5 money stretching strategies for 2021

Laveta Brigham

We’ve been through one of the roughest years in memory. Some of us are sick; many more of us are broke.Solutions? Here are five. Let’s count them down. Number 5: Find what you lost.Ever lost track of a bank account, insurance payment, or rent deposit? This missing money — technically […]

We’ve been through one of the roughest years in memory. Some of us are sick; many more of us are broke.Solutions? Here are five. Let’s count them down. Number 5: Find what you lost.Ever lost track of a bank account, insurance payment, or rent deposit? This missing money — technically known as unclaimed funds — can eventually make its way to state regulators. To find if there might be some for you, look for unclaimed funds on the Department of Revenue website in the state where you live. Going to MissingMoney.com is even easier. The site provides handy information about these funds in all 50 states. Make sure to search under your legal name as well as any variations of that name, including misspellings. And don’t forget to explore other states where you previously lived. Who knows? In 2017 South Carolina regulators returned $763,000 in unclaimed cash and stock proceeds to one lucky person.Number four: Get what you’re owed.Class action lawsuits right consumer wrongs. Lawyers file them over things like defective products, employment and wage violations, invasions of privacy, medication side effects, and financial fraud. Sometimes you’ll get a notification in the mail. But more often, you have to search to see if you are eligible to participate in any active suits. Two sites ClassAction and Top Class Actions — are recommended places to start.Number Three: Cut insurance cost.Early this year, many companies temporarily reduced premiums because people were driving less because of the pandemic. If you’re still operating your vehicle less than you used to, call your insurance company to review your policy. You may be eligible for lower rates. While you’re on the phone, ask about other discounts — such as taking a state-approved defensive driving class online.Number Two: Never buy anything online without a coupon code. Retail websites offer a vast array of offers and savings, from free shipping to cash discounts. Sites like RetailMeNot and Honey can help you find the best coupons, promotional offers, and cashback offers. They even provide apps and browser extensions, which quickly and easily find and apply the applicable codes during checkout. And the Number One consumer tip: Don’t assume Amazon or another behemoth retailer has the best price. While heading to a retail giant is convenient, you can often find lower prices if you do some comparison shopping. Search online — but also check your local stores. After this challenging year, many small businesses have become more competitive and offer deals just as good as the biggest sellers.Have a consumer question or problems? Write me here at WJCL-TV: [email protected]

We’ve been through one of the roughest years in memory. Some of us are sick; many more of us are broke.

Solutions? Here are five. Let’s count them down.

Number 5: Find what you lost.

Ever lost track of a bank account, insurance payment, or rent deposit? This missing money — technically known as unclaimed funds — can eventually make its way to state regulators.

To find if there might be some for you, look for unclaimed funds on the Department of Revenue website in the state where you live. Going to MissingMoney.com is even easier. The site provides handy information about these funds in all 50 states.

Make sure to search under your legal name as well as any variations of that name, including misspellings. And don’t forget to explore other states where you previously lived. Who knows? In 2017 South Carolina regulators returned $763,000 in unclaimed cash and stock proceeds to one lucky person.

Number four: Get what you’re owed.

Class action lawsuits right consumer wrongs. Lawyers file them over things like defective products, employment and wage violations, invasions of privacy, medication side effects, and financial fraud.

Sometimes you’ll get a notification in the mail. But more often, you have to search to see if you are eligible to participate in any active suits. Two sites ClassAction and Top Class Actions — are recommended places to start.

Number Three: Cut insurance cost.

Early this year, many companies temporarily reduced premiums because people were driving less because of the pandemic. If you’re still operating your vehicle less than you used to, call your insurance company to review your policy. You may be eligible for lower rates.

While you’re on the phone, ask about other discounts — such as taking a state-approved defensive driving class online.

Number Two: Never buy anything online without a coupon code.

Retail websites offer a vast array of offers and savings, from free shipping to cash discounts.

Sites like RetailMeNot and Honey can help you find the best coupons, promotional offers, and cashback offers. They even provide apps and browser extensions, which quickly and easily find and apply the applicable codes during checkout.

And the Number One consumer tip: Don’t assume Amazon or another behemoth retailer has the best price.

While heading to a retail giant is convenient, you can often find lower prices if you do some comparison shopping.

Search online — but also check your local stores. After this challenging year, many small businesses have become more competitive and offer deals just as good as the biggest sellers.

Have a consumer question or problems? Write me here at WJCL-TV: [email protected]

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