Tips to Save Money And Time
Tim Ferris is the man who can do Hong Kong and Tokyo on $50 a day. The author of The 4 Hour Workweek has become a famous consultant giving busy people tips on how to be more cost and time efficient in life. Few of us will compact our lives into a few hours a week, but there are many ways in which we can save time and money.
Right-size Your Brokers
Investors require different levels of broker services at different stages of investing. You may decide to use a broker to set up your portfolio, or do-it-yourself for a few years with exchange-traded funds with a conservative risk profile. But then, you hit 40 and you are not meeting your retirement savings goal.
A financial advisor can help you fill the savings gap. You may end up with several different accounts along the way, including one or more employer accounts. If you are using several different brokers, look for opportunities to save money by rolling everything into one account with lower fees. A robo-advisor account may provide the asset allocation and investment fund choices you need at a low cost.
Make use of available services. Many brokerage accounts provide some level of direct brokerage assistance that investors seldom take advantage of. Pension plan matching funds are an overlooked chance to double your savings.
Streamline Your Retirement Accounts
If you have moved from employer to employer or across different state or country borders, you may have a handful of retirement accounts to manage. You are likely paying different fees for these services, not to mention the time to administer them. Most employee retirement plans will allow you to rollover other plans.
Alternatively, many retirement advisors would be happy to consolidate your accounts and provide a lower fee in exchange for your business. Your new financial services provider may also be willing to provide you with life and health insurance, and other services at an attractive fee. Ensure your new provider will be able to rollover your existing plans. If you have invested in funds with a fund family with good performance and low fees that cannot be rolled over, in such a case, it may be worth your while to stay vested in this plan.
Rebalance Your Portfolio
Today’s markets are volatile. Rebalancing your portfolio can ensure your investment objectives and risk parameters are being adhered to. Your portfolio allocation is likely to seesaw back and forth as your securities earn different returns and their weightings change.
Periodically, you should sell and buy securities to reflect your intended asset allocation. If your 60% equity allocation has jumped to 70% in a bull market, it is a good idea to reshuffle assets to comply with your risk parameters, before a market pullback or correction.
Pay Bills Online
The most convenient way to pay bills is through online banking. For a small fee, you can take care of this monthly chore in a few minutes. Recurring monthly bills can be set up as recurring payments. Automatic payments are best for fixed fee bills that do not swing significantly in value from month to month.
Banks are happy to consolidate your credit cards into a low interest loan. And they may throw in lots of extras. Citibank Hong Kong’s current offer of a guaranteed $600 prize and other bank deals are an indication that banks may be willing to negotiate low interest rates for your business. If you have damaged your credit rating by making payments late, consolidating debt onto a new credit card is an opportunity to rebuild your credit.
Re-evaluate Your Insurance Plans
Do you have more than one insurance plan to provide the level of health and insurance coverage you need? Most people require more than one health policy to cover critical illness, disability and emergency care. And do not forget travel and accident insurance. Buying a smorgasbord of insurance products can be confusing and difficult to price and negotiate. You may be paying a much higher fee and deductibles than the market average.
Compare your health insurance options. Insurance companies are always introducing new products to attract your business.
Planning in advance is a major cost savings frontier. Take a very simple example of a busy mother who does not bother with a grocery list. She likes to go aisle to aisle and buy what looks interesting. Each week, there is at least one trip to the local variety to pick up the odds and ends she forgot. The price of the food at the variety store is about 170% higher on average than that in the grocery store. The side trips cost about an extra $100 a month, or $1200 a year that could be invested in a retirement savings plan and accumulating interest. Online price comparison services make it easy to find the best deals. Quick comparison shopping cannot be performed on a smartphone within seconds.
Most financial plans are like a boat in rough waters with lots of holes in it. If you look closely, you can find many places where your money is seeping out of your retirement boat. The competitive financial services industry is always willing to help you find cost savings opportunities.
Revisit these tips to save money and time or read these Investing Tips for Beginners and a Reminder for Professionals!
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