5 Way to Trim Your Fixed Expenses Published March 2, 2020 1. Consider a refinance Mortgage payments take a huge bite out of monthly budgets. Fortunately, you can lower those payments by refinancing your mortgage to a lower interest rate. Refinancing will have costs, but you can roll the closing costs and other fees into your refinance loan. Plus, the money you save each month should more than offset these costs. A refinance is an especially smart move to make in a falling-rates environment or if your credit has improved a lot since you originally opened your mortgage. Ask Maps Mortgage department if refinancing is right for you. 2. Lower your property taxes Taxes may be inevitable, but they aren’t set in stone. You may be able to lower your property taxes by challenging your town’s assessment of your home. Each town will have its own guidelines to follow for this process, but ultimately you will agree to have your home reappraised in hopes of proving its value is less than the town’s assessment. This move can drastically lower your property tax bill; however, if you have made improvements to your home, it may be appraised at a higher value, which could raise your taxes. 3. Change your auto insurance policy The Geico Gecko and Progressive’s Flo, who love disrupting your favorite TV shows, actually have a point: You may be overpaying for your auto insurance policy. If you’ve had the same policy for several years, speak to a company representative about lowering your monthly premiums. By highlighting your loyalty and having an excellent driving record, you may be able to get a lower quote. You can also consider increasing your deductible to net a lower monthly premium. If your insurance company is not willing to work with you, it might be time to shop around for a provider that will. A few minutes on the phone can provide you with significant monthly savings for a similar level of coverage. Have questions about your insurance, ask Maps Insurance or better yet – get a free quote. 4. Consolidate your debts If you’re carrying a number of outstanding debts, your minimum monthly payments can be a serious drain on your budget. Plus, thanks to the high interest rates you’re likely saddled with, you might be feeling like that debt is going nowhere. Lucky for you, there is a way out. If you have multiple credit cards open, each with an outstanding balance, you might want to consider a balance transfer. Transfer any high interest balances from your other credit or department store cards to a Maps Credit Card. Maps has great low rates and no balance transfer fees. Get details about Maps credit cards here. 5. Cut out subscriptions you don’t need Another fixed expense most people mindlessly pay each month are subscriptions. Take some time to review your monthly subscriptions and weed out those you don’t really need. Below, we’ve listed some of the most commonly underused monthly payments: Gym membership. Are you really getting your money’s worth out of your gym membership? It may be cheaper to just pay for the classes you attend instead of a full membership. Cable. Why are you still paying for cable when you can stream your shows for less through services like Netflix and Hulu? Apps. How many apps are you signed up for? You may not even remember signing up for an upgraded version of an app you rarely use. Drop the apps you’re not using for more wiggle room in your monthly budget. Your fixed monthly expenses are actually not as “fixed” as you may have thought. By taking a careful look at some of these costs, you can free up more of your monthly income for the things that really matter.