To give you an idea of how you could forget your subscriptions consider this study. The survey on 2,500 participants found that on average, an American spends about $237 monthly on subscription services. The amount is quite high but it’s the number of people who weren’t aware of their spending that was alarming: 2100 of the people surveyed underestimated their payments; some with as much as $400.
How to Cancel Forgotten Subscriptions
Do you have any idea about how much you are spending on subscriptions? The truth is you are probably paying way more than you think. It’s hard to keep track of all the sneaky subscriptions and the automatic billing systems don’t make things easier either. Let’s look at how to go about canceling different categories of common subscriptions.
#1 Smart-Phone/Device Subscriptions
It’s easier to forget subscriptions made via phone apps. These are subscriptions from devices through the Play Store or iOS App Store. The good thing about these subscriptions is that Google and Apple keep a record of payments from your account(s).
Android: Tap the ‘Play Store’ icon on your device. On the top left corner tap on the ‘Menu’ (3 horizontal line icon). This will take you to a screen from which you can choose the specific ‘Account’ that you are concerned about. Tap on ‘Subscriptions’ to view a list of all services that you paying for. From here you can cancel any service that you no longer need. Check Google support for more on this.
Apple: Open ‘Settings’ and choose your name to land on the ‘iTunes & App Store’. Tap your ‘Apple ID’ link followed by ‘View Apple ID’ then ‘Subscriptions’. From this screen open the subscription in question and tap ‘Cancel Subscription’. Note that once you cancel, the subscription stops after the current billing cycle. For more on how to manage subscriptions on various iOS devices, visit Apple support.
#2 Email and Manual Subscriptions
Not all subscriptions originate from app stores. It’s easy to find some forgotten subscriptions that you may have made ages ago on your computer. The same goes for subscriptions filled-in manually at the mall, street, fairs, etc. It’s possible the subscription notifications come as spam mail (let’s be honest, you never read those).
The best approach is to search through your emails for any subscriptions. Cancel the subscriptions by emailing the service providers. If this proves elusive then go through your bank statements going back for 12 months. Look out for regular subscriptions that you forgot or are fraudulent. Cancel them via corresponding websites or by emailing the respective companies.
Is There an Easier way of Cancelling Subscriptions?
Having to go through bank records that may or may not contain subscriptions doesn’t sound interesting at all. Subscriptions made on smart devices are even harder to keep track of; your kids can tap on a new one or make in-app purchases every now and then. So is there an easy way to this? Yes, there is…
#3 Use Subscription-Tracking Tools
These are apps and online tools that track your financial spending on a real-time basis. They work by going through your bank records and providing you with a list of services that are being charged to your account(s).
Truebill is an app that tracks all subscriptions from Netflix to Club memberships. It also gives an analysis of percentage changes on the amounts charged for each item. All you have to do is tap cancel on the subscription that you want to opt-out of.
Trim works similarly but it’s an online tool and the cancellation is done via text.
Empower is an app that follows the same script. It shows you the amounts spent on each service and account balances e.g. Bank balances, Amazon, Uber, AT&T Wireless, etc. With this info, it becomes easy to reach out and cancel specific subscriptions or even renegotiate.
It’s easy to have fraudulent and unwanted subscriptions eating away at your finances. With the onset of automated payment systems, the problem becomes compounded. Go through your bills and bank statements to weed out these payments. You can also use the ‘Cancel Subscription’ option on smart devices. A much easier approach is by using online tools and apps to monitor and cancel unwanted subscriptions.
Tips for Recovering Financially After Divorce
If life was a fairy tale, every marriage would last ‘until death’. Couples would spend their lives sharing not only love but co-depending on all matters including finances. Unfortunately, the reality is sometimes not kind and some marriages end up in divorce.
This new phase leaves some spouses unscathed while others are left with massive debts, new financial responsibilities, or a lack of enough know-how on how to manage personal finances. Finding your way back to financial freedom is not easy; it takes time and dedication. To put you on the right path, here are five tips for recovering financially after divorce.
#1 Start by Dealing with Your Emotions
Divorce comes with grief and anger from the lost love, emotional support, shared dreams, and so on. This has a draining effect on your quality of life and spiraling into depression is a common occurrence.
If the depression goes unchecked, you risk falling into irrational behavior like going off-budget leading to more financial ruin; to avert this, seek counseling. This could be from a therapist, joining a support group, or even opening up to a trusted family member or a religious leader.
#2 Create a Plan
Now that your assets have been split, you have to take care of all financial obligations that come with your share. List every asset and debt to know exactly what you are dealing with. This will help you in coming up with a detailed expenditure plan that addresses your income against debt repayments and future goals.
Identifying your financial limits will also come in handy in ensuring that your expectations are realistic and achievable. Create a formal plan, complete with an investment program that takes current income into account and one that is tailored to help you meet your set goals.
#3 Check your Credit
During the marriage, your credit score may not have mattered, especially if your spouse was the sole breadwinner and paying off bills never concerned you. Being alone means your creditworthiness will now come into play; you have to know your credit score which will greatly affect this.
A low score may result in adjustments on mortgage payments, difficulty in getting a job, or even an apartment. Immediately after the divorce is finalized or better still during the proceedings, check and start improving your credit score.
#4 Increase your Savings and Income
Divorce may call for cutting back on your expenses or a complete lifestyle downgrade. That said, being divorced should not mean being miserable. If you are unemployed, start looking for a job to supplement your alimony check. You can also look for a second job, if you already have one, to increase your current earnings.
A successful financial rebound is pegged on the size of your savings. With meager savings, you may be forced to over-rely on credit cards and personal loans to maintain your lifestyle. This can be avoided by adopting a savings plan; stow away as much money as your income allows, this will shelter you during emergencies or unexpected expenditures.
#5 Seek Expert Advice
Securing your finances is not an easy task even for the rich or staunch savers. This is where the services of financial advisors come in: They guide you in completely separating your finances from those of your ex and making sustainable plans for the future.
You will receive expert advice on how to; close joint accounts, transfer house and other asset deeds to your name, update beneficiary information on your will and insurance, balance your accounts, prioritize savings, file taxes, and how to go about any other money-related task that your ex used to handle.
Bottom Line Divorce is stressful, but the pitfalls can be reduced by adopting ways to keep your finances healthy. These five steps will not change your financial situation overnight but are a good place to start. In a nutshell, you should start by accepting your situation and dealing with the emotional turmoil. Once your mind is in the right place, come up with a plan on how to increase savings and income, and improve your credit score. Lastly, don’t shy away from engaging an expert to help you in making divorce settlement less complicated and guiding you through your financial projections.
Spring Wedding? Tips on Saving Money on Your Destination Wedding
Are you planning for a spring wedding? You are not alone; many love birds like planning their destination wedding for this time of the year. Spring is that unique season of the year where love is in the air, flowers are blooming as plants are blossoming.
Unfortunately, a wedding budget can kill your dream of a spring wedding before it sees the light of day. The question is; can you still enjoy an awesome wedding on a tight budget? Indeed you can. Our tips on saving money on your destination wedding have got you covered.
Choose a Resort Offering an All-Inclusive Bundle
All-inclusive wedding bundles will enable you to get a flat rate on your whole wedding package. In fact, they can save you hundreds and even thousands on your wedding if done right.
- Cash bar
- Open bar
- Consumption bar
A consumption bar can help you strike a balance between your guests getting some free drinks and paying for extra ones. You can make the bar open to your guests but set a spending threshold or a time limit with the owner. If the guests hit the limit or reach the set time, it can then be converted to a cash bar. This will save you money.
Another advantage of wedding bundles is that costs involving decoration, parking, photo sessions, and transport are reduced since your location is the same.
Combine Your Wedding and Honeymoon
Some resorts will offer you incentives and discounts if you combine your wedding with your honeymoon. Having your destination wedding and your honeymoon in the same location will help you save on traveling and other costs
You should, however, visit the place prior to the wedding to make sure it is diverse and interesting enough for both occasions. Another way to save would be to pack travel-sized items that you will need for your honeymoon to avoid buying from vendors.
Slash your Guests List
Naturally, a destination wedding doesn’t attract hundreds of guests; this ultimately reduces the financial pressure that comes with your wedding. Still, if there is a way you can further slash the guest list, do it by all means.
Select an Offseason Date For Your Wedding.
Offseason wedding dates attract low rates and costs charged on weddings by resorts. Find out places which offer discounts for weddings on certain dates. As good as it sounds to your pocket, it is important to make sure that the dates you choose for your wedding won’t lead to a low turnout.
Additionally, for wedding festivities, you can choose a weekday to ensure even as guests come they won’t be overstaying as they also need to get back to their commitments.
You can also save your wedding costs by scheduling your wedding for a less traditional time of day. If for example the ceremony is planned for a weekday afternoon, the venues will charge less as compared to a Saturday afternoon event. Your guests might even drink less.
Consider Local Lenders for Your Wedding Supplies
Not everything you need for your destination wedding can be found where you are going to wed. You may need additional items and services. Consider local vendors who can offer reasonable prices from the wedding location rather than bringing vendors from home.
If you come with your vendors you have to cater for their travel and accommodation costs. Furthermore, if they are bringing items with them to a different country, you will have to cover the shipping cost directly or they will be indirectly included when you get priced.
Make sure you get recommendations from family and friends about the best vendors from where you are going to wed. You can also use Google and social media to find good vendors in advance.
Destination weddings are the trend nowadays; this doesn’t mean you need to break the bank to have one. With proper planning, flexibility, and any of the above tips that suit you, you can whisk your love away to say ‘I Do’ in a destination of your dreams.
Improving Your Odds of a Lower Interest Rate
Here are a few things you can do to improve your chances of getting a better interest rate on your home loan.
Consider a larger down payment
Homebuyers pay a down payment when they are purchasing a home. You’ll see many homebuyers making a down payment between 3% and 20%, sometimes more. Paying a larger down payment can lower your mortgage interest rate because it will decrease the loan amount. Since the down payment will be subtracted from the loan amount, which is equal to the cost of the home plus closing costs, you won’t need to actually need to borrow the full cost of the home.
Improve your credit score
Lenders use credit scores to get a better idea of an applicant’s financial health, habits, and stability. High credit scores are much more favorable than lower scores when it comes to borrowing because a high score makes lenders believe that person is less of a risk. Since your credit score is one of the factors used to determine your mortgage interest rate, before applying for a home loan, take a look at your credit report and see if there is room for improvement.
Purchase discount points
Discount points can be purchased at close to lower a buyer’s mortgage interest rate. The cost of each discount point equals 1% of the loan’s amount and reduces the interest rate by 0.25%. So, if your loan amount is $250,000, one discount point will equal $2,500, which will get an interest rate of 5.25% reduced to 5.0%.
Although discount points can get you a lower interest rate, one thing to note when considering purchasing discount points is how long it will take to get your money back from this purchase. It is recommended to only purchase points when keeping the home for a longer period of time because you want to ensure you break even or recoup the cost of the points in savings.
Sign up for AutoPay
You have to pay your mortgage every month, so why not save some money while doing it? Lenders sometimes offer a rate discount when borrowers sign up for Auto-Pay and have their mortgage payments automatically withdrawn from their checking or savings account. In order to maintain the discount throughout the life of the loan, borrowers must remain on Auto-Pay. If removed, the rate discount will no longer be applied and their payments will increase.
It is always recommended for homebuyers to shop around. You want to ensure you get the best deal available, and if you only check out one lender, you can’t be sure that another lender could have offered you something sweeter. What some buyers don’t know is that they can ask one lender to match another lender’s offer. If you have quotes from multiple lenders, but there is one you prefer, you can bargain with them and ask them to give you the lower rate that another lender has offered. They won’t want to lose your business, so chances are you’ll get that rate.
Ask for a lower rate
Every lender has certain rates that customers can receive for their mortgage. When you apply for a mortgage, you may not get the lowest rate the lender offers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t. Your lender can be flexible with your mortgage interest rate, but you won’t find out unless you ask.
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