Contact your state insurance department, which can give you typical rates charged by different insurers. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has contact information for your state insurance regulator.
• Contact AARP’s Driver Safety Program to learn how you can reduce your car insurance rates as you become a safer driver.
Pay off your credit cards
• Make paying off your credit card debt a priority.
• Call your credit card company to negotiate on lower rate on your existing balance or shop around for a lower rate card.
Apply for financial assistance with your utility bills
• Check out AARP's guide to energy assistance available in your state.
• The US Department of Energy has many ideas about how you can save energy and stay warm.
• Get more information about how you can apply for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
Improve your credit score. Higher credit scores can lead to lower interest rates:
• Read about Credit Scoring on the Federal Trade Commission's Web site.
Find out if less expensive health insurance is available.
• AARP's Money Matters Tip Sheet on Insuring Against Risk has more information and action steps.
Find out if you're paying the best price available for life insurance.
• AARP's Money Matters Tip Sheet on Life Insurance has more information about saving on life insurance rates.
• Real the consumer alert on life insurance rates from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. It's easy to find out how to contact your state insurance department.
Conduct an energy audit on your home.
• Find out how to conduct an energy audit from the U.S. Department of Energy.