Tips for reducing your housing costs:

  • Don’t pay for space you don’t need. Americans have relatively large houses and apartments. Think about more efficiently using space so you can purchase or rent less square footage.
  • Live relatively near your workplace. While this isn’t always possible, driving 5,000 miles less a year can lower transportation costs by more than $1,000.
  • Refinance your mortgage to lower interest charges. Consider refinancing your mortgage to lower the rate and term. On a 15-year $100,000 fixed-rate mortgage, lowering the rate from 7% to 6.5% can save you more than $5,000 in interest charges over the life of the loan. For each $100,000 you borrow at a 7% rate, you will pay over $75,000 less in interest on a 15-year than a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. And, you will accumulate home equity more rapidly, thus increasing your ability to cover large emergency expenditures.
  • Choose home repair contractors wisely. Favor contractors who have successfully performed work for people you know. Insist on a written, fixed-price bid. Don’t make full payment until satisfactory completion of the work.

– See more at: http://www.americasaves.org/for-savers/make-a-plan-how-to-save-money/54-ways-to-save-money#sthash.u6riQTVD.dpuf