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As the holiday season nears, many people start thinking about the next year, and what their New Year's resolution may be.
One of the most common resolutions people make each year is losing weight. While the promise to lose weight isn't generally made for financial reasons, it can significantly impact your budget – both positively and negatively.
A person's weight-loss goals can also help them with other common New Year's resolutions – saving money and paying down debt. Here are some of the ways losing weight can help fatten your wallet.
• Reduced healthcare costs – Over the long-term, losing weight can reduce the risks for a number of health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease. This can help people avoid frequently paying for trips to the doctor or prescriptions, which frees up cash for other things.
• Lower grocery bills – Many times, one of the major factors in losing weight is reducing the calories consumed. With these smaller plates, people might find that they don't spend as much at the grocery store. Keeping restrained when walking by the ice cream or candy sections alone can result in significant savings.
• Better fuel economy – It may seem unusual, but losing weight can also help you go further on a tank of gas. The Department of Energy estimates that drivers can improve their fuel economy by roughly 2 percent by removing 100 pounds from their cars. It doesn't matter if that weight is from bags of ice melt in the trunk or the driver. Less weight can help improve gas mileage.
While losing weight can be a positive health step for some people, it does not come without some financial costs. While it's still generally a positive, work these costs into your budget so you don't need to look for a payday loan advance near you following an unexpected bill.
• Gym membership – As part of a weight-loss strategy, many people join a local gym. These clubs can provide useful machines, classes and equipment to help people lose weight. However, gym memberships can easily cost hundreds of dollars per year. If you're looking for a place to work out, compare costs and see whether a particular facility is giving you enough benefits. If it's not, cancel it to save money and work out on your own.
• New wardrobe – While it's still a financial outlay, needing to purchase new clothes because you lost weight may be one of the most rewarding purchases you can make. Just use some self-control when walking through department stores. Space out your clothing purchases so you don't drain your savings too much in one trip.
Losing weight, like any major life change, can impact a number of different parts of your life. In the long run, losing weight may help people saving money and improve their health. However, it pays to remember that it may also come with its own expenses.
If you're having a tough time managing your budget, then one place you might look to cut costs is your car insurance.
If a sudden auto repair hits, you may need to turn to a personal loan to stay on the road and get to work. But by cutting insurance, you can save money each month.
There are many different ways to cut your monthly car insurance payments, and a lot of them work. But when you make these choices, understand that they could create problems in some situations.
One of the primary ways you can save money on insurance is to to raise your deductible. With car insurance, that represents the amount of money you need to pay for a claim before your insurer pays the rest.
It can result in big savings. As the nonprofit Insurance Information Institute iii.org article notes, by jumping from a deductible of $200 to $1,000, you can cut the amount you pay for collision and comprehensive coverage by 40 percent.
However, you're also increasing your risk if there's an incident. If you are going to raise your deductible, make sure you will be able to pay it if need be.
Cutting Collision And Comprehensive Coverage
Another way the III says people can save on their insurance premiums is to drop comprehensive and collision coverage.
Most state regulations only require liability coverage, so the collision and comprehensive are optional. Collision covers damage to your vehicle during an at-fault crash, while comprehensive covers other issues, such as theft, weather damage and vandalism.
This can also be a good idea, but only in the right situation. Dropping comprehensive or collision coverage makes sense on older cars that don't have a lot of value left. However, if you have a newer car, you may want to keep it in place. Also, if you still have a car loan, most banks require you to keep them until that is paid off.
Savings Do Exist
There are also ways to save on your insurance without dropping your coverage limits or making other changes to your policy.
• Shop around – Because each car insurance company is different, shopping around for lower rates might be one way to go. There are many sites where you can compare rates online, or you could also check your state insurance department. However, it's also important to consider factors other than price, so check for consumer complaints.
• Bundle – If you have your home or renters insurance through a different company, see what you might be able to save by bundling your coverages together. See what deals your current companies might offer.
• Cut miles – Most insurance companies offer lower rates for people who drive fewer miles. While you may not be able to eliminate some of your travel easily, see if you can carpool or find simple ways to combine trips.
The number of potential discounts also isn't limited to these options. Talk to your insurance provider and ask them what other discounts they offer. You may already qualify for a lower rate and not even know it.