Saving Strategies to Avoid a High-Interest Cash Advance Loan

The best financial offense is a good financial defense.

You never want to have a financial emergency take you by surprise.

Well, ideally, you want to never have a financial emergency ever. But statistically, you likely will at some point. Your emergency could be medical, automotive, home-related, or, if you’re particularly unlucky, some mixture of the three.

There are rarely good options when you’re faced with a surprise expense, but turning to a cash advance loan is among one of the worst. Most of these loans are really predatory payday loans or no credit check loans that could turn any financial emergency into a true disaster.

Luckily, you can avoid high-cost bad credit loans like these entirely by being just a little more prepared. And how can you be prepared? By building up your savings!

Paying yourself first.

The best way to save money is to never even give yourself the chance to spend it. Here’s how real estate investor Mike Otranto (@MichaelOtranto) put it:

“I’ve always found detailed budgeting with accounting programs to be very complicated and boring, especially when just starting out. The easiest way to start saving money is to spend it! Sounds contradictory right? Well, the key is to pay yourself first!

“It’s simply taking a small portion of any income that comes in, whether it be from a paycheck, gift, etc, and depositing it into a savings account. I currently deposit 20 percent of any income into my savings account at the end of each month. The key is to pick something manageable, say 5-10 percent, and deposit that money consistently. Over time, you adapt to having a little less disposable income while you have a growing savings account or money market.”

It’s also important to regularly review your funds and it wouldn’t hurt to consider automating your savings somewhat.

“At least once per year, go through all your bills on your credit card,” suggested Aaron Norris (@aaronnorris), vice president of the Norris Group (@thenorrisgroup). “If you haven’t used a service or discover bad habits, dump them. Immediately move the savings into your savings account (create one if you don’t have one) and forget that it’s there. Do an auto deposit from your checking every month and let the savings happen because you’ve turned it into a game. When I first learned this trick, I saved over $200!”

Make spending money more difficult.

While remembering to save every month is important, forgetting can also be helpful too.

“Don’t memorize credit card numbers,” advised Doug Keller, community manager for Payless Power (@paylesspower). “Though it is natural over time with constant use to learn our credit card information, this can actually cause you to spend more. Oftentimes when we have that information readily accessible, we make purchases without really considering the transaction. As a result, we’re more likely to be less frugal in our purchasing.

“By refraining from memorizing, you allow yourself a bit more time to consider your actions as you take the steps to locate your card and make the payment. If you can, pay with cash as much as possible.”

Of course, there are also some specific purchasing patterns you can try to improve.

Adjusting your purchasing habits.

There are any purchases you can’t just cut out of your life. But you can often find cheaper alternatives.

John Savin (@savinwealth), the owner of Savin Wealth Management, offered some tips to step up your finance game:

“Cut back on dining out. This alone can save you hundreds of dollars each month. Trim your cable and cell phone packages. Why pay for 300+ channels or unlimited data when you use only a fraction of the service? Stop making the service provider rich, save the difference and invest it.

“Instead of throwing out spoiled food you purchased at your local supermarket, bring it back. Costco and Publix will refund your money no questions asked. If you have a young child, save hundreds of dollars on clothing by getting it secondhand from friends whose children are older. Babies outgrow clothing quick, so save the money.”

Medications can also be a major expense. That’s why Joseph Sanginiti, CEO of FamilyWize (@FamilyWize) told us some ways you can save on medication costs:

“Compare medication prices between local pharmacies to find the lowest cost. Don’t be afraid to tell your pharmacist if you find a better price. They care about your health and should be willing to work with you. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if your insurance company doesn’t cover your medication. They can suggest similar, more affordable alternatives. Join a prescription savings program like FamilyWize. Such programs offer easy access to deep discounts, and savings tools making it much easier to understand drug costs and save at the pharmacy.

All great tips. But what if you could save the Earth and your finances all at once?

Go green, save green.

Unfortunately, you don’t have the power to fix the environment all on your own, unless you have some sort of powerful magic. In which case, please fix the environment and we will send you secret savings tips the likes of which you can’t even imagine.

But even without mastery over the forces of nature, you can do your part for the environment in a way that can actually save you money.

Take shorter showers,” Keller said. “Our natural inclination when it comes time to shower is to take a long and hot wash to be as clean as possible. But what people fail to realize is just how much water is used for each shower and how much energy is used to heat it. With water heating expenses accounting for around one-quarter of home energy expenses, shortening shower time by just a few minutes each wash will add up.

Ride your bike. It may take you a bit longer to get where you’re going, but riding your bike is a great mode of transportation that promotes healthy behavior as well. It reduces the need to spend on gas, does not require payment for parking, and even better, does not require extensive maintenance over time. Even if it is not your primary means of getting around, a bike will save you money.

Unplug your appliances. Even when electronic devices are powered down, if they are left plugged in, they are still using electricity, running up your bill and costing you money. When you think about how many devices you leave plugged in every day, this can be a considerable amount. To counteract this, simply unplug your devices when you are not using them. If they are plugged into a powerstrip, be sure to power that down as well. There are also other devices available now known as Smart Strips that can cut off the electricity use to unplugged devices.”

Saving takes commitment. You’ll have to consistently use these tips until you build up new habits. But we know you can do it, and it’s much better than having a financial emergency come up that you aren’t prepared for.

To learn more about saving money, check out these related posts and articles from OppLoans:

What are your favorite savings strategies? Let us know! You can email us or you can find us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Douglas KellerDouglas Keller has been a financial expert for 20 years, helping people reach financial stability. He works forPayless Power (@paylesspower) where he continues to help people save money on their bills every month.
Aaron NorrisAaron Norris (@aaronnorris), is Vice President of the Norris Group (@thenorrisgroup), a California-based hard money lender specializing in flips, rentals, and new construction projects for real estate investors. You’ll catch him speaking at various real estate association conferences talking on technology (robotics, AI, IoT, and FinTech) and its effects on the future of housing and the real estate industry. Aaron is a Certified Specialist in Planned Giving (CSPG) and is passionate about philanthropy and giving back. You can find him on here on LinkedIn.
Micahel OrantoMike Otranto (@MichaelOtranto) is the owner of Otranto Real Estate Co., a family owned, Raleigh NC based real estate solutions company.
Joseph SanginittiJoseph Sanginiti is President & Chief Executive Officer of FamilyWize (@FamilyWize), which improves people’s lives by providing access to affordable prescription medications. He has spent more than 25 years with several Fortune 500 organizations. As a senior executive in the pharmacy benefit management industry, Joe was responsible for both the integrations and management of pharmacy operations nationally. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of a number of companies and non-profit organizations.
John SavinJohn Savin (@savinwealth) is the owner of Savin Wealth Management  in Boca Raton, FL.

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