Personal Finance

3 Last-Minute Money-Saving Moves You Can Make in 2021

Saving money is not an easy thing to do. And if you didn’t do as much of it as you would’ve liked in 2021, you may be beating yourself up.

Don’t. The new year is right around the corner, and with that comes a chance to boost your savings and meet the goals you set for yourself. But that doesn’t mean you have to wait until 2022 to start saving money. If you make these three moves in the coming weeks, you can set yourself up to save before 2021 is over.

1. Pay off a credit card balance

Carrying a balance on a credit card, or multiple credit cards, means paying interest on the sum you owe. The sooner you shed that debt, the more money you’ll save by paying less interest.

Of course, to pay off a credit card balance, you’ll need some money on hand. But if you’re getting a year-end bonus from work or are given a bunch of cash gifts for the holidays, you may end up in a position to knock out a credit card balance and save on interest in the new year.

2. Cut a few expenses

If you expect to be really busy with the holidays in the coming weeks, now could be a good time to cut your cable package and a few streaming services from your personal lineup. If you won’t be getting much use out of those expenses anyway, then cancelling them is a good way to save a little cash.

You may also want to look at cutting back on things like restaurant meals and takeout if they typically eat up a decent amount of your income. If you’ll be seeing family for the holidays, you may have some nights where you’ll get out of cooking, making it more feasible for you to do more of your own food prep the rest of the month.

3. Refinance your mortgage

If you own a home, housing may be your largest monthly expense. You can potentially reduce it substantially by refinancing your mortgage.

When you refinance a mortgage, you typically swap your existing home loan for a new one with a lower interest rate attached to it. That lower rate could then result in much lower monthly payments, making it easier to save money.

It generally pays to refinance your mortgage if you can shave around 1% or more off of your current loan’s interest rate. But keep in mind you’ll need a decent credit score to snag a competitive interest rate on a new home loan. And for the best rates available, you’ll generally need a credit score in the mid- to upper-700s or higher.

Even if you didn’t quite get to where you hoped savings-wise in 2021, there’s still time to set yourself up to save more in 2022. Consider checking these moves off your list before the current year runs out and the new year is upon us.

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