The Best Retirement Plans for Self-Employed People

by Barbara Hadden

Peter Kim / Shutterstock.com

Inflation is doing a number on your budget. Things get pricier every day, and you’re always looking for ways to cut back: coupons, sales, brown-bagging your lunch, bringing your own coffee to work.

Those are all smart tactics, since small savings do add up. But sometimes the really big savings options are right under our noses.

Some of these money-saving tactics are things we never heard of before. Others are things we know we should do, but are just too overwhelmed to start.

The following strategies can help you keep a lot more of your money each month. Bonus: Someone else does the legwork for you. Read on — and save big.

1. You haven’t refinanced your mortgage yet

We know, we know — it sounds so daunting. Applications. Paystubs. Bank records. Looking for the right lender. Wondering if you’ll be approved.

No wonder you drag your feet. But doing this means you could be blowing hundreds, even thousands, every year. Fortunately, a mortgage lender called Better makes the process, well, better.

Of course, you have to make sure that refinancing makes sense for your situation. For example, if you know you might be moving within a couple of years, the money you save may not be greater than the cost of the refinance.

But for millions of homeowners, refinancing is a sweet deal. Lower monthly payments can help you hit financial goals, like saving more for retirement, building an emergency fund or paying off lingering credit-card debt.

Eligible homeowners can save as much as $3,000 a year, so what are you waiting for? Take a few seconds and get your personalized rate to see how much you could save.

2. You’re not protected against expensive repair bills

All the things that make your home livable have lifespans — and you have no idea how long they are. That’s why so many seek the protection of a home warranty, like the one provided by America's 1st Choice (AFC) Home Club.

Depending on the coverage you choose, a home warranty may cover appliances and your plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning systems. You can get a quote almost instantly.

Suppose your refrigerator or your furnace stopped working tomorrow. Would you have to finance the repair/replacement because you don’t have the money to pay for it? And even if you do have an emergency fund, would that repair/replacement deplete your stash of ready cash — leaving you vulnerable to the next emergency?

Stop worrying about breakdowns and costly repairs! Get a quote in 30 seconds.

3. You’re overpaying on car insurance

You can’t do without car insurance. But what you can do without is overpaying for this essential protection.

Maybe the thought of comparison shopping for car insurance makes you want to lie down with a cold cloth on your eyes. Relax: A free online comparison site called The Zebra has you covered.

In five minutes, the site will shop your info around to 200 providers. The result is that you’ll save up to $440 per year on car insurance.

Yes, $440 per year. Every year.

Over the next 10 years, you’re looking at up to an extra $4,400 in your budget. What could that kind of savings do for your bottom line?

Take your current insurance coverage limits to the site — you won’t have to provide a credit card or phone number — and set The Zebra loose to run the numbers. After that, all you have to do is pick the best deal.

It couldn’t be much simpler to find a far better price. Compare car insurance for free and save hundreds right now.

4. You’re making bad investment decisions

As Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson has pointed out, basic money management isn’t rocket science. It’s something anyone can do if they’re willing to do a little research and avoid a handful of rookie errors.

But not everyone is comfortable doing their own money legwork. Others simply don’t have the time due to work and family obligations. Fortunately, there’s plenty of expert help out there, and thanks to a free matching service called SmartAsset, finding the perfect pro is easier than ever.

There’s no shame in asking for help, and it could pay off. According to an independent study, people who work with a financial adviser feel more at ease about their finances and could end up with about 15% more money to spend in retirement.

Ready to hire an investment professional who can help you define and then reach your financial goals? Get started now.

5. You’re paying credit card interest every month

As of August 2021, consumers in this country carried a staggering $966.1 billion in revolving debt, according to the Federal Reserve. It’s easy to get into credit card debt (whether due to bad luck, bad habits or both) and tough to get out.

One possible solution: consolidating debt with a low-interest personal loan through a company called Credible. Instead of paying double-digit credit card interest to several credit card issuers, you pay a much lower rate to one company.

As of August 2021, the average credit card interest rate in the U.S. was 14.5%. A low-interest loan that clears the decks can potentially save you thousands of dollars in interest. That’s money you should be using to make your dreams come true, not line the pockets of some banker.

It’s free to check your rate online. It only takes two minutes out of your day — and the savings could be in-Credible.

6. You’re still paying for unwanted subscriptions

Subscribing often makes sense because it can mean a price break on gym visits, magazines, entertainment, beauty supplies, pet items and the like. The coronavirus pandemic kicked this notion into high gear, according to The Washington Post:

“There’s a growing trend of ‘power subscribers’ with 10 or more recurring payments, according to budgeting app Truebill. The app’s users average 17 subscriptions and typically spend $145 a month, according to an analysis Truebill did for The Washington Post. Last spring during the shutdowns, Truebill users averaged 21 subscriptions, as people tried different entertainment, home workout and delivery services.”

It can be tough to realize the actual cost because these items hit your credit card at different times. That’s where companies like Truebill can help, by showing you how much you’re spending, helping you find better deals and making it easy to cancel the things that no longer add value to your life.

Had it with the budget leaks? Create a free account now and take control over your subscriptions.

7. You’re using a second-rate credit card

Chances are the first credit card you got was pretty basic. No rewards, low spending limit, maybe an annual fee and a high-ish interest rate. After all, you were just starting out.

Still got that card? You can do better. A look at Money Talks News' featured rewards credit cards can turn that bare-bones plastic into a rewards-generating tool.

People want different things from their cards: hotel stays, airline miles, additional savings on frequently purchased items. All these things are possible if you qualify, along with some perks you might never have imagined. Things like extended warranty protection, hundreds of dollars in cash bonuses, cellphone insurance, balance transfers and 0% APR for the first year-plus.

Get the most of every purchase by comparing and choosing from these top rewards credit cards.

8. You’re not staying informed

It pays to read expert sources to make sure you’re up to date on the latest techniques to make more, spend less and invest wisely.

Solution? Subscribe to the totally free Money Talks Newsletter. More than a million Americans have, and they’ve reported saving an average of $991.20 each simply by checking out our news and advice.

It takes less than five seconds to subscribe and, if you don’t like it, less than five seconds to unsubscribe. Sign up for our free newsletter right now and see what you’ve been missing.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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