Save Money – Barter & Borrow

It might surprise you to know that bartering and borrowing can potentially save you money here and there. Whether it’s petsitting or housesitting, free furniture from moving neighbors or renting out your home in a time of high demand, there are many ways you can save money. You might be surprised by just how much you can save!

START A BABYSITTING AND/OR CO-OP WITH NEIGHBORS AND FRIENDS. You’ll have a pool of experienced parents nearby to help if you’re in a pinch, most of whom have fewer social demands on their time than local teenagers. If you have a pet, you probably have neighbors with pets also. Why not ask or offer help when someone is on vacation? They’re likely to return the favor and you’ll know your furry friends are with someone you trust.

SWAP YOUR HOME. Trading homes when you go on vacation could save you $100 to $200 a night on hotels. Vacation Homes Unlimited ($65 annual membership; ( is one of several groups that can plug you into International Home Exchange Association listings: Members get three updated directories a year of homes available for trade. A similar Internet-based group, the International Home Exchange Network (, charges $29.99 per year to post a listing.

GO INTO THE LODGING BUSINESS–TEMPORARILY. If you’re fortunate to reside in an area that experiences short bursts of popularity–such as during an annual arts festival or golf tournament–rent out your home for a week or two while you vacation. Each April, for example, more than a thousand homeowners around Augusta, Ga., rent their homes out while the Masters golf tournament is going on. Many of them take the $1,500 to $2,500 rent (for a three-bedroom home) and spend it on their own spring-break vacation at the beach. Best of all, you don’t have to report the rent to the IRS as long as you limit it to no more than 14 days a year. Check with local real estate agents, the chamber of commerce or event organizers about offering your home.

JOIN NEIGHBORHOOD FORUMS. Websites such as NextDoor act as a private social network for neighborhoods. The website allows you to ask around for money-saving recommendations, find out about yard sales, and just to help you get to know your neighbors.

Save Money – Build, Fix or Remodel for Less

When it comes to building, fixing, and remodeling your home, it’s easy to quickly max out your budget. Many fear not having the budget to finish and no one wants to have to pause projects. In this post, we offer tips to help you save yourself from having to spend more than planned.

ADD JUST A TOUCH OF THE FANCY STUFF. If your kitchen’s too big (or your budget’s too small) to swath all the counters in granite ($100 per linear foot and up), just add some highlights in the most prominent areas, such as kitchen islands, and install laminate everywhere else (less than $20 per foot). The same trick works with expensive flooring.

BUY OFF-THE-SHELF BUILDING PLANS. For $235 to about $500 per set, you can get new home plans the way many developers do–out of a catalog. You probably will need to pay a local architect or engineer a few hundred to a few thousand dollars to adapt them to your building lot, but you’ll save over a custom architect’s fee, which can run to 15% of construction costs–$45,000 for a $300,000 home.

GET WITH THE NEIGHBORS. In many suburban developments, all the houses are approximately the same age and thus may be in need of new roofs, resurfaced driveways, and new air-conditioners at approximately the same time. Many contractors are willing to cut a deal with neighborhood associations, offering discounts of 2% to 5% to groups of neighbors willing to have the work done by the company. The contractor benefits from economies of scale, and you and your neighbors may save $250 each on a $5,000 roofing job.

SOLVE THAT WET-BASEMENT PROBLEM. We have two inexpensive fixes to try before you pay as much as $5,000 on a waterproofing job: Cheap idea number one is nearly free: Invest two bucks in a 10-foot length of black corrugated drainpipe to carry water from your downspouts far away from your home’s foundation. The second idea is dirt cheap: Invest in a truckload of dirt (roughly $100 to $250) and fix the grading around your home so that water naturally rolls away.

LEARN HOW TO DO-IT-YOURSELF, but avoid expensive rookie mistakes. Community-education programs–and even large home-center stores–offer free or low-cost classes on home-improvement basics such as installing a new sink or door, wallpapering, and even building a deck. Nuts-and-bolts details are laid out in books such as Home Improvement for Dummies.

Save Money – Reassess Your Insurance

In this post, we address more money-saving strategies that include giving your home insurance a second look. Included below are tips and tricks to trim expenditures both large and small. If you missed it, our tips for saving money by squeezing the kilowatts can be found here.

SHIELD YOURSELF FROM LIABILITY WITH AN UMBRELLA. Most homeowners policies provide $100,000 in liability protection. A good auto policy should cover at least $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident for liability. But you may need more. The best way to raise your protection is with an umbrella liability policy. The $250 to $300 annual cost of a $1-million policy could save you more than anything else you’ve ever bought. You may need to have your auto and homeowners coverage from the same company to get the broadest protection, including coverage for risks such as accusations of libel and slander. That may garner a discount of about 10% on each policy.

SHOP FOR REPLACEMENT-COST COVERAGE FOR YOUR HOME. You’ll pay about 10% extra for such a policy–but it will pay the full cost of rebuilding your home. And if you have to make a claim for the loss of, say, your ten-year-old dining-room set, you’ll get the money to buy a new one. Some large insurers are capping replacement-cost guarantees of the structure at 120% to 125% of the amount. You need to know what 100% means. If you doubt your agent’s estimate, get a contractor’s take on how much it would cost to rebuild (see “Home,” Aug.).

FILL GAPS IN COVERAGE OF YOUR COMPUTER AND EXPENSIVE ELECTRONICS. Some homeowners policies have a $5,000 or $10,000 limit on electronic equipment, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Even with replacement-cost coverage, you might need to beef up that limit to cover your computer, big-screen TV, satellite dish, video camera and audio equipment. You can boost you]’ coverage for $50 to $100 per year.

RAISE YOUR DEDUCTIBLE. Frequent small claims could prompt your insurance company to drop you at renewal time anyway. So paying for the small losses yourself could save big in the long run. Raising your deductible from $250 to $500 will cut your premium by about 12%. Raise it to $1,000 and you’ll cut the premium by 24%.


How to Save More Money

Many people want to learn how to save more money. However, many times they do not know all the ways to do this effectively. With the right information, this can be done easily without hardly any effort. Here are some things that you should know.

Credit Cards

Using credit cards can be good and it can be bad, depending on how you make use of them. Some people use them without thinking about the monthly payments that they are going to have to make. This can get out of hand very fast. So by using your credit cards wisely and sparingly can help your money situation greatly. However, if you are just spending and spending, then when the bills start rolling in you can get overwhelmed quickly when you cannot handle the payments.

Credit Score

Some people, who do not keep a check on their credit score and history, find out when it is too late that there are false charges on their statements. This can cost you a lot of money in the long run. The longer a bill is left unpaid the more interests and late charges you will have. So if you have a charge that is not yours on your statement then you are losing money.

In order to save more money, you need to be sure that you are keeping a check on your credit statement to make sure that everything is correct. If there is something wrong, you need to contact the company to get it straight so that you are not losing money.


You may feel that you do not need a budget. However, this is one of the main things that you need in order to succeed. You will want to know how much money is coming in as well as how much money is going out. You may be surprised by how much you are spending on non-necessities items. This kind of spending can drain your money quickly. It isn’t bad to buy some things, but when you are trying to save, you have to choose how you spend money wisely or you will probably not have any extra to save.

Cut Back

After you see how you are spending, you can then find ways to cut back. For example, if you buy coffee from a coffee shop five days per week, then maybe you can cut back to two days per week and then the money that you would have spent the other days can be saved. It can be hard to stop doing some of the things that you are doing, but if you start small you will not even notice it in the end.

Save wherever you can save more money, you are going to have to save everywhere that you can. You may be surprised money that can be saved at the grocery store just by looking at the prices of the name brand and the store brand. Finding special buys on some of the things you have to buy such as household cleaning supplies. There are so many ways to save but you have to be willing to look at your spending and find ways to spend less then take that money and save it.



Disclaimer: Modern Lending Solutions ( is not a lender. We offer a matching service for connecting potential borrowers with financial institutions. Loan amounts, rates, and terms will vary based on lender’s decision, and approval is not guaranteed.
Offers provided to customers feature rate may no greater than 35.99% APR with terms from 61 days to 180 months. However, your actual rate depends on credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage and history, and will be agreed upon between you and the lender. An example of the total amount paid on a personal loan of $5,000 for a term of 36 months at a rate of 10% would be equivalent to $5,808.09 over the 36-month life of the loan.