Home ownership is an investment, but when it pays off may be up to you. If you own your own home, you have been paying into a long-term investment in real estate. It’s smart in many communities to have a mortgage rather than pay rent to a landlord every month. Your mortgage may take up to 30 years or more to pay off, but you don’t have to wait that long to see the benefits. If the value of your home is more than what you currently owe, you may be eligible for a home equity loan. This can result in a cash-out refi, giving you cash that you can use for other things.

There are plenty of tricks to save money. You can skip the morning coffee at the corner café. You can put extra change in a jar, or use an online app that rounds all your purchases up and puts the change in a savings account. You can plan your meals and buy only ingredients to make food at home. But can you get rewarded for good credit? Yes! Having a good credit score and history can help you save money in a number of ways. Check out these examples.

When you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck and struggling to pay off your debts, saving money can feel like an impossible pipe dream. But you’d be surprised how the small act of getting creative in finding ways to save money can pay off. Commit to better financial health with these five easy-to-follow habits:

5 Creative Ways to Save Money

When you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck and struggling to pay off your debts, saving money can feel like an impossible pipe dream. But you’d be surprised how the small act of getting creative in finding ways to save money can pay off. Commit to better financial health with these five easy-to-follow habits:

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Rainy days can be peaceful and relaxing — unless, of course, the roof starts leaking and you suddenly have an unexpected expense and no funds for repairs. Emergency funds are used to cover expenses for all kinds of unforeseen situations, from medical bills to housing repairs. Without any savings, both individuals and families can get a real shock when problems arise. Emergency funds should amount to at least $500 to $1,000 kept in a savings account you do not touch unless you have a real emergency. It’s smart to save on a daily basis — in ways that don’t stress your budget — so you are always prepared for that inevitable emergency in the future.

There is more than $1 trillion in credit card debt in America. How much do you have? When you have high-interest credit cards and balances that make the bottom line of what you owe go up every month, you may find it doesn’t take long for your debt to snowball. There are many ways to find debt relief, but some methods are better than others when it comes to paying off credit cards. Some people look to debt settlement as a solution. This is where you stop paying all your bills and instead work with a settlement agency to work with your lenders to reduce your debt over time. But it can negatively impact your credit, and make your debt even worse. Let’s look at other ways the experts suggest paying off your credit card debt.