Getting Out of Debt_4a Gets Help From Finding Hidden Savings in Lowering Bank Fees and Property Taxes
Getting out of debt_4a is possible if we find savings in the budget to raise funds to pay off debts and build an emergency funds and to help cover the necessary every day expenses. How do we do that? Well, let us look at our budget and find items where we can save. We can see that we pay more than we should for banking fees and property tax. Let us see how to cut some of these expenses to help us in getting out of debt_4a.
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Saving with Credit Unions
To save money on monthly fees on the checking account, we could check out the Credit Unions. A credit union is a non-profit organization that serves the banking needs of its members but you will find when you check it out that most are eligible to do their banking there.
You can save money when you deal with credit unions by not paying the monthly charges or per check fees and you don’t have to maintain a large balance either. They pay higher interest on your deposits than the banks. You can also save on loan interest. In fact, before buying a large item like a car, apply for a loan first which will enable you to get a better deal with the car salesman. And if they offer credit cards, you can save on the interest too. Can you see how this can help in getting out of debt_4a?
To find the right Credit Union, go to http://www.findacreditunion.com/. and look for one that is covered by the federal insurance program that is operated by the National Credit Union Administration. Go to http://www.ncua.gov/Pages/default.aspx. and click on Consumer Share Insurance Information and Tool Kit. You will be able to check the Credit Union there. The coverage that is fully insured is $250,000 per person per credit union.
Saving on Property Taxes
Home prices have gone down, way down by as much as 50%. It is reasonable to expect therefore that the property taxes have gone down as well. But no, when you received your property tax bill in the mail, you were surprised to find out that it even went up. Mine went up over 10%, can you believe it? You fume of course but don’t waste your time and energy doing so. Instead, here are three things you can do to lower your property tax bill:
1. Compare your tax bill with those of your neighbours. Check to see how much lower their tax bills are. If their tax bills are lower than yours by 10%, then you can use this information when you go to the tax assessor office. You may not need this ammunition the first time around but you will when your appeal is denied. The National Taxpayer Union states that around 50% of assessments are too high. This same site http://www.ntu.org/ also has a booklet on this topic.
2. Find mistakes in your property tax bill. The tax depends on the assessed value of your home which differs from state to state and even from county to county. Find out what this is in your neighbourhood and you will see if the calculation is way off the chart. Here’s some help to lower your property tax.
Make sure they have the correct dimension for your home. There is quite a difference between the tax on having a 2 ½ bathrooms and the one having 3 bathrooms for instance. About 60% of homes are over assessed so if you think yours is, find out from your local assessor office how they levy the taxes. Some assessed value is on the full market value while others are a percentage of a market value like 75%. When there is a mistake, then just fill out a form to fix the error.
3. Challenge your tax assessment. Find out from your county tax assessor how to challenge your tax assessment. You have 30 - 60 days to appeal your tax bill. The administrative review will ask for your supporting evidence on why your tax bill should be lower. If the mistake is mechanical it may be corrected on the spot. The money we save from this will surely help us in getting out of debt_4a.
Otherwise it will be turned over to an independent review who should reply to you in 30 days. If you disagree to the response, you can file for a hearing so you can discuss the points face to face. This may require filing fees. There will be a judicial hearing after this which may be expensive as you will be needing a lawyer and an appraiser expert to be on your side. Even if you don't go this far because I don't want you to spend more money than you have to, it is still good to let them know you are not pleased with the increase. This might make them more careful next time or else we may not get the help we need in getting out of debt_4a.
You now know how to lower both banking fees and property taxes. Hopefully we found something that saved us money to help with every day expenses, pay off the debt and build an emergency fund. Don’t worry though because I will show you how to find more hidden savings from your budget that will help in getting out of debt_4a.