Six Minor Adjustments for Major Financial Impact

By Andrew Rosen via

When it comes to personal finances, there really isn’t a silver bullet for success. Much like exercising, or even dieting, it usually comes down to making small adjustments which compound into larger effects.

It’s the tortoise, not the hare, who usually wins when it comes to financial planning.  In the spirit of “slow and steady wins the race,” I’d like to share my Big Six financial planning tips – all based on minimum effort with the potential for great gain.

The Big Six:

1. Grey Charges – Ever sign up for a free subscription, but forgot to cancel it when it wasn’t “free” anymore? Recently, I learned from a client there’s a name for this stuff – the Grey Charge. In the world of one click signups and our credit card being attached to everything, this is super easy to miss; and it’s costing us more than $14 billion a year! In preparation for writing this, I checked my credit cards. Sure enough, Apple was charging me for three things I had no idea about. My kids signed up for some app and it was costing me $32.18 per month. That equates to $386.16 a year back in my pocket for college savings!

2. Credit Card Points – Many people charge everything now. If you are one, doesn’t it make sense to maximize those charges? It’s simple, yet very effective. At worst, I get 2% cash back on everything I purchase! I use the Citi Double Cash card whenever I can. The way I see it, if I charge $20,000 a year, that’s a free $400 to me (for doing nothing).

3. Bi-Weekly Mortgage – There are big savings when you pay your mortgage bi-weekly (i.e. two times a month). For starters, paying bi-weekly will result in you making an extra mortgage payment every year. (Come on, Andrew. Does making an extra mortgage payment a year have that big of an impact?) Well, yes. If you had a $400,000, thirty-year mortgage at 4% interest rate, this results in saving $45,106.63 over the course of the mortgage. Therefore, you’ll pay off that mortgage in 25.9 years. That’s right; in this example, one extra payment saved you almost $50,000!

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