Bargain Tips

A past client teasingly called me the Walmart of real estate. He didn’t mean it as an insult, and I didn’t take it as one. He was just referring to how much everyone on our team uses the specialty programs to help our clients get into a new home with the best deal possible. But sometimes you still need to cut corners to pay off that debt or better yet to save for that down payment. Here are some of my ideas you probably won’t find elsewhere.

1. Get your haircut at Coles Salon as a haircut model. There are several sites in Dakota county. Haircuts are free, perms and color you pay for the supplies. All stylists have at least graduated from Beauty School and many have worked in a different shop for years.

2. Do you give blood? Memorial Blood Band will pay you 100.00 every time you give blood as a re-agent. To signup you need to give blood for free and ask them to take an additional vial for have your blood tested to be a re-agent. Then they will put you on a rotation 5x a year.

3. Sell your stuff online. This year even more people are purchasing online. There are plenty of local sites; Facebook marketplace, offer up, and craigslist. Getting rid of that unneeded junk frees up space and gets you cash. Any of you who have seen my garage know this is something I could do a lot more of. Just think through before hand of how you can do this safely.

4. Like to travel? If you are planning a big trip look to see if Alaska Airlines goes there. If it does and you sign up for their credit card, you will receive 30,000 miles. (The credit card does cost $75.00 to apply.) 30,000 miles is enough miles to get you there and back from Alaska, Hawaii and many other places. We got 3 of us to Alaska for $50.00! It also gives you a free companion pass every year. If you decide to apply for it let me know and I would love to refer you ( I get 5,000.00 miles for each person I refer) I usually earn enough miles every year to get my Alaskan fisherman there and back every year. If Alaska Airlines isn’t for you, there are many other travel credit cards that can help you save, like the American express delta card.

5. Participate in focus groups or taste tests. There are many groups out there where they will pay for your opinions. It may be testing food or being a part of a focus group, determining the most effective ad for pizza. They usually pay between $40-150.00 a time. Many of them also hire parent, kid combinations. It is Sam’s favorite job- getting paid to eat.

6. Pick your smallest credit card and aggressively pay it off. Then move on to the next one. Work towards getting to the point that you are not paying any interest on your credit card balances.

7. Know that every grocery store has their own clearance section. Find it and see if there is anything there. Go shopping with a plan – going through the store and grabbing whatlooks good (especially if kids are with) adds a lot of additional groceries. Plan what you’re going to buy. The fewer times you go to the store the more you will save.

8. If you’re renting – consider buying. Most people can purchase similar living quarters for less or comparable to what they are paying in rent, and then have the added value of appreciation.

9. If you own a property, review your payment, are you still paying mortgage insurance? If you have a conventional loan and have 20% equity in the home now with what you have paid down, market appreciation and improvements you maybe able to drop you mortgage insurance. Feel free to contact us and we can help you determine if you’re at that point yet.

What are your favorite bargain tips?

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