Although the economy seems to be rebounding, people are still struggling. Whether you are a recent college graduate who can’t seem to find a job, a middle aged worker who has recently been laid off or a retiree trying to make ends meet, there are radical ways you can make your money go further. If you want to make the greatest financial difference, you may need to look at the greatest financial sacrifice—your home. Consider these strategies to improve your finances:
Sell Your House. If you do not owe more than you have in equity, you may want to consider selling. Yes, your home may be worth less now then when you bought it, but selling your home can help you financially in several ways. Not only will you no longer have your mortgage payment, but you will not have property taxes, repair and maintenance expenses and homeowner’s insurance to pay. Depending on the size of your mortgage, you could easily save several thousand dollars a month. While you may not want to move to an apartment, you could do so temporarily, until your financial situation, and the economy, improves.
Consider Multi-Generational Living. If you are reluctant to sell your home, consider having your parents move in with you. Multi-generational living is common in other parts of the world and although it can cause tension, it can also be a worthwhile situation. Often, the grandparents can help watch the grandkids when the parents are at work. In addition, you will save money by splitting expenses. My grandparents did not live with us when I was young, but they lived right next door, and I loved having them so close. Likewise, my husband, who was born in Japan, grew up with his grandparents living in the same home. When his parents married, they did not buy a home. They just moved in with the grandparents as is customary.
Consider Moving Across the Country. If you are living in an area of the country with a high cost of living, your money will not go as far as it will in another area of the country with a lower cost of living. The price of a home, all things being equal, can differ by as much as several hundred thousand dollars depending on where you live. I live outside a big city, and gas for me is 50 cents more expensive per gallon than it is for my mom who lives in a smaller town just 3 hours away. Paying more for basic items and necessities can add up over weeks and years. Often, the increased wages you make in an area with a higher cost of living do not fully compensate for the increased cost of living.
While many of us do not like to think about making such radical changes in our lives, especially with something as personal as our place of living, making changes can save you quite a bit of money. Whether your money is currently tight or you are just looking for ways to save more money, being willing to change where you live can make a significant difference in your financial situation.