American Consequences - August 2020

CUT COSTS AND SAVE

Get a car insurance rebate . Several insurance providers issued rebate checks during the lockdown since people couldn’t drive anywhere. If you didn’t get a check or a reduced rate automatically, call and request one. If you’re met with resistance, it’s time to change your insurance company. Check your car, too . Just like checking your house’s AC unit, you want to keep tabs on your car. Don’t let it sit too long without driving it. You don’t want to suddenly need it only to find a dead battery. Some experts recommend driving your car a few miles a couple times per month. Regular checks and keeping up with routine maintenance will keep unexpected bills at bay. Join Amazon . Online ordering has skyrocketed in the wake of the pandemic. And even as restrictions lift, many still feel apprehensive about returning to retail stores. If you’re in this camp, consider an Amazon Prime membership. Not only is shipping free, but you can save on grocery deliveries, watch plenty of free content on their streaming video service, and enjoy music and e-books, too. For more money saving, use the browser plug-in Honey . When you’re about to check out on an online retailer, Honey automatically searches through all the codes on all those popular coupon sites to save you time. It tests out the best codes and gets you the biggest discount available. We’ve gotten discounts as high as 56% when we’ve tested it out, and it saves you from having to coupon- hunt yourself.

If you don’t have an emergency fund yet, start one today . I’ve written about the importance of keeping enough money to cover about three to six months of expenses in an emergency fund. It’s important in any time for things like natural disasters, job loss, or other unforeseen problems. And with unemployment numbers still high and an uncertain recovery ahead, it’s time to get this in order if you haven’t already. We recommend a money-market account for easy access or a high-yield savings account. Do an energy inventory . This is the hottest time of the year. And with so many of us stuck indoors all the time now thanks to shutdowns, your AC is likely running more than usual. Be sure to replace your filters, clean out your outdoor AC compressor, and seal up any cracks or leaks. A more efficient system means lower energy bills.

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August 2020

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