When you think about creating a life of passive income and the freedom to do whatever you want with your time, controlling expenses is probably not your favorite topic. Moreover, it probably seems like a no brainer — don’t eat out every night, don’t buy a $50,000 car on a $40,000 income ect. Then there are those who tell you to go all out on saving money. Lift the salt from McDonalds when nobody’s looking, wash your used napkins with collected rainwater & reuse them, practice fasting so you don’t eat so much. The point is, there are plenty of schools of thought on the matter, but however you look at it controlling expenses is a must. You don’t have to live like you’re homeless and maybe you’ve already cut everywhere you can think of, but you’d still like to free up some more cash. I’ve compiled a few ideas you may not have thought of to save you money now and down the road without interfering with your life
Truebill App — This is actually a surprisingly helpful little tool. You just download it, link your accounts (credit, debit, investment, you name it) and it will watch your spending and help you to identify things you can cut. That’s not why I like it. The reason this is such a powerful tool is that you can have it negotiate your bills down for you and actually have the same services for less money. It’s not exactly a free service, but it is paid by money you wouldn’t have otherwise had. That’s confusing but I’ll explain. Lets say Truebill negotiates your internet plan down from $80 per month to $60 per month without losing any speed or features. Well you pay Truebill 40% of that savings and you keep 60%. There’s no charge if they can’t lower your bill.
Solar — So this one is not going to be a win for everyone, but its still worth looking into. Even without a battery solar panels on your home can cut your energy costs up to 90%. Initial installation can be pricey and is usually around $30k, but if your electric bill is about $150 per month or higher your savings will cover the payment and then some. Plus this protects you going forward because energy cost on average rise 5% year over year. Right now solar panels will qualify you for a 26% federal tax credit (that will be declining slowly over the next few years). State level tax credits vary, but most states do offer a credit of some amount. It also extends the life of your roof due to the protection it gives from direct sunlight and adds equity to your home. Possibly the best benefit to solar panels is that you can actually use them as a slight source of income through what is called Net Metering, which is selling excess power generated back to the utility company. There are some things to consider before installing such as the age of the roof, its ability to support the weight of the panels, HOA stipulations and amount of direct sunlight your home receives. I did go with solar and I’m very happy so far, you can take a hard look at it here, full disclosure I do have a referral code (2367) that should save you some money and earn me a little as well. Please look around and see whats best for you before committing to anything.
Electric vehicle- Much like solar, purchasing an electric vehicle will qualify you for a tax credit. Depending on your income and location those credits can be very significant. In addition to that an electric vehicle on average will save $632 per year in fuel cost over a gas powered vehicle. If you added this to a solar home your savings could be increased an additional $485 per year. Additionally, the average savings on maintenance for an electric vehicle is about $800 per year.
Cash back- this is by far the least savings, but still worth an honorable mention. There are plenty of apps and cards out there for this, but my favorite is Fluz because its stackable with other rewards and allows you to earn money through sharing your link (what I’m doing here, but only because I really do believe its will benefit everyone who uses it). Where this becomes a decent benefit on cash back is in recurring charges, not one offs (though that cash back is nice too). One example is Netflix, if you’re paying the $15.99 per month and you were to download Fluz, link your card and pay using the app then you would get $0.16 cents back every month. I know, that’s not a lot but its $1.91 per year you didn’t have so honestly, why not?
These ideas are probably not for everyone, I get it, but if you’re serious about saving money and retiring early or just having some more free cash to do what you enjoy, they are definitely worth looking into. The most important thing to note is that there are a lot of creative ways out there to boost your earnings or lower your expenses so remember to always be vigilant for new opportunities.Breaking Free for Financial Freedom