I have been hot on the personal finacial bandwagon this summer. We finally refinanced our old 10 year ARM to a fixed rate mortgage which we'll pay off in ten years. Yippee! Once you hit 45, it's time to get real and start paying your mortgage off so you will own your home before you retire.
As much as I love eBooks, and am addicted to my NOOK Color, my frugal inner budget baby told me to sample recently published personal finance books on NOOK, then order the paperback and hardcover books from my local library. I devoured them.
I had taken a personal finance course at a community college in the ahem, 80's. I still have the binder, and refer to it from time to time. But the American economy has grown and changed, that I felt I needed up-to-date thinking. There were some experts I found more sensible than others, mostly because of my modest risk taking need, and how much I guard my dollars. There were major categories that they all seemed to agree on. So I put those items at the forefront of my brain, trying to assimilate as much as I can into my family budget.
Refinance done, check.
I also called the customer retention department of my TV, Internet and Phone company, told them there are other companies out there wanting my business and what could they do for me? The suave young man 'rebundled' me and my bill will be $20 a less per month for a year. Not a huge savings, but that's $240 of found money, and it only cost me five minutes on the phone.
I didn't even realize there was such a thing as a customer retention department. Thank you financial expert books.
This week I've begun the time consuming, brain challenging search for auto and home insurance quotes. I was freaked out at first to do an online auto insurance quote and with just my name, address and birth date, they instantly pulled up the vehicles I insure. Big brother and all that. After filling out a few different online forms at different companies, I grew to love the ones with the public information. It was annoying putting in all the car info myself (we have four, because our adult children are still living with us, going to school and on our policy).
If only we could get an apples to apples quote, but alas, it's like shopping for a new mattress. They all have different options, and you can't get a black and white comparison. Hopefully we'll make a decision this week.
Are you doing anything different in your budget this summer?